Published on February 25th, 2015 | by kickstartfc0
Stars Off to a Dim Start
After conceding three goals in each of the first two matches of the Division 2 season, the KickStart Stars put in a much-improved performance on Tuesday night at Eden Lodge but eventually succumbed to a 2-0 loss to Eden Stars after conceding two late goals.
With Brendan Sidaway and Jerad Skinner providing some much needed stability in front of the back four, KickStart took control of the first half possession but were unable to convert their dominance into any real, clear cut chances. Displaying a commitment to protecting young goalkeeper, Carlton Wilson, the Stars defense of Elector Pearson, Jair Barrow, Timothy Maynard and Team Captain Naphtali Cave, repelled everything that the home side could offer, much to the frustration of their boisterous fans.
On the other end of the pitch, Sidaway in particular put in an outstanding performance, controlling the tempo of the Stars attack and ensuring that the attacking midfield trio of Akeem Bourne, Jabari Brandford and Sekani Mayers saw plenty of the ball. Lone striker Luke Humphrey also contributed well, providing critical link-up play and a big target for any aerial deliveries. However, aside of a few set pieces, which didn’t quite have the quality to threaten the opposing goalie, the best opportunity of the 1st half fell to Skinner who launched his shot from just outside the box into the primary school grounds behind the bar. As such, a 0-0 halftime score was a fair result.
The second half was a different affair. As fatigue increased, the quality of the play decreased and Eden Stars profited more from this. With the crowd willing them on, Eden Stars pushed for the breakthrough goal and much to the dismay of the KickStart players and supporters in attendance, they got it in controversial fashion. After a scrappy buildup, with the KickStart defense unable to clear their lines, an Eden Stars striker controlled the bouncing ball with his hand and while all other hands went into the air to appeal to the referee for the obvious handball call, the striker rolled it into the corner of the net. Although visibly deflated by the decision (or lack thereof), KickStart responded well and raised the intensity again in search of the equalizer.
Peter Walton was introduced for Humphrey and chased hard to make an impact but just as in the 1st half, KickStart were unable to convert any of their good buildup play into quality opportunities. The final nail came with 4 mins remaining in the match. With Maynard retreating quickly to cover a counter-attack and forcing his opponent wide of the danger area, Wilson ill-advisedly rushed off of his line but never got near enough to smother the danger and the Eden Stars striker easily tucked it past him.
The result was KickStart’s third consecutive loss in as many games, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the table, but Head Coach Kent Hall said he was pleased with the team’s overall progress since the first match (a 3-1 loss at Exactly) and particularly with the defensive performance since the second match (a 3-2 loss vs Technique). The next match for the KickStart Stars is a “derby” scheduled for Saturday 28th Feb 4:00pm at FCIB Sports Ground against neighbours and rivals Pro-Shottas. This will be the first time at senior level that the clubs will face off against each other.