STREETERS CLAIM WIN AT WARRINGTON

WARRINGTON AMBASSADORS 0-1 KSB - SMCCFL Charity Cup Group D - 7.10.17 - Morley Common

KSB’s Charity Cup success in February was one of the club’s proudest achievements in its history. Defending the trophy had got off to a poor start with a 5-3 defeat at King’s Manchester, so anything other than victory at Division One side Warrington Ambassadors would surely see the Streeters eliminated at the first hurdle.

Manager Math Pickup welcomed back a number of players after last week’s multi-absence pile-up. Included in those returning was Matt Ashworth, making his first competitive appearance since January 2016, following a bad knee injury. It was great to see him don a Streeters’ jersey once more.

KSB put Warrington under pressure from the get go, put couldn’t quite find the killer pass or finish. Midfielder Luke Hobson, making his first start of the season, twice found himself in the box, but shot wide on the first occasion, and then crossed the second time, with nobody quite able to apply the finish. His curling long range effort was then superbly tipped over the bar, with Hobson upended just after striking the ball. It was the diminutive midfielder who was spoken to by the ref however, for calling the offending home player the name of a popular Roald Dahl character (recently portrayed by Mark Rylance in Steven Spielberg’s film adaption of the classic children’s novel).

Danny Holloway was also causing problems, heading over from a set piece, and then agonisingly heading against the post after excellent work and a pinpoint cross from Ashworth. Striker Harry Pickup’s premature scream echoed across South Manchester, Cheshire and beyond.  At the other end KSB were able to deal with the home threat, with very few clear cut chances created. Just before the half time whistle, defender Josh Guest was booked for a cynical foul, preventing a Warrington attack.

It had been a strong half from the visiting team, lacking only a goal to show for their endeavours. That did come almost immediately at the start of the second period, when a long swirling ball from Jonti Calter, deployed in a wing back position for this match, deceived the Warrington keeper, and Harry Pickup was able to tap home from 5 yards at 0.0003mph, with the ball bouncing at least fifteen times before crossing the line. The striker slid on his knees to celebrate his 116th goal for the club.

After that, KSB continued to play well and should have increased their lead. Harry and Hughes were causing the defence problems, the midfield trio were dominant in the centre of the park, and the backline with Harry Lord behind them, were mopping up anything that came their way. Hobson received a yellow card for persistent fouling, culminating in a late foul which the referee deemed the final straw.

Alex Halliwell’s solo run resulted in a strike from 25 yards out, which went over the bar. Math then met a Hobson corner, but his shot was saved. With the lead still slender, the home side believed they could get something from the game, and forced corners and long throws, but the Streeters’ rearguard stood strong.

Tom Pickup replaced Hughes in an unfamiliar striking role, and very nearly sealed the victory. His right foot shot was well struck, but the home keeper got down well to tip wide. Had it gone in, there would have been pandemonium.  A late flurry of corners, with every single Warrington player in the box including the keeper, were defended well, and the clean sheet was secured.

King’s Church’s win at Spacious Place has made progression into the Semi-finals unlikely for KSB. Only a Warrington victory at King’s and a huge Streeters win against Spacious Place could see them go through. Another win and another clean sheet are reasons to be very optimistic about the season, even if it isn’t to be in this competition.

Team:

1.    Harry Lord (GK)
2.    Josh Guest (LCB)
4.    Math Pickup (MC)
5.    Matt Ashworth (LWB)
7.    Harry Pickup (SC)
8.    Danny Holloway (AMC)
9.    Jonti Calter (RWB)
10.    Josh Hughes (SC)
15.    Luke Hobson (MC)
16.    Alex Halliwell (CB) (c)
17.    Adam Taylor (RCB)

Subs – 3. Tom Pickup (SC)

Man of the match – Luke Hobson