Pirates County Cup Dream Ends As Need-A-Cab Drive On
(Sunday 13th September 2015)
The second weekend in September saw the Devon County Cup come in to focus as The Pirates hosted last seasons Division 3 title winners Need-A-Cab in Round 1. A tough looking test for Carpenter’s men but with spirits high after last weekends thrashing of Riverside Saints the focus was in place to give the game a real go. With striker Adam Smietanka & skipper Sam Bruty missing Callum Knight was moved to centre forward, Dan Sanderson making his full debut on the left of midfield & Brad Smith coming in to the holding role. Chris Stephens also returned to the starting XI replacing Enda Hannigan who fell ill over night, Aaron Reed was drafted in to the squad as a late sub.
Need-A-Cab playing in yellow go the game under way, attacking the goal to the right. It was the visitors who would make the early running & indeed take the early lead, after pressing The Pirates defence for the opening 5mins the 1st goal of the game would come on 11mins, the ball was played back to James Beckwith from the midfield area & despite taking a good touch & taking his time the defender’s attempted pass back fell short allowing the opposing striker to nip in & finish high over keeper Liam Hooks who was left helpless to stop it. 0-1.
Despite the early set back The Pirates made an instant reply! Directly from the kick-off the ball found its way to the right back area for Nick Errington, who was given time & space to lift a delightful long ball over the top to the already running Callum Knight & with two quick touches & a shimmy the inform man fired the ball in to the bottom corner from 12 yards out, a superb response from the Home side & a show of real character to level so quickly. 1-1.
After the frantic early pace the game settled in to a rhythm, both teams exchanging possession & creating chances, the clearest chance for The Pirates on 24mins, a James Ewing free-kick from the left hand side found Nick Errington unmarked at the back post but his header was well claimed by the Need-A-Cab keeper. On 39mins came the away sides chance to retake the lead, some poor defending by the men in Red resulted in two rushed & erratic clearances attempts, only to see the ball slipped inside the box with a clear run on goal for the forward, a sure touch & the goal gaping he raced forwards, but as he attempted to release the shot, Liam Hooks in his best efforts to close the angle clattered in to Need-A-Cab man & took him out, the Referee had little to no option, PENALTY! The ball on the spot, the No11 took a deep breath & strode up confidently… POST! The ball going behind for a goal kick & the danger had passed, a lucky escape but a clear warning to The Pirates as they head in to the Half-Time break at 1-1.
No changes were made at the break as the 2nd period got underway, as with the 1st half it wouldn’t take long to see the net ripple & again, unfortunately for The Pirates it would be the away side that would get the break through. Just 2mins in to the restart a period of nice inter changing of passes resulted in a fast counter attack down the right hand side saw the Need-A-Cab wide man skip past Chris Stephens with an excellent piece of skill & despite James Beckwith’s lunge in at the near post the cross was turned in from close range by the unmarked striker to make it 1-2.
A real hammer blow start but eventual MOTM Jimmy Williams was starting to pull strings in the midfield area for The Pirates, almost setting Callum Knight & Dan Sanderson through on goal, only to see the passes narrowly intercepted, Michael Brown & Brad Smith also stepping their games up to offer more protection to the back four, on 56mins came a very undeserved booking come James Ewing’s way, after a run down the right hand side ended with him being tackled around the waist & dragged to the floor Referee Dave Avery somehow decided Ewing was the guilty man & produced yellow for his reaction (Kicking out) to the indiscretion, It was signs the fire was still in the game, however 10mins later that fire would be extinguished.
The 65th minute ticked around & Need-A-Cab found themselves taking a two goal lead, in truth deservedly, having taken the game by the scruff of the neck, a ball over the top down the right hand channel caught James Ewing a bit high up the field & allowed a free run in on goal for the centre forward who was able to lift the ball over & past Liam Hooks in to the net to make it 1-3.
With the game fast getting out of reach, Manager Carpenter brought subs on, James Berntsen replacing Chris Stephens, Steve Tapper coming on for Dan Sanderson & wide forward Rhys Jones for Defender James Beckwith, the formation tweaked to 3-5-2 in an attempt to get back in the game, despite spells of possession the best chance to get a goal back wouldn’t fall until the 85th min.
An almost exact replica of the 1st half saw a short back pass pounced upon by Callum Knight but despite having time & space to work his shot was disappointing & straight in to the arms of the relieved Need-A-Cab keeper, from the resulting punt forwards it was Pirates keeper Hooks who was back in the spotlight, pulling off a truly wonderful reflex save tipping the ball away after the men in yellow found themselves in at goal. One last chance would fall to Brad Smith to get The Pirates some late hope but his curling shot from 18 yards after a corner was easily claimed by the keeper & time would run out on home side. On the day the better side won the game, but The Pirates will look back on it & think maybe they could have pushed harder in the second half, lessons learned from today.
Stephens (RB) Beckwith (CB) Errington (CB) Ewing (LB)
Smith (MF) Brown (MF)
Manolias (RF) Williams (CF) Sanderson (LF)
Reed, Tapper, Berntsen, Jones.
The Southway (H) Sunday 20th September 2015, Plympton Saint Mary
Man Of The Match
Man Of The Match: Jimmy Williams
The Man Of The Match award this week goes to Jimmy Williams. Despite the defeat on the day, Jimmy’s hard working, all action performance stood out above the rest. Tough tackling, a desire to drive the team forward & always being available to receive or give a pass, Jimmy is starting to recapture his best form, given the No10 role to play on the day gave him licence to create for the forward players & but for some last ditch interceptions he could well have had a couple of assists. On the day Jimmy gets the vote & if only he could remember all correct kit & be on time for every match we might win it more this season! We aren’t holding our breath!