It was only after I re-read this next sentence that I realised how confusing it sounded, but I left it in for amusement. North Kilworth Sports Club is situated on South Kilworth Road just South of the village of North Kilworth.
The Sports Club plays host to the village cricket team and has tennis, five-a-side and netball facilities on a floodlit 3g surface, as well as the multiple football pitches. The car park is quite small but the marshals at the entrance, who also took payment and handed out the excellent programme (see below), directed cars onto grass adjacent to the car park and behind the second pitch.
It's a tidy looking ground that seems to have had some money spent on it in recent years. My only (small) gripe would be that the team sheets are not displayed anywhere that I could see.
Included in the cost of entry to the ground, the Kilworth matchday programme can only be described as excellent in my opinion. A glossy outer cover and 16 pages inside with all of the normal features, league tables, squad lists, recent match report, message from the manager etc. There are also a couple of additional articles, in this case a topical Guy Fawkes item and a nice sporting knowledge quiz. When you bear in mind that the club was playing in Division Two of the Leicestershire Senior League (effectively Step 9) just two seasons ago, this is a superb effort.
Despite playing in the Northants Combination League, Kilworth's visitors Medbourne are Leicestershire-based and, therefore, qualify for the Leicestershire FA competitions. The Senior Cup has been running since 1887-88 and was initially won by Shepshed. The current holders are Ashby Ivanhoe who beat Lutterworth Athletic 3-1 in last year's final.
North Kilworth progressed into the second round of the Senior Cup with a 4-2 penalty win over Uppingham Town, after the sides battled out a 2-2 draw. Medbourne were 2-1 winners at Cottesmore.
Respective league form for both teams has been mixed so far this season. Although, having said that, it is worth remembering that both of these teams were playing a division lower last season. Kilworth finished third in Division One, missing out on a second consecutive tile only because they were deducted three points. Medbourne were second in the Northants Combination Division One.
Kilworth are currently sitting ninth in the Leicestershire Senior League
premier Division after a recent dip in results. They've not managed to win in any competition (aside from the penalty shootout against Uppingham) since beating Thurnby Rangers 3-1 towards the end of September. Medbourne are also on a sticky run of form. Their last win came on October 7th when a Will Arnold hat-trick gave them a 3-1 victory over Heyford Athletic.
Medbourne in their change kit of orange shirts, kicking down the slight slope, certainly started the better of the two sides. Inside the first minute they broke down their right getting in a good cross that was met by Dominic Page at the far post. the header, under pressure, went over but it was a warning to Kilworth that the visitors meant business.
This was emphasised in the second minute when another Medbourne attack led to a bit of a scramble in the penalty area and claims from the orange shirts that an arm had been used to block a shot. The referee agreed, pointing to the spot.
Captain Jack Burrows stepped up and duly dispatched the spot-kick to give Medbourne an early lead. 0-1
After the goal the visitors continued to look the more threatening of the teams but, steadily, Kilworth began to get a foothold on the game. Kilworth always had to be aware of Medbourne's pace on the break, especially down the left where Terry Falcini was their constant go to route.
It was still 20 minutes before the hosts managed anything like a serious threat and even then it could only be classed as a half-chance when their number 7 got off a shot that was deflected safely into the arms of James Hurrell. Halfway through the first period, with the sides now looking far more closely matched, Killy produced a move that put Number 7 in the clear. However, he miscued his shot which went wide of the mark. At the least he should have tested Hurrell.
With ten minutes remaining, Kilworth got themselves back on level terms. Number 10 broke through the middle of the park and after drawing the defender to him and seeing Hurrell coming off his line, he unselfishly laid the ball square for Reece Hookday to slot into an empty net. 1-1
The closest either team came to going ahead after that came in the 43rd minute when Medbourne's Danny Wright glanced a header just wide of the post from a left-wing corner.
HT AFC North Kilworth 1 Medbourne 1. A very lively start from the visitors but Kilworth managed to play their way back into the game. After 10 minutes or so it has been a fairly even contest. The pace of Falcini on the left has been the main threat from Medbourne.
With the hosts a man light for ten minutes, Medbourne set about taking advantage, and it didn't take long at all. A minute after the sin-bin they went back in front. An excellent left-wing cross from Sam Edwards found Callum Watts bursting into the area. His controlled, first-time volley took the ball past the keeper for 1-2.
North Kilworth managed to stem any further flow from Medbourne until the 75th minute when the visiting captain had the opportunity to put the game to bed. A cross from the right found him lurking at the far post. His volley, admittedly not an easy one, flew just wide of the mark and Kilworth lived to fight another day. That proved to be something of a turning point because four minutes later the hoe side were back on level terms after being awarded a penalty for a trip. Hookway stepped up and slotted the ball past Hurrell. 2-2.
The goal sparked a reaction from the home team who went in search of the winner. They were unsuccessful. However, the second half incidents were not yet complete. Right on the 90th minute a long ball from inside the Kilworth half turned the Medbourne defence. Jordie Burke who, up until that point had been superb for the visitors, could do little more than make a late challenge which had little chance of getting the ball. Clearly a foul. However, there as a least one defender covering and the foul was well outside the box. Plenty for the striker stil to do. Clear goal-scoring opportunity? Not in my book. A harsh red in my my mind but the referee saw it otherwise, dispatching the Medbourne defender to the changing rooms.
Medbourne saw out the resulting free-kick and the final minutes of added-time with no more real incident. We were going straight to penalties.
FT AFC North Kilworth 2 Medbourne 2. Good powers of recovery from the hosts, coming back from a goal down twice to level it up. Medbourne will be kicking themselves for not closing the game out but a draw was probably indicative of the overall game.
Apologies for the lack of player names, especially for AFCNK. If I do get a team sheet, I will update the blog accordingly.
- Kilworth 9. Scored low to the Hurrell's left. The keeper almost kept it out. 1-0
- Burrows for Medbourne. Already scored from the spot but blasted this one over. 1-0
- Kilworth 8. Saved by Hurrell. 1-0
- Abbott for Medbourne. Saved 1-0
- Kilworth 4. Scored. 2-0
- Falcini for Medbourne. Scored. 2-1
- Three pens each, Kilworth 12 next to take one. Saved. Still 2-1
- Medbourne 13. Saved again. 2-1
- Kilworth 7 to win it. Scored, high to Hurrell's right.
- Kilworth win 3-1 on penalty kicks.
Want to catch either of these teams in action this weekend?
Kilworth in Premier League action at home to bottom side Ashby Ivanhoe Knights. Met first game of season at Ashby, Kilworth won 1-0 through a Reece Hookway goal. Medbourne are away at Woodford United in a Premier League Cup game. Tough game with Woodford currently third. In the league Woodford won 1-0 at Medbourne a couple of weeks back.
AFC North Kilworth(Alphabetical): Ellison, Garrard, Hookway, Marsden, Robinson, Sharpe, Storer, Sutherland, Wells, Weston, Williams. Subs: English, Fallows, Gaze, Millington, Nas
Medbourne: 1.Hurrell, 6.Abott, 8.Burrows(c), 17.Edwards, 23.Burke, 7.Carpenter, 3.Rose, 22.Page, 33.Falcini, 10.Watts, 9.Wright. Subs: Arundell, Clipston, Wellcome, Stirling, Wheeler.
Ground Number: 386
Programme: Included in entry