It has been a tough year so far for the Anglian Knights as they have failed to win a game in 2013. Despite some promising displays of football. To add to their woes, manager Phil Perriton decided that the time had come for him to step down as head coach, and Louie Watts is out of the team until next season due to a knee injury. In Phil’s place, Jim Newman has been appointed as caretaker manager with injured Watts assisting.
Despite it being a bitterly cold and snowy day, the Knights had a strong squad for this home game against South Walsham. Reece Harrison had the no.1 jersey with a back four consisting of Kirk Lanckmans, Kierstan Foreman, Tom Offord and newly appointed captain Kieron Orford. Craig Kiddell earned a start on the left wing with Dwayne Powley on the right, supporting the centre midfielders Matt Jillings and Tom Betts. Jim Newman and Jack Hurrell continued their partnership up front.
The game couldn’t have started any better for the Knights as they took an instant 1-0 lead. Anglian quickly broke away and earned a corner on the left. This was whipped into the box by Betts and nodded in by Hurrell.
South Walsham were shell shocked and continued looked shaky at the back, but as the Knights failed to capitalise on any chances, South Walsham grew in confidence and eventually grabbed the equaliser. Some sloppy defending from a corner saw the unmarked striker nod the ball in at the near post. 1-1
This sloppy goal spurred the Knights back into life and the game turned into a high-paced end to end game; surprising considering the blizzard like conditions that were swamping the pitch. Harrison pulled off a good save to keep the Knights in the game when a shot from the right corner of the box bounced awkwardly in front of him, but he did well to tip the ball away.
Four changes were made at half time; Taubman replaced Craig Kiddell, Newman was replaced by Hooper, Mark Cook made a return from injury replaced Lanckmans and Betts made way for Lee Kiddell.
The second half started in similar vein to the first half; the Anglian Home Improvements sponsored side grabbed the lead through Hurrell. Dwayne Powley had created some space down the left wing, but his cross was cut-out by the keeper. However, the keepers sliding clearance bounced off the back of a defender and fell nicely to Hurrell who spun on sixpence to slot the ball into the empty net.
Anglian were in complete control now and were pressing South Walsham back into their own half. Hurrell was given a chance to score his hat-trick when a sublime ball was threaded behind the back four. The prolific striker used his pace to get on the end of the pass, but he sliced his shot horribly wide.
Despite this miss, Hurrell was determined to get his third of the day, which eventually came in the 70th minute. An Anglian corner was cleared by South Walsham, but the ball fell to Foreman who picked out Hurrell in the penalty box; he skillfully turned his defender and drilled the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal. 3-1
South Walsham desperately tried to make a comeback and did manage another goal. After a spate of corners and free-kicks, South Walsham found their second goal through their number 12. His curling free-kick from the edge of the penalty area nestled into the bottom left of the net. 3-2
Although South Walsham had grabbed a second, they were vulnerable on the counter attack and the Knights ensured victory with only 5 minutes remaining. Another superb through ball from the midfield picked out Hurrell who had yards of space to run into. In an unselfish move, he squared the ball to Lee Kiddell as he approached the keeper leaving an easy tap-in.
4-1 was the final score and it was a comprehensive win for the Knights. The whole team would like to thank Phil for volunteering nearly 18 months of his time to manage the Anglian Knights and wish him all the best for the future.
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