Cup Exit For Pirates Against Top Division Title Chasers
(Sunday 28th September 2014)
The Barbican Pirates made their exit from this season’s Ken Rickard Sunday League Cup at the hands of Kings Tamerton today, but it was without some positives against a side pushing hard to win the top Division this season. Playing at Home for only the 2nd time in 8 weeks The Pirates lined up in the usual 4-5-1 formation with the idea of a defensive shape to frustrate the opposition in the early stages, James Ewing getting His wish with a Midfield role to protect the back 4, with the returning Dan Amador taking the captains armband in the absence of the rested Enda Hannigan. There were also starts for Ryan Dainty, Chris Stephens & Dave Isaacs. Straight from the kickoff Tamerton showed just why they are one of the top sides across Devon currently, using the ball well in possession, forcing the Home side back further & further as well as forcing a string of early corners, keeper Rhys Jones forced in to 2 early saves, including one superb close range reflex tip over. The early pressure continued & Tamerton made a deserved break through just after the 13min mark, the bulky forward, Number 10 stealing in between Errington & Isaacs to slide home a near post finish from a right side cross. It took just 5mins for Tamerton to be given the chance to make it 2, a penalty box scramble resulted in a shot on goal, blocked by Nick Errington’s hand according to the referee, a pretty unlucky decision from the touchline angle at least. A penalty was awarded & duly dispatched in to the corner. A period of calm followed, the Away team happy at the early goals giving them the advantage, with the Boys in Red working hard to gather a foot hold in the game. Gradually a few Pirates chances followed, Dan Amador & Steve Lacy combining superbly on one occasion with only the finish lacking. A little shy of the halfway mark though Tamerton extended their lead, a superb run down the left hand side from the nippy winger produced a low crossed for the centre forward to slide home from the penalty spot position to make it a 3 goal lead, a further blow occurred 2mins later as a speculative long range drive found its way high in to the top corner of Rhys Jones’s net, The Pirates were clinging on in the game & doing all possible not to be blown away. After a period of defensive reorganisation only 1 further goal would arrive before the break, a well placed header looping in on the 40min mark, the half-time whistle was blown at 0-5 to the Away side. Manager Kris Carpenter did His best to raise spirits, whilst reminding the players that this was now a chance to win the 2nd half, a piece of motivation that would lead to much improved display in the 2nd period. A steady & efficient beginning to the half, The Pirates getting in to a better rhythm with some crisp passing, the central Midfield trio of Amador, Stephens & Ewing beginning to get some command of the middle part of the pitch, with no subs it was clear Tamerton were happy to sit back on their 0-5 lead. With 10mins of the 2nd half gone Carpenter elected to shuffle His pack, introducing Paul Millar for Dan Amador & handing a debut to newcomer Callum Knight who replaced Sean Cross, the formation adjusted to 4-4-2 with Knight joining Dainty up front. Very quickly it was clear the new boy was keen to impress, picking up the ball on the edge of the centre circle & driving directly at the Away sides backline, beating 2 men before firing a shot narrowly wide. Despite the change in flow of the game Tamerton struck a 6th on the 65th min against the run of play a long ball poked home catching The Pirates defence cold. There was a bright spot to follow though, on 71mins substitute Paul Millar picked up the ball just inside the opposition half driving forward before dispatching a beautifully judged lob shot from fully 25 yards over the goal keeper & in to the top left hand corner, it was a real goal of the month contender at any level! The goal gave The Pirates a lift in momentum again, Callum Knight & Millar again forcing saves from the keeper & Dainty left frustrated when Knight just failed to pick Him out in front of goal with a close range cut back, a real show of determination from the Home side to get some goals back. Despite the continued pressure it was again the Away side that sucker punched scrambling in a late 7th goal on 86mins to make the final score 1-7. Tamerton advance to the next round of the cup, leaving The Pirates to reflect on a game that was always going to be tough, the 2nd half performance really showing that even against a top team they can compete & show off some excellent Football.
Playing one of the favourites to claim the Division 1 title was never going to be an easy task for The Pirates, but a strong 2nd half performance & some battling qualities gave some real hope that the form of 2 weeks ago is not far from being rediscovered. James Ewing showing He has the quality to play an anchoring Midfield role was a real plus, as was the debut from the bench of new signing Callum Knight, who’s pace, trickery & enthusiasm gives a whole new threat in the forward line in for the rest of the season. Despite the seemingly large scoreline & gap between the 2 sides The Pirates left the game with heads held high. Next Sunday sees the return of League action, a Home tie vs Revelstoke Rangers, a team familiar from last season, a high scoring affair could be on the cards. COYP.
The Man Of The Match award this week goes to Rhys Jones. Rhys was handed His 1st start of the season today & showed just how far He has come in a short time with The Pirates. Commanding in cross claiming, superb starting position when sweeping up behind the defence & made some truly outstanding reflex saves. After today’s performance it is clear to everyone Rhys has the tools to push Richard Johns all the way for the Number 1 jersey. Congrats Rhys.
Goal Scorers: Millar (71)
Jones, Berntsen, Errington, Isaacs, Brown, Cross, Stephens, Ewing, Amador (c) Lacy, Dainty.
Reed, Millar, Knight.
Man Of The Match: Rhys Jones