Adult teams, First team, Reserve team

Seniors reports – Saturday 10 April 2021

First Team vs Oracle Components

Knebworth travelled to Richard Hale School to try and build on last week’s positive derby win. The opponents were pre-Covid league leaders Oracle, who were already a tidy side before making several additions before the transfer deadline passed. 

Knebworth were slightly depleted for this week’s game having seen a number of injuries develop through the week, feeling the strain of the fast paced return to football post lockdown. Jack Dunn and Jason Fleet were called up to strengthen the side after good showings for the Reserves the week before. Ollie Mitchell also retained his place after his man of the match performance on his first team debut. 

Special mention goes to Christian Grindal who managed to turn up on time, to the wrong fixture. Luckily with the First Team only being just up the road in Hertford Chris was there in time for the warm up. 

Christian Grindal racing to arrive before kick off

Oracle started the game patiently, keeping possession and working the ball across the very wide 4G surface. Knebworth were in good shape, containing Oracle in the most part to corner kicks and only really breaking the lines once or twice. Five minutes before half time Oracle got a free kick just outside the box which was struck with some power and unfortunately the rebound fell to an onrushing striker to send us in to the break 1-0 down. 

At half time it was decided that we needed to be braver on the ball, as working so hard without the ball bears its toll when there is no reward for your troubles. Early in the second half it was evident Knebworth were keeping the ball better, the ball moving through the thirds as opposed to being clipped over. There were three big chances at 1-0, the main two falling first to Louis Curtis who rounded the keeper to be stopped by a decent covering defender. The second coming to Seb Melendez who just couldn’t quite make it count. 

As has been the case a few times this season, we were punished for not making one of our opportunities count when Oracle scored after a fanstatic clearance off the line from Jason Fleet lead to the ball rebounding in to our net. This was the turning point in the match, as Oracle started to find the spaces and scored two quick fire goals making it 4-0. 

The fifth coming from a nasty deflection summing up the Ks’ afternoon with most of the goals all being really scrappy. One thing we must look to leave in this season, is our ability to let games slip away when we perceive the result to be concluded. 

The Firsts’ last group game next Saturday is at home to Hatfield United, another very good outfit which will give us a great contest. For us it is then about the summer; planning, preparing, recruiting, and looking ahead to what hopefully will be a full season without the interruptions. Rumours are circulating that there is a great offer of 4/1 on a Potkins goal from outside the box. 

Extrastaff Man of the match: Jack Dunn edges it for an assured first half performance. 

Jack Dunn making his voice heard when the man of the match vote takes place

Reserves hosted Hinton Reserves

On a cold overcast Saturday afternoon, the Reserves played host to Hinton Reserves in the second group game of the end of season cup competition. A string of injuries and drop outs led Reserves to only be able to muster a squad of 12 with a number of niggling injuries throughout the starting XI.

A tight first half ended with Hinton leading 1-0 after a scrappy goal from a corner, with defensive rock Matt Cooper forced off to receive treatment. The second half was a different story with Hinton clinically finishing a number of chances to see off Knebworth. Final score was 6-0. A disappointing result which was a harsh reflection on a performance that did have some positives given the circumstances.

Next week the Reserves play away to Bedmond.

Raja Tandoori man of the match: 16-year-old debutant goalkeeper Ollie Turner

If you missed the matchday programme, download your copy here

Adult teams, First team

First team – Saturday 3 April 2021

The Ks resume with a win over Hertford Heath

Adrian Turner reports…

Well what a great game. On a bobbly and dry Knebworth pitch we welcomed Hertford Heath in the end of season cup competition. Both teams started brightly and were both playing on the front foot. Dan Smith was at his finest to keep out an early opportunity for the visitors and at the other end Luke Burkett went agonisingly close with a header. Hertford Heath’s direct approach was well managed as Knebworth kept their shape, as both team’s gave everything in this first fixture since December. Full back Ollie Mitchell was the stand out player of the half on his First team debut.

The second half started in the same manner with the visitors getting the ball forward quick but, again the Ks held their shape and a a good line and played some lovely football. Knebworth got their reward when a good move resulted in the ball being whipped into the Hertford Heath penalty box and forcing an unavoidable own goal; a well-deserved lead for the home side. Knebworth controlled the game for the next 15 minutes until a ball into the box caused some confusion and Peter Reilly took full advantage to poke home the equaliser. A shaky ten minutes followed for the hosts, but they gradually got back in control of the game and edged ahead again with the finest move of the game. A ball out by Smith to skipper Agnew who produced a delicious pass down the line which caught Hertford Heath out and a great finish by Seb Melendez. There were a few scary moments in the last 10 minutes as former Ks striker Charlie Pratt hit the crossbar and a couple of soft penalty shouts but Knebworth held on for a deserved win.

Raja Tandoori man of the match: Ollie Mitchell

A great team win and a perfect performance for our first game back. Well done lads!

Saturday’s match programme can be downloaded here

Match winner Seb Melendez
Adult teams, Reserve team

Reserves – Saturday 3 April 2021

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.

Extrastaff man of the match: Alex Richardson

Adult teams, First team, Reserve team, Youth teams

Seniors – Family Ties

Stuart Biddle writes…

Since reforming in 1999, we’ve had over twenty sets of brothers playing for the Seniors and even a few father/son combos.

Callum McKechnie, who features on the list with his brother Marcus, prompted my interest in which brothers have made the most appearances for the Seniors since 1999…

So we start with the talented Dance family… slightly out of sequence as I’ve now added others!

Dance (15/2)                      Bobby (11/2) and Joe (4)

Father Danny (something of a local football legend) also played for the Club at some time in the late Seventies and/or early Eighties, and, having read the committee minutes from the time, helped build the stand and dug outs at the Old Knebworth Lane ground where Odyssey Health Club is – those structures remain to this day! Brother Riki also made a couple of friendly appearances but we don’t count those.

Kersey (2/1)                       Ashley (1/1) and Paul (1)

Hickin (12/2)                      Konnor (11/2) and Josh (1)

Yates (17/1)                        Andrew (14) and Rob (3/1)

Klimek (17/7)                     Andrew ‘Butch’ (16/7) and Mark (1)

Adamson (23/2)                Jake (22/2) and Alfie (1)

Gutzmore (29/10)            Kadeem (20/9) and Leon (9/1)

Ellis/Klimek (34/16)         Ryan Ellis (18/4) and Kieran Klimek (16/12)

Small (35/4)                        Dorian (21) and Ricardo (14/4)

Webb (43/9)                       Dan (25/1) and Tony (18/8)

Forde (43/15)                     Jono (41/15) and Darren (2)

Stephenson (46/24)        Sam (28/20) and Dan (18/4)

Lucy (50/5)                          Alex (39/5) and Joe (11)

Tear (51/4)                          James (31/2) and Matt (20/2)

Paine (61/10)                     Casey (52/9), Jake (7/1), Josh (2)

Wheeler (65/14)               Charlie (54/10) and Jed (11/4)

Gilbert (72/58)                  Louis (50/48) and Jack (22/10)

Kenna/Thomas (77/29)  Liam Kenna (75/29) and Dean Thomas (2)

Travi-Wombwell (80/7)  Billy (52/3) and Adam (28/4) – not actually brothers but they seemed to be!

Errington (91/2)                 Craig (82/1) and Liam 9/1) – nor are these two!

Miles (97/13)                     Jordan (56/11) and Aaron (41/2)

Fuller (104/28)                   Graham (80/19) and Rob (24/9)

Douglas (111/12)              Tom (67/9) and Ricky (44/3)

Lamacraft (125/41)          Adam (69/35), Sean (33/1), Glen (23/5) – more on this family below…

Evans (125/51)                  Seb (94/31) and Louie (31/20)

Dove (126/25)                    Graham (80/12) and Richard (46/13)

Downham (143/48)         Danny (117/45) and Ben (26/3)

Bennett (163/59)              Luke (144/57) and Tom (19/2)

Clark (164/42)                   Wayne (85/4) and Jamie (79/38) – another unrelated pair included for a laugh

Bysouth (178/26)              Alex (146/24) and Sam (32/2)

Bickell (179/27)                 Darren (165/27) and Dean (14)

Taylor (192/15)                  Max (97/5) and George (95/10)

Pratt (204/69)                    Charlie (164/69), Jake (11), James (Brooke) (29)

Oram (208/26)                   Will (144/9) and Tom (64/17)

Thompson (269/16)         Danny (144/11) and Matt (125/5)

And now to the top three…

McKechnie (287/35)        Marcus (164/26) and Callum (123/9)

The Knebworth born and raised McKechnie brothers edge out founding members the Thompsons.

Matthews (313/59)         Stewart (212) and Martin (101/59)

Second on the list are goalkeeper and striker pair the Matthews brothers, another set of homegrown players.

Mattia (347/67)                 Angelo (239/64) and Rafael (108/3)

And topping the list are the Mattias including Angelo who held the appearance and goalscoring records from early on until surpassed by Lewis Coward (281/21), Danny Griffiths (253/26) and Sam Harte (242/33) for appearances, and Frazer Triggs (208/129), Paul McCormack (126/83), Jason Drackford (115/82), Jamie Drackford (124/74) and Charlie Pratt (164/69) for goals.

We’ve also had nine father/son combinations that I’m aware of, excluding those that only coached/played; most notably Martin Bond and his son Jon (221/6) who reformed the Seniors in 1999 having finished Youth football.

Winn (3)                               Gary (2) and Callum (1)

Gary played for the original Club before it folded so he actually made far more appearances.

Klimek (17/12)                   Kieran (16/12) and Mark (1)

Like others on this list, Mark played for the Ks in his pomp and even managed the side for a time. He was a popular and talented local sportsman who sadly passed away.

Paine (73/10)                     Casey (52/9), Jake (7/1), Josh (2), and Martin (12)

Martin joined as player/coach in early 2010s having played a good standard of non-league football, and is another popular local football figure.

Bass (89/9)                          Dave (70/4) and Jack (19/5)

Dave had three seasons with us and quickly emerged as a leader of the team and captaining the First Team. Jack played one season, his first in adult football.

Bowgett (92/20)               Tom (90/20) and Paul (2)

Father Paul made two appearances for the Ks, having previously captained Wealdstone to the first-ever non-league double of FA Trophy and Conference title in 1985.

Mulcahy (97/16)               Ian (68/16) and Sam (29)

Ian joined to play for the Reserves under childhood friend Tony Lamacraft, and went on to become Reserves manager. The mercurial Mulcahy was a popular member of the Club.

Lawrence (99/4)               Lee (96/4) and Joe (3)

Lee was the first Club captain when the Seniors were reformed in 1999 and guided the young team through its first few seasons.

Lowe (120/30)                   Kevin (109/30) and Oliver (11)

Kevin Lowe played for Knebworth throughout the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties (as far as I know) and is well known local football circles, famous for his drop of the shoulder. In the twilight of his footballing days, Kevin played for the reformed Seniors in the early 2000s; often going on mazy runs which ended with him finding the net.

Lamacraft (156/45)          Adam (69/35), Sean (33/1), Glen (23/5), and Tony (31/4)

Father Tony, who sadly passed away in 2014, played for the Club soon after it reformed and later became Reserves and then First Team manager. He also coached our youth teams for many years and was chairman of the youth football club as it then was for three years.

Pratt (205/69)                    Charlie (164/69), Jake (11), James (Brooke) (29), Jeff (1)

Jeff made one appearance which is just enough to get the Pratt family on to the this list! Charlie’s 164 appearances give the family a comfortable lead which is likely to stand for many years to come.

So that’s the list – for now!

Adult teams, First team, Reserve team

Seniors – Saturday 5 December 2020

First Team flounder on return to football

The Firsts paid the price for poor concentration and a lack of desire on Saturday, as Wheathampstead netted twice in each half to take all three points home with them.

In what was an even match despite the scoreline, Knebworth were unable to find a way through and left the defence and goalkeeper Dan Smith exposed too often. Tom Grieveson went closest for the Ks, thumping the outside of the post in the closing stages.

If you missed Saturday’s match programme, download your copy here

Next Saturday, 12 December, the First Team travel to Old Parmiterians in Herts Senior County League Division One; 14:00 kick off at The Thomas Parmiter Sports Centre, High Elms Lane, Garston WD25 0JU.

Reserves out-foxed by Oxhey

Regular correspondent Matt Cooper reports for the Reserves…

After four long weekends away, the Reserves returned to action in Watford, away at Oxhey Jets in a match that pitted the youth of Knebworth against the experience of an older Jets side.

On a pitch that has bared the brunt of the recent bad weather, good football was at a premium in the first 20 minutes as both teams looked to blow out the cobwebs. The first blow was struck by the Jets as a long route one ball straight from the keeper found their striker who lifted it over skipper Pettitt in goal.

For the remainder of the half however, Knebworth found their feet and created a number of good chances that should have resulted in an equaliser. However the Jets held off the barrage and made it to the break holding a 1-0 lead.

The second half started as the first ended, with Knebworth doing all the running and dominating possession, they were finally rewarded when Callum McKechnie reacted first to head home when an absolute rocket of a shot from Dunn which hit the bar from 30 yards.

Goalscorer Callum McKechnie;
9 goals, 123 appearances

Knebworth continued to push and play their football but the experience of the Jets began to show and they caught the Reserves out three times on the break in the final 20 minutes to take all three points. Positive signs from Knebworth but lacking a clinical touch in front of goal will hurt you against teams in this league.

Extrastaff man of the match: Liam George

Next Saturday, 12 December, the Reserves host Hinton Reserves for a Herts Senior County League Division Three fixture; 14:00 kick off at The San Reco, Knebworth, SG3 6AH.