Keens Park Rangers Reserves 3 Lightwater 0
Goals: Callum Toone, Thomas Watts, Vic Hamilton
Man-of-the-match: Callum Toone
If the weather proved to be somewhat uncomfortable, the opposite applied to the KPR ressies performance against Lightwater at Fortress Pyrford.
Neat and tidy from the start, the ressies dominance was clear, even if they failed to create any clear-cut chances. The final ball proving elusive, new man Niall was mopping up anything the opposition attempted to throw at the ressies, so it was merely a matter of time before the chances would arrive. And arrive they did after a failed free kick found the ball worked out to the right wing where captain Crouch finally found the ball the home team were looking for.
The odd thing is, the ball found an unmarked Callum just outside the six yard box having been too lazy to get back into his defensive position. Always decent with his head, Callum placed the ball back the way it came leaving the keeper no chance to save.
There may have been more straight after as a delicious inside pass from Watto was swept up before Vic could do any damage. The slim chance of any damage at the other end was encapsulated by Niall, who was the first man to his own clearing header, with the resulting attack looking like another goal until the opposition defender wiped out Watto with a very naughty challenge.
Although the referee failed to brandish the deserved yellow card, Watto was able to rise up and take the free kick himself. And what a strike it was with the brolly boys (and girls) on the touchline being treated to a brilliant view of an absolutely brilliant strike that cured around the wall an inside the far post.
If the opposition’s keeper was a spectator once again he was looking a little fragile when tested. And yet, having fortuitously ‘fumbled’ one shot wide he then pulled off a marvellous save from another Callum header from point blank range.
There was little he could do about the ressies third, however. Coming from the best bit of play of the afternoon, Vic was provided with a simple tap in after four of five first time passes eventually found Josh on the left who squared the ball.
Three-nil at half-time being a fair reflection of play, hopes were high of more in the second-half, yet the first notable chance fell to the opposition. Hit straight at Leighton in goal there was little need for panic. Indeed, the entertainment got better as Connor and the opposition defender decided to exchange a series of shoulder charges. While giving size and weight away to his opponent, Connor had got his barge in first, but it was returned with gusto and after exchanging at least three each the defender lost his footing.
Now free to run in on goal Connor looked set to either score or square the ball for an easy tap in, but his indecision allowed the fully committed defender to regain his feet, and a good deal of ground, before an excellent sliding tackle denied Connor his chance at glory.
This, as it happened, defined the rest of the match. And as much as the ressies were winning their individual and collective battles – Sammy down the right and Josh down the left enough to test the fitness and resolve of any defence – the Lightwater players always came up with a solution at the last gasp.
Having brought on their substitutes these solutions ranged from a brilliant one-handed save from Vic; a fumble and mix-up with his defender that Ryan the younger put wide; a poleaxing of Dan Way by the opposition’s ‘Dr Evil’, that did get the deserved yellow card; another good save from a sweetly struck shot from Wallis; and a disallowed goal for Vic following an offside flag.
As much as a goalless half, and another rare save from Leighton, was a surprise, the result, like sore head’s on Sunday, was never in doubt and the club celebrated both teams being top of the league at their annual meal that night where Gazza won the ‘Heads or Tails’. The one win nobody was happy about!