LORD ARCHER

KSB UNITED 4-1 NORTHGATE - SMCCFL Division 3 - SLS Stadium @ Fearns - 23.9.17

Fresh from consecutive wins in the league, KSB United welcomed new SMCCFL outfit Northgate FC to the SLS arena. This match had extra bite due to Northgate being managed by former Streeter Jonny Clark and included former Streeters legend Rob Elkington in their central midfield.

Manager Brett Aspden had a strong squad to choose from and emphasised that every member would have a part to play. Josh Hughes continued in goal with Aspden himself partnering Ste Evans in central defence with Matt Gosnell and Sam Lord occupying the full back positions. Rob English and Phil Argile sat behind Alex Marsh with Joel Brown and Wayne Archer playing high up the wings, leaving John Kell to fill the centre forward position. This left Harry Connor, David Kell and the in-form Max Beswick on the bench.

United started brightly, pushing Northgate (sporting their illuminous orange shirt) back into their own half. Kell had two early chances, poking the first one wide of the post and crashing the second onto the top of the bar from outside the area after being fed by Argile. Northgate had some capable footballers in their side but English, Argile and Marsh were dominant in the centre and the back four were sweeping up any signs of danger. Brown and Archer in particular were also causing problems and United’s pressure finally paid dividends when Brown’s touch found Kell at the back post, who instinctively turned the ball into the roof of the net.

Beswick replaced Kell and caused further problems for Clark’s defence with his link-up play. One quickly became two when a good move left Brown with space outside the area. With the keeping charging out, Brown had the vision to lay off to Archer who smashed the ball into the bottom corner with a precise finish. Yet Northgate were causing problems mainly from set pieces and pulled one back from a source United were all too familiar with - Jonny Clark’s long throw found a Northgate attacker who bundled it past Hughes on the line.

Half-time came and Aspden was pleased with what he saw and encouraged the lads to kick on and not let Northgate back into the game. Connor and David Kell came on for Lord and Brown and both caused Northgate real problems. Kell immediately had the beating of his man and put in a great cross for Rob English, whose header was well saved. Other chances came went and Beswick was unfortunate to not get on the scoresheet when he narrowly put one over the bar. But this day belonged to one man……

Before this game Archer had not scored since February but just like the X43 bus service, after a long wait for one, three came at once. The all-important goal came when Dave superbly ran down the wing and fired a low cross into the area. Archer beat his man and slammed a first-time finish into the top corner. The icing on the cake came when Harry Connor played a defence-splitting pass straight through the middle, leaving Archer to deftly touch past the keeper into the bottom corner and celebrate his first hat-trick for the Streeters. Aspden rotated the squad for the final twenty minutes and naturally the game lost some of the flow but United were continually spurred on by second-half captain Evans, who pushed the lads to go to the very end.

The final whistle blew and United celebrated a win against Clark’s plucky team and we wish Jonny and Rob all the best for the season. But from United’s perspective this was another three points and 100% start in the league. Every single member of the squad performed and contributed to this victory and there are real signs that United are evolving from a side who have been organised and hard-to-beat for some time to a fully dominant footballing force who will be looking for a promotion spot.

Team:

13. Josh Hughes

2. Matt Gosnell

3. Sam Lord

4. Rob English

5. Ste Evans

6. Brett Aspden

8. Phil Argile

9. Joel Brown (c)

10. Alex Marsh

11. Wayne Archer

20. John Kell

Substitutes: 7. Dave Kell, 12. Harry Connor, 16. Max Beswick

Man of the match: Wayne Archer