Kinoulton Villa 5 v 0 West Bridgford Notts
Date: November 1st 2015
Starting Line Up
KVV Goal Scorers: Skinner (3), Thompson (2)
Man of the Match: Wheeldon
On the back of 15 straight victories, complacency was always a danger and as such the pre-match talk from Villa boss Jeff Haywood was all about "coming out fighting", "striking first" and "not taking anything lying down". This, however, was more in relation to his Thursday night out in Liverpool in which he failed to take any of his own advice and was forced to sit this game out due to injuries sustained whilst on said scouting mission in Merseyside.
Instead, it was left to Wol to fill the void between the sticks which allowed Steve Harris to drop into Centre Back alongside Tony, with Colin taking control of the right hand side of defence and Tom Tarka Clarke on the left. Elsewhere the team remained relatively unchanged but the appearance of summer signing Mike Hulse on the bench was a welcome boost for the pugnacious manager.
Villa started slowly and whilst their superiority was soon evident they struggled to capitalise on several early chances to take the lead. Paul Skinner, clearly low on confidence having gone a whole game without scoring, must have been wondering if he would ever score again having spurned a number of clearcut opportunities and being denied by the excellent Bridgford keeper on more than one occasion. Villa's dominance was eventually rewarded, Tommo giving them the lead after around half an hour. This was soon followed by a second with Skinner at last proving his doubters wrong, slotting home cooly when one on one with the keeper. The half-time scoreline of 2-0 flattered West Bridgford and Kinoulton really should have been out of site.
With Jim Gardner showing signs of fatigue following a bad dose of Staying Out All Night Syndrome (S.O.A.N.S), a bug that was also having its effects on fellow squad members Clarke, Wheeldon and Burghart, he was replaced by the returning Hulse. The result was instant with Skinner notching his second within seconds of the restart following good work down the left from Byron.
Whilst a few of the West Bridgford players seemed to want to fight on, the keeper in particular making a string of wonder saves, the game was all but over. But for the keeper, Villa might have made double figures with the young stopper performing wonders to stop Mike, Simon and Tony all from adding to the scoreline.
Mike "Sicknote" Hulse picked up a knock early on in the second half and whilst he attempted to play on, the manager soon had no choice but to replace him with the green looking Gardner. With Villa now back to their original formation, they were able to add 2 further goals through Tommo and then Skinner to complete his second hat-trick of the season.
With only seconds to go there was still time for Jim to lay down the bench mark for the award he was so extremely lucky (some would say controversially) not to have received last season. Clean through on goal, with only the post to beat, from around 2 yards, he somehow managed to steer the ball wide.
Final score: Villa 5 v 0 West Bridgford with the Kinoulton head coach happy to get through what could have been another bruising encounter.