GREEN ZONE

KING’S CHURCH MANCHESTER 5–3 KSB – Charity Cup – 2nd September 2017 – Barrack Street, Manchester

After 4 months of non–competitive action, KSB began their season proper with a trip to King’s Church Manchester in the Charity Cup. As holders, the visitors might have been favourites but King’s stormed Division 3 in their first season and are expected to be in the promotion race alongside the Streeters this season. Once again, the central Manchester pitch was full of long grass and bails, and the same Spanish referee was taking control after causing controversy in United’s 3–2 defeat here last season.

Math Pickup had selection headaches with Matt Ashworth and Luke Hobson unavailable, and Alex Halliwell dropping out late thanks to ‘gastric flu’. This meant competitive debuts for Matt Jones and Alex Marsh alongside Adam Taylor in a back three, with Harry Lord in goal. Dave Davies and Sam Calvert were wing backs, with Math, Danny Holloway and Ryan Clarke in midfield. The old age partnership of Harry Pickup and Jonti Calter was chosen as the frontline.

Kay Street began brightly and should really have taken the lead after a flowing move saw a Davies close range shot well saved. But almost straight away and the hosts took their opportunity and the lead on the break. Calter then became ill and nearly passed out on the sidelines, allowing Daven Argile the chance up top.

The match became a largely even contest, with King’s power and pace causing problems on the counter, but with KSB playing the better football. The first moment of controversy came when Holloway had the ball in the goal only for it to be ruled out for offside.

Just as things seemed to be improving a moment of indecision from Jones let in their power forward to double the lead. This didn’t turn into anything more when Clarke soon pulled a goal back with a lashing driver after good work from Calvert.

A superb header from the King’s manager curled in off the post to keep up the two goal lead before the break. Harry Lord had made several saves to keep the score down but there was still a beliefe Kay Street could get something from the game. Math shifted to a 4–4–2, with Davies on the wing and Phil Argile coming on at left back.

Things did get better and Holloway headed in a Daven corner to reduce the arrears. Calter came on for Davies to give a three–pronged attack line and plenty of chances from set pieces were created. One was headed onto the post but Jones couldn’t muster it over the line, and Jones went close twice with headers.

But yet again the Streeters were caught cold on the break when Marsh slid in, prompting the forward to lose the advantage when in on goal. Although the contact was minimal, a foul was given. Yet again there was controversy as the referee adjudged it to have been in the area, not just outside as Marsh protested. Marsh even got a booking for his troubles and will miss the next match as a result of his dissent. The penalty was converted and again it looked like an uphill task.

The roller coaster game continued when KSB were awarded with a late penalty when a King’s defender handled in the area. Calter coolly converted and there was still time for an equaliser. The trouble was, King’s had no interest in shutting up shop and killed off the contest late on with another break.

This was an exciting game with defences not at their best, giving Math plenty to consider going into the first league game on Saturday – at home to King’s Church Manchester. It will now be difficult for KSB to defend the Charity Cup after this first defeat in the tournament, with Spacious Place Blue and Warrington Ambassadors A excellent group opponents to come.

 

Team (3–5–2)

1. Harry Lord (GK)

5. Matt Jones (DC)

6. Adam Taylor (DC)

16. Alex Marsh (DC)

2. Sam Calvert (WBR)

11. Dave Davies (WBL)

8. Danny Holloway (DC)

4. Math Pickup (MC)

10. Ryan Clarke (AMC) (c)

7. Harry Pickup (SC)

9. Jonti Calter (SC)

 

Subs – 14. Daven Argile (SC), 15. Phil Argile (DL)

Man of the match – Harry Lord