Colts 2nd home match of the season took place at a sunny Perdiswell Park on 20th September against a Kidderminster Athletic Kites team that had lost their opening game 6-1 against Kidderminster Lions. Colts lined up with 3 at the back consisting of Beale, Clarke and Glazzard in front of Cam Elton in Goal. Sivaharan and Heywood occupied the middle of the park with Perks wide left and Bousfield right. Conner James provided the attacking option as the game kicked off. Josh Coopey was an unfortunate late withdrawl with an injury.
In a twitchy opening period, Kites settled quicker and looked more likely to open the scoring and with Colts lacking any early fluidity Elton was the busier of the goalkeepers early on. Despite this (and apart from one jittery moment) he looked assured and kept Kites at bay with some positive positioning and a firm pair of hands. Ollie Beale continued his fine run of form, enjoying a typical bustling performance and linked up well with the midfield as the first half progressed.
A scrappy start developed into a more controlled performance as the half wore on with Sivaharan and Heywood seeing more of the ball every minute. The former then supplying Reggie Perks after 24 minutes after winning the ball on the edge of the box. Perks pushed the ball into space before firing a controlled left-footed shot beyond the goalkeeper to open the scoring.
Colts could have double their lead within minutes as first Sivaharan poked wide when well-placed and then Conner James repeated the feat from the edge of the box with time almost up in the first half. As it happened, Colts went in at half time one goal to the good – reward for a dogged first half display.
At half time Manager Coopey brought fresh legs on as Johnson, Davies and Box replaced Bousfield, James and Perks respectively. This did little to dampen the momentum that Colts had developed before the break, especially with more room developing in the middle of the park. Nathan Box looked like a constant handful for the Kites' full back and came close on two occasions, the second a looping cross/shot from distance that beat the keeper but bounced wide of the post. At the back Beale, Clarke and Glazzard looked less troubled as the second half wore on, with a few exceptions where Kites half-threatened to threaten the Colts Goal.
Heywood started to enjoy life more in the second period and Davies provided a constant threat, linking up with Box well, the two of them unlucky not to double Colts advantage after Davies had headed past the away teams keeper only for the ball to be smothered before he or Box could turn it home. Ewan Fisher replaced Caleb Clarke and slotted straight into defence to provide some fresh legs, and as the game reached it’s climax Colts pushed more and more for a winner. Davies hit the bar and Heywood hit a trademark shot from distance that flew just wide. The game reached its conclusion with a succession of corners - Nathan Box repeatedly causing panic in the away-teams area with some whipped-in crosses, scrambled away by some last-ditch defending. Right on the final whistle Davies though he had scored as his bundled effort appeared to have crossed the line only for the referee to blow the whistle to bring proceedings to a close.
Coopey will have been rather pleased with the rugged performance against a team that showed plenty of craft given their previous result. The result saw Colts go top of the table, albeit having played one more game than a couple of their rivals. A sluggish start will have caused a slight worry, however, and the coaching team will be keen to eradicate this for next weeks important game against Kidderminster Lions.
Man-of-the-Match (both managers and players choice) was Dylan Sivaharan.