The scoreline doesn’t tell the whole story of Wednesday’s match between Kings Hammer FC and Kalamazoo FC. The fans that came out to watch the match at Xavier University’s Corcoran Field would tell you the match had a little bit of everything and despite the result was very entertaining to watch.
Kings Hammer opened the scoring with a goal from Roberto Burlew on a beautiful service from Danny Barlow in the 16th minute. Despite the Kalamazoo pressure, Kings Hammer dominated possession. In the 19th minute, Timmy Ennin doubled the Kings Hammer lead with an assist from Rodrigo Robles.
As the half continued, it appeared that KHFC was well on its way to cruising to a victory. In the 35th minute, Ennin received a yellow card for a challenge near midfield. Within seconds, Ennin was shown another yellow for his response to the official and was sent off.
In the 39th minute, Kalamazoo made its first substitution, bringing Cyrus Harmon onto the pitch. It looked like KHFC was going to make it into the half with a 2-0 lead, but Harmon and Kalamazoo had a different idea. Four minutes of stoppage time gave Kalamazoo what it needed to get onto the board with Harmon getting the brace before the end of the half.
While Kings Hammer had a 2-1 lead at the half, another 45-plus minutes down a man was something Paul Nicholson’s side thought it could handle. Kings Hammer made two halftime substitutions, and it looked as though the changes were going to keep Kalamazoo off the board.
Kalamazoo was relentless in its attack and equalized in the 57th minute as Lara scored on an unassisted goal. After that goal, Northern Kentucky’s Sam Robinson entered the match for Kings Hammer in an attempt to give it some fresh legs out on the wing and help KHFC find a short-handed goal.
While Robinson did provide a spark for Kings Hammer and goalkeeper Jared Brown did his best to stop the Kalamazoo attack, Kalamazoo added on goals from Pepe Martinez and Cyrus Harmon (two) to round out the scoring and cruise to a 4-2 victory.
Ethan Garvey Shines
It’s hard to think that in a match where the losing team gives up four goals that a defender had a good match. Ethan Harvey did just that. In addition to a stellar goal-line clearance in the 75th minute, he also drew a ton of attention on every KHFC attacking free-kick and was the reason that Burlew was wide open to score the opening goal. The Evansville Ace had earned his time in the back during the absence of Reece Hands, and it will be interesting to see what changes Nicholson makes in the back when Hands returns from the knock he took in the first week of training.
Danny Barlow’s Effort
Danny Barlow has played all but four minutes this season and has shown tremendous effort in all 176 minutes logged for Kings Hammer. Barlow was all over the pitch trying to find a way to get Kings Hammer in a position to get a result. He leads the team in shots (six) and has one goal, and four of his six shots have been on target. He only trails Wednesday’s captain Karson Kendall, Burlew and goalkeeper Jared Brown in minutes. Each of them has played every minute so far this season.
Key takeaways from the match:
- Kings Hammer did a much better job handling the press from Kalamazoo than in the second half against Dayton. Before going down a man it controlled the majority of possession.
- Kendall and Burlew are workhorses. The two of them do a very good job when they make a mistake to recover from it and make up for it.
- Fifty-five minutes is a long time to be down a man. Anytime a player is sent off it’s hard on the remainder of your teammates. Hopefully, Ennin learns from Wednesday and sitting out Saturday’s match will make him work that much harder when he’s able to be back into the lineup.
- Despite the result, this club plays entertaining football. Even when it wasn’t able to get much going in the second half, the ball movement and effort make it fun to watch.
- KHFC needs to be the happiest animal on the planet today and be a goldfish. It needs to talk a little about what happened in this match and forget about it and move forward as it travels to Oakland County on Saturday.
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