OASIS RED SKY IN THE MORNING, UNITED'S WARNING

OASIS REDS 6–2 KSB UNITED – SMCCFL Division 3 – 14th October 2017 – Morley Common, Warrington

KSB United travelled to Warrington with a 100% record, including a comfortable win in the home tie (which had been brought forward). With no match for two weeks, there was a slight feeling of not being able to continue the momentum of the great start.

With Josh Hughes starring up front for KSB, Matt Gosnell once again kept goal. The defence was familiar, but with Harry Connor starting. Phil Argile continued in midfield, with the return of John Kell up front.

The first bad omen was a mixup with the referee booking, meaning there was no match official. Oasis manager Jamie Coughlan had gone off to the pool hall but thankfully a Warrington Ambassadors A player from the next pitch volunteered to ref the first half with their game called off. It was agreed that Johnny English would officiate the second half.

A slow start from both sides made for a poor spectacle. Few chances were created until a great cross from the left wasn’t quite stretched onto by the boot of Kell. Then – a key moment when a long ball caught out the United defence. Despite appeals for offside the referee waved play on, leading to a confident finish to take the lead.

Not long after, the United players failed to clear in the box, with the ball rebounding unluckily back to the Oasis winger. Lord went for the ball only to trip him up, leading to a penalty being awarded. The familiar striker swept home with his right foot to double the lead. It should have been more when Gosnell made a good save after Oasis Reds (wearing blue) hit the post and missed an open goal.

This prompted anger and tactical changes from Apsden. Phil Butterworth returned from the cold to partner Kell up front, with Argile replacing captain Joel Brown on the right to revert to 4–3–3. This seemed to spark more life into the players, with Rob English and Matthew Painter getting more joy in the middle.

Another controversial moment threatened to change things when a clearance on the break saw an Oasis defender handle, thus stopping Butterworth from racing through on goal. The referee gave him the slight benefit of the doubt with a yellow card.

This didn’t deter the Streeters and they soon pulled a goal back before the break. A throw in from Argile was nodded back into the area from an Oasis defender, allowing Kell to smash home a ferocious finish with his left foot.

Aspden himself and Tom Pickup were brought on at the break, but this seemed to unsettle the defence. Within minutes the game appeared to be over with two more Oasis goals. The first a great strike from outside the area, the second catching United out on a break from their own corner.

But then another potential turning point when a Wayne Archer corner was headed into his own goal by an Oasis defender to reduce the arrears. Set pieces were excellent, but the finishing wasn’t there to match. Pickup’s long ball sent Butterworth through but his shot was well saved and tipped wide for another corner.

Two more late Oasis goals made the scoreline flattering to end any hopes of a comeback and send United to their heaviest league defeat in nearly two years. This was a clear wakeup call that there is still plenty of hard work to do for the lads to be competing for promotion, but also a sign of how far the team has come to be this disappointed with such a performance.

 

Team (4–2–3–1)

13. Matt Gosnell (GK)

12. Johnny English (DR)

5. Ste Evans (DC)

6. Sam Lord (DC)

3. Harry Connor (DL)

4. Rob English (MDC)

8. Matthew Painter (MDC)

10. Phil Argile (AMC)

14. Joel Brown (AMR) (c)

11. Wayne Archer (AML)

9. John Kell (SC)

 

Subs – 7. Phil Butterworth (SC), 3. Tom Pickup (DL), 16. Brett Aspden (DC)

Man of the match – Matthew Painter