STREETERS OVERTHROW KING'S

KSB 5-1 KING'S CHURCH MANCHESTER - SMCCFL Division 2 - SLS Stadium @ Fearns - 9.9.17

A week after the disappointing 5-3 loss at King’s Manchester in the Charity Cup, KSB had an immediate chance to put things right against the same opposition, this time in the opening game of the league campaign. Preparations weren’t ideal with an already threadbare squad hampered by last minute dropouts.

Manager Math Pickup had twelve players to choose from, although Daven Argile was still hobbling from a keen injury sustained in last week’s defeat. This meant a first competitive appearance in over 18 months for striker Neil Horne, a debut for the left-sided Tom Connor, and a midfield berth for Adam Taylor.

From the first whistle, the home side put in a huge effort, and were rewarded early on. Dave Davies’ free kick eventually landed to the gaffer, who finished from close range. The Streeters were determined to defend their lead against the dangerous visitors. Some superb rear guard action from the back three of Sam Calvert, Josh Guest and returning captain Alex Halliwell, meant that King’s weren’t creating as many clear cut chances as they had the previous week. When they did fashion a shot, keeper Josh Hughes was able to save well.

King’s did draw level, with a superb long ranger which flew into the bottom corner. KSB didn’t sulk and feel sorry for themselves however. Instead, they dusted themselves down, and set about getting the lead back. Following another set piece, Adam Taylor reached the ball first in the area, and was subsequently upended by a King’s defender. Referee Dave Hanson immediately pointed to the spot, and striker Jonti Calter fired in his second spot kick in two games – his 175th goal for the club!

Leading 2-1 at half time, Pickup kept things the same, and asked his men to keep up the same work rate and effort that had put them in this positive position. Shortly after the break, a long Hughes ball upfield, which had been causing problems all morning, was excellently flicked on by Calter towards Horne. The striker held off his man and finished superbly off the far post, to give the Streeters some breathing space.

The defence remained resolute, supported well by the wing backs and midfield, whilst Calter and Horne were both putting a big shift in up top. Hughes had to make some saves however, with one in particular being outstanding. A fourth goal came when Taylor played a sumptuous ball in the inside right channel for the marauding Davies to latch on to. The Welshman flicked the ball up and volleyed in expertly, a gorgeous finish. It clearly meant a lot to Davies, who celebrated wildly, even letting off a scream of delight.

The icing on the cake came when Horne seized upon a defensive error, and slotted home for the Streeters’ fifth. The only sour note was a booking for Calter for persistent fouling, the second KSB caution of the season, having only had one the whole of the 2016/17 season. Other than that it had been an outstanding morning’s work from all eleven players. Both with and without the ball, the lads were excellent and can take great confidence into the rest of the league season and beyond.

Team:

1. Josh Hughes (GK)
2. Josh Guest (LCB)
3. Tom Connor (LWB)
4. Math Pickup (MC)
5. Sam Calvert (RCB)
6. Alex Halliwell (CB) (c)
8. Ryan Clarke (AMC)
9. Jonti Calter (SC)
10. Neil Horne (SC)
11.    Dave Davies (RWB)
23.    Adam Taylor (MC)

Subs – 7. Daven Argile (unused)

Man of the match – Neil Horne