Kirkby Stephen’s sixth form football team smashed a 3-1 win against Appleby Grammar’s sixth form. The game was all the more hard-won because Kirkby has a significant number of younger years playing. The weather was not on their side either as the wind was galling and the sun shone in their eyes persistently throughout the game.

On Wednesday the 15th February Kirkby Stephen marched proudly on to their home pitch as many supporters were on the side lines cheering them on. Beforehand Oliver Dixon, who is keen to capture captaincy next year, provided perfect preparation by leading a joyful warmup to get the players in good spirits. The match started off on a strong start as in the first ten minutes Dixon scored the first goal, not long after Ben Allison did a scorpion kick in the middle of the pitch which mesmerised the viewers. The supporters were mainly the upper sixth girls who enjoyed his performance and were nonstop cheering for him, Eleanor Armstrong said she felt he was the ‘people’s princess’. Tom Davey felt he was the ‘star player of the match’ as he entertained the crowd but also scored the second goal for Kirkby in the first half. Unfortunately, Jake Wharton who played for Appleby was soon subbed off after sustaining a hamstring injury, he later admitted ‘I made a crucial error by not warming up properly before the match’.

At the start of the second half, Oscar West scored the only goal for Appleby which was disappointingly a deflection off of a KS player-Jack Longden. Appleby had added pressure throughout the game because their coach Robert Hook was filming the students for their GCSE and A-level moderations, they were trying hard to play up for the camera and this was their ultimate downfall as they were distracted. Ben Allison felt Dom Mules was crucial in preventing further goals, ‘he pocketed their strikers with many great headers’. Also, Harley Sowerby the goal keeper for Kirkby was constantly mobile and tentative at being prepared for the ball, he was very commanding throughout and gave a pep talk to his players at half time after watching their victories but also mistakes. Thanks to Alistair Barr and Liam Barr (his younger sibling known by the title ‘Young Barr’) who ‘had a mental connection playing 1 2’s’ said Allison, they got the ball to Dixon once again who scored the final goal for Kirkby. Dixon said ‘it was a hard-fought game by Kirkby came out with a lot of second ball wins’ he felt they ‘attacked directly and played as a unit’.

Lee Modlin, Kirkby’s captain ‘took an unfortunate tumble’ in an anonymous spectator’s view. The opposition studded his ankle and left him unable to continue playing due to the injury; Modlin said ‘it wasn’t a pretty game of football, the referee was inconsistent, the pitch was uneven and no proper football goals’ -they used the Rugby posts. The weather was windy, sun was in the players eyes, it was cold and not much football was played due to the ball going off-side regularly. Al Barr in his interview was highly bias saying ‘it’s always an easy win against Appleby, it was the score the lads deserved because we had good perseverance’ however he also admitted to feeling ‘we had a scrappy goal which left us with a disappointing unclean sheet’.

This game was a friendly football match organised by Oli Luke who set up the fixture as a ‘last hurrah’, sadly he couldn’t make the game so Mark Bromfield took over and refereed in his place. Modlin felt ‘the team played well but due to a lack of motivation we only scored 3’ does this mean in the future more goals and wins could be on the cards?...