The Anglian Knights season has improved in recent weeks as they picked up their second win of the season on Saturday against Heartsease Athletic. After last week’s 4-0 defeat to South Walsham, the Knights were hoping to bounce back and move up the table.
It was a good looking squad for the Knights with Reece Harrison, who is having a fantastic season, starting in goal behind a back four of Kirk Lanckmans, Ian Probert, Kierstan Foreman and Keiran Schofield. The midfield was a solid four with Mark Cook captaining from centre midfield with new signing Andy Getley, with Lee Kiddell and Aaron Hooper on the wings. Liam Watts and Jim Newman started up front for the Knights.
The game got off to a decent start for Anglian as they absorbed the long ball game Heartsease love to play and the team counter attacked well. It wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken with a fantastic strike from Liam Watts. Picking up the ball 35 yards from goal, Watts half-volleyed the ball on his weaker foot in a pile driving effort that dipped under the bar.
Watts had scored again with another blinder minutes later, but play was brought back for a foul on a Knight’s player.
Heartsease Athletic are a team that never stop trying and they were unlucky not to equalise midway through the first half. A fine strike from their talisman curled into the post and was eventually cleared.
The second half was similar to the first, with Heartsease implementing the long ball game, but Anglian had a defensive mix-up on one occasion, which proved costly. A bouncing ball wasn’t dealt with and it was a Heartsease striker who wriggled through the defence with the ball, making no mistake from the edge of the penalty area.
The Anglian Home Improvements sponsored side soon regained the lead though through Matty Rush. The ball wasn’t cleared by the right back and the ball into the box was slotted into the bottom right corner.
Anglian nearly grabbed a third goal on two separate occasions. First Aaron Hooper nearly scored a header at the near post, but he didn’t quite get enough on it. The ensuing corner for the Knights was cleared to Lanckmans whose 40 yard strike dipped just over the bar.
There was only about 3 minutes left of normal time when the game took yet another turn. Heartsease threw players up the pitch and it was Liam Watts who tripped a striker in the penalty box to give the referee no choice. The Heartsease striker coolly hammered the ball into the net.
The referee added 8 minutes additional time after a long stoppage for an injury. These 8 minutes were enough for Anglian to once again steal the lead and hold on to earn another vital 3 points. There was a controversial goal scored with the last kick of the game as Heartsease piled on the pressure and scored a header from a cross, but the referee deemed the striker to have shoved an Anglian player illegally, disallowing the goal.
3-2 the final score and Anglian will be thrilled with this result.