It was the last game of the season for the Anglian Knights, who have not had the best results this season, but they have most definitely worked their socks off in their first season together. They went into the game away to Taverham with their heads held high after a promising result against Mousehold in the league cup last weekend.
There were a few changes to last weekends starting line-up as Kierstan Foreman dropped to centre back in the absence of Tom Offord and Louie Watts got a chance up front as Jim Newman was out injured with an infection in his leg.
It was a windy day and the pitch was sloped slightly one way, which the Knights played against both in the first half, in what was a scrappy 45 minutes of football.
Very few chances were created by either team, as Anglian tried to play short intricate passes, but were always closed down quickly by a fiery Taverham team. Mark Cook had a good first half, battling strongly in midfield alongside Matt Jillings. The defence, despite the reshuffle, were looking comfortable, dealing with the majority of attacks.
However, just before half-time the deadlock was broken when an attack from their right winger saw him cut the ball back to a striker who hit it first time past the keeper and into the net. 1-0
The half-time team-talk consisted of following captain Cook’s lead as he was fighting for every ball possible. This instruction was listened to as Anglian equalised almost straight from kick-off.
The Knights won a free-kick on the edge of the box after good link up play between Craig Kiddell, Louie Watts and Jack Hurrell. After last week’s penalty miss, Watts was desperate to make amends as he stepped up to take the free-kick. He smashed the ball past the poorly positioned wall and straight into the top corner of the net, giving the keeper no chance. 1-1
The Knights were on top in this half and the team began playing some silky football, with neat passing and a good work down the left, the Knights earned a corner. Jillings whipped the ball to the back post, which was nodded back across goal and thumped into the net by Hurrell. 2-1
This goal sparked Taverham into life and they began pressing the Knights deep into their own half. After a couple of failed corners, Taverham made space on the left, managing to pull off a great shot, but the young Ward in goal pulled out a great save. The rebound fell straight to the Taverham striker who smashed the ball goalbound again, only to be denied by the outstretched arm of the keeper. The ball then fell to Kierstan Foreman inside the 6 yard box. His clearance was scuffed and ended up in the net! 2-2
The Knights bounced back from this within minutes as a long ball up field to Watts was controlled well, but he was shoved down by the defender. After the referee decided to move the ball back 10 yards from where the foul happened, Watts whipped in a curling ball into the box. A whole mass of players went for the ball, but none connecting leaving the ball to bounce effortlessly into the bottom right corner of the net. 3-2 and a brace for Watts! 🙂
This lead was short lived as Taverham immediately picked out their quick left winger, who worked the channel well and tucked the ball in at the near post. 3-3
Anglian were forced to lose captain Mark Cook through injury, seeing Ross Thorpe return to the squad and bear the brunt of an onslaught from Taverham. Ward in goal made a string of quality saves; one in particular was world class. The ball was switched across the penalty box to the right winger, who was only 8 yards out smashed the ball at the goal. The younger keeper rushed out, making himself as big as possible and blocked the ball, reminiscent of Manchester United goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel.
Anglian regained the ball and pressed for the last 3 minutes of the game, with Louie Watts nearly grabbing a hat-trick, but his volley on the edge of the box dipped just over the bar.
The final score was 3-3 and it was a thoroughly entertaining match. The lads this season have been fantastic and the results are starting to go our way as we build confidence within the team.
A massive thank you to all the support from our fans and for all the guys who have turned up week-in, week-out to pull on our white shirt.