The Anglian Knights have had a tough run in the last few weeks, as they have gone 3 games without a win – they lost heavily against Hellesdon Reserves, stole a point against Mousehold Reserves and then crashed out of the cup 4-0 against William Burt FC. A win was needed today to get the team back on track and continue to progress up the league, as they went into their home game against Ketts Tavern in 11th position.
Manager Phil Perriton made a few changes to the squad that lost to William Burt FC; Harrison retained no.1 position, with Ellis Watts right back and Kirk Lanckmans returning to the squad at left back. Josh Powley and Kieran Orford reformed their centre back partnership for this home tie. Josh Taubman started at right wing with Jack Hurrell returning to left wing following his suspension; Matt Jillings started in the centre of midfield alongside captain Aaron Hooper. Matt Rush returned to the starting line-up partnering Jim Newman; Perriton was happy to have a full 5 substitutes to use in this match.
The game got off to a lively start and the Knights were playing with confidence, picking out the passes, retaining possession and working the space to create some chances. After 15 minutes the deadlock was broken by right back Ellis Watts; after a flurry of corners from blocked shots and saves, Powley whipped the ball into the box from a free-kick on the left, which was flicked on by Watts into the top right corner, giving the keeper no chance. 1-0
Ketts Tavern aren’t a team that give up easily and immediately piled the pressure onto the Knights and grabbed an equaliser. A corner was put into the penalty area and cleared, but a ferocious volley from the edge of the area of Ketts’ Spanish player flew into the net. It was a fantastic equaliser for Ketts.
It was turning into an end-to-end game at this point and Anglian were given the chance to extend their lead as a penalty was given for a sloppy challenge on Taubman. Taubman picked himself up and grabbed the ball to take the penalty himself; unfortunately his strike was saved well by the keeper.
However, Anglian did grab the lead through Matt Rush moments later. Anglian played the ball from the back and picked out Newman; he turned and chipped a beautiful ball in the path of Rush who at a second attempt slotted it into the goal. 2-1
Half-time came and 3 substitutions were made; Ian Probert replaced Kirk Lanckmans who had a good 45 minute return to the team; Dwayne Powley replaced Jim Newman who had setup Matt Rush for his goal brilliantly; Mark Cook came on for Jillings, who had looked dangerous on the ball.
The Anglian Home Improvements sponsored team regrouped for the second half and continued the second half how they had ended the first. The chances were flowing and they grabbed their third goal not long into the half. Matt Rush was chopped down in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot for the second time; Jack Hurrell stepped up this time and made no mistake picking out the bottom left corner. 3-1
Two more changes were made moments after this goal with Louie Watts coming on for Rush and Lee Kiddell replacing Taubman. Ketts were now desperate to recover their two goal deficit and pushed Anglian deep into their own half. Tackles were becoming reckless and the match turned into a heated affair, whilst mistakes also crept into the game.
Despite this, it was Anglian who came closest to scoring again and it was the young Ellis Watts with another header. The ball was crossed from the left by Hooper, but this time Ellis’ header clipped the post and went wide; he was proving to be deadly in the box.
The game took another turn with only minutes left; Kieran Orford hacked down Ketts’ experienced player resulting in the third penalty of the game. The Ketts Tavern player stepped up and hit the ball into the net. 3-2
Anglian had a chance to finish the game off in with only seconds left when Hurrell put Louie Watts in on goal, but his half volley curled wide of the post. The final score was 3-2 and it was a thoroughly deserved win for the boys in white. Who was the Anglian Knights Man of the Match? Take a look at the nominees below and vote.
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