Seniors – Saturday 10 October 2020

First Team edged out by Bovingdon

Tristan Potkins takes a deep breath and reports…

A rare occasion with both teams at home in the league saw the First Team host Bovingdon Reserves having dispatched their ‘A’ team 4-0 in the cup last time out. A sluggish start with a bobbly pitch saw a few chances conceded early on as Knebworth took a while to put their foot on the ball. Eventually some nice football saw a ball come into the opposition box that the Bovingdon goalkeeper fumbled for Seb Melendez to get his first of the season from full back. However, this did not settle the game down, and almost straight from kick off Bovingdon were awarded a corner that saw them win a header at the near post to make it 1-1.

After the hectic start, Knebworth handled the opposition on the whole defensively, as the ball mainly remained inside the opposition’s half. There was only one moment for concern where Dan Smith looked to have handled the ball outside his box but the absence of VAR at The Rec was noticeable. Myles Thomas was winning virtually everything in the air, with George Kirtsides enjoying a fair share of the ball down the right flank supported by Jimmy Agnew. It was on the right side of the pitch that a player was brought down to give Charlie Pratt the chance to send us in 2-1 up from the spot, only to be denied by the crossbar.

The second half was mostly Knebworth’s, with Alex Richardson going through one-on-one with the goalkeeper only to be denied, and multiple corner kicks creating the opportunity to put the ball in the box. It is worth commending the patience that was shown given the growing frustration at not finding that second clear cut chance, a frustration only apparent by a fairly noticeable voice break from somewhere within the Knebworth defence.

The game was soon decided when Christian Grindal, who has been putting in some great performances on his return to senior football, looked to have a situation in hand only to misplace a back pass to Smith and hand the Bovingdon striker an early Christmas present. Disappointment aside at the Ks third league loss by a one goal margin having seen yet another notable improvement, there is not yet cause for concern. Football may well be a results based business, and we know some people will be watching with a keen eye, but we are only four games into the journey and management maintain full confidence that once that first win is found, we will go from strength to strength. Things are improving at a weekly rate, and I invite you to check back at the end of the season and see that for yourselves.

Raja Tandoori man of the match: Seb Melendez, with notable mention for Myles Thomas

Seb Melendez – image courtesy of Tilly Sleator

If you missed the match programme, download your copy here

Photos available from the match with special thanks to Tilly Sleator

Next Saturday, 17 October, the First Team travel to Hertford Heath for their fifth Herts Senior County League Division One fixture; 14:30 kick off at Trinity Road, Hertford Heath, SG13 7QS.

Reserves beaten by Bedmond Sports

Matt Cooper reports from the ‘top pitch’ at Knebworth Rec…

On a cold and windy Saturday afternoon, Knebworth Reserves hosted a Bedmond side sitting just below them in the table. It was a changed XI from last week as first team call ups and injuries led to Knebworth only being able to name 2 subs with one of the starting XI only able to play the first half.

It was a scrappy opening 30 minutes with both teams battling to gain the upper hand and very few chances created.

The deadlock was broken on 35 minutes when Bedmond scored from a set piece, Knebworth were unable to win the first header and the ball dropped kindly to an unmarked Bedmond attacker who had time to take a touch and lash into the top corner.

The remainder of the 1st half was all Bedmond with strong defending from the Knebworth back four and goalkeeper Alfie Pettitt holding the score line at 1-0 going into half time.

Half time saw a few tactical tweaks and a substitution from Knebworth as they looked to turn the tide of the game.

It was a much improved performance in the second half from Knebworth with the boys hitting the woodwork three times in a 20-minutes period. Great efforts on goal from Jack Dunn and Owen Hatfield sandwiched a glorious opportunity missed by George Phillips.

The centre back pairing of McKechnie and Rose we’re dealing well with the Bedmond attacks until a unfortunate collision saw Rose go off with a head injury. Skipper Josh Kirby and midfield partner Liam George continued to dominate in the middle of the park as the half progressed.

As Knebworth pushed and pushed for a goal, Bedmond struck the deciding blow and killed the game off with a good finish on the counter attack.

The final ten minutes saw Knebworth continue to push but the race had been run and it was the visitors that came away with all three points.

Extrastaff man of the match: Tommy Rowe

Next Saturday, 17 October, the Reserves welcome Buntingford Town to the Recreation Ground (SG3 6AH) as the two sides compete for a quarter-finals berth in the Cecil Hudson Cup; 14:30 kick off.

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