Surrey Premier County Football League
Keens Park Rangers 0 Staines and Lammas 0
Goals: If only
Man-of-the-match: Courage Moda
If the pitch played better than it looked, KPR’s first team flattered to deceive in what proved to be a frustrating goalless draw against visitors Staines and Lammas.
This frustration was enhanced given the crowd was not only boosted by a few redundant ressies, but the opposition’s travelling support. Some of whom, believe it or not, had come all the way from Sweden for the occasion!
This is the kind of dedication and commitment football at every level thrives on. And as much as the players were equally invested in proceedings, there was a lack of quality in the early exchanges. In fact it was a collision between the opposition’s keeper and a defender that allowed man-of-the-match Courage to tee-up Bulldog who’s shot was blocked on the line.
This, as it turned out, would be a recurring motif as Courage also had a shot blocked soon after. It was, however, almost half an hour into the match before we witnessed the first example of quality football that began at left back, flowed through the midfield to Courage on the right wing who set up Luke who, you guessed it, had his shot blocked.
While KPR were certainly dominant the opposition’s keeper hadn’t really been tested until a speculative shot from Ben Wicherek was tipped over at the near post, and he saved again from Bulldog having seized onto a good through ball and cut inside the defender.
Regular attendees would normally be putting their houses on it being a goal and even an each-way bet would have failed as Luke missed the rebound. And as much as Courage skilfully created a chance for Mike Wicherek at the far post, and Bulldog had another effort blocked before half-time, a frantic passage of play allowed the opposition to retain a toehold in the match.
That toehold became something far more significant in the second half, with the KPR midfield struggling to contain the opposition. This issue was exacerbated by Rees succumbing to an injury, before manager Gary performed a very passable Lionel Blair impression / charade of ‘the whole thing’ (a cultural reference for our younger readers there) after the opposition’s defender had booted one of bar manager Chainy’s precious match balls into the adjacent school.
That said, it was the visiting manger who was waving his arms about when a goal was chalked off for offside. So-much-so he was asked to leave the dug-out after giving young Leighton on the line a bit too much stick.
The match then reverted to it’s original pattern with KPR creating chance after chance. Finishing any of them was another matter sadly and, as much as he was irresistible, first Courage, and then Bulldog, picked up where poor old Nico left off last week.
Inevitably, the visitors would have chances of their own. But these were largely the product of sloppy play as a lack of fitness began to show. The supporters’ were certainly getting anxious after a free kick at the edge of the box afforded club stalwart H the opportunity to reel out his evergreen line “we’ve seen this film before” (although he passed up the opportunity to mime the title).
As it turned out the shot was blocked by the wall, but we were not done with the déjà vu, as Bulldog failed to finish another two gilt-edged opportunities before the referee called time on what was, despite remaining goalless, an engrossing and entertaining match. Bring the shooting boots next week lads.