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Kirkley & Pakefield 1 Godmanchester Rovers 2: Under-strength Royals lose to fellow high-flyers

PUBLISHED: 08:12 30 November 2018

Goalmouth action from Saturday's clash between Kirkley & Pakefield and Godmanchester Rovers at Walmer Road Picture: BRYAN GRINT

Goalmouth action from Saturday's clash between Kirkley & Pakefield and Godmanchester Rovers at Walmer Road Picture: BRYAN GRINT

Archant

Last Saturday’s top of the table clash at Walmer Road saw the fourth placed Royals go down to only their third league defeat of the season to third placed Godmanchester.

With their injury list mounting and keeper Adam Rix joining it, a very much under strength team took to the field also missing Max Wall, Gerson Soares and Ross King but welcoming back Lewis Hammond, playing despite a having a broken nose and facial bruising.

Reserve keeper Alex Blowers came in together with Reserves’ joint manager Owen French who played at right back with young Kane Collyer switching to the left.

Godmanchester took the lead in the third minute when centre forward Buster Harradine slammed home from 15 yards, giving young Blowers no chance.

With the Royals defending for long periods, on one of their own attacks a penalty appeal was turned down but on 22 minutes the referee gave a penalty when Jack Chandler appeared to lose his footing while being challenged by Lewis Flower. The spot-kick was taken by Joe Furness whose shot hit the left post via a deflection and rolled along the line and hit the right post, with the same player being the quickest to react to tap home for a 2-0 lead.

Cameron Russell had a shot cleared off the line, Flower shot over and Russell hit narrowly wide after a good move while at the other end Blowers made a good stop.

On 70 minutes Dylan Blades came on for Williams, Haylock then had a long range shot go wide and on 75 minutes Miguel Lopez replaced Goldspink. Soon after young winger Kyle Haylock was back defending, making two brilliant last ditch tackles.

With time running out the home team pulled a goal back when Blades shot and keeper Conroy fumbled the ball into the net. Jack Hutchinson came on for the final minutes, putting several good crosses in but to no avail. Blowers made another useful save before the visitors missed an open goal. It was a disappointing loss that saw the Royals go down to sixth but with a much depleted side it was a satisfactory display against a strong team.

East Point Sports Man of the Match: Kyle Haylock.

Team: A Blowers, O French, K Collyer (J Hutchinson 85), L Hammond, J Herbert (c), L Flower, K Haylock, G Williams (D Blades 70), L Will, K Goldspink (M Lopez 75), C.Russell.

Kirkley & Pakefield 2

Needham Market Reserves 0

On Tuesday evening Kirkley & Pakefield were at home in third round League Cup action against Thurlow Nunn Division One North strugglers Needham Market Reserves.

On a horrible wet and windy night the Royals made progress thanks to two goals in a three minute spell just before half-time.

The match was virtually one way from the start, with the home team dominating their young opponents who had their goalkeeper Owen Eldson to thank for many first class saves.

The first goalmouth action on five minutes saw a Haylock shot being saved with the keeper’s legs before on 12 minutes Will was through with only the keeper to beat but he saved to push the ball out wide. On 22 minutes another 20 yard shot from Haylock was put onto the bar by the keeper and cleared away.

With the keeper out of his goal Goldspink tried a first time shot at the open goal from some 30 yards but his effort just went wide of the post.

Finally the breakthrough came on 43 minutes when Cameron Russell tucked away a cross from the right. Then on 45 minutes Kaiden Goldspink finished off a good move to put the Royals 2-0 up at the interval.

On 65 minutes Haylock walked through the defence only for his shot to be denied by the keeper’s good save. In the 73 minute young Jack Hutchinson let rip with a spectacular shot from some 35 yards that was brilliantly saved by the keeper who then saved from a Herbert shot.

A Haylock shot was deflected just wide and out for a corner before Blades replaced Russell on 75 minutes and on 84 minutes James Baldwin made his first team debut, coming on for Haylock who had put in another outstanding shift.

Full back Bell had a fine shot tipped over and then another good effort from Hutchinson brought another fine save from the keeper. With time almost up Needham had failed to test home keeper Blowers once but somehow had managed to keep the margin of their defeat to just two thanks to a man of the match performance from their exciting young goalkeeper Eldson.

Team: A Blowers, C Bell, M Wall, L Hammond, J Herbert (c), L Flower, K Haylock (J Baldwin 84), J Hutchinson, L Will, K Goldspink, C Russell (D Blades 75). Subs unused: K Collyer, G Soares, T Cole.

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