#TuksFootball: Conor Keylock was the main man against VUT with a winning goal in Round 4 of the Varsity Football competition

Posted on September 17, 2021

Conor Keylock had to endure quite a few jokes from his Tuks teammates about his inability to score goals, but when it mattered, it was the midfielder who ensured that his team won on Wednesday.

Tuks got the better of VUT in a titanic clash in the Varsity Football tournament. They only got to score the winning goal in the 90th minute. The 20-year old, Keylock, slogged the ball into the net from a rebound to ensure Tuks won 1-0. He was also named as FNB Player of the Match.

"I did not celebrate as I was too shocked. I was actually sort of caught napping. I did not expect the ball to come to me. But, when it did, I just booted at it with all my might. The ball soared pretty high. For a moment, I thought it was going to go across the crossbar. But, luckily, the ball came down to hit the back of the net.

"It was 'quite cool' to score because it had been a while since I had done so. I even missed scoring opportunities during training. It led to a lot of teasing from my teammates."

Tuks's head coach, Nicholas Stothard, admits that the game against VUT had been challenging. 

"We have been making things 'tough' for ourselves by not 'killing' of games when we got the opportunity. We should have scored two to three goals in the first half against VUT. We definitely had the chance to do so. 

"If there is something we need to work on, it is to be more ruthless upfront when we are on the attack. We had led VUT back into the game when we had them on the ropes. Luckily that moment of magic happened."

Stothard did not want to single anyone out, saying what excited him was that every player fought to the end, which is what matters.

"It is going to bide well for us if we can continue with this never say die mentality for the rest of the tournament."
The players will take a week break before the Varsity Tournament resume on 22 September. Stothard is delighted with how the first half of the tournament played out. 

"To get seven points in the first 'biosecure bubble' is not a bad return. Of course, it would have been nice if we had beaten Kovsies, but we live to fight another day."

Tuks's captain, Blessing Mabasa, is excited about the victory against VUT but shares his coach's frustration. 

"We are missing too many scoring opportunities. If the other teams get half a chance, they make it count. We definitely need to be more clinical."

The Tuks striker, Alex Stothard, can't wait for the tournament to resume. 

"Tuks has always been a slow starter when it comes to Varsity football, but I think our 'engine is starting to fire on all cylinders. So hopefully, it is going to be hard to stop us from now on." 

Tuks will play UJ on 22 September (16:00). They are the current log leaders with 10 points after four games. North-West, Kovsies and Tuks all have seven points. 

- Author Wilhelm De Swardt

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