Kinoulton Villa Vets 5 v 4 Sugar Loaf
Date: January 18th 2015
Starting Line Up
Final Score: KVV FC 5 v 4 Sugar Loaf
KVV Goal Scorers: Moore (2), Hallam, Green, Clarke
Man of the Match: Moore
Despite a heavy frost, the Sugar Loaf pitch was deemed playable and Kinoulton started in confident style buoyed by their tremendous performance the previous week. Jeff Haywood was forced into a couple of changes in the absence of top scorer Paul Skinner, with the manager electing to play young left back Tom Clarke in a solo front role, a position he has been badgering his manager and team mates about playing in such was his confidence. The elation of Clarke was clear for everyone to see as he hurriedly changed into his kit, choosing the number 9 shirt, and was first onto the pitch to warm up. Sadly it all went down hill from there.
Despite the efforts of the Villa midfield, who battled hard to create openings, Clarke spurned chance after chance. At one point having been put through one on one, with seemingly all the time in the world, the hapless wannabe striker chose to try and dink the ball over the keeper with his weaker right foot when to everyone else it seemed like the easy option was to round the meat pie loving keeper and slot it in the back of the net. Wide. Goal kick.
Meanwhile at the other end, some poor tackling and communication had somehow allowed Sugar Loaf to go 2 goals up completely against the balance of play. It was time for Villa to dig in especially given the rapidly deteriorating pitch. After some good hold up play and neat lay off from Tony, Simon pulled a goal back with a nice strike from the edge of the box. A few minutes later, it was Simon again who made the game level after a great run by Mark left him with little more than a tap in. Tom continued to try his best but it was Paul Hallam who gave Villa the lead minutes before half time with a pachers finish after a scramble at the near post. Half time 3-2.
Haywood made 3 changes at half time, swapping both full backs and bringing on Ivan to provide a more effective forward option with Clarke shifted out to the left. The pitch now resembled a mud bath with only the flanks showing any signs of grass. Villa continued to dominate, especially down the right and some good link play between Mark and Tony delivered an inch perfect cross which Ivan bravely threw his head at to make it 4-2.
Looking to make amends for his first half performance, Clarke was eager to get at the Sugar Loaf defence only for all of his efforts to backfire. Ivan was becoming increasingly frustrated by Clarke's poor passing and selfish shooting culminating in a run and, what can only be classed as, a blatant dive. Doug, who was holding a much better position at right back in the second half than he did in the first despite being the referee, awarded the penalty from 80 yards away. Clarke protested his innocence "Why would I dive, I don't take the penalties", but embarrased by his team mates actions Tony over-ruled Doug and a free kick to Sugar Loaf was awarded.
With all this distraction, Sugar Loaf were able to quickly break and pulled another goal back to make it 4-3. The game now looked like it could go any way. With 10 minutes to go, however, Villa were able to add a fifth following another scramble in the Sugar Loaf area. Clarke, once again involved, saw the ball bounce off his head a yard from the goal. The ball seemed to be heading wide only for a Sugar Loaf defender to redirect it into the top corner of the goal. It was clear from Clarke's fist pump that he thought it was his goal but we will await the verdict of the dubious goals committee.
Ivan's frustration with Clarke at this point had reached boiling point and after an altercation with Suagr Loaf's 4ft 2 full back, decided it probably best he leave the field before turning on his own team mate. Jim and Simon were now knee deep in the mud in the centre of the park and despite their best efforts, a great strike by Sugar Loaf which at first was heading well wide, according to Tony, flew into the top corner.
It wasn't enough though and Villa ended the game as victors with the score at 5-4. Clarke's miserable day didn't end at the final whistle, however. It has been reported that at the post match celebrations in a local establishment, having been barracked about his fitness by lifelong fan and former Villa manager Rug, Clarke was seen to kick out at a fellow supporter's dog. The RSPCA have been informed and we await news of any charges to be pressed.
All in all, a good victory for Villa but for one player in particular, the next few games could make or break his season.