Depleted Kings Reserves are well beaten at home by Southside
KINGS RESERVES 1 SOUTHSIDE RESERVES 4
THIS Cheltenham League Division Four match brought together two teams who were only separated by goal difference, but it was Southside who came out on top.
The 4-1 score certainly didn't reflect the balance of play.
Kings were missing seven regular players due to unavailability and first team calls, but their replacements did extremely well and gave a good account of themselves in difficult circumstances.
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Despite these difficulties, it was Kings who took the early initiative and on five minutes almost went ahead when Dan Keen got to a Scott Walker only to see it go just wide of the post.
In the 12th minute they did get in front when Paul Scales headed in from another Walker throw from the left and the lead could have been extended two minutes later when Pete Maddox did very well to beat two defenders and put in a pinpoint cross for Keen, who again was not far away with a headed attempt on goal.
At this stage Southside were not really in the game although they were dangerous on the break, especially James Carpenter who was a persistent thorn in the Kings side.
It was Southside who took control of the game and exerted pressure on the Kings defence with some effective use of the long ball from their goalkeeper Mike Teague to the front men.
On the half hour they were back in it, when some sloppy defending allowed Southside to equalise from close in.
Southside's defence was exposed to the speed and movement of Hughes and Keen and were at times only able to stop them with some poorly timed, some people might say cynical tackling.
From one of these the Southside central defender was cautioned.
On 36 minutes Kings were awarded another free-kick just outside the penalty area.
Scott Walker fired in a rocket like shot only to see it come back off the inside of the far upright.
Southside responded to this and once again after the Kings had failed to clear, they were 2-1 up.
With half-time looming Kings could do nothing but watch as Southside struck a long range effort which left Hatch in the Kings goal with no chance.
The second half was a much more even affair and Southside made the game safe with a fourth goal on 51 minutes.
Kings did not give up and fought their way back into the game.
They managed to apply pressure and created numerous chances, but could just not find the target.
Robbie Hughes was tormenting right full back Brown and on several occasions was able to get into the danger area, but unable to capitalise on his efforts.
The second booking of the game came when a Southside player made a late tackle on Hughes as he made a determined run into the penalty area.
Despite this, Southside were good value, on this occasion, for their win, but Kings can also take heart that while it has not been the start to the season they wanted, there is plenty of competition for places in the team from players of quality.
Kings Reserves travel to Bream Amateurs Reserves on Saturday.