The Anglian Knights form has picked up in recent weeks and they went into Saturday’s away game against Hockering Reserves in high hopes of continuing this, although they are without their usual goalkeeper, Reece Harrison for the next 6 weeks.
Striker Jim Newman generously took one for the team and went in goal, with a solid back four in front of him consisting of Ellis Watts at right back and Kirk Lanckmans on the left; Ian Probert was centre back with Kieron Orford. Josh Powley started in centre midfield for this game partnering Matt Jillings, whilst Jack Hurrell continued in his new position of left wing. Anglian signed on Luke Priestley for this game, a young right winger with bags of potential. Louie Watts captained the team from the front with Matt Rush.
It was a cold and very wet day and the game had a scrappy start with the ball skidding off the surface, meaning the Anglian sponsored team struggled to play their neat, passing game. In spite of this they grabbed the lead within 15 minutes; new signing Priestley made an instant impact as he was released down the right wing, going round one player before tucked the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. 0-1
Priestley doubled his goal tally and the Knights lead minutes later when his 25 yard shot was beautifully struck into the left side of the goal. 0-2
However, Hockering retaliated immediately with a lucky goal; the ball was punted up-field and although keeper Jim Newman beat the quick striker to the ball, his clearance deflected off the player and into the net. 1-2
Hockering had the bit between their teeth at this point and the Knights kept giving the ball away sloppily, as well as giving away free-kicks. It proved to be their downfall as their number 10 scored a curling free-kick from the edge of the area not long before half-time. 2-2
Anglian were on the ropes and conceded again before half-time. Another free-kick from the edge of the area saw some appalling marking, leaving the Hockering centre back with an easy header. 3-2
Phil Perriton gave the team a good talking to at half-time to try and get the team motivated, organised and with more passion about their game. The three points were there for the taking, it was up to the team to ensure they won.
Anglian went out into the second half with all guns blazing, pushing Hockering deep into their own half and pressuring the goal. Despite this attacking play, they couldn’t find an opening. With 30 minutes left, Kirk Lanckmans was replaced by Kierstan Foreman. Not long after the change, Anglian were forced to make another change as young centre back Kieron Orford took a kick to the face from the Hockering number 10; the defence was reshuffled with Lanckmans returning to the pitch and Ian Probert later picking up a knock, forcing Josh Powley to centre back.
These injuries didn’t faze [?] Anglian as Phil made one last throw of the dice, replacing Probert with Lee Kiddell. He came on and went in goal meaning Jim Newman moved to play up front with Rush.
This proved to be a masterful change as Newman’s first outfield touch was poking the ball into the net after some persisting play from Hurrell. 3-3
Hockering were well and truly on the back foot now and struggled to compile an attack as Anglian had managed to find their feet and were playing some good football. They took the lead with 10 minutes left as Matt Jilling’s corner perfectly found the head of new signing Priestley, who completed his hat-trick with this goal. 3-4
Hockering desperately tried to grab a goal, but Anglian calmed the game down and kept possession well, spreading the ball across the pitch. This frustrated Hockering who then began giving away needless free-kicks, one of which resulted in Anglian’s fifth goal. A punt from the half-way line was flicked on by Powley, bouncing high in the penalty area and as the keeper came out to collect it, Hurrell managed to get there before him and nod it over the top of the keeper and into the net to seal the points. 3-5
It was a thoroughly entertaining game, which was hard fought from start to finish. The Knights will be pleased to have grabbed a well deserved win, moving them into 9th position in the league.