Kirkley & Pakefield open league season with pleasing 3-0 win

Action from Kirkley & Pakefield's 3-0 win over Hadleigh Picture: Bryan Grint

Action from Kirkley & Pakefield's 3-0 win over Hadleigh Picture: Bryan Grint - Credit: Archant

A glorious sunny afternoon greeted the new Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division season at Walmer Road last Saturday, with Kirkley & Pakefield entertaining Hadleigh United.

New manager Gary McGee introduced a new striker in Daniel Conroy, who had been playing with Mutford & Wrentham, while Ben George was back after being at university playing regularly for the successful UEA team.

These were the only new starting additions to last season's team squad.

The match opened with both teams a bit nervy and Hadleigh had two early attempts, one wide and one saved. The Royals' best effort came on 20 minutes when, after a good move, Jack Hutchinson let fly from 20 yards, with his shot going just wide.

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The Hadleigh keeper then had to make a couple of excellent saves. With the home team on top and having more of the play the score remain goalless at the interval.

The second half saw the Royals more creative in attack, with good football being played, but on the hour home keeper Rix had to make a fine save to keep his goal intact. On 65 minutes new striker Conroy had a good attempt narrowly miss the post and a few minutes later Russell shot just wide.

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The long awaited goal came on 73 minutes following a move started by full back Soares. He played it to Haylock whose fine centre found Cameron Russell who fired in the opening goal of the season. The same player increased the lead six minutes later with a good volley after a great centre from the right by Conroy.

On the 82nd minute it was Conroy's turn to open his league account for the club, slotting home after good work by both Haylock and subsitute Meekin to give the Royals a healthy 3-0 lead.

Two minutes later a fine 25 yard shot by Haylock produced another fine save from the away keeper Nick Punter. In the very last minute Hadleigh full back James Ross produced a stunning 20 yard shot that hit the post, rebounding on to keeper Rix back and out for a corner that the visitors barely had time to take.

Team: A Rix, C Bell, G Soares, B George, J Herbert, L Flower, K Haylock, J Hutchinson, D Conroy, J Haverson, C Russell. Subs (all used): H Creamer, C Brooks, A Meekin.

Woodbridge Town 4

Kirkley & Pakefield 1

Kirkley & Pakefield travelled to Woodbridge Town in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division on Wednesday evening, with both teams having recorded opening day wins.

They ended up losing the game 4-1 despite taking the lead and seeing their hosts reduced to 10 men just before the break.

The Royals were without keeper Adam Rix and captain Jack Herbert, both being unavailable, so had to bring in a new keeper in Mark Purser from Mutford and Wrentham and had Owen French in the centre of the defence.

The visitors started off on the front foot, stretching the home defence, and it paid off in the 14th minute when, after some excellent play with Daniel Conroy Kyle Haylock neatly slotted home the opening goal .

Carlos Edwards shot just wide from 25 yards for the Woodpeckers while Jack Hutchinson shot just over the bar from similar distance. Purser in the away goal produced several fine saves and in the 32nd minute the home team were awarded a penalty with Purser making a brilliant one handed save from Ben Garnham, Several more good stops followed as the home team got more into the game and on 39 minutes Kelsey Trotter eventually beat the keeper from the edge of the box to level the scores.

On 43 minutes Woodbridge No. 4 Ben Garnham was shown a straight red card by the referee for an apparent incident with a spectator.

With the scores level the ten men surprisingly were having more of the play but one Royals' attack on 55 minutes saw a Haverson shot well saved and the follow-up by Flowers deflected out for a corner.

On 59 minutes Jake Rudge put the home team ahead from close range and they further increased their lead on 69 minutes through Mark Ray and added a fourth with a simple tap in by Trotter on 85 minutes. The home team eventually ran out convincing 4-1 winners as gaps appeared in the weakened away defence.

Kirkley & Pakefield: M.Purser, C.Bell, G.Soares, B.George, O.French, L.Flower, K.Haylock, J.Hutchinson, D.Conroy, J.Haverson, C.Russell, Subs: all used, T.Neale, A.Meekin, K.Goldspink.

Due to a prior arranged boxing fight night on Saturday, Kirkley & Pakefield have an unusual Sunday afternoon fixture this weekend when they are in action in an attractive home match in the Emirates FA Cup extra-preliminary round which sees Wroxham visit Walmer Road. It is hoped the match, which has a 3pm kick-off, will attract a good sized crowd. Should the scores finish level after 90 minutes a replay will take place at Wroxham next Wednesday (7.45pm).

The Reserves kick off their league season next Tuesday with a home fixture against Bungay Town (7.30pm).

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