The Anglian Knights home form is 100 successful, but away from home they can’t seem to grab a win. After last week’s hammering of Trunch FC, the Anglian Home Improvements sponsored team were hoping this form would continue against Norman Wanderers.
Due to Norwich City playing at home it was a changed side again with absent players. Reece Harrison continued in goal with consistent centre backs Josh Powley and Kieron Orford. Kirk Lanckmans and Kierstan Foreman provided the width of the defence. The midfield saw Craig Kiddell return from injury to play right wing, whilst Jack Hurrell retained his left wing position. Mark Cook and Matt Jillings paired up in the centre of midfield, providing service for strike duo Louie Watts and Matt Rush.
The match kicked-off and it was quite an even game, Norman incorporating the long ball from the first whistle to put the Knights defence under pressure, although they handled it with ease for the majority of the half. Very few chances were created in the first half until about 10 minutes left; Norman punted the ball up field and their tall striker immediately put the defence under pressure. The ball bounced through towards Harrison who had come out to clear the ball, but the oncoming challenge from the Wanderers striker saw the ball flicked past the keeper, leaving him the easy task of slotting it into the open goal.
The Knights responded positively, working the ball from the back four to the midfield, then through to the strikers. A ball was played through the channel for Jack Hurrell who closed down the defender who was trying to shield the ball out of play. It appeared to go out of play, but Hurrell knocked the ball through the defenders legs and back onto the pitch. The Norman defence stopped thinking the ball had gone out of play, but the whistle didn’t go leaving Hurrell to pass to Rush and he slotted the ball into the net. 1-1
The Knights were immediately back on level terms as half time came. Craig Kiddell, who is struggling with a knee injury, was replaced by Giggs Panteli, a summer signing from CNS Old Boys. He slotted into midfield with Cook, pushing Jillings out wide.
The second half began in similar fashion to the first; Norman playing the long ball and working off whatever they could win in the air or looking for a rebound. They managed to grab their second goal much like their first goal. A long ball forward got beyond the defence and despite defensive pressure and the keeper coming off his line, the ball squirmed past the keeper leaving a tap in for the striker. 2-1
Mark Cook was forced off the pitch in the 60th minute after a clash with a midfield. He was subbed and Lee Kiddell was his replacement. Hopefully the injury is not too serious. Josh Powley had a good chance moments later when Anglian won a corner and the ball that was lofted in by Panteli was headed inches wide by Powley.
Anglian were then pushing up field to try and grab an equaliser again, but this seemed to leave a big gap in front of the defence, leaving them prone to the counter attack. Norman’s quick midfield capitalised on this and when they managed to win the ball back, they quickly passed it to the accelerating midfield. Norman attacked in their numbers, and stroked the ball around, working space and creating chances. They got their third goal after a long range effort curled into the top right corner.
Anglian’s head’s dropped and Norman managed a fourth goal not long after their third. Even Anglian’s ‘never say die’ attitude could not help them out of this situation and the final score stayed 4-1. The defence had played a cracking game with Kieron Orford and Josh Powley dominating in the air, but it was unfortunate to have conceded 4 goals. Matt Rush came closest to grabbing a consolation goal in the dying embers of the game after some superb play by Jack Hurrell down the left wing, who picked out Rush in the penalty area; turned his defender, but his shot was blocked by two defenders before being cleared.
The man of the match for me was Jack Hurrell who looked dangerous every time he got the ball, working hard on the left wing and creating chances. The team did work hard in this game against a very physical and brutal Norman team.
This weekend sees the Knights travel to play CNS Old Boys; another away game in which they hope to turn around their fortunes.