SPIRITED STREETERS LOSE GROUND ON TOP SPOT

St Philip’s Trinity 3-0 KSB – SMCCFL Division 2 – Albert Park – 4.11.17

Kay Street’s strong start to the season had filled the camp with confidence, and that was just what they needed as they prepared to face top-of-the-table St Philip’s Trinity. What they didn’t need were absentees from the squad. It therefore came as bad news when not only Matt Ashworth, Adam Taylor and Jonti Calter announced their availability, but also the player-manager, Math Pickup himself was unable to line-up.

There were, however, worthy replacements as Ste Evans made his first appearance for KSB after countless impressive performances for KSB United. Alex Marsh also got the call up after winning Man of the Match in United’s last game, and Dave Kell and Harry Connor stepped up to offer their services too. Luke Hobson was in temporary charge, relishing the opportunity in a full tracksuit and winter-coat, and complete with the numerous football philosophies he’d picked up from Waterstones.

The philosophy of how the Streeters approached this was important. In more recent encounters, these two sides had flared up and entered into bad sportsmanship. Math Pickup had already made it clear the number of cautions would have to go down after a staggering seven already this season. Yet Hobson needed passion and physicality in this crucial match at the top of Division 2.

The game began cagey and KSB took control of the game, keeping Trinity in their own half for most of the opening half hour. The work rate was excellent and it had to be because the Salford-side were starting to show glimmers of their class and attacking speed.

Hobson kept the defence fresh by bringing Kell on for Calvert at right wing back. Chances were at a premium for both sides and the best fell to Holloway when he received a ball over the top where it landed at his feet from eight yards out. However, with his back to goal, he couldn’t get the shot off and the resulting scramble fell to Harry Pickup whose shot towards the bottom corner was blocked by the numerous defenders who’d since got back.

It was shortly after that the game turned in the home-side’s favour. A bursting attack led to captain Alex Halliwell up-ending their player. The referee didn’t hesitate in pointing to the spot, and neither did the midfielder who perfectly buried into the bottom corner.

It was tough on the Streeters who had battled hard and when half-time came, it was time to reassemble and get ready to go again. Neil Horne replaced Josh Hughes up front and the spirits remained high as Kay Street went in search of an equaliser. Marsh and Holloway continued to form a solid wall of defence and attack and the shape was working.

The home-side made changes of their own however, knowing that the next goal would be crucial and it eventually came. Quick feet allowed their attacker space to bend round and drill into the bottom corner for a 2-0 lead. Two soon became three when a corner was not cleared and their defender was able to turn in from close range. It was bad for the Streeters but they did not give up. Clarke had an attempt from distance which bent wide and Hobson shifted things around with Holloway parting for Hughes and Pickup dropping into midfield.

The hosts' football began to flow a little more as the game began to get stretched. If it hadn't been for two excellent saves from man of the match Harry Lord, the deficit could have been extended.

Though time did run out on the Streeters, Hobson was proud of his men for keeping their heads and not entering into the bickering of last season. His men fought hard and showed why they are at the right end of the table with all the team in contention for Man of the Match. Unfortunately, it was St Philip’s who showed their superior class and they have gained valuable ground on KSB. Math Pickup will need a return to winning ways if his team are to stay on Trinity’s heals.


Team:

1. Harry Lord (GK)
2. Sam Calvert (LWB)
3. Josh Guest (RCB)
5. Ste Evans (LCB)
6. Alex Halliwell (DC) ©
8. Danny Holloway (DMC)
9. Harry Pickup (SC)
11. Ryan Clarke (AMC)
12. Harry Connor (LWB)
16. Alex Marsh (DMC)
17. Josh Hughes (FD)

Substitutes: 4: Luke Hobson (unused), 7. Dave Kell (RWB), 10. Neil Horne (FD)
Man of the match: Harry Lord