Anglian Knights have lost their last 2 games in the league, so they went into Saturday’s game against Trunch hoping to turn this form around and begin their cup run.
It was a similar starting line-up from last week for Anglian, Harrison returned to goalkeeper position and Ellis Watts reclaimed the right back position; the rest of the back four consisted of Lanckmans, Powley and Orford. Josh Taubman started on the right, with Jack Hurrell on the left and centre midfield saw last season’s dynamic duo, Cook and Watts reform their partnership. Upfront was new signing Matt Rush, who was having quite an impact on the league so far, alongside Dwayne Powley, who is still pushing for match fitness.
The game had a lively start with shots being fired in from Hurrell, Rush and Watts, but none were able to test the keeper. Trunch failed to field a full team and only had 10 players for the whole game. This was a massive advantage for the team in white and the first goal came from the penalty spot yet again, with Louie Watts stepping up and firing the ball into the net for his third goal of the season.
Watts’ younger brother Ellis was next to come closest to scoring as he made a brilliant run down the right wing, pairing up well with Rush and Cook, but when he was one-on-one he failed to hit the target. However, the Knights did get their second goal through Rush; after some neat passing, Rush collected the ball on the right side of the penalty box; his high shot lobbed the keeper, dipping into the net at the back post. 2-0
Rush doubled his goal tally shortly after, when a great ball over the top of the defence released Rush. He coolly and cheekily chipped it over the keeper who was off his line. The first half ended and Harrison had barely been tested. With a three goal advantage, Martin decided to do all three substitutes at once; Schofield replaced Lanckmans who had been solid at left back, whilst Newman and Kiddell replaced the 2 strikers.
As the Anglian Home Improvements sponsored team came out in the second half, concentration levels were low. The three goal lead had given Anglian too much confidence and their performance slipped for 10 minutes. Despite Trunch only having 10 men, they played route one football and pressured the defence with their quick left winger. After numerous attempts of picking out their player with a route-one pass, they got their break as their left winger got in behind the defence. As he got one-on-one with the keeper, Josh Powley tackled well, but the ball bounced back in front of the Trunch player, who was duly wiped out by Harrison in goal. Their captain stepped up to take the penalty, and made sure it went in.
This was the wake-up call Anglian needed and they regrouped and began hunting for more goals. They played the ball to feet and shots were flying in at goal for the rest of the second half. Cook was the next player to get his goal; some superb play down the right flank, with Taubman and Watts teaming up well, the ball was crossed into the box, but the clearance fell straight to Cook who fired it into the right corner. 4-1
Their lead was widened moments later as Watts won the ball in centre midfield after a goal kick; his chested control bounced away from him, but he tackled the Trunch player then sprinted towards goal, after going round one player and tackling another he was in on goal, smashing the ball into the left corner beautifully. 5-1 was the score and Watts is on as good of form as Demba Ba of Newcastle United, who bagged his 4th goal in three games against Norwich yesterday.
Anglian should’ve had more goals with 10 minutes remaining, especially after a goal line scramble. The ball was whipped into the area from the left, falling to Kiddell, but his shot crashed into the crossbar; Newman headed the rebound over the keeper, but into the crossbar; Watts half-volleyed that rebound into the crossbar; Hurrell then shot, but it was denied by the crossbar; it fell to Watts again, but his shot was blocked by the keeper and then finally cleared.
Powley was the last player you expect to score from 45 yards out, but when his run forward was not closed down, the defence parting like the Red Sea, but his shot went high and wide. 5-1 was the final score and Trunch will feel lucky they didn’t concede more.