Anglian Knights are yet to win this season, but put in an impressive display against Hellesdon a couple of weeks ago and were unlucky not to come away with a point. This week they were hoping to take away something from Taverham who are sitting near the top of the table.
The game started well for Anglian, with their neat passing creating space and opportunities were soon to follow. The Knights held the ball well and kept pushing the Taverham defence back, with the first opportunity falling to Liam Smith, who scored against Hellesdon recently. A backpass to the goalkeeper was miss controlled and the ball was very close to falling to the feet of Liam Smith, but the quick reactions of a defender denied him hitting the ball into the empty net.
Anglian continued to test the keeper, with Louie Watts, Matt Jillings, Jim Newman and Craig Kiddell all having shots, but none could beat the keeper. Liam Smith came closest from a cross he met at the back post, but his header going into the bottom right corner of the net was denied by an outstretched goalkeeper.
Taverham then settled into the game and counter attacked well, with their first goal coming on the half hour mark. Their quick and skilful right winger fired a shot which was saved brilliantly by Cooper in goal, but his parry fell to the feet of their striker who blasted it passed the keeper.
The second goal came only minutes later when captain and centre back Ian Probert took a knock and was limping off the pitch. As he was limping off the defence had pushed up, meaning the following pass through the defence kept the striker onside and an unfortunate bobble in front of Cooper meant he miss kicked the ball, leaving the striker with an open goal.
Anglian were not beaten yet though, as they battled hard to get back into the game. Half-time came and went, with Anglian coming out just as strong and with more determination to get a goal. Jim Newman worked hard up front with Craig Kiddell to create space and chances, but it was another one of those days where the ball just won’t go into the net. Frustration was kicking in, and the earlier injury had forced Ian Probert to withdraw, and another injury took influential midfielder Mark Cook off too. Ross Thorpe was playing a centre back and Jake Robinson came onto the wing to add some pace. These substitutes proved their worth and played well to keep Anglian in with a shout.
Although Anglian were playing well they were let off for some lacklustre defending when a cross came into the box and was collected by Cooper, but he appeared to spill it at a strikers feet who whipped it into the back of the net. The goal was disallowed as the referee deemed the ball to still be in the keeper’s hands.
The sudden realisation of a 3-0 defeat set in and Anglian picked there game up again and pulled a goal back through a young new talent. A brilliantly delivered ball from centre back Tom, who performed brilliantly in his 2nd game of the season, was not dealt with by the Taverham defence, and it was down to Adam Wallace to lob the keeper from the edge of the penalty box. 2-1
The boys in white thought there was a real chance of revival here, but it was diminished with 5 minutes left after superb work by the Taverham right winger, who then crossed the ball into the penalty area. Ross Thorpe’s header unfortunately fell to the feet of a Taverham player who scored a brilliant volley, which nestled comfortably in the bottom right corner of the net.
The final score was 3-1 Taverham, but the Anglian team played very well together and are showing more signs of getting a win. Their next game is against Plumstead Rangers on 19th November.
From my point of view, I felt the performance was by far the best of the season with everyone competing well for a place, and showing that the fluent passing in training is starting to pay off. Quite often there were opportunities where we cut through them like butter. Very impressive performances from everyone on the pitch, Taverham had to go away knowing they were lucky on Saturday, the scoreline does not reflect the way the game was played. Some outstanding saves from Coops, and a very solid performance from Tom in the back four allowed confidence to grow and the game to become evenly spread out. I felt we dominated the midfield as well as controlling their very quick wing men, again allowing us to develop the passing game. The only criticism is that we need to remember to challenge the 1st and 2nd ball. I am definitely up for Plumstead and so should the lads who played Saturday, barring injury we will put out an equally strong side that I am 100 certain will take all 3 points from.
We don’t need the break, but it will give a chance to those with a few injuries to rest, but be sure that training is equally as important as game day, so lets see everyone there this week and build on the performance.