King's XI Football Result and Match report
King’s School 3-2 St. Georges
King’s School 3-2 St. Georges
On Wednesday 15th January the King’s School first team hosted St. Georges in a top of the table clash. With the league at stake it was important King’s got off to a good start with regular runs from wingers Luke Kightley and Sam Allen putting King’s on the front foot early. The talented midfield of St. Georges however began to ease into the game looking particularly threatening on the counter attack. To compensate for this, striker Josh Taylor played a pivotal role coming back into the midfield to support midfielders Danny Ross and Luke Bond. With Georges on the attack committing players forward, Danny won the ball from the opposing captain before releasing the ball wide left to Sam Allen, clever link up play between him and striker Jonnie Blanchard worked the ball to Josh Taylor who slotted home with ease to put King’s 1-0 up.
Persistent St. Georges’ attacks stemming particularly from the right of midfield fell to nothing as the high line of the King’s back four stood firm throughout the first half. With the wingers working hard defensively and disciplined defending from fullback Dan Wilson and George Blanchard saw King’s through to half time 1-0 up weathering the Georges’ late first half pressure.
The second half started in a relatively even fashion with both teams struggling to maintain possession and develop consistent pressure. Injury to Josh Taylor late in the first half saw George Blanchard move into left midfield with Sam Allen switching to the right giving Kightley the opportunity to play upfront. Tactical changes made by Manager Mr. Hibbert almost worked perfectly if it wasn’t for good goalkeeping by St. Georges’ keeper denying, Kightley on the one-on-one.
Midway through the second half Georges’ captain found some space deep in his own half, lofting a diagonal ball over the top of the King’s defence giving their striker his first real opportunity in the game, he obliged and stroked the ball calmly across goalkeeper Dan Hibbert into the bottom right corner of the net, 1-1.
Josh Taylor came back on, moving Kightley back onto the right, giving King’s more width. It wasn’t long before King’s broke through for the second time in the game, clever link up play between Sam Allen and Captain Danny Ross saw Allen break through the Georges’ defence before striking the ball towards goal, the keeper beaten at his near post, a powerful finish from Allen, 2-1.
The equaliser from Georges’ was very well worked. Another long and accurate ball from the back hitting the striker, a long and mazy run by the front man ended in a well-placed reverse pass to Georges’ right winger who sprinted to the by line before putting a powerful low cross across the six yard box. The lone front man of Georges’ continued his run into the box and side footed the cross in a very controlled manner into the King’s net, 2-2 with ten minutes to play.
The introduction of Aiden Monoghan at left back and Chris Andersen in central midfield for Luke Bond aided the side, with both players working very hard off the ball in defence. However there was late drama at both ends, two league defining calls from the referee as the St. Georges striker was brought down in a not so innocuous looking tackle, amongst the midst of several players. The referee waved the penalty appeal from Georges’ away, a tough decision to make.
Minutes later after good build-up from the King’s midfield a deep and well hit cross from Andersen hit Jonnie Blanchard in the box. After bringing the ball down he was bundled over by the Georges’ centre back, the penalty was rightfully given. With no more than a minute to play Captain Danny stepped up and side footed to spot kick firmly into the bottom left corner of the net, 3-2.
The King’s defence held on in the last minute of the game with strong performances from Luke Donovan and James Longden, but a special mention to goalkeeper Dan Hibbert who was outstanding throughout the entire game. Making very good saves consistently and collecting crosses with confidence proving the real difference between the two teams.
Overall we were involved in an extremely close game where hard work off the ball was extremely important. The win keeps us top of the league and in a commanding position going into the backend of the season.