For the third successive match Kirkley & Pakefield FC fielded an unchanged starting eleven for last Saturday’s away Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division match against fourth placed Stowmarket Town. The home team pitch was in a very poor state with bare patch after recent heavy rain and the strong gusting winds not helping match conditions. The first action of the game on 13 minutes saw a home team free kick pumped forward for Sam Nunn to fire in from close range away keeper Adam Rix made a brilliant save with the resulting follow up on goal, ruled offside. The ‘Royals’ went straight down the other end with first Cameron Russell then Owen French having good shots well saved at the near post by former ‘Royals’ keeper Callum Robinson. Kyle Haylock then produced a fine run down the right wing fired across goal with both Herbert and Russell unable to connect. Haylock took a long throw in that went to Jordan Haverson whose shot was well saved, the home keeper continued to prevent two headers from going in with the home goal living a charmed life in the first 25minutes. We then saw the home team attacking through Scott Chaplin who after being put through evaded two defenders and fired over the advancing keeper only to see his shot go just wide. On the half hour mark Stowmarket took an undeserved lead when Josh Mayhew header saw a finger tip save by Rix only for Scott Chaplin to tap over the line. A Lopez free kick was floated in on goal only for Robinson to collect, at the other end Rix made a couple of good punched out clearances, then Callum Bell made a great tackling stop before Rix saved well low down. On the stroke of half time a fine strike by Josh Mayhew put the home team 2-0 up.
The game had barely restarted and an unfortunate third was conceded after Rix had saved well from Chaplin, then Harry Creamer attempting to clear struck the chest of George Quantrell with the ball deflected into the net. On 55 minutes Kaiden Goldspink replaced Gerson Soares his first touch from a free kick saw his shot go just over, on the hour mark Ollie Canfer scored the fourth after a good four man attacking move. We then had Josh Mayhew fire in two good shots the first saved by Rix the second slamming against the underside of the bar and coming back out. The home team were having most of the play now but two ‘Royals’ efforts saw the keeper stopping Haylock and Lopez firing just over. The ‘Royals’ introduced Jack Hutchinson and Jake Spooner with ten minutes remaining, with his first play in senior football Spooner made a superb defensive tackle, then with the last kick of the game Stowmarket sub Robbie Sweeney dribbled through to score number five, for a final convincing 5-0 win. A very disappointing result for the ‘Royals’ after a very promising start to the game but chances not taken and fine goal keeping prevented them scoring and saw them with a goal less score sheet.
Kirkley & Pakefield FC team: A.Rix, C.Bell (J.Hutchinson 79mins), G.Soares (K.Goldspink 55mins), L.Hammond, J.Herbert capt, O.French, H.Creamer, M.Lopez, C.Russell (J.Spooner 81mins), K.Haylock, J.Haverson.
Kirkley & Pakefield FC are back at Walmer Road this coming Saturday when they play Newmarket Town 3.00 ko. Next Tuesday evening (26th March) the ‘Royals’ play at Walmer Road in the rearranged match with league leaders Histon 7.45 ko, the earlier match being abandon with the score a 1-1 after 58 minutes after a serious injury to home team player Dylan Blades who has not played since the injury.
The ‘Reserves’ continued a bad afternoon for the club with a 6-0 home league defeat to Easton. This Saturday they travel to play Fakenham Town Reserves 2.30 ko. The U23s had a 2-2 draw at home to Norton Athletic. The ‘B’ team lost 3-0 at league leaders Celt Ranger. On Saturday the U23s play league champions Mutford & Wrentham in the Mick Johnson League KO Cup on the Team Lauren Lou 3G Arena 2.00 ko.
THE ROYALIST COLIN SMITH