Our first game of the season gave us a lot to be positive about, we went into the second game against Ketts Tavern with our heads held high hoping to take away all 3 points.
However, the game didn’t start as well as we had hoped with Ketts applying immediate pressure. Their long ball forward was not dealt with by our defence which left the striker one on one with new goalkeeper Paul Kemmett. Despite his best efforts the goal was struck passed him and into the net. 1-0
It was disappointing for us to go down that early on, but instead of the goal giving us the kick up the bum to equalise, we conceded again. This time it was a mistake by defender Ross Thorpe who scuffed the ball letting in a Ketts Tavern striker to finish with ease.
The game turned into a midfield battle after that, with long balls being played far too often by both teams. Anglian finally seemed to be settling into the game a bit more and gaining confidence, trying to get back to their normal short passing football.
Paul Kemmett was in particularly good form on his debut making numerous saves, one which any world class goalkeeper would be proud of! The ball was put into the box by Ketts Tavern who headed for goal, but that was blocked, then a shot came in, squeezing between the defenders bodies heading into the net. Out of nowhere came the hand of Kemmett to push the ball away brilliantly.
10 minutes before half-time saw a freak goal scored by the Knights when Jacob Robinson put the goalkeeper under pressure who kicked the ball into Jacob, pinging it straight back at the goal. 2-1 was the half-time score and suddenly there was hope for the boys in white, whilst Ketts Tavern will be pleased with the score line after being thumped twice in as many weeks by Hellesdon Rangers.
Although there was hope it was soon diminished as Anglian tried to play the offside trap ineffectively creating space and time for the Ketts strikers to move into and they definitely punished us for these mistakes!
Throughout the second half Ketts Tavern scored 3 similar goals, with a long ball over the top not being dealt with by the defence. When Anglian attacked we pushed high up the pitch and with tired legs the Ketts strikers caught our backline on the back foot.
Liam Smith was in place of Kierstan Foreman at left back this week and put in a superb 90 minutes, making sure nothing was created down his side of the pitch. Jon Knight and Mo Gorji made their debuts this week, coming on after 60 minutes and putting in a good shift. Jon Knight proved handy at right back making some solid tackles, whilst Mo showed his creative flair at left wing, putting in Jacob Robinson on 2 occasions, but the Ketts defence proved solid denying all goal scoring opportunities.
Not many clear chances were created by Anglian, and this is something the team will take away and build on for the next game. It was like there was a different team on the field Saturday and one we don’t want to see again!
Saturday’s game welcomed the Knights to league football, pre-match team talk and warm up gave great anticipation that we could secure the first win of the season, however, when the game started I must have missed the second team talk about our changed plan of attack. Immediately we lost focus of the passing game and reverted to a long ball approach against a team of 6ft players and a condensed midfield. We did manage to play around 15 minutes of football on the floor and when we did, we ran through Ketts Tavern like they were not there. Unfortunately, 15 minutes is not enough, we made chances, but no where near enough to impact on the game. I saw an Anglian side on Saturday that went into a game full of confidence and after Ketts Tavern had started picking apart a changed back four we did little in rectifying this and the game turned to a damage limitation exercise.
A couple of substitutions in the second half tried to firm up the side with Mo and Jon slotting in. Justin made a late appearance into the back four and helped sure up to avoid further embarrassment. However, by then the heart was almost gone and it turned into a roasting that we well deserved.
A special well done needs to go out to Liam Smith who made his first senior start and played outstanding throughout the 90 minutes; definitely my man of the match for Saturday.
The team know what went wrong that led to the 5-1 result and this will definitely be rectified going into a very tough game in the first round of the cup against Gimingham on Saturday.
The week before we were beaten by fitness, this week we just beat ourselves!