The Anglian Knights have given it everything in all their games so far this season and it is hard to see why they have no points, but they went into the game against Plumstead Rangers with the belief they can come out with a result. The squad has lost a few good players over the last couple of weeks with influential captain Mark Cook being ruled out for the rest of the season and Louie Watts serving his ban following a red card.
The game started well for Anglian, with some great passing from the back to the attackers and chances were starting to be created for the Knights. The first real chance fell to Craig Kiddell whose in swinging corner nearly caught the keeper out, but it curled just over the bar.
The second chance turned into a goal as Jack Hurrell picked up a great pass from Liam Smith on the edge of the 6 yard box, and he made no mistake smashing the ball into the net. 1-0
The lead was short lived and against the run of play, a route one ball caught out our right back who was out-paced by the speedy left winger. He went to cut inside the box, but was chopped down. It may have been a dubious decision however, as numerous players protested it was outside the area, but a penalty was given nonetheless. Stand-in goalkeeper Kirk Lanckmans was between the sticks, but he could not stop the well placed shot. 1-1
Jack Hurrell had the last real chance of the half as he created space for himself on the edge of the area, but his shot was whipped just wide of the post. The half ended with Anglian playing well, and the only chance Plumstead had, they scored. Ian Probert’s defence were looking solid and creative on the attack, but could they keep this up throughout the second half? Liam Smith had to be substituted for Ross Thorpe when his knee swelled up at the break.
The second half was as eventful as the first half with new signing Josh Powley wiggling and weaving between 3 defenders, setting the ball up beautifully onto his left foot and fired a great shot, but the post denied him his first goal for the club.
Anglian were playing well, Matt Jillings dominating the midfield and picking out Craig Kiddell and Jack Hurrell well, but the game was turned on its head when centre back Tom Offord injured his ankle. A corner had seen the ball fall near Tom on the edge of the penalty box, the player challenging him caught his ankle forcing a change to the back four. With no subs left, the 11 on the field had to be reshuffled. After some confusion, Kierstan Foreman dropped into centre back to cover.
This mix-up saw Anglian lose control of the game and the Plumstead goalkeeper became a striker as he switched with an outfield player. He was a big lad and we knew he was an aerial threat from the last time we played them. Plumstead switched to playing route one football aiming for their target man. They then started peppering the goal and the boys in white stood firm, with some great blocks and last ditch tackles by Kierstan Foreman, Matt Jillings and Ian Probert.
Plumstead Rangers had a succession of corners and in the 85th minute, in a cruel twist of fate, they broke down the Anglian defence to take the lead. A corner was cleared to the edge of the centre circle, a ball was chipped into the penalty box over the back four, landing at the feet of Adam Blake, Plumstead’s target man. There were claims of offside, but he had ran through the defence to collect the ball and he slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Full credit to the Knights though as they then piled the pressure on again for the last few minutes and almost grabbed an equaliser with the last quick of the game. A corner was whipped into the near post by Jillings, the ball bounced from head to bar to head before being cleared. The final score was 2-1 to Plumstead, but the Anglian Knights will feel hard done by in this defeat.