Lower League Opposition Does For K’s Again
If you stood quietly in the Oxfordshire darkness, you could hear the cold wind blowing through the brown-leaved trees and a steady whisper which swirled and eddied, augurs of upsets past: “Brockenhurst…Barkingside… VCD... North Leigh…”
And then only silence, a long walk to the nearest rural rail station and contemplation of the Surrey Senior Cup.
This was an utterly expected 1-0 “shock” defeat. And yet it wasn’t quite the manner we predicted. Evostick Step Four they may be but North Leigh have had a season of cash injection and remarkable runs in both the FA Cup and Trophy. But what was most surprising about Saturday was how bad they were.
K’s dominated almost the entire match but, a Pico one-on-one aside, didn’t really create much. Byline opportunities, lots of corners, tippy-tappy edge-of-the-box Norman shuffling, but hardly a slew of clear-cut chances.
And when Pico, in for the getting-married Ryan Moss, found himself bearing down on goal early in the second half, his curled finish was tipped wide.
This augured ill.
With a marked slope in their favour, K’s bombarded downhill but North Leigh, pumping the ball long whenever they could, finally fashioned an opening when Aaron Woodley turned a static K’s defence and beat Tolfrey’s rightward dive.
This augured very ill.
Youssef Bamba came on for the ineffective Toyosi Olusanya and Tom Derry appeared upfront as K’s engaged in high-intensity cross-ball.
Then, behind the goal, a K’s fan in a head-to-toe all-in-one red Spandex suit climbed onto the barriers behind the goal and issued a blood-curdling cry.
No one knew what this augured.
One chanced remained and it fell to Derry. A mad scramble, a bobble and a deflection, the open goal at his mercy, Derry swung and missed.
The mysterious Spandex man looked skywards, summoning dark forces.
This clearly augured exit and a long winter.
Match report by Taimour Lay.