Varsity 2017 Men’s 1s Football: Kent are the Comeback Kings
UKC Men’s First Football team provided an early contender for game of the tournament on Friday by executing the perfect comeback against Varsity rivals Canterbury Christ Church. 2-0 down at halftime, Kent F.C did the seemingly impossible and in the 89th minute brought the score up to 3-2 to seal a shock late win.
The evening snow failed to get the better of both teams as CCCU and UKC started the match bright with a flurry of shots on target at both ends. The game was fast moving and tense with the ball running quickly along the 3GX surface. There was a classic Varsity feel to the game with both sets of supporters making their cheers and jeers heard. The players knew the size of the game too and early on tempers flared. A corner caused some grappling in the box and then a scuffle and a yellow card for CCCU. The match remained a cagey affair from start to end.
Christ Church took the lead in the 27th minute with a fired shot from inside the box hitting the roof of the net. Three minutes later they almost doubled their lead with a blazing shot hitting the bar. With Christ Church maintaining a solid hold on the game, a second goal was inevitable and in the 35th minute a floated header dipped over the Kent keeper to give the visitors a comfortable lead. Going into the break Kent looked flustered and the score at half time was 2-0 to CCCU.
Kent F.C came out fighting right from the off in the second half though and early shots showed promise and offered a way back into the game. A penalty in the 72nd minute for a reckless foul in the box was the break UKC needed and after it was coolly converted by Cory Walters-Wright, Kent finally had a foothold in the game.
Christ Church showed no signs of seeing out the game and continued to go on the attack but a real turning point came in the 75th minute when there was another scuffle on the half way line and CCCU number 9 was sent off for headbutting a Kent player. He was later heard saying to a fellow team mate, “I just totally lost it.” When Kent levelled the scores up in the 80th minute that analysis appeared correct as Christ Church had seemingly thrown away the victory.
The snow continued to fall as the match entered the dying minutes but the on-field action remained heated and it was all going Kent’s way. Continued pressure against the ten-man opposition was punishing and in the 89th minute the defences cracked and Kent poked a goal in from the six-yard box. The comeback was complete and it was utter jubilation for Kent F.C and their supporters.
The comeback was sealed and the football bragging rights, for this coming year, go to Kent.