GKTFC opened up the football season with the traditional curtain raiser against familar foes KCL. 5 GKT teams travelled to a sunny Berrylands full of the fresh optimism that accompanies the start to any season and the football on offer did not disappoint. Across the 5 matches, GKT walked away with a dominant 4 wins and 1 draw to reinstate their credentials as the best club at the university.
In the headline game of the day, GKT 1’s were looking to once more assert their dominance over their KCL counterparts after two convincing wins and a single narrow loss against them last season. 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 for to announce his arrival at GKT. 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. 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.
The 2s also got their season off to a flyer with a 3-0 over KCL 2s. Captain Gavin Balson broke the deadlock mid-way through the first half after being put through on goal by a fine ball from winger Ryan Lupton. Midway through the second period the visitors doubled their lead after quality combination play in the midfield allowed Ryan to deliver his second assist of the day, putting David Ranford through on goal. The onrushing midfielder calmly opened his account for the season and placed GKT in a strong position to close out the match. A well-deserved third goal came after a long ball down the wing was collected by Gavin, who turned provider by rounding his man and blasting in a cross for David who converted his second of the day.
The 3s continued their recent resurgence and GKT’s day of dominance with an impressive 3-1 win. New captain Calum Byrne picked a tried and tested side complemented with some impressive fresher talent and saw his team dictate the tempo and control large periods of the game admirably. The goals were provided by in form frontman Rohan Shaffery and mercurial, dentist winger Mani Rai.
The 4s also managed to dispatch their KCL opponents with a calm 2-0 win. It took until the 60th minute to break the deadlock, when Chris managed to beat the KCL keeper direct from a corner kick. A second soon followed when Ali Gibson was fouled inside the box, with Jamie Gibson slotting the resulting penalty into the bottom left corner.
A young and upcoming GKT 5s team battled to a 2-2 draw. Leading from the front captain Allen Daniel cooly slotted his side 1 up after being played through by veteran striker Tom Reid. After falling behind, KCL grew stronger into the game and turned the game on it's head scoring two quick goals. However GKT 5's rallied and after a strong run and pass by Joe Sheldon, Reid was on hand to carry on his goal scoring heroics from last season to tie the scores at 2-2 and ensuring an unbeatable challenge cup for GKT.