Surrey Intermediate Football League
Keens Park Rangers Reserves 10 (ten) Farncombe Reserves 0 (nil)
Goals: Vic (3), Sammy (2), Watto, Seamus, Liam, Crouchy, Wallis.
Man-of-the-match: Vic Hamilton
If last weekend was ‘perfect’, there are no superlatives left to describe this week’s twelve unanswered goals, of which the ressies scored an incredulous TEN against visitors Farncombe.
One must feel a pang of sympathy for the visitors as a bare twelve players (absent of a manager it seemed) came up against an incredibly strong ressies squad who played, almost to a man, to the best of their abilities from the very first whistle.
Harry Potter look-a-likey Watto in particular was tremendous – magic even – but it was a superb delivery from a corner by Seamus that led to the opening goal in the form of a towering header from Vic at the near post.
Given the number of goals to come, it seems petty to mention the missed opportunities. But, at this early stage, it wasn’t obvious – although we had our suspicions – that the ressies would win, or how comfortably. Nevertheless, Vic struck a good chance straight at the keeper, before the loose ball fell to Wallis, who also found the keeper, before a third bite fell to Sammy who blazed an even better chance from the rebound over the bar.
Such was the home side’s dominance it was inevitable a second goal would arrive. And that Watto would play a part in it. And, having robbed the ball off the defender, it was he who unselfishly squared the ball to Sammy who had the easiest of tap-ins at the far post.
Sammy, in fact, was reaping the rewards of some really excellent play. And his second, and the ressies third, came after a sublime pass from Jake in midfield found Watto who bided his time before repeating the same pass for another tap-in.
We weren’t sure what Watto had for breakfast (as it turned out it was a full fry-up as late as midday!), but we all wanted some. And he got the goal his play deserved by smashing the ball in after another incisive pass from Jake. The fifth was largely a solo effort from Vic who feigned a shot before swerving inside his marker and striking another unsavable shot.
After only 37 minutes you had to feel for the opposition’s keeper, who must have been wondering why he’d bothered. And his first-half got even worse after right back Tommy took it upon himself to venture forward and, having toyed with two defenders, square the ball for Seamus who couldn’t miss.
It being a chilly day, the home support were grateful for a cuppa in the warmth of the pavilion. But few minded heading out again as it was pretty clear there’d be more goals to come. Indeed, bar manager El Boy and Chairman Crouchy broke the habit of a lifetime by moving down the touchline to get a closer view of the proceedings to come.
The seventh soon came after good wing play and cross from Sammy was met by captain Callum’s glancing header into the far corner. As it happened this was their last touches of the ball as manager Liam shuffled his pack. Among these was star defender Chris who came off the bench for his first match in almost two years after a serious injury.
Marvellous to see, the eighth goal came when fellow substitute Kieran brought out another good block from the keeper only for the ball to fall to the oncoming Liam who stroked the ball home – with his left foot of all things – over the head of the helpless defenders. Disgracefully he celebrated without acknowledging Kieran! Tut tut.
If that was a display of poor form, Liam’s attempt to extract a penalty – he fell in instalments – was a shocker. But the ball did break loose at the edge of the box where it was collected by Crouch Jnr who hit the best shot of the day into the top left hand corner.
With almost a quarter of an hour to go a tenth goal was surely inevitable. But the ressies struggled to reach the landmark due to a combination of plucky defence and fluffed chances. Sam Bullen had a shot blocked on the line before Wallis scuffed the rebound wide. He wasn’t to be denied, despite a less than convincing ‘shot’ from a very similar chance that many on the touchline felt was going wide before hitting a defender on the way in.
If that’s one for the ‘KPR Fantasy Football’ (c) ‘dubious goals committee’, it topped off a remarkable afternoon of fantasy-like football. And as much as we’re unlikely to see such a result again this season, confidence among the squad must be sky high. And, if the frivolities (and consumption of lasagne) down the King’s Head are a guide – there’s clearly an appetite for more.