Surrey County Premier Football League
Keens Park Rangers 0 AFC Walcountians 3
Man-of-the-match: Reece Killick
A great run for the club was brought to an abrupt end this week, as the first team succumbed to visitors Walcountians at a blustery Fortress Pyrford.
One way or the other, it could have been very different as Courage had the first clear cut chance after some good play down the left. The strong block by their keeper was soon rewarded after those who had, moments earlier, looked good going forward neglected their defensive duties. And as much as a ‘Desperate Dan’ got half a block in at the last second a kind bounce afforded the forward a simple tap in from inside the box.
Thereafter it was – almost, but not quite – a case of ‘fine margins’. These applied to both teams as the visitors may well have been out of sight after half-an-hour having first hit the crossbar and then the post in quick succession. But as much as KPR were finding it hard to keep pace, they could well have drawn level with almost the last kick of the half were Dan’s volley at the far post not well saved by the keeper.
Although a tight match it was, overall, a half to forget. And, in response, KPR began the second with renewed vigour. This certainly led to a greater share of the territorial advantage. But it also led to a booking (or two?) as the visitors abilities and fitness began to frustrate. Essentially, the KPR players – irrespective of position – were not getting a moments peace and it took a barnstorming performance from man-of-the-match Reece, who covered every blade of grass (twice), to appear at the same level of fitness.
For all his efforts, the visitor’s first concerted bit of pressure of the half led to a second goal after he and his colleagues failed to take number of chances to clear. A soft goal, this was frustrating for all concerned and the touchline talk was now of a draw (at best). Manager Gary did have a strong bench, however, and the returning post-op Luke was brought on for Jack.
The extra impetus his reunion with Bulldog engendered was evident immediately, and KPR’s best period led to the creation of more chances in five minutes than the previous hour. Regrettably, as much as strong defending thwarted the numerous shots raining in on the visitor’s goal, Woodsy also chipped in by turning double-agent when blocking a fierce shot from Luke with his wedding tackle.
The fine margins came into play once again thereafter as it was then Bulldog’s turn to rattle the bar from distance, whereas two shots from Luke went tantalisingly wide. The frustration was then set in stone as they then scored the best goal of the match against the run of play with a deft finish in off the far post.
Whereas the travelling supporters would have felt it was no more than a strong performance deserved – and the best team certainly won on the day – KPR will be ruing what amounted to a ‘bad day at the office’. But as much as the disappointment was palpable the result has provided a gem of a photo of Ben at the final whistle that may well prove to be a meme for the ages among the more sarcastic members of the club.
As always, it’s the little things than matter.