QK Southampton v Fawley: Pre-season friendly 4th July 2017

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There was a lot to be happy about as pre-season got underway at QF FC, even AFC Fawley who were convincingly defeated 5-0 saw the whole thing as a positive experience tweeting:

Result: @qk_fc 5-0 Fawley XI, tough test for many new/young faces. Good workout & great hospitality. All the best to QK for their season.

As for QK, what better way to kick off what could well be a challenge for the Hampshire Premier Football League Senior Division title than a nice run out on a sunny evening.

Certainly there seemed to be plenty to be optimistic about in their performance. Particularly standing out for me was QK number 9 Babs Bojang who was just the sort of striker I like to watch – the type who play with skill and guile.

Bojang also played with composure as demonstrated by the first QK goal: An attack down the left saw a Fawley player succeed in making the tackle, but this only pushed the ball across to another QK player. Some quick interplay and Bojang calmly and neatly dispatched the ball into the corner of the net.

The goal came just a few minutes into the game and from this point QK never looked back. A second came soon after courtesy of the QK number 10 after some good work by Bojang in pulling the Fawley defence around.

At the other end Fawley never really mounted much of a threat, definitely being hampered in their efforts by being a side who were largely unknown to each other – tellingly some of the Fawley players loudly complaining of poor movement. A good flick on did however, see one Fawley player evade the QK back line, but the ball was sent wide enough to give the defence sufficient time to recover and it wasn’t until late in the first half that a Fawley player managed an attempt on goal, a tightly angled shot which ended in the side netting.

If Fawley were to score they needed an element of luck and that almost came when the QK ‘keeper stooped down to collect a routine ball, only for it to hit a divot. Immediately memories of Tim Flowers came flooding back as the ball looped up. Luckily for the ‘keeper though it didn’t quite make it over his shoulder and glanced off him at the expense of a mere corner.

Chatting in the second half one of the QK officials told me that the team were a good bunch with a good atmosphere pervading the side. This seemed to be encapsulated nowhere better than by the QK number 6 who wore the captains armband and who led his side with a joviality which suggested here was a guy who enjoys his football. Such enthusiasm is enough for me to forgive him for almost taking my head off with a clearance. Somehow I managed to be switched on enough to duck the ball which cannoned off the clubhouse just behind me instead of my face – “You would have woken up in August” someone joked – probably quite accurately. Inwardly I was quite impressed by my reactions – no doubt a result of a similar experience at Hamble Club a few years back where I wasn’t so lucky!

It was the number 6 who got QK’s fourth goal of the evening, sliding it past the Fawley ‘keeper and under a darkening sky a fifth goal rounded off a convincing victory for the home side.

On an individual level it’s worth pointing out that some of the Fawley players impressed with one managing a bicycle kick which rattled the bar (though had it gone in it would have been ruled out for offside).

All in all an enjoyable trip – and my head remains on my shoulders too. I’m looking forward to re-visiting QK during the season for a Hampshire League game and like Fawley wish them all the best.

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