Last gasp winner costs Wardens at Folly Lane

By James Smith

7th Feb 2024 | Football

Kenilworth Wardens sit fourth in the Coventry Alliance Premier (image supplied)
Kenilworth Wardens sit fourth in the Coventry Alliance Premier (image supplied)

Kenilworth Wardens lost with the last kick of the game against top of the league Folly Lane, as they looked to bounce back from losing two in a row.

But a mixture of unavailability and injuries hampered their squad, with Mark Hickey and George Ferridge being promoted from the reserves. 

Folly Lane started the game dominating possession and looked more likely to open the scoring, Wardens managing to limit efforts on goal despite being under heavy pressure. 

On 25 minutes Folly took a deserved lead when a long ball forward set Daniel Monger down the left before he volleyed a rocket past goalkeeper Andy Whitehouse. 

After going behind, Wardens started being braver in possession and started to get into good areas in the final third.

Wardens came closest to equalizing when Ferridge controlled a Sol Bloomer cross on his chest and volleyed, a deflection took the ball just wide, skimming the post.

The impressive Adam Hnat also had two chances linking with Bloomer and Eamonn Richards, however both were comfortably saved. 

With Hickey going off injured, first team coach Jamie Whitehouse came on as a makeshift striker.

With Whitehouse's work rate it allowed Wardens to press higher up the pitch and counter, getting into good areas, albeit unable to test Folly Lane's keeper.

On 65 minutes Folly's impressive wide player went through on goal before Andy Whitehouse made an excellent save. The ball fell back to Jonathan Bikaya to slot into an open goal, but his shot was inexplicably and excellently saved off the line by James Butler throwing his body on the line. 

On 75 minutes Hnat won the ball back and was fouled in the process. Richards' 45 yard freekick was met by a Folly player who glanced the ball off the post and into his own net, with Richards claiming the goal. 

Wardens looked more likely to score again immediately after. Brilliant play by Bloomer, Hnat and Twigger left Twigger free inside the box 12 yards out. However Twigger could not keep his shot down. 

On the 90th minute Wardens thought they had won the game. After Richards played Twigger in down the right, Twigger cut back to the open Hnat 15 yards out but he could not direct the free shot on target. 

With a minute left Folly created a chance from a set piece with Whitehouse pulling off an exceptional save to turn it around for a corner. The resulting corner was headed down and shot from close range, Whitehouse saved the first shot and the rebound excellently. The ball fell to Richards three yards out but his sloppy clearance was blocked by Bikaya, rebounding through Whitehouse's legs to give Folly Lane the win. 

"We were excellent, especially considering the players missing," Richards said after the game.

"Everyone stuck to their tasks, we were organized, we worked hard and we created chances.

"Folly Lane are a really good side and are top of the league for a reason. Everyone was absolutely devastated to lose that game after the effort we put in. 

"Unfortunately my mistake at the end gifted them the game which is obviously gutting. 

"We've had two of our best performances in our last games and with any sort of luck we'd have taken at least 4 points. But this league and football in general can be brutal. 

"We want to keep improving individually and as a team and we know if the performances continue at the level of the last two games the results will follow."


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