The Anglian Knights came into the game away to Hellesdon with high morale after an impressive display at Plumstead, and were in great spirits to get their first win.
The game started as well as anyone could have hoped with Anglian pressing the Hellesdon defence deep into their own half, with neat passing and good runs from Liam Smith, Matt Jillings and new signing Jack Hurrell, who worked the channels well. Jim Smith was having a good game too holding up and distributing the ball superbly.
The defence was looking solid today too, Ian Probert and Ross Thorpe’s partnership has been getting stronger and stronger over the last few weeks, and they dealt with everything thrown at them for the majority of the first half.
Anglian came close a few times from their neat passing, Liam Smith getting one on one and a curling free-kick from Louie Watts troubled the keeper.
With about 10 minutes remaining Anglian won a free-kick just outside the box. Louie Watts’ pile-driver swerved in the wind forcing the goalkeeper to parry, but it fell straight to the head of Jack Hurrell who nodded the ball goal bound, and Jim Newman ensured it went into the back of the net. 1-0
The goal seemed to kick-start Hellesdon into life, who applied lots of pressure for the last 10 minutes. An injury to Ian Probert forged a hole in the defence, as Anglian were regrouping a killer pass slipped through a channel, Watts caught up with the striker who was one-on-one with the keeper, as he went to shoot a great tackle blocked the ball. Both players tumbled in the area, which got both teams appealing, but the referee peculiarly gave a penalty for handball? Upstepped their number 14 who failed dismally to score, smashing it into the bar and over.
A lucky escape for the Knights, but they then began struggling to string 2 passes together, which gave Hellesdon more possession and more chances to score. They equalised in an unfortunate manner, when new goalkeeper Corey failed to keep out a shot from the edge of the area, which rolled between his legs. 1-1
Anglian were caught asleep straight from kick-off as Hellesdon stole the ball from the boys in white and passed calmly and coolly, finishing well from the right side of the penalty area. 1-2
Half time was a welcomed break, and a team talk of “we need to settle down and continue to play our football” didn’t transfer onto the pitch.
The Knights were forced to change influential Captain Mark Cook due to illness, meaning Tom Offord, who normally plays centre back, got a shot in midfield. The second half didn’t start to great with Hellesdon taking advantage of the wind with some route one football. With a young squad and quick strikers, they were able to run all day continuously causing trouble for the back four, who had looked solid for most of the first half.
Hellesdon managed to get another 3 goals, smashing in from different angles and taking control of the game. Ian Probert came off for Kirk Lanckmans. The back four had a reshuffle, but the game didn’t change and Hellesdon maintained their dominance, scoring another 2 to bury the White Knights. Their 7th was unfortunate for the goalkeeper as he came out to collect a ball, the striker used his pace to get in the way of the keeper grabbing the ball, which resulted in a foul and another penalty. This time their right back stepped up to emphatically smash the ball into the back of the net. Final score Hellesdon 7-1 Anglian Knights.
First half we completely dominated and had Hellesdon on the back foot, therefore creating chance after chance. I suppose had one of the free kicks we had on the edge of the box gone in it could have been a totally different story, but with our luck at the moment the result goes against everything we have built and done on the pitch.
A great opportunity was thrown away this Saturday and the scoreline completely flatters Hellesdon, but we move on and build on the result.
IT WILL COME TRUST ME !!!!!