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Kirkley & Pakefield 2 FC Clacton 3: Below-strength Royals beaten after brave show

PUBLISHED: 08:13 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 21:14 24 February 2019

The referee waves play on as Kirkley & Pakefield mount an attack against FC Clacton on Saturday Picture: BRYAN GRINT

The referee waves play on as Kirkley & Pakefield mount an attack against FC Clacton on Saturday Picture: BRYAN GRINT

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Last Saturday's Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division match at Walmer Road saw Kirkley & Pakefield playing FC Clacton for the fifth time this season - and despite another close encounter their wait for a win continued.

The Royals’ team was decimated by suspensions, holidays and players still recovering from injuries.

But despite this headache manager Mark Willis still assembled a respectable looking squad, with Owen French and young Harry Creamer fitting into the central defence.

The first action of the match after seven minutes saw Clacton centre forward Jake Clowsley shoot well from the right and his strike looked goal bound until French made a fine stop, sliding the ball out for a corner.

On 22 minutes the away team wasted a golden chance to take the lead when Billy Wales missed from close in but two minutes later they did get their noses in front when Harry McDonald headed in well from a left wing cross.

Play was generally confined to midfield but home keeper Adam Rix was forced into making a good save just before half-time.

The Royals looked more active at the start of the second half and on 52 minutes Cameron Russell was brought down in the area. He got up to score from the penalty spot to bring the scores back level but parity only lasted a couple of minutes before ry McDonald shot in for his second of the match to put Clacton back in front.

Just after the restart Russell King saw a well struck 20 yard shot go just wide of the post. The away team continued to put pressure on the home defence however and a slip-up by full back Callum Bell allowed Jake Clowsley to increase their lead further after 65 minutes.

The Royals hit back on 72 minutes when a good shot from Lee Will was only parried by the keeper, allowing Matty Brown to shot in from close range. On 80 minutes substitute James Baldwin replaced Bell and in the very last minute a goal-bound header from Baldwin was well saved by keeper Joe Fowler and so Clacton maintained their dominance over the Royals this season.

East Point Sports man of the match: Gerson Soares.

Team: A Rix, C Bell (J Baldwin 80), G Soares, L Hammond, O French, H Creamer, C Russell, J Haverson, L Will, R King, M Brown. Subs unused: K Collyer, M Tacon, M Wilson.

This coming Saturday Kirkley & Pakefield travel to play league leaders Histon, once again with key players not available (3pm). Next Tuesday, February 26, the Royals are on the travels again when they visit Newmarket Town in the league (7.45pm).

The K&PFC Reserves travelled to play Anglian Combination Division One league leaders Mundford last Saturday with a side mainly consisting of players from the Under-23s they put in a spirited display in losing 3-0. On Saturday they are at home on Walmer Road to Fakenham Town Reserves, 2pm.

The U23s game had to be called off last week with players being required in the Reserves. This Saturday they are on the Team Lauren Lou 3G Arena in a Mick Johnson Cup match against Division Two side Waveney A, 2pm. The B team lost narrowly 2-1 to Mariners last week but do not have a match this week. With the mid-week U18s youth league drawing to a conclusion East Division League leaders K&PFC U18s could only draw with third place Norwich United 1-1 last Thursday evening. Next Thursday, February 28, sees them again in home action with an intriguing Suffolk FA U18 Mid-Week Boys Cup clash against unbeaten AFC Sudbury, runaway leaders of the South Division, 7.45pm. AFC Royals play at Bungay Town on the Wednesday evening in a league match.

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