Surrey Premier County League
Keens Park Rangers 2 Addlestone 1
Goals: Own-goal (Rob Partridge?), Harry Potter (Thomas Watts)
Man-of-the-match: Reese Killick
‘Sockgate’ seemingly resolved, the first team picked themselves up from last weeks defeat to claim their first ever Premier League victory by defeating Addlestone at a sweltering Fortress Pyrford.
Despite the heat, both teams carried out what were (to those of us observing from the pavilion) highly questionable, and extensive, ‘warm-ups’. And this foolhardy exuberance continued in what was a frantic opening ten minutes that was largely dominated by the opposition.
Rob at centre back certainly had his hands full dealing with their number nine. But, after two or three exchanges, he soon had the measure of him. The same must be said of man-of-the-match Reese at right back who showed strength and gameplay beyond his years from the off.
Captain Bruce and Simmo were equally strong, and the more the game went on the more assured KPR looked. Simmo in particular was enjoying the license to push forward. And yet, the conditions required pin point passes that largely eluded the midfields of both sides.
On the touchline, those who eschewed the shade behind the goal were questioning a few dubious looking flags, and it was Liam (himself a referee) who got a talking to from his on duty colleague. That resolved the supporters’ only real concern was young Leighton in goal having celebrated his 18th (and Jambo’s 30th) the night before. How many balls he was seeing is anyone’s guess, but he clearly selected the right one in claiming a high ball that put minds at rest.
Now it was all about breaking down their defence, but the goal came from an error by their keeper from a trademark long throw from Bruce. Nobody doubted his commitment, but having screamed “Keepers!!!” he missed his punch clear and deflected the ball into his own net. Rob is claiming he got a touch, but until we see the VEO (c) he shall remain on three points in the KPR Fantasy League.
Bulldog (missing his strike partner Luke this week) was also denied after his strong strike was pushed wide by the keeper from close range. Despite breaks for drinks Simmo then went down due to a dizzy spell and he would not emerge for the second half, which carried on in much the same pattern as the first.
Still on top, things ought to have got even better for KPR as Mike Wicherek delivered a delicious free kick that the oncoming Lucas slotted home with ease on the volley. Only then did the opposition’s lino put his flag up somewhat sheepishly when it looked a goal any day of the week. Despite the righteous indignation of the supporters he stuck to his guns and the referee sided with him and disallowed it.
In doing so he needed to have another word with the supporters, but it was Gazza this time with the ‘heartfelt’ apologies. Nonetheless, it was a bitter pill to swallow and it is credit to the lads on the field that they remained unfazed. Blessed with a full bench this week, the line-up was altered by stand-in manager Osh, and he brought on first Josh, and then Watto for Mike W and Courage. Josh, along with Dougal, were showing us what they are capable of. But as much as Lucas had a chance to score, the previously assured play deserted the team.
This said, the opposition still didn’t look like scoring. And yet, the desire to ensure victory proved a double-edged sword as Josh needlessly slid in on a forward heading away from the goal to concede a penalty. Manager Osh broke his sunglasses in frustration, and poor Leighton, having not been called upon to make a serious save all afternoon soon found himself picking the ball out of his net.
He may have been repeating the process soon after, but a free header was squandered by the opposition. It was at this point that Doug siezed the game by the scruff of the neck in breaking up their play in the midfield so well it was almost mystic. And it was this anticipation and his quick feet that won KPR a free kick that turned the game.
A good 25 or even 30 yards out, those in the know knew there was only one man for the job. Those not in the know were wondering why Harry Potter look-a-likey Watto was over the ball. There was also some verbal gesticulation as the what constituted ten yards, but your humble narrator confidently stated “it didn’t matter as he was going to score anyway”. And score he did, with an unsavable shot that went in off the left hand post.
Pandemonium ensued. But the best was yet to come as he made a beeline towards bar manager El Boy (or was it his old man behind him?) to celebrate. Everyone enjoys a bundle. And, having regained the lead, the confidence was back with Dougal and Doug in particular showing great skill. Doug, in fact, almost scored a blinder of his own were it not for an excellent save. And the lads, despite the extra time for drink breaks, held out for what was a deserved victory.
With the ressies also enjoying a, somewhat spectacular, 6-5 win of their own the atmosphere down the King’s Head was buzzing. Here’s to more of the same in the weeks to come.