After a disappointing (to say the least) performance the week before, which was followed with a greatly improved and positive training session on thursday, Kitsonians made the short journey to their old home Coldhams Common to take on Division 2 Stalwarts Coldhams Dons.
With the unavoidable spectre of the previous weeks heavy defeat to Studlands park certainly in the back of their minds and a real sense of a determination to put things right on the pitch Kitsonians fielded a relatively similar team to the one that faced Studlands Park, with P. Higginson replacing the injured N. Hawkins and A. Howlett and S. Dipple replacing T. Matthews and A. Dobie respectively.
Pretty horrible conditions for football (for the second game in three) meant that any hope of a festival of footballing skill was quickly scuppered. The pre match talk consisted mainly of stressing the importance of winning the individual contests and making sure to be “in” the game at 70 minutes.
For the third time in as many outings Kitsonians started the match brightly, whilst the conditions did make kitsonians usual quick passing game tricky they none the less had the better of the opening exchanges. The returning confidence for Kitsonians could well have been undermined by the penalty award to Dons on 30 minutes, in fact inspite of going behind for the 3rd time in 3 games, this time (you’d like to think at least in part because of the positive training session midweek) Kitsonians showed a real spirit and determination to keep playing their game.
A significantly improved defensive performance meant that Kits weren’t trading chances in the same way that they had been over previous weeks, and coming in at half time there was still a strong sense of optimism.
The second half started slowly and scrappily with the conditions still playing a significant role ad Kits finding it hard to hold the ball in advanced areas.
The first significant change was made on 57 minutes with T. Matthews replacing J. Dobie (M. Sadeqpur up front, T. Matthews wide left) The change seemed to have backfired with Dons extending their lead just 2 minutes later (59) fortunately there wasn’t time for heads to drop after this setback as M. Sadeqpur setup C. Thurlbourn who finished impressively (62) to close the gap back to one goal and re-ignite hope that a positive result was very attainable.
Kitsonians made a second substitution on 67 minutes with A. Dobie replacing M. Ball in the hope of shoring up a midfield that had had to work very hard for possession throughout the match.
There was another set back on 72 minutes with the awarding and then missing ( by T. Matthews) of what would have been a game changing penalty. Yet again both the team and the player did well not to let their heads drop as just 13 minutes later T. Matthews was in the right place to spectacularly convert C. Thurlbourne’s cross to bring the scores level.
A final substitution of J. Dobie returning to the fray for A. Howlett on 88 and a change to 2-4-4 wasn’t enough to to bring Kitsonians the elusive winning goal and they were forced to settle for the draw, and leave Coldhams common with the sense that another 10 minutes would have seen this game end in victory for Kitsonians. In spite of this the management were at pains to stress that in difficult conditions this match had been a solid response to a heavy defeat the week before.
Team: GK-Evardas Dudko, RCB-Steven Dunkley, CB-Dan Shinn, LCB-Alex Howlett, RM-Majeed Sadeqpur, CM-Matt Caspel, CM-Sam Dipple, CM-Mike Ball, LM- Peter Higginson, FW-James Dobie FW-Carl Thurlbourne. SUBS. Tom Matthews, Andrew Dobie, Dave Spence.