Last Saturday’s match in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division saw Kirkley & Pakefield FC travel to play 2nd bottom Long Melford FC, the ‘Royals’ were forced to make one change to the previous week’s team with young Jack Hutchinson coming in for Jordan Haverson serving a two match ban, Matthew Brown returned to the subs bench after missing six matches through injury. The ‘Royals’ started brightly with a good move involving Kyle Haylock with his centre being headed by Jack Herbert straight at the keeper this after just 3 minutes, after this the away team dominated play in the opening period of the game without creating too many clear cut chances. We then saw Long Melford attacking having one spell where several shots were well blocked by the ‘Royals’ defence with Lewis Flower making some excellent blocks. On 37 minutes we saw Jack Hutchinson test the home keeper Michael Bett with a fine drive from 25yards, the ‘Royals’ best effort to date, then on 42 minutes a fine shot from the edge of the area from Long Melford’s Hassan Ally was brilliantly saved at full stretch by Adam Rix in the away goal. We then had Haylock running for goal brought down outside the area by Ashley Skeggs the resulting free-kick going wide to put an end to the half.
The second half saw a 47th minute shot from Cameron Russell well saved then the Jack Hutchinson taken corner struck the post and with both Herbert and Goldspink in a packed goalmouth the ball hit the keeper and went into the net for an own goal that put the ‘Royals’ one up. The influential Haylock then shot just wide, the home team went close with a shot across goal that missed both sets of players and went just wide of the post. On the hour mark Hutchinson blasted another shot just over the bar, then at the other end Flower blocked brilliantly on the line. We then saw Haylock who was having an excellent game come in for some harsh treatment with a couple of good penalty appeals turned down by the official. On 78minutes Matty Brown replaced Jack Hutchinson. With seven minutes remaining another fine Haylock move to Russell saw his shot go across goal and wide, Flower again made a last ditch stop in the away area. Play ended with the ‘Royals’ gaining a hard earned single own goal victory that moves them up to 5th place with just 3 games remaining and Long Melford in a relegation match on Saturday at Great Yarmouth.
Kirkley & Pakefield FC team: A.Rix, C.Bell, G.Soares, L.Hammond, J.Herbert capt, L.Flower, K.Haylock, M.Lopez, C.Russell, K.Goldspink, J.Hutchinson (M.Brown 78mins). Unused Subs; K.Collyer, J.Spooner.
This coming Easter Saturday Kirkley & Pakefield FC 1st team play the final home game of the season at Walmer Road when they entertain Ely City who are at present 4th bottom and needing points to avoid relegation with just 3 games remaining, the match has a 3.00 ko. On Easter Monday afternoon the ‘Royals’ 1st team make the short journey to bottom of the table and already relegated Framlingham Town for their penultimate game of the season 3.00 ko. Last Saturday saw the ‘Reserves’ idle after bottom of the table North Walsham Town were unable to raise a team, on Saturday they are at top of the table and the likely Division 1 champions U.E.A 2.30 ko.
THE ROYALIST COLIN SMITH