Having faced Kingsthorne 3 weeks previously we were fully aware of their physicality and threat from set-pieces. Coming into today's game our opponents have been the only side to put the ball into our net with four clean sheets showing an impressive improvement as a unit. Given our impressive start to the campaign it's not uncommon for teams to raise their game and set out to inflict defeat upon us which we haven't experienced since our pre-season friendly vs Heswall FC in early August. It's been an excellent start however we were put firmly to the test by a Kingsthorne side looking to avenge the defeat in late September. The challenge would need to be done also with only one natural central defender as James Boner was absent. This meant Ben Devlin taking on that role alongside Daniel Edge and Treasure Asuquo deployed at right back in place of Samson Aboiro. Skipper Paddy Clegg played as the deep line midfielder with in-form Zico Williams moved from the right forward position. This meant a start for Ethan Danku who began quiet but broke the deadlock just 6 minutes before half time. Prior to our opener we had to dig in and defend the early onslaught and Joe Wilson was called upon on more than one occasion to shut out Kingsthorne. Only for wasteful finishing we could have been one or two down before we took the lead. We were denied a penalty when Kaleb Sweeney was brought down but the referee deemed it to be just outside the box and claimed his momentum forced him to fall into the box. Ben Devlin's resulting free kick very nearly caught the keeper out at the near post but he held it well. Sweeney who had earlier missed a great opportunity with a header that went wide lost the ball and done tremendously to work to get it back. His through ball found Danku who was 1v1 with the keeper, he kept his cool to finish for his fourth of the season. Two minutes later following a fine team move Clegg broke forward and found Charlie Hacking who cut back onto his right foot to fire a lethal finish into the far right top corner to send us into the break with a two goal cushion.
Kingsthorne came out like a steam train in the second half and 5 minutes in they got their reward with the first goal we've conceded this season from open play. We had to ride the storm and had an uncomfortable 15 minute period which saw Joe Wilson loose a bit of composure. What a response it was however when we shook off their rally cry to kill the game with Charlie Hacking bagging his 6th hat-trick since his arrival. The first came following a wonderful team move down the left, Sibanda's cross was buried home on the half volley before Wilson switched back on to pump a long ball up field which our number 9 collected and struck home for his 17th of the season. On reflection it was a great result to overcome a difficult encounter with a team who were clearly out to throw the kitchen sink at us. It keeps the momentum going and the 100% record intact with key players on their way back from the injury list which will strengthen us further ahead The Roadpeace Cup on 29th October followed by a quarter final vs Atletico in defensive our The Challenge Cup.