K Sports Men;s 1st XI travelled to Westlands school this week to play Gore Court in the first league match following the Festive break. The Squad welcomed Nick Shread back into the team, following a couple of months off with injury. Shread fitted into the back line seamlessly, playing alongside James Clarkely and Andy Mendl with Alister Burt shepherding them from the goalkeeper’s position.
K Sports found themselves 1-0 up after 3 minutes when Ewan Hendry Picked the ball up just inside the Gore Court half, rode some interesting challenges, then danced his way into the D and made the keeper commit himself. Hendry then flicked the ball with his reverse stick over the stranded keeper into the netting.
K Sports exerted a lot of pressure onto the home teams defence. Jon Stiff was next on the score sheet, following some fantastic build up play which saw Mike Nock feed Stiff at the top of the D, who hit a reverse stick into the top corner with aplomb.
More pressure was added by the lads in Black, Red and White and it told, as the challenges by the home side got very tired. Ewan Hendry had to go off of the pitch with a hand injury, and would spend the rest of the match in the dugout. Normal service was resumed just before half time when Dave Wood scored form a Penalty Corner to increase K Sports lead and take them 3-0 up into half time.
At half time skipper Neil Mitchell urged the team to keep playing the passing game and utilise the width that was being created by the forward line of Paul Cook and David Wood who were pulling the defence apart with there off the ball runs.
K Sports started the second half the way they had the first, on the front foot and were awarded a penalty corner. The initial flick was well saved by the Gore Keeper but Neil Mitchell pounced onto the loose ball and placed the ball into the goal.
Richard Thorogood who had worked tirelessly on the left wing scored a team goal that was just sublime to be part of or watch. It was the culmination of around 30 passes all around the pitch.
Thorogood then turned provider as he set up Dave wood for his second of the match followed by applying the assist to Matt Sharps goal.
The home team got a consolation goal as finally a big shelled ball from the back got though.
Andy Mendl won man of the match for his tenacious running, defending and passing. But everyone played the game well and the side deserved the 3 points.
Next week we host Old Willies at K Sports with a 12:30 pushback Supporters are most welcome.
K Sports travelled to Marden looking for a much needed win after a series of good performances failed to materialise into three point wins. They defied their own traditions and began this match on the front foot, scoring a goal in the first five minutes. Jen Divall played an exquisite aerial into the home side’s half which Sharon Turville managed to use to create confusion amongst the Marden defence. The ball fell to Sue Rea who played a reverse pass down to the back line to Maddie Thorp who then crossed the ball towards the far post. Kayleigh Smith was on hand to ensure the ball crossed the line by smashing the ball into the backboard.
This gave the team in black the platform to go and gain a much needed win after a serious of league defeats. However, they had to first focus their efforts in defence as Marden started to win the greater possession. Lorraine Mullaly made a number of important saves at the feet of marauding attackers while Tracey Smith, Kat Lichfield and Divall had to make a number of tackles to stifle some promising forays forward from the home side. In between these attacks K Sports found themselves with opportunities of their own, one of which fell to Turville who was thwarted by the keeper when she found herself one on one with her.
In the second half Lex Maritz and Holly Turner became more instrumental in midfield, with some much needed assistance from Emma Thorpe. They won greater possession and more importantly began to link play with greater precision. The winner of their industry was Karen Swinson who found herself being given the ball in great space on the right and she was able to use her pace with huge effect to turn the Marden players onto their back foot.
Maddie Thorp was also being found too out on the left along with Kayleigh Smith and this helped the away side begin to exert greater pressure on the attacking circle. Eventually this pressure played dividend when Turner won a free hit in the opposition 23 metre. Rea took the penalty quickly driving forward before finding Swinson on the back line. She crossed the ball close to the keeper who was unlucky in that her kick found it’s way into her goal. The goal gave the away side a little breather and they then proceeded to “shut up shop”.
Player of the match Mullaly had little to do after the second goal apart from saving what could have been a second consecutive embarrassing own goal from Rea in as many weeks. Divall made some glorious clearances. Anna Pirozzolo (playing her best game of the club to date) made some wonderful tackles and Lichfield and Smith marshalled the defence with great calmness. All this added to a great morale winning performance as they wait to entertain Faversham next Saturday.
K Sports 2nd XI returned to action against Ashford in an early fixture, and were looking to continue their good form from before Christmas into the new year. Andy Stiff returned to action after allowing a pre-Christmas injury to recover, but key player Simon Boniface was still struggling with injury, so was only able to support from the sidelines unfortunately. Best wishes Simon!
K Sports started the game at lightning pace and quickly went ahead with a strong strike into the corner, and they continued to dominate with pace down the wings with Kai Wilson, Luke Boniface and Gavin Fisher often finding acres of space behind the defence. A short corner was won, and quickly put out to Andy Smith to score by Kai Wilson, who picked up his second assist of the day so far.
Joe Dowling and Darren Body intelligently pushed further forward to support the attack and pin Ashford into their own half, and the attacks continued when another two goals were scored in similar circumstances to the first and Kai Wilson picking up a hatrick of assists. K Sports went in 4-0 up at half time and were looking to continue in the second half.
Howard Goacher and Jay O’Shea were pleased to have the return of Andy Stiff behind them, allowing them freedom to go and find the ball to build more attacks. This proved important when K Sports scored another, after some fine saves from the young Ashford goalkeeper kept K Sports at bay. Gavin Fisher and Luke Boniface found themselves on the ball and able to take a touch to see where the next and best pass was, which was key in building up attack after attack leading to K Sports adding another to make it 6.
Andy Smith picked up a backpass which was forced on by good pressure again by Gavin Fisher, ran through and slotted in to the corner to make it 7 for the side. Aaron Divall was called into action late into the second half after a sloppy backpass from Captain Andy Smith missed Martin Dadd at centre back, but Dadd and Divall worked well together to deal with the situation well.
K Sports are away to Herne Bay next week with an early 10:00 start, and supporters are more than welcome!