2nd July 2021
Anguilla Senior Male League
Raymond E. Guishard Technical Centre
Kicks United - Uprising FC 4 - 1
Referee : Albert Burton
Despite the result this was a very welcome return to competitive action for the lads following several weeks of inactivity due to Covid 19 restrictions.
In what was always going to be a difficult game whomever we played against, this was especially difficult as we were up against Kicks United who had last won the AFA Senior Male League only in 2019 - a tough task indeed!
The opening ten minutes of the game was quite tight and tense, good football also proved to be difficult due to high winds swirling around the REGTC. It would be fair to say however that our opponents were having more possession than us but other than winning a few corners our goal was largely unthreatened. Unfortunately that all changed on 18 minutes when Glenville Allen put Kicks a goal up courtesy of a good finish past Rachad Thomas.
After going a goal down, Uprising rolled their sleeves up and battled hard and indeed created a half chance of our own. On 20 minutes Javis Jones delivered a dangerous looking free kick into the Kicks penalty area but it was cleared away to safety. Despite this it was Kicks who were still having a large amount of possession and were denied from going 2 goals up on 24 minutes courtesy of a great save by our ever improving goalkeeper Rachad Thomas.
On 35 minutes Kicks did however grab their second goal of the game albeit in quite a fortunate fashion. Defari Francis delivered a free kick into our box from nearly the halfway line. Somehow the ball evaded everybody and nestled into the goal.
Uprising at this stage could well have been forgiven for allowing their heads to drop but there was none of that! Two minutes later we reduced the arrears via a goal from the ever impressive Rene Thomas who whilst clean through on goal lifted the ball over the onrushing Kicks goalkeeper - game on!
It was now all happening and just after we had won our first corner of the game, Rachad Thomas prevented Kicks from furthering their lead with a superb double save. Unfortunately there was nothing that the Uprising custodian could do to stop Ruvin Richardson putting Kicks 3-1 to the good on 44 minutes when he headed home, unmarked from close range.
Half Time : 1-3
The second half started in very similar fashion to the first period with nothing by the way of goalscoring opportunities being created. There was drama in the 52nd minute though when we went down to ten man as Ea-Rhon Rogers was sent off for a second bookable offence. Uprising provided a good response and went close to reducing the arrears on 56 minutes when we struck a shot just wide of the target.
Rachad Thomas produced further great goalkeeping on 59 minutes to prevent Kicks and two minutes later Tre Gumbs delivered a dangerous high ball into the Kicks box which was well claimed by their goalkeeper. The lads were showing a great attitude to the game with a high workrate to prevent Kicks from making the game safe - a great testiment to not only the players but also to our coaching staff with the brilliant training programme they put on in pre season.
Despite our efforts there was nothing we could do to prevent Kicks from making the game safe in the 87th minute through Delani Francis which was the last action of the game.
Uprising Line up: 30. Rachad Thomas, 2. Ea-Rhon Rogers, 3. Asharn Hodge, 7. Javis Jones, 10. Rene Thomas ( c) 13. Tre Gumbs, 15. Matthew Brown ( 68 min / 27. Chavoi Gumbs ), 20. Antoine Laurent ( 71 min / 18. Rayquan Gumbs ) , 24. Sanjay Harrigan, 8. Davin Fleming ( 85 min / 16. Shakeem Lewis ) ,12. Keonandrew Alexander ( 53 min / 26. Rian Richardson )
After the game we spoke to our technical director Andre Collins for his thoughts on the game.
"This was a very disappointing result. The long lay off definitely affected the team's performance. Some of the guys struggled to stay on assignment which created us with some challenges, especially in our defense"
"We will try and work on some of these issues in the next few days and we will be looking for a much better showing in our next game"
"We have no injury concerns at the moment but we will obviously be without Ea-Rhon Rogers who was sent off"