1st XI

GKT 1’s 2 – 0 KCL 1’s

Challenge Cup
The football season came rolling back around for GKT with excitement accompanying the familiar autumnal chill following some very good recruitment at this year’s trials. The 1’s were looking to once more assert their dominance over a familiar foe after two convincing wins and a single narrow loss against them last season. Lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, straight from kick off the 1’s looked to get the ball down and maintain the Barca style of play for which they are known with Craig Wyatt insisting that this season GKT will be the team dictating play rather than reacting to the opposition. The ball was moved nicely between midfield and defence, with Captain Craig and new signing Alberto Banci keeping things ticking over, without really troubling the opposition’s defence. The early exchanges saw little action around either goal mouth but after stepping up a gear GKT won a free kick on the edge of the KCL box. Bonar Maguire stepped up confidently and for good reason as he lifted the ball up and over the wall and into the back of the net before the keeper could blink, a delightful way to announce his arrival at GKT. 

Scoring the opening goal seemed to raise GKT’s confidence and for the rest of the half they were dominant. KCL are no slouches and had a good season in the LUSL league last season and they showed they are capable of keeping possession but some resolute defensive work from centre backs Tom James and Matt “Pique” Eccles stopped them from ever getting close enough to trouble new keeper Mark Strasshine. At the other end GKT were now threatening much more with good work down both wings although the final ball was proving to be elusive. On the half hour mark some great work from Sunmi Soille and Ed Carnochan down the left hand side worked the ball to Dan Robinson on the edge of the area. A smart turn leaving three KCL defenders for dead gave him the smallest of shooting opportunities but he rifled the ball from 20 yards across the hapless keeper and into the top corner. A truly special goal and showing just how much he was missed last season with his lengthy injury lay off. GKT remained on top for the rest of the half but the interval came round with the score at 2-0.

The second half kicked off and followed much the same vein as the first half for the first twenty minutes with GKT on top but still finding the final, telling ball hard to come by. Down the right side some good play between Robinson and last season’s captain Jordan Ellis saw plenty of crosses flash across the area but just beyond the reach of the waiting attackers. Ellis was later replaced by club President Sam Morris who made a steady debut for the 1’s after stepping up from the vastly inferior 2’s. Around the hour mark GKT visibly tired and KCL started to come back in to the game. However, GKT are nothing if not grafters and they dug in and restricted the opposition to long range efforts that never troubled Mark the Shark. Ulli Fischer came on for his debut, making a good impact in the middle of the pitch breaking up play. James Tevenan was also introduced and with a beautiful half volleyed cross put a chance on a plate for last season’s top scorer Matt Barker but early season rustiness saw his effort go disappointingly wide. 

The game petered out for a comfortable 2-0 victory setting an early marker down that GKT intend to challenge at the top of the LUSL premier league this season. There were things to work on as a team such as moving the ball quicker in the final third and fitness can always be improved but early signs were positive especially with three or four players missing on the day. In the eyes!

GKT 1's 0 - >0 Brighton 4's

BUCS league

We weren't very good. #WeGoAgain

Medway 1's 1-2 GKT 1's

BUCS league
Redemption: the action of saving or being saved from sin, error or evil. The first BUCS game of the 2016/17 season was one to forget. A hapless performance whilst competing against a very good side resulted in a scoreline that nobody involved with the 1’s will want to talk about at any point in the near future. So this week, the 1’s made their way to an industrial corner of Kent intent on righting the wrongs from the week before and to get the season up and running.

Lining up in a 4-4-2 formation the team started as Mark Strasshine in goal; a back four of Jordan Ellis, Harry Bright, Matt “Pique” Eccles and James Cartledge filling in at left back; the midfield was Ed Carnochan on the right, Craig Wyatt and Ulli Fischer in the middle and Dan Robinson on the left; up top Ndo Chilaka partnered Matt Barker. The conditions were good for this time of year, not much wind and no rain with a pitch that, although not perfect, would allow some football to be played. Straight from kick off GKT were pressing at the right end, harassing Medway’s midfield into making mistakes and putting pressure on their back line. Dan Robinson, in particular, managed to get the beating of his marker on many occasions and was whipping in some dangerous crosses with his, supposedly, weaker foot. Some half chances fell to both forwards but none were converted.

Following the lively start, Medway gained confidence from GKT’s inability to find the net and started probing forward more regularly. Their left hand side was quick and skilful and it took a lot of good work from both Jordan and Ed to prevent any real opportunities emerging from their forays down the wing. Medway lacked finesse but made up for it with physical attributes, the right winger being particularly quick but he was marshalled well by the stand in left back James Cartledge. The half ended with no real chances coming from either side and Mark Strasshine was dealing comfortably with the shots from range despite being hungover.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first with GKT being on top, Ndo causing problems with his power and directness against a defence that was already visibly flagging. Once again though, Medway got back into the game and had the only spell of the match where Ulli and Craig couldn’t get to grips with them after performing admirably against a midfield with an extra man. Despite this, it was still somewhat against the run of play when Medway took the lead through a scrappy finish following a corner with about twenty minutes remaining. 

GKT piled on the pressure but a combination of poor finishing, bad luck, jammy saves and dodgy refereeing decisions prevented an equaliser from materialising. As time ticked by, despite being on top and being markedly fitter than their opponents, it began to feel like one of those days. Alberto Banci was introduced for Ed and a switch to 4-3-3 was implemented. This upped the pressure on Medway even more than they’d already had. Ndo and Dan on the wings were getting forward quickly, Jordan supporting Dan well down the right and James’s pinpoint passing from left back starting attacks for the other two forwards. Man of the match Ulli was getting forward beyond the strikers causing havoc and Medway clearly didn’t like the German giant getting into advanced positions. The final telling ball or good finish still seemed to elude GKT and there was always the risk of being caught on the break by the fast Medway subs but Bright and Pique covered their backline superbly as the team pressed higher and higher. 

With seven minutes to go, what must have been GKT’s 20th corner was won and a delightful inswinger from Ndo found Matt Barker at the far post who smashed it home from close range. Ebony and ivory, living together in perfect harmony and no doubt, somewhere, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were proud. A deserved equaliser but GKT felt there was more to be had from the game. Further horrendous reffing decisions stopped Ndo from netting the winner with three minutes to go but GKT pressed and pressed until with 30 seconds left on the clock, a deft first time volley from Barker found the run of Ndo who finished expertly into the corner. Scenes.

A deserved victory for the 1’s following some real quality play across the board and a thoroughly enjoyable game to be a part of. The character shown by the team after going one down, would have really impressed Brendan Rodgers. The first game of the season was a horrible blip, there are plenty of encouraging signs that this is going to be a good season. In the eyes.

UCL 1’s 3 – 0 GKT 1’s

LUSL league
The first LUSL league match of the season was away at UCL who have been rehomed from Shenley to Hackney Marshes which, according to their website at least, is “internationally known as the spiritual home of Sunday league football”. Although nobody missed the arduous journey to Shenley, Sunday League summed up the playing surface which, for lack of a better word, was shit. After putting up the goal nets (disgraceful, we’re the 1’s dammit) and clearing the pitch of hypodermic needles, the match got under way. GKT were missing a few players from the impressive win at Medway earlier in the week but nonetheless had a good side out. 

The opening exchanges were cagey with both teams struggling to get to grips with the ball as it wasn’t behaving how it’s supposed to. Few chances were carved up with lots of scrappy play in the middle of the midfield. GKT were struggling to get to grips with moving the ball along the shitty surface but managed a good period of sustained pressure going long to Barker’s head and trying to flick in Dan and Ndo on the wings. James Cartledge marshalled the other two midfielders of Alberto and Craig so that at times UCL were really struggling to clear their lines and were risking being caught under pressure. However, disaster soon struck and Jordan pulled his hamstring and was in no state to carry on after only 25 minutes. With no defenders on the bench a re-shuffle was made seeing Cartledge go to right back, Dan drop in to the midfield and Ed coming on for Jordan on the right of the front three. Ed made a good impact coming off the bench and made some good direct forays down the right hand side. Unfortunately, the reshuffle had undone some of GKT’s organisation and pressing and after a badly judged early kick from Mark came straight back, UCL worked the ball into the six yard box for a striker to flick home. Mark can be forgiven though because he’s been bloody ace so far this season and made some great saves later in the game. 1-0 it remained until half time.

The second half resumed in very much the same fashion but UCL were controlling more of the game now and GKT were struggling to create any real threat going forward. The centre back pairing of Eccles and Harry performed well under horrible conditions with bounces being deadly due to their unpredictable nature and Sunmi was, as always, calm and reassured at left back. However, two similarly worked goals in quick succession saw the hosts go 3-0 up and sadly, that was that, although not for a lack of effort.

The first goal was always going to be crucial in this game and once it went to UCL, GKT faced an uphill battle against a very good side who will be towards the top of the league come the end of the season. Although not completely outplayed, GKT didn’t adapt to the pitch as well as their opponents but we won’t be playing on a piece of crap like that again this season we can go forward knowing we’re a match for anyone in the league.

GKT 1’s 2 – 1 Royal Holloway 1’s
LUSL League

The second league game of the LUSL season after a midweek rest and GKT had a lot of players missing to contend with. Alberto was back in Italy visiting family, Dan was stuck in a lab whilst people studied the perfect human physique, Jordan and Tev were still out injured and Ed and Eccles were inexplicably abandoning their team mates to spend a romantic weekend on the Isle of Wight together. Nevertheless, new signing Shaz was back after two and a bit years away to add further experience and skill to the midfield and the starting eleven looked strong albeit with only a limping Harry on the bench. Kick off was late after Royal Holloway decided to come from Egham via a tour bus taking in the delights of London but the game got under way eventually.

Straight from the off GKT were on top; Shaz, Craig and Uli controlling the midfield although Craig was slightly more sluggish than the other two due to being hungover. Our captain, ladies and gentlemen. In the centre of defence was James Cartledge and Tom James which was a completely new pairing and in the early exchanges Tom James misjudged a couple of bouncing balls allowing Holloway in behind but Sharky Mark did what he does best and stopped them dead in their tracks. In Tom’s defence, once he’d warmed up a bit he was excellent for the rest of the match and didn’t put a foot wrong. He’s also very handsome. GKT’s first real effort came from Tubby Barker as he turned his man 25 yards out and hit a rasping half volley across the keeper. It looked destined for the far corner but the goalie got a finger to it at the final moment to keep it level. GKT continued on top and there was some excellent work down the right. Sunmi receiving the ball from the defence or keeper regularly and then linking up well with Ulli and Bonar who was on the right of the front three. The rest of the half continued with GKT in charge but the final ball lacking, getting into some good positions in the final third but unable to find that spark that would break the deadlock. Ndo put in some good deliveries from the left hand side but the age old problem of not having enough men in the box was coming back to haunt GKT. 0-0 at the break but GKT were well on top and if I were a betting man I’d have put my money squarely on them.

The half time team talk was essentially to carry on what GKT were doing but needed to find the killer ball sooner rather than later. So the second half started like the first with Holloway unable to get any joy out of GKT’s defence but GKT struggling to create meaningful chances. With about half an hour to go and the visiting side sitting deeper and deeper GKT started to create chances. After some good work by the midfield, Ndo was released down the left and he floated in a beautiful cross to an unmarked Barker 8 yards out, the sort of chance he gobbled up last season. The GKT squad waited for the net to ripple but for some unknown reason he took his eye of the ball and barely made contact. Nevertheless, there was still time. Some more good work by the midfield three who were all excellent in the second half gave Shaz time in the middle to release Barker one on one. Surely this time he’d score after netting so many last season but the fat bastard could only find the side netting. Holloway’s goal was leading a charmed life but GKT needed to find the net. Bonar had a chance from 20 yards and hit a beautiful free kick towards the top corner but it was very well saved by the opposing keeper who was turning into a real thorn in GKT’s side. Ndo was getting the better of his marker and getting in on goal but combinations of unfavourable angles and good goalkeeping denied him. Uli was getting forward in his familiar roaming style and get in on the keeper only to find that missing chances was contagious around the Holloway goal.

Then; disaster. After not troubling GKT all half, a long kick from the Holloway keeper landed in the centre circle but a mix up between Cartledge and Sam Morris enabled the ball to sneak in behind GKT’s defence and the Holloway striker lobbed Mark expertly to give them an undeserved lead. At this point it was clear what GKt needed to do to get the result they deserved and this was nicely summed up by Sunmi telling the strikers they needed to start finishing. Cheers mate. The visiting side, who couldn’t believe their luck, started sitting deeper and deeper allowing Sam Morris to get forward on numerous occasions and to release Ndo down the left. A deep cross to the back post evaded all the Holloway defenders and found an onrushing Barker who surely couldn’t miss this time and thankfully, for once, he steered it in past the keeper on the volley. 1-1 with about five minutes to go. All to play for. 

The midfield and wide players were getting forward at every opportunity and Holloway were clearly feeling the strain. 1 minute to go and after more good work down by Sam, Ndo and Craig saw the ball pinball around Holloway’s box. Up in the air the ball went, Holloway’s keeper panicked, rushed out of his goal, completely misjudging the bounce to leave Ndo with an open goal which he gleefully took. 2-1 and the crowd of 1 erupted. Special mention to Harry who came on as we were 1-0 down, only on for eight minutes but his being there was evidently crucial to the scoreline.

A deserved win for GKT albeit in more stressful circumstances than they would have liked. Holloway weren’t a great team but they’ll be solidly mid-table and the ease at which GKT controlled the game is a real positive going forward. Once everything clicks in the final third and Barker loses some more weight, somebody is going to be on the end of a real hammering. There is great strength in depth in the squad and we march on with 3 points on the board in the LUSL league with a good chance to be up at the right end of the table this season. In the eyes.

GKT 1’s 5 – 0 QM 1’s     
BUCS Cup

It had been coming. Nobody was quite sure when but it had been coming. GKT had been putting in some dominant displays with only some good goalkeeping and less than clinical finishing getting in the way of some real drubbings. Unfortunately for Queen Mary’s, they were the opposition on the day that it all clicked. A late kick off due to the ref, suggested to be high by Shaz, was made even later by the QM substitute refusing to be the linesman for his side and sauntering across the field acting like a prick. More on him later.

Kick off and in their now preferred formation of 4-3-3 GKT were going for it right from the off. Good intensity off the ball with a high press from the front three and the midfield supporting them manfully, Craig having a particularly good game holding in the centre. His little legs have never covered as much of the pitch before, a super effort. When in possession, GKT were calmer than recent weeks, moving the ball across the pitch and supporting each other well with some clever movement. The opener felt inevitable but was rather fortunate in itself. A questionable decision from the ref (although this reporter personally thought it was the correct decision) presented GKT with a penalty after 15 minutes. After a short discussion, Matt Barker stepped up to take it like he has for the last two years. The familiar straight run up, gave the keeper the eyes and rolled it into the opposite side. Cool as you like and GKT were up and running. 

The next twenty minutes saw some of the best football played by GKT in the last two and a half years. The midfield of Bonar, Shaz and Craig were running rings around their opposite numbers who couldn’t cope with the crisp, sharp passing. The defence was moving the ball across the back line quickly with full backs Sam and James regularly receiving the ball and having space to move in to. The second goal came swiftly after the first with Ndo turning his man out left, beating him for power and swinging in a delightful cross for Dan arriving at the far post to bury it past the keeper. 2-0 but GKT weren’t about to let up there. Like London buses GKT had been waiting weeks for some goals and now they were all coming at once. The third goal was a thing of beauty, real champagne football that would have Gary Lineker purring on MOTD for weeks had it been in the Premier League. About two minutes of possession which saw every player on the side touch it at least once ended with James releasing Shaz in to the box, who cleverly picked out Dan’s late run and Dan tucked the ball into the far corner. Glorious. But it didn’t stop there, more sustained pressure from GKT and some more good play saw the ball almost permanently in the QM half. On about the half hour mark, the pressure told when an inswinging corner from Ndo was met at the far post by Shaz, leaping like a salmon, to power his header into the top corner. 4-0 and not even half time. Only now did GKT take their foot off the pedal a little and they allowed QM into the game a bit more, because we’re charitable like that, but the centre back pairing of Eccles and TJ repelled anything they had to offer with ease. Poor Mark in goal was bored as fuck. 

The second half started in entertaining fashion. After approximately three passes, their lunatic substitute, who had come on in the first half and already been booked, squared up to Shaz off the ball. Tickling Shaz’s face with the most pathetic slap you’ll ever see and then running away, there was only going to be one outcome. Off the ref sent him but off he did not go. Instead he charged full pelt at Shaz from 20 yards away, Shaz avoiding the mad man before the other players got between them to break it up. Eventually the twat was sent packing and the game resumed with QM a man light and four goals down. To their credit, they rallied over the next ten minutes and GKT weren’t as in control as they should have been. However, normality resumed and GKT started retaining possession more, finding acres of space for the full backs James and Sam and even more on the wings. The fifth and final goal was a somewhat scrappy affair from a corner which Dan poked in left footed from close range. Completing his perfect hatrick to go along with his perfect physique. What a man. The rest of the game saw GKT in control of the ball for large periods although Mark made a smart save down to his left and Tom James made a fantastic challenge as last man to help record the first competitive clean sheet of the season. Ed and Uli came on, both putting themselves about and giving a great account of themselves. No clear cut chances were created but Bonar and Uli will both be thinking they should have scored from the edge of the area but that shouldn’t take away from their very good performances.

After the game, this reporter caught up with man of the match Dan Robinson. When pressed on whether the performance was as emphatic as the final score he said “Bluntly, it was very one sided. First half hour we were class, best we’ve played all season. Second half we’ve been comfortable but should have won by more, I had a few chances and Bonar did but yeah played well”. When asked where the team could improve further Dan felt GKT should have “punished them more when on top” but stressed that we’d played very well. Captain Craig giving his weekly interview said he was “very happy” with the result feeling that the key was “starting fast, putting them under pressure and keeping the ball moving.” The number of players missing was brought up and Craig said that “it does leave me with a selection headache, but this isn’t something that the ones have had the last couple of seasons. But it’s a good headache to have and it leaves people fighting for their place”.

A thoroughly impressive performance from GKT and a deserved victory, which arguably should have been even more against a side that had won both their first two games. This leaves GKT in a great position in the BUCS Wednesday league and they are starting to come in to form after some early mishaps. With other players still to come back to fitness, we’re looking as strong as any time in the last three years. The future is bright. In the eyes.

GKT 1’s 3 – 2 Brighton 3’s (Or 2’s, not sure)

BUCS cup

The first BUCS cup match of the season due to receiving a bye in the previous round and we were up against our old friends Brighton, a truly lovely bunch who have a very fluid idea of what their different squads represent. It was supposedly their 3’s today but one of their players said they were the 2’s or something, I’m not sure but ultimately they were still a bunch of dicks regardless of which team they officially represented. The game itself nearly never happened as our usual stomping ground was waterlogged so Sam Morris quickly rearranged the location as our esteemed captain was too busy to bother looking after his side. 

Kick off and GKT started well. Pressing Brighton who were once again playing in a 3-5-2 formation, GKT had most of the early possession with Dan in particular doing well down the left, probing forward and getting some balls into the box which sadly never quite found a yellow shirt. The next half hour was disappointing particularly following GKT’s recent form but sloppy in possession and finding the middle too congested to play through. The midfield three of Shaz, Craig and Bonar worked very hard and restricted Brighton going forward but couldn’t quite get the ball moving as freely and quickly as they had the previous three games. A rare mistake from James Cartledge, missing a deep cross to the far post, presented Brighton with a chance from five yards which was duly dispatched through Mark’s legs who had no chance. GKT reacted and started to play a little more urgently with Ed receiving the ball out wide in the exposed areas behind the full back allowing him to get at his man. The best chance of the first half came after good work down that side by James and Ed, with Ed putting the ball across the six yard box but the keeper making a smart save at the near post from Matt Barker. Not GKT’s finest half this season but the back four of James, TJ, Eccles and Sam Morris had done well to keep Brighton away from the goal whilst they were on top. Tom James made a particularly excellent challenge but messed up his glass shoulder in the process so was replaced by Jordan at half time with James moving in to the middle. 

GKT had 45 minutes to put the game right and to progress in the tournament. The second half started with GKT out of the blocks like Usain Bolt. More snapping, quicker pressing and more urgency in their play, they were quickly rewarded. Ed Carnochan was released down the wing following good work from Craig, Shaz and Jordan. In his own words “I turned the man, put it on to my right and just hit it, it sailed in off the bar into the back of the net, some have said no back lift but I don’t know, it was just instinct”. A fantastic hit leaving the keeper grasping at thin air and the comeback was on. GKT were well on top now. Jordan, on his welcome return from injury, was back to his best marauding down the line and Bonar was finding pockets of space between Brighton’s defensive lines. GKT aimed to attack with width, exploiting the gaps behind the wing backs and getting Ed and Dan to isolate the wide fullbacks. It was working. Following more good work down the right, Craig made a great run from deep before pulling the ball across the box. Following a couple of touches from Barker to get it out of his feet, he popped it through the keepers legs from a tight angle. 2-1 and deservedly winning. The pressure continued with pressing from the front and the midfield, particularly from MOTM Ed, leaving Brighton resorting to punts forward. If there is one thing GKT are good at, it is defending an aerial bombardment. Today was no different with Eccles and James repelling anything launched in their direction. GKT almost made it 3-1 after a flick on from Barker put Uli through and a clever return ball across the area presented Barker with a chance from 18 yards which brought a good save from the keeper. Uli replaced Bonar in the midfield and added his characteristic athleticism to a battling performance by Shaz and Craig.

Knowing they were going out of the cup, Brighton pressed on and started trying to up the pressure. Mark in goal made some good saves from long shots and shots from angles but generally the back four were keeping Brighton at bay. With five minutes to go a Brighton free kick from the halfway line was expertly put to the back post and a good header across the area saw the ball bundled into the GKT net. Undeserved and slightly out of the blue, penalties loomed. But if there is one thing we have learned about GKT this year, it is that they love a late winner. With about a minute left on the clock, a flick from Uli found Barker who controlled it deftly before lifting the ball over the defence into the run of Ed. Ed did fantastically well to hold off the defender trying to get back before smashing the ball home. Cue some outrageous moaning from Brighton about Barker handling it and proving what an uncouth and unsporting bunch they were. Well guess what Brighton, it did strike my hand but it wasn’t a handball, we played to the whistle so you can suck a dick. Full time, a deserved victory and through to the final 32.

After the game, Captain Craig said “honestly, we were awful first half but came out second half and showed a lot of character. Really took the game to them, should have battered them and it was a far closer game than it should have been. The difference was getting the ball out to Ed and Dan who were free a lot of the time, getting the ball out to them quicker. But also we had a lot more bite, a lot more physical and that helped”. When asked about Ed’s terrific performance he said “Like I said last week, the 1’s this year are giving me a selection headache which we didn’t have last year. I feel it would be hard to drop someone after they put in a performance like that and the first goal is a screamer.”

A deserved win for GKT, albeit not the best performance of the season. However, three wins on the bounce and some momentum gathering. Brighton were no mugs and to beat them whilst not playing to our full potential shows how far GKT have come in a short space of time. The competition for places is great for form as everyone is fighting for their starting place. Interesting times ahead. In the eyes.

GKT 1’s 1-1 Kent 2’s

BUCS league
Following a good run of form, GKT welcomed Kent to HOP in the hope that they’d be sent back to the garden of England with nothing to show from their travels. Lining up in a 4-3-3 formation that has become the norm this season, GKT started slowly with neither side creating anything of note or really stringing many passes together other than in their own half. From early on it was clear that Kent had one or two decent players in their ranks and that this wouldn’t be as easy as the 5-0 win against QM.

Disaster struck on about the 20 minute mark when a chipped ball forward evaded centre backs TJ and Eccles and their rapid forward raced home and beat Mark with a confident finish. Slightly against the run of play but GKT couldn’t really say that they’d been much the better side up until this point. This season has seen a lot of characterful performances from the 1’s so a backlash was expected but it never really materialised. GKT had the lion’s share of possession for the rest of the half but didn’t really create much from it. An equaliser was scored 15 minutes later after good pressing from the forward players saw Shaz win the ball high up the pitch and after twisting one way then the other, confusing his teammates let alone the defenders, he laid it off to Ed “hot streak” Carnochan who poked the ball home at the near post. The only other serious chance of the half from either side came after Barker chased a lost ball down the right and squared the ball across for the onrushing Dan Robinson but a superb last ditch tackle stopped him adding to his already impressive tally of goals. Half time rolled around with the match even.

The half time team talk consisted of general agreement that GKT’s play needed to be quicker and further up the pitch but the game was there for the taking if we upped it a gear or two. The second half resumed and although GKT dominated the match and had comfortably 60-70% of the ball, they struggled to work the ball through Kent’s defensive banks of four. Bonar replaced the ineffective Barker on the hour mark and nearly scored straight away with a rasping shot that went only inches wide. Uli took the centre forward position and his trademark athleticism gave GKT more of an outlet and a threat up top. Jordan Ellis was subbed on for Tom “glass shoulder” James, moving the ever dependable Cartledge to centre back. But Cartledge can play anywhere and still be the best player on the pitch, he really is a truly wonderful player. If it was possible, I wish our entire team was just a team of Cartledge’s but sadly there is only one of him. Jordan helped the attack further overlapping Ed and adding a new dimension to GKT’s attack and Sam Morris at left back was also able to get forward more as GKT dictated the play. However, chances were still at a premium and despite a couple of late chance/half chances for Ed and Uli, it just wasn’t to be.

It wasn’t a disastrous performance but it wasn’t as good as it had been recently. Coupled with the farcical nature of the result against Brighton this could yet prove to be a costly two points dropped in the BUCS title challenge but Kent were no mugs and GKT were the better side. Onwards and upwards.

Buckingham New 3 – 2 GKT 1s

BUCS Cup

With the absence of our usual reporter, I have stepped up to the plate. Don’t expect quality or accuracy.

James Cartledge was a towering presence at the back, making a number of last ditch tackles, winning countless headers against the giant Bucks forwards and showing his electric pace to chase down their rapid wingers. He was relatively ably supported by his CB partner Matt Eccles. I could write more but I should probably go back to the beginning. 

A delayed train and a round about walk bought us to a picturesque pitch edged by waterfalls, and trees. But unfortunately according to the groundsman with a fascinating medical sign this was not where the game was to be played. After ordering a taxi and quick change in the disabled bay, which saw President Morris show Craig why he should be glad he wasn’t also a dancing boy, we eventually made it to the correct ground. An impressive slope, sticky mud, bobbly pitch and a decent number of supporters who appeared to have an average IQ of 40 greeted us. After a brief dysfunctional warm up we kicked off down the hill in the first half.

Unfortunately the poor preparation cost us and not even the outstanding James Cartledge could prevent an early Bucks goal. But apart from that the first half was a relatively even affair without much quality football. GKTs game plan of hitting Uli up top brought some chances but we were unable to capitalise. Bucks had a clearly offside goal ruled out (thankfully the ref was in line for the freekick- more on that later). Its safe to say Bucks were not the friendliest with some crunching tackles in midfield either side of legal. But GKT and in particular Craig and Alberto showed incredible fight.

Half time, and although we were uphill in the second half we knew we were in the game. The second half was a more open affair, GKT starting well and creating chances, before a nicely weighted through ball put their striker in. However, martialed by the impressive James Cartledge, the GKT backline held a perfect line and the striker was 3 yards offside. Unfortunately, their supporter who was linesman decided not to bother and Craigs attempt at a tackle lead to a penalty. A real kick in the teeth for GKT, and 2-0. GKT had a few minutes of disarray which allowed a third goal. But from that point on, GKT grew and grew. After a hilarious interlude where the ref thought a foul a yard inside the box was outside, a penalty was finally given and coolly converted by Bonar (watch out Barker). 3-1. In the meantime Dan had scuffed two decent chances with his left foot and Sam had been the recipient of multiple impressive fouls. Dan soon made amends by blasting one into the top corner. 3-2. A change of formation with Sam and Jordan moving from full back to wide up top and a 3-2-5 formation. Which later became a 1-2-7 when it was realised the imperious James Cartledge could do all the defending himself. The ball bounced around in their box but alas it was not enough the BUCS cup run is over for GKT in the last 16 (pending potential protest- if only Craig had Sam’s paperwork abilities)

After a strange rave in the shared changing room we headed back to London, and a few of us were unlucky enough to see harry cock thrusting in a thong, and hear about Ed’s deviances.

Although a disappointment, we have more important targets this year. And the fight shown on the pitch along with a bit more quality on better pitches will brush many other teams aside. In the opinion of this reporter, Alberto deserves a special mention for a particularly impressive combative performance. But man of the match has to go to the almost flawless James Cartledge. What a player.

 

2nd XI

Awaiting the start of the season

3rd XI

Awaiting the start of the season

4th XI

Awaiting the start of the season

5th XI

Awaiting the start of the season

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