Knebworth 2, Bovingdon Reserves 1
Tristan Potkins reports…
Last Saturday the First Team welcomed Bovingdon Reserves to The Rec for an earlier 2pm kick off. With Adrian away on a romantic bank holiday trip, it was left to Ryan Stapleton to make the tough decisions. Ethan Parker & Max Smith both made their first home starts of the season.
The game started fairly even, Bovingdon looking for the tidy no.9 with the switch of play from right to left their main outlet. Knebworth were initially quite hesitant to show for the ball, but just edged the early proceeding as they would go on to for the duration of the first half performance. Unfortunately though, a decent high press to a short goal kick combined with a bit of hesitancy at the back meant the visitors went in 1-0 up, with their only real look in on goal.
Half time was important as it gave Knebworth a chance to address some frustrations and call for patience and composure before going downhill second half. One thing that can’t be a questioned is the young team’s passion, (Tristan Potkins the oldest Ks player at 26!) but learning to channel it positively will take us a long way.
The second half was dominated by Knebworth. Joe Swadling got the equaliser with an exquisite far post curling finish, after Sam Nelson was introduced causing trouble down the wing. Alfie Nellis also came into the game to make his First Team debut, with Knebworth looking to stay tight with only a portion of the game to play. Ethan didn’t read that script, and a bit of a messy goal that I’m sure he’s claiming was enough to steal it and get our first 3 points on the board!
At home in the cup next before tough league games against Hertford United & Aldenham. Momentum being the buzzword.
Raja Tandoori man of the match is Myles Thomas, who even after a week on holiday looks to be a mountain of a man this season.
Knebworth Reserves 4, Chipperfield Corinthians Development 1
Matt Garrod reports…
The Reserves went in to the match with two convincing victories in the bag.
It was a cagey opening 15 minutes with the sides probing each other, until the point when Knebworth’s midfield started to pull the strings and a smart pass found the Knebworth youth product Kai Hutchinson who cut in and found the back of the net to make it 1-0 to the hosts. Chipperfield were knocking on the door and a couple of fine saves by Ben Phillips in goal kept Knebworth in front.
With Knebworth in control, an unfortunate lapse in concentration at the back saw Chipperfield break and a perfect cross found the striker with a free header in the six yard box to make it 1-1 with 5 minutes of the half left. The immediate response from Knebworth was fantastic. A break down the right saw the ball beautifully cut back for Harry Wilkinson who smartly finished to send Knebworth deservingly into the break 2-1 up.
Half time change for Knebworth saw Adam Pope replace Ben Wheeler, which almost proved to be a goal scoring change. Knebworth broke down the left, with the ball coming in across the face of the six-yard box for Pope to arrive late at the back post and see his attempt drift just wide of the post; the warning shot had been fired.
Knebworth’s midfield had got a hold of the game at this point and it was only a matter of time before the third goal came for Knebworth. Another attack down the left and a cross finding Pope who cut on to his left foot and found the bottom corner to make it 3-1 Knebworth.
One final change for Knebworth saw Wheeler back on to replace Harry Wilkinson, who put a great shift in for the team. Chipperfield came close with a long distance set play that nearly caught Ben Phillips out, when a strike hit the outside of the post. The game was rounded off with a lovely move in the midfield and a through ball for Wheeler to run on to, the cool forward kept his nerve as the Chipperfield keeper raced out only for Wheeler to calmly dink the ball over the keeper.
Three wins out of three for the Reserves sees them sitting top of the table.
Stevenage Couriers man of the match: Kai Hutchinson