Although unbeaten in all competitions so far this season, this was to prove a tough, tricky tie for Kirbky Town - their opponents won this competition a couple of years back and currently lie 3rd in the EMPAL First Division.
I was supposed to be at Titchfield Park watching the Empire play Eastwood & Kimberley, but that fixture disappeared off the NSL website. The Barflys game was called off, so it was off to the Summit Centre. Got there at 10:20am - and met Fredkirkbytown who advised me that the kick off was scheduled for 11 am! Gave me a chance to nip around the corner and spend a few minutes with my Son and Grand-daughter, so it wasn't wasted half hour.
The game actually kicked off a couple of minutes early, but I was back and inside the ground by then. The bright sunshine was offset slightly by the chill wind, but on the whole a very pleasant day compared to what we have had to put up with recently.
The first half was a dour affair - it was left to vociferous Kirkby boss Andy Cruddace to liven things up, letting his players, the ref and the spectators know his feelings! I've a lot of respect for Andy, but sometimes his passion was a little OTT and often distracted his players, the majority of whom are seasoned non-league journeymen and know exactly what is expected of them. H-T 0-0
Kirkby : Boot, Armstrong, Collinson, Voller, Dawson, Wilkins, Marshall, Ludlow, Watson K, Bower, Smith.
The home team broke the deadlock on 55, KYLE LUDLOW smashing home a fierce left foot shot from the edge of the box, after a Medic defender had failed to properly clear Keiran Watson's cross to the far stick.
Dave Voller thought he had doubled the Town advantage in the 63rd minute, but the ball had already gone out of play before the defender smashed the ball home. The second goal wasn't long in coming though - a superb KIERAN WATSON effort from the corner of the box that curled sweetly into the top far corner of the goal. Two cracking goals - both well worth the entrance fee.....!
Medics showed little in front of goal, and exited the competition without really causing the home defence or keeper any serious problems. F-T 2-0