Following the successes of our first 11-a-side friendly against SDS in November 2022, and a charity fundraising friendly against Celeb FC in May 2023, we now have a fixture arranged for June 2023.
On Saturday 24th June 2023, we’re playing Lads Speak Out FC, a North Herts based team set up to support positive mental health. The game will also be played at Hemel Hempstead Town FC’s Vauxhall road ground, albeit this one will be free entry (charity collections will take place). Match sponsor details in due course.
This games are part of a series of fundraising events arranged in May and June, supporting Herts Mind Network, who deliver essential mental health support in Hertfordshire, providing a diverse range of services from seven Wellbeing Centres and other venues across all ten districts of the county. Funded locally, Mind’s services are available to all residents in Hertfordshire over the age of 18, as well as providing dedicated services for 10-18 year olds.
Kickabout v Celeb FC, 21/05/2023:
A celebrity football team visited Hemel Hempstead Town FC’s Vauxhall Road ground on Sunday 21st May 2023, to play a squad made up of players from our community football project. It was an exciting clash; the Kickabout side compromised of passionate amateur players from within our community, while Celeb FC featured footballers, entertainers, and personalities who graciously dedicated their time to contribute to this charity event. The game was part of our series of events supporting mental health charity Herts Mind Network, and was well attended by a couple of hundred local football fans.
After a fast paced opening to the game which saw Kickabout’s Brian Green shooting from distance and skimming the crossbar, Celeb FC opened up the scoring in 10 minutes through Liam Andrews. Celeb kept up the pressure and 12 minutes later doubled their lead through Kayode Damali. Kickabout changed tactics, moving Anwar Elkhassisi up front and this paid off within five minutes, with Marc Willmore meeting Sam Symonds cross with a half volley which was blocked by a defender, only for the ball to drop to Anwar who made no mistake reducing the deficit; 1-2. Celeb FC upped their pressure and Dave Bradbury was called in to action to make some good saves; Celeb FC had a goal disallowed and the teams went in at halftime with the score still at 1-2.
Kickabout made a number of halftime changes and within a minute of the second half kicking off, the changes once again led to a goal; a misplaced pass in Celebs defence was met by Willmore who set up Dan Mills to score the equaliser with a neat lob over the ‘keeper. Kickabout started to enjoy their best spell of the game with a lot of possession and chances, but it was short lived when Celeb FC scored two goals in five minitutes. First, Kickabout conceded a penalty – sub ‘keeper Glenn Humphries almost got to Jenno’s shot but couldn’t keep out, then Celebs Macca made it 2-4. More changes to personel and formation kept Kickaboit in the game, but another two goals in quick succession put the game beyond Kickabout’s reach – Andy Taylor and Kayode Damali scoring on 75 and 77 minutes respectively. Moments before the final whistle, Celebs Matty Males sealed the game with their seventh goal.
This was Kickabout’s second ever full-sided game; the squad can be proud of their efforts in stepping up from their weekly 6-a-side to a proper pitch on a hot day against experienced and fit opposition – it was by no means a walkover despite the scoreline and the lads were very positive about the outcome. Celeb FC we’re a fantastic opponent to face, their squad, organisers and support were a great bunch and we’re very grateful of the opportunity to play them – especially the members of the team that had a long journey to support our charity efforts.
We’re grateful of match sponsors S&N Service Ltd and BAR Electrical and Mechanical Services for making this game possible.
Kickabout v SDS, 18/11/2022:
Some of our regular Monday night players represented Community Kickabout in our first “proper” game of football on Friday 18th November 2022. Having organised small-sided games for over two years, this was our first 90 minute 11-a-side game. Our opponents were SDS, a great bunch of lads who visited from Switzerland to compete in a couple in a couple of games over the weekend. Vauxhall Road, home of Hemel Hempstead Town FC, hosted our evening game.
Community Kickabout got off to a lively start, but it was SDS who took the lead, arguably against the run of play midway through the first half. Within minutes though, Kickabout equalised through Marc Willmore; whilst the visitors protested a handball in the build up, a left foot half-volley brought the scores level. By half time, SDS had scored again and took a 1-2 lead in to half time.
Both teams rotated the squad throughout the game and it was some half-time changes to Kickabout’s line up that had the greatest impact on the game. The introduction of Danny Mills up front was followed by a quick equaliser after the re-start, another well finished volley. Within minutes Danny added his second and with SDS on the ropes, we had a Millsy hat-trick within 10 minutes of the second half.
SDS settled back in to the game and after some good spells of pressure pulled a goal back. Kickabout had to dig deep to stay ahead in the final stages, but Will Hardy put the game beyond the reach of our opponents with our fifth goal in the dying minutes. Overall it was a well competed and enjoyable game, with the teams enjoying some post match refreshments in the Vauxhall Road bar after the game.