At last, a home league game – Garden Walk is picturesque on any day, but on a sunny day it is breath-taking!!
However, the Mercury was hovering above 30 degrees – plenty of fluid required.
Following last week’s loss at Haringey, the Crows find themselves in the lower half of the early table, having played just two games – therefore it was important that we, not only record a win, but also give the performance that we know is in us – it’s there in training, but, frustratingly, hasn’t been in the games played so far ……
With Nicole and Ailish the only non-available from the current squad, Lewis had a difficult decision shaving the squad down from 20 players to the 16 that can be named on the team-sheet – indeed all those that didn’t make the 16 can consider themselves unlucky such is our squad depth at present.
Kings Lynn are in a transitional phase. Having lost many of their squad from last season, a root-to-branch rebuild is underway, this rebuild is being overseen by our ex-coach (and friend of the club) Grant Palmer, following his house move to the North Norfolk coast. Kings Lynn have lost their opening 2 games, and prior to the start of this game were bottom of the table – however it is early days.
The opening exchanges were very even, both teams attempting to start with a high tempo meant that play was end-to-end, with both teams guilty of not completing the final pass on several occasions.
Kings Lynn have a very direct style of play that Royston struggled with early on, however once we started pressing the ball earlier Royston began to take some control with the opening goal coming in the 11th minute. As a direct result of this desire to win the ball higher we won the ball on halfway, resulting in EMMA SLATER breaking through with a clean run-on goal from 40 yards – finishing low across the Keeper for the opener.
Stung into a response Kings Lynn immediately had two quick chances to equalise, a good block from Amy Houghton as the striker was about to shoot, and an equally impressive block from Emma Todd a couple of minutes later, helping Royston retain their advantage.
Having weathered this period of play, Royston now started to take control again, creating several half chances before REBECCA VASS twists and turns on the edge of area and slots home low to the keepers right – a great finish to open Becca’s account for the Crows, on her debut.
And on 39 minutes this lead is increased to 3-0 as good work from Becca and Emma allows CHAR SOUTH the opportunity to chip the ball precisely over the keeper and just under the bar, an excellent goal in what is beginning to become a trademark finish for Char!
HALF TIME 3-0
Getting fluid on board at Half time was an absolute necessity – the temperature was still high, albeit a much-needed gentle breeze was developing. Unfortunately, the Kings Lynn left back was clearly struggling and did not reappear for the second half.
A desire to start the half on the front foot paid immediate benefits as EMMA SLATER finishes from the edge of the area following some good work by Poppy in putting the defenders under pressure – Poppy having replaced Becca at half-time.
To be fair to a plucky Kings Lynn side, despite Royston having a lot of possession alongside several half-chances, they did create a few opportunities of their own when, in the 78th minute, the Kings Lynn striker was adjudged to be off-side as she ran through on goal. She would have been one-one with Amy, who had replaced Elle on 60 minutes as we continue to rotate the Goal Keeping duties – This offside was a very close call, but from the resultant free kick Royston go straight up the end and POPPY scores from approx. two yards following good work and a ball across from Emma.
Georgia then drops into a left back role, allowing Annie to move higher up the pitch, this has an immediate effect as a kick from Amy finds ANNIE with a clean run through on goal, she takes it round the keeper to finish with style.
Further goals from REBBECA VASS and another for ANNIE in the last few minutes resulted in an 8-0 final scoreline.
A good day for the Crows – A few players deserve a mention, two goals on debut for Rebecca, two goals for Annie will do her confidence no harm, two goals for Emma Slater as she continues her return to full match fitness following her lengthy lay-off last year. The midfield won the majority of their duels whilst, for me, Erin’s ability to put herself in the right place, win the ball and bring others into play was a positive contribution to the overall team performance.
Poppy was always a threat in the second half and took her goal well, and Char’s chip was delightful (She did score Jimbo 😊)
Emma Todd also got some good minutes in the bank as she progresses from U18 level to senior team (she is rapid!)
Football is now very much a squad game, 16 players were very much needed today – not only to counter the hot conditions, but also to create that competition for places that is vital if we are to achieve our ambition of being amongst the front-runners this season.
Supporters and Sponsors (with thanks to Steve Tuck) Player of match was ANNIE – she defended well, got in some good crosses, and scored two goals when pushed higher – well deserved.
Luton away next week, difficult opponents (as they all are in this league) but this win, and performance, should do our confidence levels no harm at all.