It was the final game of Anglian Knights’ season on Saturday as they took on Tigers FC, a team battling for the top spot in the league. The Knights have been on good form over the last couple of weeks beating Frettenham and South Walsham, but they knew this game was going to be very difficult.
The team was missing a lot of players this week, but it did see the return of Liam Smith who badly injured his knee at the beginning of the season, he started in goal for the Knights. Kirk Lanckmans continued at left back with Ian Probert and Kieron Orford at centre back. Chester Gardner completed the back four in his final game for the Knights. Aaron Hooper returned to centre midfield partnering Mark Cook, with Lee Kiddell and Dwayne Powley providing the width for the team. Jim Newman and Jack Hurrell continued their goal-scoring partnership up front.
The game started off in exciting fashion with both teams battling hard to create space and ultimately a goal. Jack Hurrell was put in on goal a couple of times, but the speed and strength of the opposition kept them from conceding. This ability proved their strong point as they were the first to score with the a chip over the defence that saw their striker in on goal, making no mistake slotting it into the bottom left corner. 0-1
The team sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, were a bit disappointed to be behind as they had been playing well. They were even more disappointed when the ball somehow fell to a Tiger’s striker in the penalty area, after a cross into the box wasn’t cleared. He buried the ball in the net with ease. 0-2
Liam Smith, despite not being a goalkeeper, was playing quite well, pulling off 3 or 4 saves in the first half, including a point blank range shot, which he did well to block. Tigers did grab a third though not long after, as again a ball was slipped through the defence and the striker outpaced the back four to put the ball in the goal. 0-3
They added their fourth not long after, but the Knights eventually pulled one back. Jim Newman should’ve scored earlier in the match when some great play by Jack Hurrell saw the ball go across goal into the 6 yard box, but Newman at the back post somehow nodded it wide. He made no mistake from Aaron Hooper’s in swinging corner though, glancing it into the net from close range. 1-4
The second half the Knights went out with the belief they could pull the game back, and they attacked brilliantly for the first 20 minutes of the second half. They eventually got their second goal in extraordinary fashion; Tigers were attacking down the right wing, but the ball was cut out in the Knight’s own half by Mark Cook who emphatically hoofed the ball upfield. The goalkeeper was well off his line and the long ball caught him off-guard, as he back peddled he tripped over leaving the ball to bounce into the net.
Tigers were not finished scoring though and as the Knights tired, Tigers utilised their 5 substitutes. This worked to their advantage as they managed to scramble in two more goals, making the score 2-6
There was one final twist in the game as the Knights pressed down the right wing, a long throw into the penalty area caught Tigers off guard, and as they jumped to clear they fouled Hurrell. Jack brushed himself off to take the penalty, but smashed it into the post. Tigers were victorious and will probably go on to win the league now, but it was a superb effort from the Anglian Knights who gave it everything. The season is now over, but they will back next season with hopes of a higher finish than 8th place.