The Anglian Knights have been in decent form of late, scoring freely and passing well, but their encounter on Saturday away to One Love United saw this form disintegrate as the home team grabbed victory.
There was again a different starting 11 as players were unavailable as Norwich City were playing West Ham at Carrow Road, meaning new signing Giggs Panteli took the no.1 jersey. Kirk Lanckmans continued at left back with Josh Powley returning from holiday to partner Kieron Orford at centre back. Ian Probert slotted into right back with Matt Jillings playing in front of him. Josh Taubman started left wing and Mark Cook and Aaron Hooper continued in centre midfield. Dynamic strike partners, Jack Hurrell and Louie Watts completed the team that were hoping to recover from last week’s defeat.
It was the away team that started the most liveliest, passing the ball to feet, moving well, but failing to create a quality final pass. This lasted only 5 minutes as One Love settled into the game and gained control of play. They were a very quick team, all of whom had good ball control, which made life difficult for Anglian on a very hot Saturday.
One Love United had two very good chances to score; first a free-kick was deflected onto the post, then a penalty was given after Orford was penalised for fouling their centre forward. It was a lucky escape for the Knights as the penalty taker placed it wide of the post. However, the home team gained their advantage after 25 minutes when a ball played down the centre saw the striker in on goal and he made no mistake tucking it past Panteli. 1-0
This should’ve livened the team sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, but they couldn’t get their passing game together as they were closed down quickly, resulting in frustration and silly fouls being given away. The second goal for One Love came when the left winger cut inside of Taubman and fired it into the bottom right corner despite the keeper getting a hand to it. 2-0
Anglian were fired up by this point and began to play the ball around better and the chances started to fall to the whites. After some great link up play between Hooper and Jillings out on the right wing, his ball across the penalty area found last season’s prolific goal scorer Hurrell on the end of the pass, but his shot was blasted just over the bar.
The chances continued as this time Hooper linked up on the left with substitute Matt Rush, he passed to Hurrell who slotted the ball into the penalty area for Watts who had broken the offside trap. He went into the 6 yard box on the left side, but failed to beat the goalkeeper who parried it for a corner. One Love cleared the resulting corner and counter attacked quickly. They spread the ball to the right and attacked in numbers, darting into the penalty area. The ball was fired at the keeper who parried it to his right, but it fell to a One Love player, who hit the ball into the goal. 3-0 was the half-time score and the Knights needed to lift their game!
Manager Phil and coach Martin’s team talk was all about getting the ball down and attacking their goal in the second half. More shots were needed, more people needed support and we needed to pass the ball to feet more often.
The lads came out and did exactly that, pushing forward and pressuring the home team’s goal. Although Anglian were playing well they were open to the counter attack, which One Love had already demonstrated and put to practice again as they stole the ball from Anglian and played it to their striker who was about 30 yards out. He had time to turn and saw the keeper off his line, chipping the ball beautifully over Panteli (who is not a goalkeeper by trade). 4-0
The game became a heated affair after 55 minutes when Ian Probert was making sure the ball went out of play for an Anglian throw-in and a One Love United player came in to prevent the ball going out of played, but he appeared to jump as he was shoulder barged off the ball and kicked Probert in the ribs with a loud crash. This resulting tackle saw Probert subbed and off to the walk-in centre to check his ribs weren’t broken.
The Knights were disappointed by this point and heads were starting to drop, but it didn’t stop them pushing up field and trying to begin a monumental comeback. Belief this could happen was restored when Hooper passed to Watts on the edge of the box, he passed it to Rush who turned the centre back, but he was hacked down; the ref quickly blew his whistle and pointed to the penalty spot. Watts stepped up and confidently smashed the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. 4-1
In spite of this goal and the hope and determination the Knights showed, they failed to find the net in the remainder of the half, although Dwayne Powley came close. Dwayne has been recovering from a serious groin injury, but managed to play the majority of the second half, working hard to create space for a shot, which curled into the crossbar and bounced clear. One Love were comfortably in the lead and continued to defend well to prevent conceding anymore goals. Anglian were not good enough to beat One Love, but they will have to learn quickly from this game and prepare themselves for this Saturday’s cup clash at home against Trunch.