By Paul Raschid –
â€œThe Macadam Cup. The day the entire footballing fraternity circles in their calendars when the fixtures are released at the start of every season. Such was the hunger of the KCLFC players, the entire squad arrived at the cauldron of Berrylands a full 2 hours before kick-off to prepare themselves for the battle ahead. Kitted out immaculately and undoubtedly harbouring a few butterflies, Captain Sam Tang led his troops in a lengthy warm-up. Pre-match tributes were paid to notable team stalwarts who were playing their final match for the club such as Tom Ware, Steve Falck, Ali Stephens and Club President Fergus Bennett-Odlum, who got a last minute nod to bow out in front of the home fans. The day also marked the end of the short-term deals of international imports Alessandro Bonzio, Lukas Wirspringer and Thorben Shleffer. Indeed, emotions were running high as KCLFC had to face up to their fiercest rivals GKT. The medics were fresh off the back of a hugely successful season and comfortable victories over the men in red in their prior encounters. Tangâ€™s men were under no illusions that they would fall short should they not raise their games to a standard befitting of the occasion.
The raucous atmosphere reached fever pitch as the FA appointed official blew for kick-off and the Macadam football match was under way. The early exchanges were meagre, with neither side able to break the other down and create a clear-cut opportunity. Just as GKT were beginning to find a few potential avenues of access in behind a resolute KCL backline, an incisive breakaway broke the deadlock. A well directed clipped through ball released KCL forward Falck, whose steely determination and gazelle-like strides took him to the by-line before crossing into the path of classy left-winger Matt Shorney to finish with aplomb. An eruption of noise reverberated around the ground as all the KCL players swarmed the goalscorer… game on. The rest of the half played out as a battle of attrition with the odd lapse of concentration giving GKT a sniff. However, any loose ball in the box was dealt with by the hard-working red half of Kingâ€™s.
The second half played out much like the latter half of the first. GKT began to assert themselves, displaying the form that saw them dominate their league campaign. However, KCL were in no mood to lay down; block after block, tackle after tackle, the lads from the Strand held forth. Even through a deluge of balls into the box and players dropping like cramp-ridden flies, they left everything on that legendary Berrylands pitch. As the seconds ticked down to the final whistle, GKT had one last chance to pump the ball into the KCL box. The ball was flighted in, eluding the grasp of Joe Wells in the KCL goal, but not the wise old head of the war horse Tang, who cleared off the line nonchalantly. The final whistle brought the curtain down on the 2012-13 season for KCLFC, and how! A pitch invasion ensued despite KCLSU pleas over the tannoy and 1-0 would be the final score. A day of passionate Rivalry, nerve-shredding Drama and great Football; everything the Macadam Cup symbolizes.”