Errington Screamer Secures Draw For The Battle Ready Pirates
(Wednesday 13th August 2014)
The final Pre-Season Friendly match of the summer for The Pirates & it ended with a huge confidence boosting draw ahead of the curtain raiser on Sunday. In a match pitting 2 sides together just 4 days before they meet again it was clear from the off that this would be a very closely fought encounter, both sides desperate to gain the psychological advantage before the 1st League match of the season when they’ll meet again. Manager Kris Carpenter was without assistant Dave Miller for the game so opted to select a fairly strong starting XI, resisting the temptation to experiment further, it would prove to be a good decision. Rhys Jones returned in goal & really stood out with a commanding performance, along with a settled back 4, solid midfield & a front 2 including the also returning Gary Holder. The game kicked off The Southway lining up in a 4-3-3 came out at a fast pace, the nippy number 2 at Right Back finding some early joy rampaging down the wing & whipping in 2 dangerous crosses, it would prove to be warning shots ahead of a set back for The Pirates back line. The clock ticked to 5mins & the 1st goal arrived, the previously mentioned Full Back dug out another superb back post cross met by the advancing Centre Forward who fired goal wards, Keeper Rhys Jones got down quickly but despite an excellent parried save the ball ricocheted directly back to the striker who duly tucked it away. 0-1 to The Southway. Aware of the tendency to concede quick goals Boss Carpenter quickly got the message to skipper for the evening Nick Errington to hold the ball for a few minutes & take the sting out of the game, also making 2 changes, with James Bailey & Greg Davis replacing Dan Amador & Steve Lacy. A period of calm followed, both sides having chances but no further goals came before the break. Half Time 0-1. A strong team talk & away for the 2nd half went the men in White, quickly in to their stride, pressing The Southway side back in to their half & pushing the tempo all the while. Despite the early pressure The Pirates were struggling to create clear cut chances despite having the lions share of possession, further changes were made, Club Captain Enda Hannigan came into the central midfield role, with Ryan Dainty & Dean Matthews also taking to the field. The injection of fresh players & a tinkering with positions was to yield results not long after. In the 78th minute The Pirates won the ball in the centre circle & drove forwards on a quick counter attack, Gary Holder picked up the ball 25yards from goal taking a superb 1st touch before being crudely brought down, a direct free kick was awarded. Nick Errington stepped forwards, weighing up the distance to goal, it was clear he fancied it… The referee blew the whistle & with the purest strike you could wish for The Pirates stand in skipper lashed the ball up over the ball & high in to the top right hand corner, The Southway keeper left grasping thin air, a superb equalizer & richly deserved. 1-1. A frantic final 12mins followed, both teams pressing forward in search of the winning goal, both leaving gaps at the back resulting in hearts skipping beats on The Pirates bench! Thankfully the defence held firm, in fact a dramatic last minute chance for Holder could even have won it, but as the game came to a close the draw was a fair result, both sides more than ready to duel again on Sunday. May the League season commence.
A hard fought & richly deserved draw for The Pirates leaves the squad in an upbeat mood ahead of Sunday’s opening League fixture, travelling away from home to play The Southway will be another stiff test, but with a fit, firing & confident group to pick from, the biggest headache could be who manager Kris Carpenter is forced to leave out of the travelling party. A strong group of 26 set sail on the new season, no doubt ups & downs along the way, but on Pre-Season form alone it is very clear The Pirates will give everyone a tough game this season & will enjoy doing so.
All the best to the Boys. COYP.
Man Of The Match: Nick Errington
Jones, Brettell, Errington (c), Ewing, Morgan, Lacy, Southall, Brown, Reed, Holder, Amador.
Dainty, Hannigan, Matthews, Bailey, Berntsen, Davis.