ON THE REBOUND

HELMSHORE HARRIERS 2–1 KSB – friendly – 26th July 2017 – Haslingden Sports Centre

Manager Math Pickup was disappointed with KSB’s failure to take chances in last week’s defeat to St. John’s Baxenden, so was keen to get on the scoresheet. Changes were made, with several first appearances of the season. Josh Hughes arrived in goal, with a back four of Harry Connor, Josh Guest, captain Alex Halliwell and new signing from Vinelife, Matt Jones, making his debut. The midfield trio consisted of Kingsley Ashworth, Alex Marsh and Matthew Painter. Jonti Calter, Jonathan Rigby and Joel Brown were up front.

Helmshore Harriers beat the Streeters 3–1 in a friendly last season and were a class outfit. However, they started sluggishly and KSB took full advantage. A cross from former Harrier Brown was spilled by the goalkeeper, straight into the path of Calter who gobbled up the rebound.

An early lead which should have been extended due to constant pressure and chances. Calter crashed the crossbar, only for Ashworth to do the same thing with the rebound. It looked like a case of déjà vu all over again, with Jones heading onto the post from a corner.

Helmhore could only muster the odd chance on the break – with one truly superb save from Hughes. What looked like a certain goal, with the ball headed for the bottom corner, was brilliantly tipped away. Hughes ended up caught in the netting and suffered an injury to his shoulder for his efforts.

Calter had other long distance efforts off–target, but Kay Street ended the half full deserving of their lead. Math came on for Painter in midfield, with Phil Butterworth returning from his US road trip to replace Calter up front.

The Harriers changed personnel and looked like a completely different outfit as they took hold of possession. KSB couldn’t get a foot in, and had to rely off scraps on the counter. They did still create some good chances with Butterworth not fully connecting on his weaker foot to convert a good chance.

Harriers started to convert their possession into a succession of chances – with Connor clearing off the line, Hughes tipping over, and more shots going wide. But eventually the pressure told when a shot was brilliantly tipped onto the post by Hughes; unfortunately the rebound fell straight to a Harriers player to drill underneath Hughes’ legs.

Calter re-emerged in place of Rigby, and Painter replaced Ashworth. Butterworth turned the defence inside out before firing his shot goalward – this time it was the hosts’ goalkeeper to put on a show with a crucial save.

As the minutes on the clock ran down, it looked like being a hard fought draw. However, a free – kick on the edge of the area evaded everyone, only to hit former Streeter Connal ‘Real’ O’Reilly. He knew nothing about it, as the ball bounced embarrassingly over the line for a late winner.

There was still time for one last chance as a Calter delivery looked like it might find a way to goal but it was well cleared just in time. The defeat was hard to take given the first half performance, but there were big signs of improvement for the new batch of Streeters.

 

Team (4–3–3)

1. Josh Hughes (GK)

2. Josh Guest (DR)

5. Matt Jones (DC)

6. Alex Halliwell (DC) (c)

3. Harry Connor (DL)

4. Kingsley Ashworth (MC)

8. Matthew Painter (MC)

25 Alex Marsh (MC)

12. Joel Brown (FR)

11. Jonathan Rigby (FL)

9. Jonti Calter (FC)

 

Subs – 10. Phil Butterworth (FC), 20. Math Pickup (MC)

Man of the match – Alex Halliwell