Matt Cooper reports…
After a lockdown induced absence from Football, Knebworth travelled to Sarratt in the first of three group stage games of the newly created end of season cup competition.
Lockdown beer bellies and awful haircuts were the order of the day but it was great to get the boys back together and get a game of football back on.
The Reserves had a strong XI out with Stapleton in goal, a back four of Rowe, Cooper, McKechnie and Fleet, midfield of Dunn, Rose and Kitzio, with Phillips and Hatfield supporting Richardson up front.
The game started slowly with both teams exploring each other on a firm and bobbly pitch. It was Knebworth who took advantage first though with Richardson getting on the end of a wonderful through ball and slotting it calmly past the goalkeeper to give the Reserves a deserved 1-0 lead. It wasn’t long before the lead was doubled in comical fashion, Richardson putting the Sarratt keeper under severe pressure and the keeper’s attempted clearance hit Richardson and ricocheted back into the net.
The rest of the half was rather quiet in terms of chances with the Knebworth back four doing well to repel the numerous long balls over the top coming from Sarratt defence and midfield. The score was 2-0 at half time.
The second half was a slightly different story with Sarratt having much more of the possession and Knebworth having to dig deep and try and catch them on the counter. Chances were missed by early substitutes Hale and Hutchinson to grab that killer third before Sarratt got back into the game on the hour mark with a scrappy goal from inside the box.
Sarratt threw the kitchen sink for the remaining half hour with the back four and Rose and Dunn in midfield doing an excellent job of dealing with the multitude of crosses, long balls and set pieces that were thrown into the box. The hosts did eventually get their reward for their pressure in fortuitous circumstances as a hopeful looped ball back into the box landed at the feet of an attacker who poked past the excellent Stapleton who had made a number of key saves all afternoon.
Both teams saw the rest of the game out and a 2-2 result saw the points shared by both teams. Great to be back and next week the reserves host Hinton at home.