Kings strike early blow
IT took less than a minute for Armi Ghooti to put the Gold Coast Soccer Premier League on notice as the Tweed Valley Kings ran out 2-1 winners over seasoned heavyweights Gold Coast Knights at Carrara on Saturday night.
Nightmares of seasons past and countless goals gone begging were quickly wiped from memory as prodigal son Chris Edwards caught the hosts napping and threaded a magical ball to the Kings striker who made no mistakes from 15 yards out.
“Watching Armi bang one home almost immediately from the kick-off was a dream start to the year,” Kings coach Craig Madden said.
“The boys couldn’t buy a goal for much of the past two seasons so to get one in the bag so early was a great confidence boost.
“To get a result and come away with the three points up there was exactly the sort of start we were after.”
However, Madden’s heart was given a workout, and in turn his lungs.
Following brilliant passages of the football needed to become GCS royalty, the Kings were guilty of inviting the Knights back into the contest and midway through the first half paid the price for their wandering minds.
In front of a generous home crowd, the Knights lifted and it was the northerners who saw out the half on top and returned from the sheds with renewed energy.
But eager to start the season with a win, the new-look Kings refused to lie down and when Edwards blasted home a sensational low drive from the edge of the 18-yard area, he capped off a wonderful return to top-flight football and sealed an emphatic win.
As they did in the first half, the Knights stormed the Kings’ defences late in the second stanza but where the Kings of old may have cracked, the new-look back four, spearheaded by skipper Luke Craig, refused to concede.
“That first half an hour, we came out of the blocks flying and ran them around the park.
"We were playing some brilliant football but took our foot off the pedal,” Madden said.
“We dropped off there for a bit but it was a real team effort and everyone dug deep late in the game when they were really coming at us.
“Young Joshy Green had a good strong game in goal but I thought Craigy and Chris Brown were particularly good for us.
"They were very tight at the back against two exceptional strikers.
“In the past, the boys have been in positions like that and lost.
"But everyone was working for each other out there.
“It’s only early days and we can’t get ahead of ourselves.
"We’ve got plenty of things to work on but it was a nice way to start.”