Fitz Overcome Determined King’s
In a show of determination, Kings fought to resist a strong Fitz after going a man down, eventually losing 2-1
FOOTBALL: Fitz 2-1 King’s
Fitz produce a strong display to overcome a dogged performance from a Kings side reduced to 10 men for 80 minutes of a frenetic game, running out 2-1 winners at home.
Anticipation was high for a game between two sides who got off to winning starts last weekend. However, this was very much a makeshift Kings side, with seven enforced changes and unable to field any substitutes. Fitz too were forced into a couple of changes, so no one knew how this one would pan out, but there was optimism in both camps.
It was an even start to the game, with Kings happy to maintain their shape while Fitz had much of the early possession without much penetration. However, as Kings began working their way into the game, the match spun on its head, as the side in purple were reduced to ten men. A clash of heads left Peter Morelli with a nasty gash in his head that later required six stitches. With no substitutes, captain McNally was forced into a tactical reshuffle, content to maintain his bank of four with the aim of stifling the Fitz possession game.
In open play, this proved to be successful. Fitz now had complete control of possession, as Kings striker Putsepp cut a lonely figure up top by himself. Fitz continued to probe but to little avail, restricted to long shots from the likes of Rhodes and Colin, which goalkeeper Greenbury was more than equal to. However, eventually the deadlock was broken and it was a set piece that proved Kings undoing. A superb delivery from Hobbs on the right was nodded home at the backpost by captain Bogle to give Fitz a deserved lead.
The first half continued in much the same way, with Fitz in control. Hobbs continued to be a threat down the right hand side, but Kings defence was made of stern stuff. This was until 10 minutes before half time, where another set piece proved fruitful for Fitz. In a carbon copy of the first goal, Bogle rose to meet another Hobbs corner to double the lead.
The second half was a scrappy affair, with much of the battling taking place in the centre of midfield. Kings determination and fitness belied their one-man disadvantage, and this game was very much a what-could-have-been affair for a side that was restricted to very few chances. Fitz continued to press and Lobron saw a goal chalked off, for offside, as they looked to kill the game off.
For the last 20 minutes, the game opened up as Kings went 3-4-2 in a bid to get something from the match. Kings saw more of the ball, but, unsurprisingly, gaps were left, and Hobbs saw a shot come off the crossbar as he looked to exploit them.
Kings’s never-say-die attitude was finally rewarded five minutes from time as a sharp counter attack finished with Watters slipping through Putsepp who finished coolly. Fitz left with a fully deserved three points but Kings could go with their heads held high for a battling display with 10 men for so much of the game.