Surrey Intermediate Football League
Keens Park Rangers Reserves 4 Shottermill & Haslemere 2
Goals: Vic (2), Jake, Sammy
Man-of-the-match: Vic Hamilton
With Crimbo a distant memory, 2024 kicked off for the ressies at home with a decent win against a resilient Shottermill & Haslemere. And far from being dry, the goals flowed.
As in previous weeks manager Liam was blessed with an embarrassment of riches and as much as the visitors appeared to have sneaked in a few first team players, they were no match for a team firing on all cylinders. The stand out player, once again, was Vic who gave the opposition defence a torrid first-half.
He wasn’t doing it all by himself of course as he and Sammy down the left were combining magnificently. Both had early chances, as would Jambo Crouch had his leg been able to keep up with his toro when on a barnstorming run from deep. And yet, the first goal came from a great pass down the right wing from Watto who set Vic free to burst into the box and square the ball for Sammy for an easy finish from close range.
Jambo then fed Vic at the edge of the box and, having got the ball, he turned his defender inside out before slotting the ball home past the keeper with great calmness.
The same couldn’t strictly be said of the defence and Leighton in goal in-particular as he inadvertently provided the visitor’s best chances himself not once, but twice. Fortunately both chances went wide of the goal and Vic made the opposition pay with a simple tap-in after their keeper could only parry a shot from Sammy.
But, having extended the lead, it was the ressies who then wasted a number of good chances. In fact, there is a justifiable claim for ‘jug evasion’ as Vic hit the crossbar from close range after another combination with Sammy. The chance wasn’t completely lost, however, but Wallis placed the rebound over the bar.
Wallis then turned provider with a back heel for what was arguably the goal of the game for Jake, who gathered the ball on a run into the box before spanking a clean strike it almost dazzled (might have got carried away there)!
4-0 at half-time suggested more goals in the second, but the massed supporters were to be left disappointed as it was the visitors who ‘won the half’. Typically, they got a bit of help from the defence after Chris Butler mistimed a header. That said, the finish was superb leaving Leighton a mere observer before his customary post-kicking.
Liam then shuffled his pack, and as much as the visitors got within two they were unlikely to ever overhaul the deficit in a game that became increasingly scrappy.
All-in-all, a very decent result given none of the players are doing ‘Dry January’ this year, although it might be an idea for Callum to consider it before he loses all his teeth.