Adult teams, First team, Reserve team

Seniors: Saturday 19 September 2020

First Team pay for sloppy start

First Team Coach Tristan Potkins dusts off his English GCSE to reflect…

With ten players unavailable through either injury or being away, both squads were light this Saturday. That being said, there was more than enough to get the result for the First Team.

A slow start saw us go behind to a soft goal in the first five minutes, so soft that the poor reaction to having conceded led to us conceding another. Oracle are clearly a good footballing side, but they had what seems to be becoming a trend in division one, the big lad up front. This season with the new management, new players, new system, a lot of it is going to be about adapting quickly and efficiently, and in these scenarios thus far we have failed to do so.

Knebworth at 2-0 down did start to play a bit, with a flying Jimmy Agnew frequently getting in down the right hand side, with almost two identical crosses flying across the box in the space of a couple minutes with nobody able to get on the end of it. A few free kicks from decent positions gave us a chance to whip a ball in, but it just was not happening.

Before long Oracle had gone on the break and got another. 3-0 at half time and a bit of a dressing down, Knebworth came out with a much-improved attitude second half. After Oracle finding a fourth through a good phase of play, an injury to the battling Jack Dunn saw myself have to slot into Centre Back alongside Myles, and Alex Richardson, the eventual goal scorer come onto the wing. Knebworth’s goal came from more fantastic work down the flanks, with switching play becoming more of a weapon when utilised well, Oracle failed to threaten again other than a very good header from a corner seeing Knebworth lose the second half 2-1.

Although another bad result, it feels a kind of turning point in terms of a realisation of what is missing, and what we can do when we attribute ourselves in a positive way. A massive opportunity next week to springboard our season in the Aubrey Cup, maintaining the utmost confidence that once we get this right, we are going to be a force to be reckoned with. Hold me to that.

If I were to get a choice for man of the match, I think regardless of the score line Dan Smith was fantastic in one-on-one situations, with Myles Thomas playing in his fourth position of the season doing everything he could to contain the Oracle offence.

If you missed the matchday programme, download it here

Next Saturday, 26 September, the First Team travel to Bovingdon in the historic Aubrey Cup; 14:30 kick off at Green Lane, Bovingdon HP3 0LA.

Raja Tandoori man of the match: Dan Smith

Reserves suffer narrow defeat in the Greg Cup

Roving reporter Henry Harbottle-Day made the trip to Wormley…

Knebworth Reserves fell just short at the first hurdle in the Greg Cup after a 1-0 loss away at Wormley Rovers FC Reserves.

The opening 30 minutes consisted of no real chance for either side, with the best chance of opening third being a shot from inside the box for the opposition which was well saved by Alfie Pettitt.

The opposition took the lead though 5 minutes before half time. Seems like this has to be copied every week at the moment; poor set piece defending from Knebworth, and the second wave of attack resulted in a Wormley shot being finished from inside the 18 yards past Alf in net.

As the second half began it seemed to be a battle of the midfields. Sidney Kizito and Liam George, who was making his debut, putting in strong tenacious defensive shifts to break down many a play the opposition crafted. Carrying on his fine form from last week, Alfie made a fantastic save to deny the opposition from making it 2-0 when he sprung to the left with a strong palm, stopping an almost certain goal.

Knebworth’s best chance of the game came not long after. A defence splitting pass from Kieran Flynn in midfield caused a Kneb player to be bought down inside the box and win a penalty. Tom Grieveson stepped up, sending the keeper the wrong way but unfortunately placing it over the bar. Score remains 1-0.

Another solid save from Alf yet again denied the opposition, with one of their players getting sent off in the process. Wormley continued to attack late on when Kneb ran out of legs, hitting the bar with a good strike just outside the box.

Too little pressure from Knebworth late on though meant they were knocked out the Greg Cup in the first round, a defeat which brings a lot of positives after playing a better opposition.

Extrastaff man of the match: Liam George

Next Saturday, 26 September, the Reserves host Sarratt Reserves in the Herts Senior County League Division Three; 15:00 kick off at the Recreation Ground (SG3 6AH).

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