K's draw meaningful friendly on return to action
After a five month break, the longest period that K's haven't been in action since the Second World War, this friendly away at Southern Combination League Premier team Horley Town was meaningful simply because it was happening.
It was also "behind closed doors", which meant that the atmosphere was
unlike anything I've ever experienced at a K's match pretty much akin to a quiet Surrey Senior Cup First Round match in January.
It ended 1-1, could have been 4-4 and was almost manically competitive throughout, as if the lockdown had reminded everyone involved that playing football is a precious escape.
Though there were many scrapes, scares and chances, I’ll give you what you really want from a pre-season report: player snapshot summaries and impulsive predictions.
Rob Tolfrey?” t-shirt.Tolfs: First-half clean sheet. Legged it at half-time to attend to his new duties as a father. Gave me strange look when he realised I was wearing a “don’t you wish your keeper was
Jerry Puemo: Played as a right-back and looked excellent on his return to hoops. Will emerge as key man in the winter.
Omarr Lawson: With both Kav and Beaney missing, he sat deep in midfield and dealt with some tigerish Horley pressing.
Jake Hutchings: A debut in a back four. Looks a leader. We no longer need men.
Kadell Daniel: The new Benno. Benno Plus. Benno 2.0. Outrageous feet. 20 goals, 10 assists.
Gus Sow: Missed three sitters. Loves the midfield diamond.
Andre Coker: “Makes things happen”. Not my words. The words of Elliott Buchanan.
Elliott Buchanan: He’s back and he’s still good. Used the first-half to gingerly gain minutes after a little post-Dorking break. 30 goals.
Tom Richards: Has a left foot like a wand (as people seem to say less often these days). Hugged the touchline as a winger. 9 assists.
Lewis Pearch: Youth team starlet came on second half, created three opportunities down the right and hit the post. Turvey triumph.
Mo Abukar: Industrious triallist, comfortable in central midfield.
Tutu: Still a more then sturdy centre-half squad option, alongside his numerous coaching duties. Will be annoyed that Horley scored on his watch in the 70th minute, although he can be forgiven since the home team had two players wearing No9 on their backs at the time. In fact, one of them passed to the other to make it 1-0. Unfair.
Corie Andrews: Second-half sub looked dangerous throughout and bagged the equaliser in the 75th minute after reacting to a defensive error.
Tom Howard: Languid, liquid, silky midfield general. Imagine a strange hybrid of Matt Pattison, Tom Collins and Billy Gilmour. Future K's after-dinner speaker.
With players missing, Operation Five at the Back will presumably wait for another day. But it is less than four weeks until the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup. Bring on the meaningful friendlies.
Subs: Juevan Spencer (for Jerry Puemo, HT), Corie Andrews (for Elliott Buchanan, HT), Tom Howard (for Tom Richards, HT), Lewis Pearch (for Andre Coker, 63m), Ben Harrison (for Fabio Saraiva, 19m), Michael Kamara (for Simon Cooper, HT), Mo Abukar (for Omarr Lawson, 63m), Tutu Henriques (for Jake Hutchings, 62m), Mason Whitnell (for Rob Tolfrey, HT).
Goalscorers: Kerran Boylan (70m, 1-0), Corie Andrews (75m, 1-1)