On a nice, summery day Kingsway Rovers continued their phenomenal home record, having not lost a league game at home since the 2017/18 season!
The team lined up in a 5-3-2 to counteract the loss of their left back and captain for today’s fixture and romped to victory after a tentative start.
Kingsway had the ball in dangerous areas but were faulting in the final third with passes and shooting not being at the level Kingsway have come to expect of themselves.
However, Kingsway drew first blood via Scott. Igs released him down the right, having received the ball outside of the box and Scott, in an attempt to cross, has ended up crossing one into the net as the goalkeeper moved forwards, pre-empting a cross, from the tightest of angles. (Scott is claiming it was a deliberate shot from an acute angle… we’re not so sure)
During the first half, Niall Finnegan sustained a freak knee injury in an attempt to block a shot from the Wotton Rovers midfield. It seemed significant and he was unable to carry on, being replaced by Jimmy.
Kingsway, from this point on, continued to press and probe, recognising the need to consolidate the lead before half time and they did just that. Jack with a drive from deep, laying the ball off to Igs, who had occupied a position on the left of the box, before it was drilled low across the goal for Jack to slide in and grab his 4th in two games.
Kingsway’s top goal scorer was subbed off directly after the goal, having succumb to the weather conditions, and Jake Vidgen took his place in centre midfield for the remainder of the half.
The team saw the game out for the remainder of the half, looking to readjust and add more goals in the second half.
The second half began with Wotton trying to up the tempo and grab a goal to come back into the game. However, Kingsway struck first to make it 3-0 shortly after the break. Igs working well to hold the ball up before timing a clever back heel to Ryan Hooper on the edge of the box, who drilled home under the keeper to open his scoring account for the season.
Wotton Rovers were keen to try to stage a comeback and fought back valiantly. Grabbing a well worked goal, following a clever ball over the top and a fantastic finish to the keepers left, which he could do nothing about, making the score 3-1 with Wotton Rovers hoping to use their team physicality and architects in midfield to claw back a result.
Ryan McDonald has instilled a resilience in the side, as well as a willingness to work harder in difficult moments as a team which was previously missing from the side admittedly. Though the gaffer was not there in person, he would have been proud of the Kingsway response to conceding.
The team continued to try to work the ball from the back, sticking to their principles and drew fouls throughout the half from their quick interplay but also some fantastic feet from the Kingsway midfield. It was from one of these free kicks that Kingsway netted their fourth.
Jimmy McRae whipping one in from the wide right to the back post where his brother, Jack McRae, was willing and waiting to head home. A FIRST Kingsway goal for Jack McRae added the gloss to a fantastic individual performance for the combative, yet silky, midfielder.
However, Wotton Rovers continued to battle and had caused problems from set pieces throughout the game, as well as hitting the bar on an occasion. Their second came from a corner, with Scott attempting to punch clear, only to flap at this, allowing Wotton Rovers to snap up the second ball and turn in. There was a suggestion that the keeper was pushed however the referee refused to give the free kick, much to the annoyance of Kingsway.
Kingsway did not add any further goals but saw the game out, working the ball in their normal fashion through the side and trying to press the opposition into mistakes. Kingsway ended the game, sealing 3 points and ensuring Fortress Kingsway continues to, very much, be a thing.
MOTM: Jack McRae – the central midfielder was a fantastic addition to the side in the summer and proved just how valuable he will be over the course of the season today.
The midfielder won numerous free kicks through his silky feet, as well as an eye for a pass and displayed a willingness to do the ‘dirty work’ in midfield on top of that. His goal added the ‘cherry on top’ to an all around fantastic display.
It appears we now have two midfielders who could play in the snow and leave no footprints. They both happen to be McRae’s… it must be a family thing 😉
P.S commiserations to Niall Finnegan who’s injury appears to be considerable. We wish you a speedy recovery and hope to have you back up and running in the heart of midfield soon! 7️⃣🔴⚫️