The 1sts crashed to their first defeat of the season today to a well drilled Eastcombe side.
The home side started the game well and quickly took the lead. Kingsway’s ill discipline in keeping with runners, as well as a general sluggish start, allowed Eastcombe to work the ball over the top of the backline for the Eastcombe player to take down, cut inside and lash home.
Kingsway continued their slow lethargic start to the game throughout the half. A side known for their high press, high intensity game plan were getting ourworked, outnumbered and outfought all over the pitch. They were unable to press with the same intensity from the front though tried to rectify this with a change from 5-3-2 to 4-3-3.
The score line could have been considerably more but Scott Peroni showed his class, with some fantastic reflex stops to prevent what could have been a two or three goal lead by half time. The shot stopper is a critical part of the side and kept Kingsway in the game, at points, single handedly in the first half.
The half ended with Kingsway reeling from their poor showing. A few choice words from Ryan McDonald left the side in no doubt that there must be visible improvement in the second half.
Kingsway rose to this, beginning the half with purpose and an intensity that was missing in the 1st. They continued to harass and press Eastcombe, who had shown technical quality to be able to beat the press at points and were dangerous.
This appeared to be petering out to be one of those games where there would be very little, of note, to write about but up stepped Kingsway’s man in form.
Jack Dalby had been Kingsway’s only direct outlet throughout a miserable 1st half and continued to be Kingsway’s beacon of hope to turn the tie round. His trickery and fantastic dribbling skills led to him drawing a foul in the area and a penalty was given.
Ryan Hooper stepped up to dispatch this, with fantastic precision, beyond the keeper into the bottom right corner just past the keepers reach. Game on.
Kingsway, sensing blood, went on to search for a winner and continued to dominate the second half. Jimmy McRae fashioned a fantastic chance in the final 10 minutes, being put through by Jack McRae, by sliding the ball across goal from the right. The chance fell to Jake Adams, the full back fresh from his holiday to Turkey, who could only fire at the keeper in his attempt to score the winner.
Eastcombe had rode constant waves of pressure in the second half and their resilience, as well as slight fortune, paid dividends. Eastcombe won a free kick, just outside the Kingsway box, with three minutes to go.
Kingsway attempted to go after an equaliser but Eastcombe were clever in their play, forcing the ball into the far corners and running down the final minutes to send Kingsway home sad and stunned.
MOTM – Jack Dalby:
Kingsway’s top goal scorer has continued his fine start to the season. An imperious display, even when the side were generally poor, was signified by his willingness to break midfield lines, with and without the ball.
His technical quality and physical presence proved difficult for Eastcombe to handle at points and Kingsway will rue that his contribution appeared in vain on this occasion.