The Anglian Knights form has dropped in recent weeks; the performance levels have not been as good as earlier in the season, but Saturday’s game against Mousehold Athletic Reserves showed the true spirit of the team as well as some good management from Phil Perriton and Martin Smith.
Anglian have maintained a regular squad over the last few weeks; Reece Harrison kept his number 1 spot in the team, with Ellis Watts returning to right back and Kierstan Foreman holding onto the left back position. Ian Probert returned to his normal centre back position along side the young and reliable centre back Kieron Orford. Josh Taubman and Jack Hurrell started on the wings with Louie Watts partnering captain Aaron Hooper in the centre of midfield. Dwayne Powley started up front again, this week partnering Jim Newman, who scored a brace in last week’s defeat to Hellesdon.
The team that are sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements started the game in a scrappy fashion as they were dragged into the long-ball game that Mousehold love to play. The wind was blustering up the pitch causing issues for both defences as the ball was so unpredictable in the air. Jim Newman had the first chance of the game as a miss-kick from the Mousehold goalkeeper struck Louie Watts and fell to the feet of Newman. Unfortunately, his lob from 30 yards out dipped just over the bar.
It was the Knights who were let off next as a long ball over the top was picked up by the Mousehold striker. He shot from range as Harrison rushed out to tackle him; the ball deflected off the keeper and fell to another Mousehold striker, but his shot was well off target as the goal was gaping.
However, Mousehold got their break moments later as another long ball over the top was carried over the defence by the wind. The striker again shot from the edge of the box as Harrison rushed out and again the parry fell to a Mousehold striker. This time, the striker crossed the ball into the 6 yard box, an unfortunate slip from the keeper saw the ball trickle behind him and to the feet of another Mousehold player who couldn’t miss from 4 yards out. 1-0
Half-time soon came around and Anglian hadn’t really tested the Mousehold keeper yet. Phil told the team that they needed to play the ball to feet and start playing the type of football we are good at. There was too much apprehension within the team and it seemed as though we wanted to get rid the ball as soon as we had it.
The Knights started the second half asleep as they went 2-0 down within minutes. A quick throw in down the left, saw Mousehold’s left winger go round a defender before smashing the ball into the top left corner. On 60 minutes Matt Rush replaced Jim Newman and Mark Cook replaced Louie Watts in an attempt to get back into the game. These changes freshened the Anglian side up and they began to get the ball on the floor and pick out their passes rather than panicking and giving it away. The boys in white pulled a goal back on 70 minutes after some intense pressure on the Mousehold goal. Hooper took a low corner, smashing it into the near post where Matt Rush popped up to slot the ball in the net. 2-1
Rush then had another chance moments later; the ball was beautifully threaded between the defenders to put Rush in on goal, but his shot was straight at the keeper. Perriton rolled the dice one final time bringing Newman and Watts back on for Powley and Probert and changed the formation to a 3-4-3.
These changes forced Anglian further forward and the pressure was too much for Mousehold as Anglian snatched an equaliser. The ball was delivered into the box, met by the head of Newman, which fell to the feet of Louie Watts who was on the edge of the 6 yard box. He shot on the turn to tuck it past the keeper and make it 2-2.
It was a great comeback for the Knights and the first time they have been down by two goals and come out of the game with a point. The game ended 2-2 and both teams should be happy with a well-earned point. If you were at the game you can now vote for your Man of the Match here;