Nine ageing gladiators from Canterbury Walking football Club took to the battlefield last night as the first game in the Kent Walking football League kicked off at the Ames Levett Stadium, Canterbury. Kings Hill were the opponents, a well drilled, experienced side from the Borough of Tonbridge and Malling. Kings Hill looked organised and well turned out in the warm up – this was going to be no easy game for the home team.
The Canterbury line up consisted of Graham (Mr Cool) Hall, Tony (The Whippet) McMullen, John (the General) Ballantyne, Barry (the Banker) Wilcox, James (L’assassino) Lennox, Steve (Jaap Stam) Mundin, John (the Joker) Duncan, Roger (The Avenger) Betts and Trevor (The Dealer) Phillips.
Both teams were ‘workmanlike’ from the kick off and after 10 minutes it was obvious there was nothing between the sides in terms of fitness and ability. Chances were created by both teams but were either squandered or saved by the excellent goalkeepers at both ends. Canterbury hit the post, Kings Hill fired just wide – it was a tense battle of guile and wits. The most bizarre incident came from striker Phillips, when attempting a shot from range, fired so wide that the ball hit the fence halfway between the halfway line and the goal-line. The rebound almost caught the Kings Hill keeper by surprise and it nearly went in. The half finished 0 – 0 with it all to play for.
The second half started in the same fashion, fierce battles in midfield, missed chances and last gasp miracle saves from both keepers. This game had ‘nil-nil’ written all over it…………………..then ……out of nowhere……a loose ball from the Kings Hill defence, Phillips pounced…..back of the net……. 1 – 0. The crowd (Lee Ackroyd) went wild.
Kings Hill pressed for an equalizer in the last five minutes, but the Canterbury defence held firm with colossus Mundin marshalling his rear-guard with typical resolution.
Man of the Match should be someone who:
- Does their job
- Doesn’t give the ball away, especially in the ‘danger zone’.
- Encourages other players and ‘plays for the team’.
- Is resolute and determined under fire, especially in adversity.
Man of the Match: Graham Hall (Goalkeeper)