KCLWFC 0-0 UCLWFC (4-3 to KCL on penalties), Women’s Match

On a drizzly Friday evening, the KCL women’s football team took to the field at Haringey Borough, unfortunately in a noticeably empty ground, determined to claim victory against UCL. Although the game was short on chances and ultimately ended goalless, the ladies triumphed 4-3 in a tense penalty shootout.

After a slight delay to the kick-off, UCL got us underway and immediately went out on the attack. Within just a few minutes they had drawn the first save of the game from Garrett in the KCL goal, denying UCL’s number 6 from opening the scoring. KCL bounced back strongly though, getting into good areas before creating arguably the best chance of the game in the 10th minute. The number 13, Russel, dribbled past three defenders and got a shot away, but it was well saved and went out for a corner.

As a few fans began to climb onto the containers surrounding the ground to get a view of the game, Russel began to take the game by the scruff of the neck in order to get KCL the advantage. She drew a free kick from about 25 yards out after being taken out by UCL’s number 3, but fired wide from it. Despite the KCL pressure mounting, miscommunication at the back caused a loose ball to arrive at the feet of number 10, but the shot rolled just wide of the post. Then, just a few minutes later, UCL were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, but number 3’s attempt hit the crossbar.

The second half was slightly slower and both teams failed to carve out any clear chances. Both goalkeepers impressed as they routinely rushed out of goal to claim the ball before any forwards could reach it and take a shot. Therefore, it remained 0-0 at full-time, ensuring that we would have to settle this derby with a penalty shootout.

Goals in the shootout from Fennema and Russel got the score to 2-2 after three penalties each. The KCL goalkeeper, Garrett, then saved a penalty down the middle from number 8, before surprisingly stepping up herself to take one. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, as she confidently dispatched it with a powerful strike. UCL scored their final penalty, meaning that as long as the KCL number 9, Sargren, scored the last penalty, KCL would win. She comfortably put it away in the corner to send the team into raptures.

It was a close, scrappy game for 90 minutes, but the ladies really showed their mettle in the shootout to claim victory. Congratulations to the team!

KCLFC 2-4 UCLFC, Men’s Match

The men’s game was unfortunately less of a close contest than the women’s clash. UCL mistakenly appeared to field their rugby team consisting entirely of 6ft+ broad-shouldered lads, but it turns out they were pretty good at football too.

KCL started decently in the opening minute, with number 17 bolting down the right-wing to immediately get into the UCL penalty area. However, UCL went down the other end to open the scoring in just the 4th minute, as number 9 played a simple pass with the keeper rushing out, allowing number 7 to score a tap-in. From there on, KCL found it difficult to break down the UCL defence in the first half. A good chance was created in the 19th minute, as the left-winger Kieran Dobbs put a quality cross in that dropped to the feet of number 20, but he sliced the attempt. It was a sign of UCL’s low block that King’s

players began to attempt shots from 40 yards out, none of which caused any trouble. The first half fizzled out and ended with UCL’s number 7 and KCL’s number 20 both firing into the side netting.

Only 1-0 down, there was still hope in the ranks that the lads could turn it around in the second half. However, that hope was crushed early on, as in just the 48th minute, number 13 came down the left-hand side and found number 10 with a lovely backheel, who easily dispatched it to make it 2-0 to UCL. KCL were able to carve out a few chances in response, hitting a lot of crosses in, but UCL were able to deal with them. The next goal came in the 66th minute, as the KCL defence was caught napping to allow a simple through ball in the middle of the pitch find number 7 who finished well for his second of the game.

From this point on, KCL could only realistically play for pride. Dobbs channelled his inner Gareth Bale, being the Welshman wearing the number 3, to score a tidy half-volley from a long ball to bring the score back to 3-1 with 20 minutes remaining. But yet again, the KCL defenders let an easy pass down the middle reach UCL’s number 12 who rolled the ball in for another goal. Dobbs continued to be the main attacking threat for King’s, and in the 88th minute he sprinted down the left and provided a cross which missed everyone in the middle. As the ball bounced out to the KCL right-back on the corner of the box, my shout of “PAVARD!” evidently spurred him on to score a wonder strike as he perfectly recreated that famous Benjamin Pavard goal with a shot that kept rising until it reached the top corner of the UCL net.

UCL had one more fine opportunity, as the KCL goalkeeper ventured out 40 yards only to be beaten to the ball by number 10, who took the shot on from distance but failed to find the empty net. The whistle went a few minutes later with the final score at 4-2. Ultimately, it was a disappointing performance.

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