Photo courtesy of Inquire Media
Kent Men’s Football 1’s missed the opportunity to give Kent a Varsity clean sweep for the day as they lost to Christ Church. Despite going down to ten men late on Christ Church managed to hold on to a 0-0 draw in normal time. It was left to a nervy shootout where Christ Church triumphed 5-4.
The game was played at the Kent Sports Pavilion on a freezing cold Friday night. This did not perturb supporters of both teams as the largest crowd of the week turned up for the football.
The first 15 minutes had little action with the first chance coming from Kent as they hit the target from long distance. They had another chance five minutes later, blasting a free kick straight at the Christ Church keeper.
Both struggled to create chances, despite their differing approaches. Kent played the slicker passing game but showed little for it. Christ Church were more direct which allowed them to carve out a few half chances from set pieces. It was 0-0 at half time with little to discuss.
In the second half both sides appealed for penalties in the first ten minutes. The ref waved away a penalty shout after the Christ Church striker fell in what seemed to be a clear dive. Kent also asked for a penalty as their striker fell over, but he fell of his own accord.
Chances were again few and far between in the second half. Both sides had players struggling with cramp. The cold conditions took their toll with the physios called on several times.
With ten minutes to go, Kent finally carved open an opportunity. It was a simple long ball over the top which the Kent number 9 chased on to. He got there before the on-rushing goalkeeper. However, the Christ Church goalkeeper was able to block the shot with his body outside of the area.
The most dramatic part of the game in normal time was the sending off for Christ Church number 11 Alliband. With a few minutes to go, he lunged in with studs showing getting nowhere near the ball. The referee showed him the red card in front of the Christ Church bench.
The game was forced to penalties. The first four penalties were converted by both sides. Then Christ Church missed their fifth penalty, as a tame shot was tipped away by the Kent goalkeeper. Unfortunately for Kent they missed their chance to win it as they missed their penalty as well.
Christ Church were given a lifeline and they took it. Their sixth penalty taker buried their penalty. The sixth taker for Kent had his penalty saved by the Christ Church goalkeeper, giving Christ Church the win.
After the game the Kent players lamented their inability to kill the game off in normal time. They said, ‘we were playing in front of them. We needed to hit the channels and run in behind more.
However, they did mention that ‘this game is always a tough game’. This was particularly true considering the weather conditions which became more of a factor as the game went on. The Kent team can still be proud of themselves. They almost won in a game that was decided by the finest of margins.