Surrey County Premier Football League
Keens Park Rangers 5 Horsley 0
Goals: Bulldog Bullen 3, Luke Mitchell, Michael Woods
Man-of-the-match: Bulldog Bullen
Given their comprehensive victory over Horsley at Fortress Pyrford this week, it was clear to all that KPR’s first team had rediscovered their collective mojo.
Missing in recent weeks, it was the free-scoring ressies who maintained their winning run just up the road at Ripley with another tremendous free kick from Watto. While first team goals had been as hard to come by as birdies (or pars even) at the KPR golf day, just 24 hours previously, the drought was broken with not ‘fore!’, but five of the buggers, even though the early exchanges suggested a closer contest.
Twenty minutes in, however, it was KPR who found their rhythm with Courage teeing up Bulldog for a good chance, that he blasted over the bar, before forcing a save out of the keeper with a shot of his own. Luke had a go himself, but again it was straight at the keeper.
Any pressure on the home team was self-inflicted, with Simmo getting sin-binned for a polite, but extremely loud, enquiry over a disputed corner. Nevertheless, despite being down to ten men for the next ten minutes, KPR took the lead after good play from Luke up top forced a cross field pass to their left midfielder who was quickly mugged of the ball by Bulldog before smashing it in off the keeper.
Although Simmo’s return just before half time was welcome. The elusive – and much needed – second goal eluded KPR for the remainder of the half. It was, given a flurry of chances at the beginning of the second, only a matter of time, however. Courage had another well struck effort parried by the keeper, who then saved Luke’s attempt to curl it into the top corner.
If a few of the supporters were getting a tad tetchy, Luke settled any nerves with a low shot from distance that surprised supporters and opposition keeper alike. If a two goal cushion made life comfortable, KPR were handed another numerical advantage after a needless foul on Bulldog at the edge of the box led to a second yellow and red card for the opposition. And Bulldog immediately rubbed salt into the wound by slotting the resulting free kick into the top corner.
The game safe, manager Gary brought on Dan and Rory who maintained the free flowing football we’d been starved of in recent weeks. Indeed, the opposition couldn’t lay a glove on KPR unless it was to make cynical fouls. And Courage, despite an excellent game himself, ensured Bulldog got man-of-the-match by setting up his hat-trick with a lovely first touch and weighted pass that was slotted home with aplomb.
That the remaining subs all got a good fifteen minutes spoke of KPR’s dominance. And it showed with the last, and best, goal of the match following a flowing move that began with Ben Wicherek bursting out of defence. Having glided past three midfielders, he then slotted a slide-rule pass to substitute Woodsy who repeated the feat leaving their keeper a spectator once again.
It might have been more had Dan, Rory, Woodsy and Bulldog not spurned further chances before the end. But, in the end, everyone was extremely happy with the day’s events. Except, that was, bar manager Chainy who was left bemoaning a damaged match ball and, of course, Bulldog who can’t watch his first hat-trick of the season on an infinite replay loop as Tigger – who was watching the first half of the ressies’ match – had failed to set up the Veo (c)!
Never mind Bulldog. We’re pretty sure it won’t be the last!