Danny Cardy reviews the 3rd annual Jug Match
AFCK retained The Manor Road jug in style as Spartans were defeated for the third consecutive season, at a sunny Manor Road.
The K's starting with a usual 4-4-2 formation with Powell in goal and a back four of Sutton, G.Turner, Wesson and Goddard. Weeks and Izzard started on the flanks, with Allen and Dooley again in the midfield engine room. Returning Thursday goalscoring hero Martin Withey was recalled to the starting line up to partner Chris Freeman up front. In a horrible turn of events, Face's game only lasted around 15 mins, due to a clash of heads with a Spartans defender leaving him with a lump on his forehead the size of a golf ball. Louis Turner replaced him, with Rich Izzard moving up front.
K's settled well and had the better of the earlier exchanges. Withey proved a thorn in the Spartans side right from the first whistle and had a couple of early attempts which didn't test the keeper, to MW's obvious frustration. Gaffer Turner then had his customary headed chance which he couldn't convert. For all of K's possession domination a goal was proving elusive, that was until Martin Withey picked the ball up on the left hand side, cut in past an admiring Spartans defence and unleashed a wickedly swerving drive from around 25 yards which looked like sailing into the bottom right corner until Spartans Keeper Richie Evans full stretch dive kept it out. Unfortunately for the visitors, the ball only fell to Mark Weeks on the right hand side of the area who played in Rich Izzard who danced around three Spartans defenders before smashing the ball past Evans into the bottom right corner for a deserved 1-0 lead.
K's carried on dominating the possession and worked the ball into some good positions but could not add to Izzard's goal. With only long balls hit over the top which Jay Powell snaffled up with repeated ease, Spartans never looked like replying and the K's went in at half time a goal to the good.
The second half started in similar fashion with Ash Allen and Jamie Dooley again dominating the midfield. K's continued to do all the running and chances finally started to present themselves. K's made it 2-0 midway through the half with the type of goal that we should be scoring a lot more. A long Craig Sutton throw in from the left picked out the run of Martin Withey who met it with a bullet header from 12 yards to put K's in the accendancy.
2-0 quickly became 3-0 and it was that man Withey again with another header, bringing his third headed goal in two games. A lovely move, which will go down as one of the best team goals ever scored at Manor Road saw some nice passing on the right hand side of the pitch before Jamie Dooley whipped in a Beckham-esque cross into the run of Withey who glanced the ball into the far left hand corner beautifully.
Spartans got a consolation goal when some poor defending down the K's left hand side allowed their player to slot the ball past Jay Powell for 3-1.
K's then really turned the screw and had 5 or 6 decent chances to make it 4. Ash Allen came close with a long range free kick which sailed inches wide and Tom Edwards had a decent half chance from the right hand side of the box. Mark Weeks was prevented a goal by two or three one on one saves from Evans, and when he finally beat the keeper, Spartans were saved by the upright.
K's wrapped up the scoring when Mark Weeks played Ash Allen in one on one with Evans. Although he was pushed wide he kept his composure to cut back in towards goal and smash the ball home to give the K's an unasailable 4-1 lead.
The final whistle went and K's will look back on a third consecutive jug win with pride and also the fact that the scoreline could have been 10. A brilliant all round performance.