Metropolitan Police U18s match report
This hugely entertaining game at Imber Court was one for "what if" for the visiting K's, who were beaten for the first time this season by a fine (as is usual) Metropolitan Police team in a game of fine margins.
What if the rebound from the early long range shot had been cleared instead of falling nicely to a Blues forward? What if K's were slightly more clinical in front of goal and what if both goalkeepers had exceedingly fine performances? Finally, what if Antonin Panenka hadn't done his thing on 20th June 1976?
Year after year, Metropolitan Police are one of the teams most likely to challenge for honours in the Isthmian Youth League and it seems that this season is going to be no different. Kingstonian, on the other hand, are going to play far worse than this and win games at a canter.
This was a game in which two teams beat the living daylights out of each other (sometimes literally...) for ninety-plus minutes and the result was decided in favour of the team that took its chances.
Metropolitan Police took the lead in the fourth minute when a long shot was parried by K's goalkeeper Josh Lohmeier into the path of the Blues' centre forward, who didn't miss with the rebound shot.
Both sides worked supremely hard for the rest of the first half, Metropolitan Police forcing K's into some desperate tackles at times, with Kingstonian carving out several half chances themselves, with Iker Noguera Leon forcing the home keeper into a fine stop.
The second half was much the same, both teams working hard, tackles flying in, teams occasionally down to ten men as they waited for team-mates to land after the latest challenge, this wasn't a game for the faint-hearted.
In the 72nd minute, Kingstonian had their best chance of the game as Rivah Bailey forwarded the ball to Iker Noguera Leon, he played a deft through ball to the on-rushing Blake Mitchell who, under severe pressure, dinked the ball past the Blues' goalkeeper but the ball was brilliantly cleared off the line by a sliding defender.
That proved to be the absolute turning point as five minutes later Metropolitan Police won a penalty when Rivah Bailey caught his man on the corner of the box, and from the resultant penalty, Met Police's number scored with an audacious Panenka.
There's no disgrace whatsoever losing this game, this Kingstonian team will learn and come back strongly.
Next up is a Combined Counties League game away to PFC Victoria on Thursday night - ground address is Green Lane, Hounslow, London TW4 6DH (behind CB Hounslow United, says the FA Full-Time website), kick-off 7.45pm.
Next week's FA Youth Cup tie away to Cray Wanderers still hasn't been arranged at the time of typing, we will of course publicise it as soon as we can.