Sunday 22nd February 2009
By Vince Wray
It was good for me to renew some old acquaintances today, especially in Devon Hamilton, who I regularly came up against playing and managing in the London & Kent Border league some 15 years ago. Even then Kenningwell had a good reputation for turning out good teams and nothing has changed in that respect.
Kenningwell have obviously grown as a club since then and Devon obviously puts in some very hard work in producing a matchday programme that is absolutely superb. It’s a real example of someone’s hard work and dedication. Well done Devon. The team itself are already ‘unofficial’ champions of this division and I’m sure will go on to even better things, although I’m sure Cecil and Leroy Dennie, the managers will be telling their players not to take their foot off the gas and to keep on going for it. I really can’t see anyone else finishing above them.
The other thing that struck me about Kenningwell was their discipline and their sportsmanship, we were welcomed on arrival with energy drinks freely available in the dressing room and drinks and food afterwards if we wanted it. Also a timely intervention from one of the Kenningwell managers who sent his own player from the field of play, leaving them down to 10 men, admittedly with only 5 minutes left. However, that struck a chord with me, the manager was having none of his player's antics. Respect to that man.
We did our very best against tough opposition but found ourselves regularly on the back foot with a lot of defending to do. Our chances were few and far between and for the whole match found it difficult to get our passing together. Burkett was unlucky with Kenningwell’s first goal as it was very nearly an extremely good save from an angled header but it just crept over the line in the end. The cross was delivered by their right back who was their best attacker! He caused havoc down their right and was very quick and strong – a real handful. Then they were awarded a penalty after a challenge from Greenhough and it looked the right decision. Burkett repeated his feat from the home game against Kenningwell earlier in the season and made a smart save to his right. Well done George. We had a half chance afterwards after their keeper had a rush of blood charging way out of his area but Fryer couldn’t capitalise on the chance and it went wide. We turned round at 0-1.
As we all know you’ve always got a chance at 0-1 and we did our best to try and get a foothold in the game but our passing was all over the place. They made their pressure tell again by taking a 2-0 lead after which, we were awarded a penalty after a foul on the tireless and unselfish Wade. Wray stepped up and gave it enough power but not enough accuracy as the keeper managed to parry the shot onto the bar and out to safety. Not long afterwards we were made to pay as they made it 3-0. In truth, the scoreline could have been worse had it not been for some decent saves from Burkett and some stand up defending from Pragnell. Well done.
We’ve now got 8 games left against opposition that are around us in the table, we must aim for a good tally of points from these games to give us a good finish to the season and that will probably put us in the top half of the table. That will represent a decent season with such a young team and a team that has had its share of player unavailability.