CHARITY ENDS AT HOME

KSB 5-2 Spacious Place - SMCCFL Charity Cup Group D - SLS Stadium @ Fearns - 11.11.17

Last season’s victory in the Charity Cup Final will long remain in the memory for all Streeters, and if there was to be any kind of repeat in this year’s competition, KSB would have to have a number of things go there way. Sitting third in Group D, Math Pickup’s men needed Warrington Ambassadors to win at King’s Manchester, but needed it to be by a small margin. Most importantly, KSB needed to beat Spacious Place at Fearns, this time by a considerable amount. If all those things happened, King’s, Warrington and KSB would all finish on 6 points, so it would go down to Goal difference.

The Streeters could only control their part of the complicated equation, and having only narrowly beaten Spacious Place at Fearns last month, they knew it would be another tough test. It was also important to get back to winning ways following the first league defeat at St Philip’s Trinity. A number of absences meant an appearance for KSB United manager Brett Aspden, plus returns for Matt Ashworth, Jonti Calter and KSB manager Math himself.

From very early on the visitors took control of possession and the game. Always very capable on the ball, and featuring a number of new players, Spacious Place created chances, putting several off target, but also testing keeper Harry Lord. Amongst the most eye-catching of Mr Lord’s saves were a superb tip over the bar from very close range when the attacker looked certain to score, and later in the half, denying SP captain Luke Hirst when one on one on the break.

At the other end, Math had a couple of chances to score – firstly with a header over the bar, and then firing straight at the keeper, following good play from Ryan Clarke. The rebound fell to Luke Hobson who thunder-blasted over. Josh Hughes and Calter were creating problems up front, and after a raid down the right from Sam Calvert (found superbly by Ashworth), the right wing back put the ball across goal, but Hughes’s goalbound effort was deflected wide by a defender.

It was Hughes whose industry resulted in the opening goal. The big Les Ferdinand wannabe challenged the SP centre back for the ball at the by-line, which resulted in the defender suffering an injury off the pitch. Hughes kept playing and eventually squared the ball for Clarke who made no mistake. 1-0 at half time was a flattering scoreline for KSB who had been second best for long spells of the opening period. Math made two changes at the break, bringing Harry Pickup on for Calter and Alex Marsh on for himself.

The Streeters started the second half strongly, and Marsh won a fairly soft penalty. Hughes stepped up to take, but his spot kick was saved by the Blues’ keeper. The big striker then crossed for his partner up front, but Harry P could only blaze over. An equaliser came when a ball out to the left was met by a wide man, who crossed for an attacker to tap home.

KSB didn’t let that deflate them, and regained the lead when Harry P sent Hughes through on goal and he finished past the keeper at the near post. Hughes slotted in his second following Marsh’s flick on from a set piece. At the other Lord continued to make some fine saves from a number of testing efforts. The back three of Adam Taylor, Ashworth and Aspden, together with wing backs Calvert and Harry Connor, were looking increasingly assured, gradually limiting the visitors to less attempts.

A fourth goal came when Hughes rounded the goalkeeper, only to see his goalbound effort handled on the line. This time skipper Clarke took responsibility, scoring expertly from the spot. Danger man Scott Cawtherley reduced the arrears when his cross/shot from the right curled into the far corner. Calter returned to the fray, and added his name to scoresheet late on. Harry P was again the provider, and having rounded the keeper, Calter finished from a tight angle.

A 5-2 victory perhaps somewhat flattered KSB, especially after the visitors dominated the first period, and would likely see the Streeters eliminated. This was confirmed following news of King’s Manchester’s 8-1 demolition of Warrington Ambassadors. Despite having to make several changes, each person made a great contribution to another win, 5 more goals, and plenty of confidence was built to take into the next matches.

Team:

1.    Harry Lord (GK)
2.    Sam Calvert (RWB)
3.    Harry Connor (LWB)
4.    Math Pickup (MC)
5.    Brett Aspden (LCB)
6.    Matt Ashworth (CB)
8.    Luke Hobson (MC)
9.    Jonti Calter (SC)
10.    Josh Hughes (SC)
11.    Ryan Clarke (AMC) (c)
23.    Adam Taylor (RCB)

Subs – 7. Harry Pickup (SC), 16. Alex Marsh (MC)

Man of the match – Harry Lord