Kenilworth Wardens Reserves come unstuck against local rivals
By James Smith
5th Aug 2021 | Local Sport
Kenilworth Wardens Reserves played local rivals The Engine in their second preseason friendly this weekend.
Playing in the pouring rain at Castle Farm, the Wardens produced an inconsistent display which left the management team frustrated on the sidelines.
Kenilworth Reserves had started their preseason with a 3-0 win over Craftsmen last Saturday.
They were sadly unable to recreate such a performance against The Engine yesterday.
The Wardens started the game slowly, unable to get on the ball or start any rhythm to their play.
Despite this, they did nearly take an early lead as a free kick from the right hand corner of the box thundered against the bar.
All the rest of the first-half chances went the way of The Engine, but they were continually denied by the Wardens' keeper, Luke Salisbury.
Whilst there was an impact by Dan Twigger coming on after twenty-five minutes, the Reserves were lucky to be going into the break at 0-0.
The second half started much as the first had ended, with the Engine dominating the ball, and making the most of a lack of organisation in the Wardens' midfield.
The deadlock was finally broken, as a thirty-five yard strike sailed straight over Salisbury's head to make it 1-0 to The Engine on 50 minutes.
Two minutes later the Engine doubled their lead as centre back James Butcher misjudged a long ball, only to see it pass him, to the feet of the Engine centre-forward who finished calmly.
Wardens continued to lack fluidity, and organisation as the Engine took a 3-0 advantage on 63 minutes.
Again a defensive mistake allowed the ball to reach the centre forward.
However, on 68 minutes Butcher atoned for his earlier mistake and played a fantastic ball to Twigger, who played the ball through to Dane Watt.
After one touch Watt smashed the ball through The Engine's keeper, to give the away side some hope at 3-1.
This appeared to galvanise the Wardens as they suddenly seemed able to press the opposition defence, play the ball calmly through midfield, and find a shape for the first time in the match.
Their pressure was rewarded as Dan Twigger netted on 70 minutes, latching onto a Phil Rudd pass.
Suspicions of offside were rightly dismissed by the linesman and referee.
Parity was then restored by Nathan Robinson seven minutes later, leaving the Wardens' management wondering where this performance had been for the rest of the match.
Dan Twigger then had a chance on 85 minutes to put Wardens into the lead, however his audacious chip sailed over the bar.
It was not to be the Wardens' day however as goals on 89 and 92 minutes for The Engine cemented their 5-3 victory.
Both goals can only be described as quintessentially Sunday league, as the ball cannoned around the box, not to be cleared, on both occasions, before the ball was bundled over the line.
Over the 90 minutes, this was possibly a fair result. However, if the Reserves had replicated those fifteen minutes of the second half across the whole game there is little doubt that they would have won the match comfortably.
The match was sponsored by LPC Therapies.