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Kirkley & Pakefield made to pay for poor first half performance

PUBLISHED: 08:08 29 December 2017

Midfield action from Saturday's match between Kirkley & Pakefield and Brantham Athletic at Walmer Road. Picture: Bryan Grint

Midfield action from Saturday's match between Kirkley & Pakefield and Brantham Athletic at Walmer Road. Picture: Bryan Grint

Archant

Kirkley & Pakefield started their Thurlow Nunn League Christmas programme with the visit of fourth-placed Brantham Athletic.

The Royals were missing the injured Tarren Grint and had both Matthew Wilson and Miguel Lopez unavailable, with Macauley Holt and Kyle Baker in the starting line-up.

Brantham were awarded a free-kick outside the area just 20 seconds into the game. Jack Smith had his shot pushed on to the post by the scrambling Rix but Peter Maina was on hand to slam home to give the away team a first minute lead.

Brantham were having the better of the half and were more dangerous and on 37 minutes were awarded a harsh penalty for handball. Centre forward Sam Newson made no mistake from the spot and just two minutes later they increased their lead when midfielder Terry Rymer scored from what looked like an offside position to make it 3-0 to the visitors at half-time.

The second half saw a more lively Royals team take to the field and just five minutes into the half Baker thought he had scored but his close range shot was cleared off the line with the keeper beaten. Lewis Flower then had a header cleared off the line.

In the 62nd minute the Royals and Baker’s determination paid off when he chased and outran both defender and keeper to win the ball for a tap-in goal.

Away keeper Callum Robinson, who played for the Royals early last season, was then brought into action, making good save from a Lee Will header. He then missed-kicked his clearance straight to Liam Harvey-Cooper whose first time volley went wide of an open goal.

The Royals were now having more of the play and their best period of the match with around 70 minutes on the clock saw Haverson, Baker and Harvey-Cooper all have attempts well saved by Robinson. Then Kyle Haylock was brought down on the edge of the area but Harvey-Cooper’s free-kick went into the wall.

Despite an encouraging second half performance the Royals had just left themselves with too much to do.

East Point Sports man-of-the-match: Jordan Haverson.

Kirkley & Pakefield: A Rix, M Holt, M Wall (G Williams 87mins), L Hammond, J Herbert, L Flower, K Haylock, J Haverson, K Baker, L Harvey-Cooper, L Will (D Blades 85). Sub unused: J Jenner.

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