CLARKE'S SHOES

DITTON ATHLETIC 2–3 KSB FC – National Christian Trophy Round 3 – 27th January 2018 – Liverpool Road, Widnes

In December KSB travelled to Wakefield, where they triumphed 7–1 against Christchurch in the 2nd Round of the National Christian Trophy. This set up a trip to fellow SMCCFL side Ditton Athletic, who are going well in Division 1, having won Division 2 last season. 

It’s always a long trip to Widnes, and over past years KSB have only managed one win there (6–0 in November 2015). This game started in a tight fashion, with few clear–cut chances being created. The Streeters were acquitting themselves well, but went behind thanks to a very soft penalty. A corner was put into the box, and with barely a single appeal, the ref pointed to the spot because a KSB defender was allegedly holding a Ditton attacker. The left winger sent birthday boy Barry Thomas Lord the wrong way from 12 yards.

KSB had a flurry of set pieces which could have resulted in an equaliser, but they either couldn’t connect or the ball wouldn’t just fall quite right. On the break, Ditton got their second when their pacey right winger beat Josh Guest in a sprint, before finishing well past Lord into the far corner. 2–0 down was not what KSB deserved, but they continued to work hard with a hope of getting on the scoresheet.

Substitute Harry Pickup had a shot saved by the keeper, while Danny Holloway and Ryan Clarke had long–range efforts which didn’t quite find the target. Just before the break, KSB got a free kick on the edge of the area, which Dave Davies stood over. The Welshman curled an effort to the near post, which the keeper could only parry away. Clarke was first to react, finishing first time with his left foot from a fairly tight angle.

From the resulting kickoff, Ditton nearly restored the two goal advantage, but were denied by a smart Lord stop. 2–1 down at the break, KSB knew that if they continued to play as they had been doing, particularly in the latter stages of the half, that there could be a positive result there for them.

The Streeters began the second half in the same fashion, and it wasn’t long before they got a penalty kick of their own. Davies was blocked off in the box, and the ref had no hesitation in awarding the kick. Clarke ran half a marathon to retrieve the ball, placed it on the spot, and made no mistake to bring KSB level.

Following this, Math Pickup’s men continued to probe and cause problems, with Harry Pickup and Josh Hughes working tirelessly up front. Jonti Calter came back on for Math, allowing Davies to come into midfield, Calter himself going to left wing back. Holloway was winning everything in the middle, Sam Calvert was a constant threat down the right, and the centre back trio of Adam Taylor, Josh Guest and skipper Alex Halliwell were defending bravely and solidly.

With the game slowly creeping towards extra time, Clarke thought it best to settle in the 90. Hughes brought the ball down on the edge of the area, allowing Clarke to send a beautiful half volley into the far corner, with Harry Pickup heroically moving out of the way to ensure it nestled into the old onion bag.

Ditton rallied late on, forcing Lord into an excellent save, and followed it with a series of corners, for which their goalkeeper came forward. The KSB rear–guard repelled everything that came their way, and as the final whistle blew, things threatened to boil over. But the Streeters retreated from the eye of the storm to take in what had been a magnificent performance to earn a trip to London School of Theology FC. KSB reached the semi–finals last year, maybe they can win the thing this season…?

 

Team

1.Harry Lord (GK)

2.Sam Calvert (RWB)

3.Josh Guest (LCB)

4.Math Pickup (MC)

5.Adam Taylor (RCB)

6.Alex Halliwell (CB) (c)

8.Danny Holloway (MC)

9.Jonti Calter (SC)

10.Ryan Clarke (AMC)

11.Dave Davies (LWB)

16.Josh Hughes (SC)

 

Subs – 7. Harry Pickup (SC), 12. Luke Hobson (unused)

Man of the match – Ryan Clarke