Kirkley & Pakefield feel hard done by after hard-fought draw
PUBLISHED: 08:29 22 September 2017
Steve Wood Photography
Kirkley & Pakefield put in a fine battling performances to come away from Saffron Walden with a draw - and with a bit of luck they could have picked up all three Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division points.
After a first win of the season the previous Tuesday evening Royals manager Mark Willis named an unchanged starting line-up, with Dylan Blades returning to the subs’ bench after suspension.
The match was played in heavy rain throughout and at times completing the game looked in doubt. The first real attempt at goal came on 13 minutes when a good Eagleton shot was fumbled by the home keeper O’Sullivan. Following up Haylock appeared to be pushed in the back but nothing was given.
On 26 minutes home striker Turner had his header brilliantly saved from under the bar by Adam Rix. In the next minute a fast move saw the Royals get the ball to Jordan Haverson just outside the area and as the home keeper advanced Haverson made a superb controlled chip over him into the net from some 20 yards to give the Royals the lead.
Eagleton had another shot blocked before Rix made a good two handed save following a corner but on 42 minutes the Bloods skipper Spike Bell hit a well struck shot for the equaliser.
After the interval both teams attacked but poor finishing in very difficult conditions kept the scores level. The Royals’ defence, well marshalled the captain Jack Herbert, was doing some sterling defending and on 78 minutes Grint found Haverson who hit a fine shot from 20 yards that gave the keeper no chance for his and the Royals’ second.
Shortly afterwards Haverson made another solo run and appeared to be brought down in the area but no penalty was given. On 87 minutes, from a corner, keeper Rix seemed to be fouled but play was allowed to continue, with the home team striking the post before Bell hit the rebound in for his second.
Sub Blades was then injured and after lengthy treatment had to be substituted. The match end all square, with the Royals leaving the field feeling robbed of two points after some decisions had gone against them.
Kirkley & Pakefield: A Rix, J Jenner (D Blades 62) (H Creamer 88), T Grint, L Hammond, J Herbert, M Wilson, K Haylock, C Eagleton, J Haverson, M Lopez, M Holt (G Williams 75).