After conceding 2 late goals last week thereby dropping 2 points at Bowdon last weekend, Knutsford 3s were determined to give a good account of themselves against fellow unbeaten rivals Golborne 2s for the full 70 minutes.
Knutsford's pick & mix of youth & experience, skill & skullduggery, fitness & fatness expected a hard encounter with no quarter asked or given; and that's just how the contest transpired. Knutsford came flying out of the blocks in order to meet the expected Golborne freight-train head on. Consequently Golborne went really in the game for 10 minutes as the midfield engine room of Karl Stanier, Dave Rees
& Eoin Martin
(on Knutsford debut) controlled the tempo & field position. Knutsford couldn't convert however and Golborne forced their way into the game; their 20 something midfield general spraying passes about to his robust number 9, pacy right winger & skilful schoolboy at wide left. Knutsford's rolling 6 defenders of Ollie Lasham, Andy Lynes, Chris Howarth
, Steve Hope
, Simon Crabtree
& Niall Robertson
remained solid throughout however, and the miserly goals against column is a big part of this season's package.
Midway through the half the Stanier/Rees combo forced the pace around Golbornes D, ex schoolboy international paul howarth
committed the keeper allowing 17 year old Henry Pass
to reverse the ball home from 3 yards.
1-0 at half time to Knutsford.
The second half was a tight affair, with less space available through the middle of the park. That only however gave more space out wide, and sixth-former Sam Swift was a real handful all afternoon out at right wing. He skinned his man at will and on 55 minutes shelled the ball into the D, paul howarth
who was commanding all game at centre forward had no right to get to the ball, but his hand speed was electric, flicking the ball skywards to Henry Pass
who showed lightning reflexes himself to guide the ball into the net as if defending a Curtley Ambrose bouncer!!
At 2-0 with 15 to go Golborne were deflated and one or two grumpy Lancastrians were spoken to by the authoritative whistle man Richie Holah. That said Golborne weren't unbeaten by accident, and they piled on the pressure forcing 2 or 3 good saves from young Jack Pass
in goal whose composure was impressive. Finally they converted from an uncleared short corner with 7 minutes to go. 2-1.
It was nearly deja vu when Golborne were awarded another short corner as the clock stopped. Thankfully history didn't repeat itself and Knutsfords 3s took the spoils in this table topping 6 pointer!
MoM Karl Stanier for making the game look easy.
DoD. Steve Hope
for taking out a 14 year old!