Top row (left to right): C.Lopez Guevara, T.O’Halloran, N.Stirling, L.Cooper, L.Haydock, C.Montiel-McCann, S.Fagbohun, L.Nunes Bottom row (left to right): D.Griffiths, E.Hill, S.Muller, A.Moya, A.Gardiner, S.Wan, T.Chudoba
KIKK’s first game was on Sunday, August 24, against AFC Wimbledon. Just back from her round the world trip, Connie has kindly “volunteered” to write the match report…
KIKK’s first match of the season was against a free-spending, revamped AFC Wimbledon side (rumours the west London club is now backed by a multi-billionaire oil digger are unconfirmed). KIKK gave full debuts to six new players, won over not by money or expenses or gold, but by the promise of good football, our charms and a love for Scandinavia they didn’t even know they had. However the most significant change this season is the fact that if you are last to arrive on the pitch, you now have to do a match report…
During the pre-match build up, the Mile End faithful could have been forgiven for believing a divide in the team had formed, as the midfield and Sophie M mingled in the centre of the pitch. However the back four, and goalkeeper Laura, showed no signs of caring as we bonded with high fives and our own, better conversations. Once the match was underway there were no sign of any such divisions as the midfield and Sophie M worked their socks off to control the tempo of the game. The start of the match was notable for a couple of wonderful saves by debutant Laura, however it was not all one way traffic and when someone with a blonde ponytail (almost certainly debutant Cynthia), played a magnificent through ball picking out Sophie M’s diagonal run, she calmly slotted home. 1-0 KIKK.
Both teams were struggling to find a rhythm when Wimbledon drove a low cross into the box. KIKK didn’t clear their lines and the Wimbledon player picked her spot for the equaliser. KIKK almost retook the lead before half time with some typically sharp inter-passing working an opportunity for Simone in space. She forced a fine save from a tight angle as the half ended 1-1.
Chris’s half time talk rallied the team (and almost certainly confused the Spaniards) and KIKK had barely perfected their pre- kick off huddle when Sophie M secured her second of the match, restoring KIKK’s lead. (Just to confirm the huddle is concluded with “1,2,3 KIKK” and an UPward arm motion). The goal came with a sharp, swift move when another blonde ponytail (I think Lydia) played in Sim who fired the ball goalwards leaving Sophie to tap in. 2-1 KIKK.
The team’s spirit and work rate was epitomised by Sophie M’s third goal as she stole the ball back and slalomed through the defence until she was through on goal and calmly slotted the ball home to give KIKK a 3-1 advantage. Since the match she has kindly promised to score a hat-trick every week for the entire season. Thanks, Sophie! KIKK were well on top now and had a flurry of chances to close out the game with further goals however with 10 minutes left a free kick was conceded in a wide position. Maybe KIKK’s yellow shirts confused her into thinking she was a Brazilian defender, maybe she still thought she was in Brazil watching rather than playing football, or maybe she just saw something shiny, but Connie failed to move with her player for the free kick and Wimbledon pulled one back.
The final few minutes were unsurprisingly a bit nervy after that but KIKK defended well under Danni’s masterful command, and the team held on for a winning start to the season. Although the best football is still to come, with so much new and old talent and with the work rate displayed today, maybe this will indeed be KIKK’s year. The last Muller to score a hat-trick in the first match was Thomas and he went on to win the World Cup… This is clearly a sign that we will win the league and therefore should plan a celebratory trip to Brazil. And possibly also that Sophie Muller may in fact be from Bavaria rather than London. Either way, it all bodes well for the season!