K’s Pay The Penalty
K’s kicked off the year with a frustrating single-goal defeat on a bright Bank Holiday Monday at Imber Court.
Dominant for large swathes of the match, particular in the first half, Tommy Williams’s men were punished for not taking their chances when they arrived. The game was settled by a Charlie Collins penalty on the hour.
The vast majority of the opportunities created came in the first half. Met’s keeper Seb Brown was fortunate to see one long-range strike from Joe Turner wriggle under his body but just wide of the post he was guarding. Another more eye-catching save denied Aaron Lamont, and then a combination of the defence and the woodwork kept first Lee O’Leary, then Tom Derry, and finally Youssef Bamba out, the latter’s volley thudding the post.
The best chance came on the half-hour. Turner headed a deep cross back in the direction from which it had arrived. Agonisingly, it looped over Brown but struck the underside of the bar. Derry reacted quickest to get to the loose, bouncing ball first, but misjudged his jump and his subsequent execution, nodding over the gaping goal.
Derry, starting in place of the injured Ryan Moss, might have done better soon after but hit a shot straight down Brown’s throat.
Rob Tolfrey had one save of note to make before the break, but K’s were mostly in the ascendency otherwise, regularly finding space in the Met Police half.
The turning point perhaps was the withdrawal of the injured O’Leary, who had hobbled out for the second half and tried to soldier on for a few minutes.
When he came off for Ryan Gondoh, square pegs were placed into round holes. Lamont dropped into central midfield and Turner moved inside to the no.10 role.
It didn’t work, with K’s losing their fluency in the final third.
Then, on 59 minutes, Ola Sogbanmu skilled his way past Aaron Goode who could only bring him down. Collins smashed his penalty down the middle.
The closest K’s came to equalising was when Brown flapped at an inswinging Bamba cross and the ball fell at Gondoh’s feet. He met it well but the Police put their bodies on the line to keep the ball out of the net. Plenty of late possession was not converted into chances and so K’s returned home empty-handed after letting another winnable away game slip through their grasp.
Match report by Rupert Cane.