Super Pirates Put Southway To The Sword In Derby Victory
(Sunday 12th October 2014)
2 new signings to debut, a derby match to use as motivation & a strong desire to put a ‘W’ on the board, The Pirates finally got what they deserved, a 1st ever League victory & on a day nobody could say they didn’t deserve it. A performance of class, desire & commitment resulting in a fantastic 4-1 victory at Skull N’Bones park. 3 points on the board, confidence very much restored.
Despite a week of rain & generally unpleasant weather conditions in Plymouth the League derby match between The Pirates & The Southway was cleared to kick off. The match amusingly nicknamed “The Derby D’Plym” saw the Home side making changes to the starting lineup, the 4-5-1 formation was restored, debuts handed to new signing Brad Smith in the centre of Midfield as well as Striker Callum Knight making His full bow up front. James Berntsen returned after injury to take up the Right Back spot, with James Ewing dropping back to partner Captain Enda Hannigan at Centre Back, Adam Luckham a late addition to the starting lineup, a richly deserved chance based on His attitude & hard work in prior weeks.
The match kicked off with The Pirates in Red, The Southway in Green, The Home side kicking from Right to Left in the 1st half. Straight from the 1st whistle it was clear Carpenter’s Men were determined to put on a show, pressuring every ball in Midfield & putting together some delightful short passing moves. Aaron Reed making the 1st noticeable note of the game, a late lunge on Southway’s tricky winger, leaving Him to be stretchered off after just 2mins! The wait for a goal however was an equally short one, just 4mins in Callum Knight raced forward to close down The Southway goal keeper who was in receipt of a tricky bouncing pass back, the young striker did superbly to flick the ball away from the desperate attempts at a clearance before sliding the ball across to the waiting Dan Amador who calmly slotted the ball in to the empty net from 6yards out. Its was 1-0 Pirates! A dream start!
The Pirates continued to press, concious of the fact The Southway were clearly on the ropes after the unexpected concession of an early goal, aware of the fact the Home side had taken early leads against the same opposition before Carpenter & His Assistant Dave Miller urged the focus & drive to push on for a 2nd, the chance of that would come just 6mins after the opener. Home Debutant Brad Smith picked up the ball in the Midfield area & drove on a direct path to the box, riding 2 tackles in the process, but as He broke in to the area, the referee deemed the shove he was given as a foul & pointed to the spot, The Pirates had their 5th penalty in as many games! After missing the last 4 the newest volunteer to step up was James Berntsen, the Number13 stepped back to compose Himself before striding up confidently, OFF THE BAR!!! The rebound gathered by the keeper! In truth an excellent penalty, but just a fraction too high, it was however, a miss that Berntsen would soon make up for…
The pressure continued, the Home side laying siege to The Southway goal & finally on at the turn of the 20minute mark the reward came, once again Callum Knight used His searing pace to His advantage, again closing the hapless Southway goal keeper, who would have a day to forget! The striker pulled off the nutmeg & dispatched the ball into an unguarded net, it was 2-0!!!
Such a superb start to the match would get even better just 4mins later, despite His earlier penalty miss James Berntsen did superbly to push on down the right flank from full back, brilliantly evading a challenge before crossing low to waiting Greg Davis, His smart low shot slipping under the keeper & in to the bottom left hand corner of the net! Greg’s arms aloft as he wheeled away in celebration, it was clear this would be a day to remember for The Pirates, 3-0 up in 23mins!
It would be unfair on The Southway to say they didn’t create chances themselves, in fact Pirates keeper Rhys Jones did superbly well to stop Player/Manager Jordan Holmes from pulling a goal back in the 32nd minute, racing from His goal & intercepting the through ball one on one, a clash leaving the Striker knocked out! The men in Red were clearly in no mood to stop pressing for more chances, the Midfield of Smith, Reed, Davis, Amador & Luckham were working tirelessly to win the 2nd balls & feed Callum Knight, a minute before the break further joy was to be had! A delightful through pass from MOTM Dan Amador sent the young forward streaking towards goal again, Souhtway’s keeper doing well to make a strong low block only to see Amador Himself attack the rebound, back off the post but with a sublime 1st touch killing the ball & smashing it home, it was a brilliant 4-0!! A score that would remain as the teams took a break for Half-Time.
Management Team Carpenter & Miller gathered the Lads in to praise & refocus ready for the 2nd half, the game resumed. Southway reverting to a 4-2-4 formation in an all out attempt to get goals back early, a tactic that would yield some results. 5mins in to the 2nd period Rhys Jones was forced in to a superb reflex tip over, but from the resulting corner the Central Defender for the Away sided got above Adam Luckham to drill a header in to the net, 4-1 & work to do.
The Pirates steadied the ship, Brad Smith marking His debut with a booking after 52mins, the official line from the referee was persistent fouling, not something that bothered Him or the team, quite the opposite in fact, it was a sure sign the Home team were still fully focused on doing whatever it took to claim victory, indeed the tough tackling & exceptional reading of the game from James Ewing & Enda Hannigan shone through in the 2nd half, along with fantastic positional play & cover from full backs Brown & Berntsen & wide men Reed & Davis. Keeper Jones was in action again on 69mins, making another stunning save low to His left to keep the 3 goal buffer. With 71mins on the clock 2 changes were made to keep fresh legs, the brilliant Luckham & Davis were given breathers with Chris Stephens & Sean Cross coming on. The fresh legs helping hugely, Stephens making a superb headed near post clearance minutes after coming on & Cross putting in a tireless period of running off the front man, resulting in a chance He narrowly fired in to the near post netting when getting through on the right. Dave Isaacs was brought on for MOTM Dan Amador with 15 to play, putting Himself about for the cause as always.
In a final 20mins that tested Manager Kris Carpenter’s nerves to the max the Home side closed the game out, Defending superbly & always posing a threat on the counter, indeed Callum Knight was unlucky not to be awarded a 2nd penalty late on, but as the referee’s whistle was blown not a fuck was given! The Pirates were victorious & the smiles beamed out as handshakes & high fives were exchanged, a fantastic day for all concerned & a rich reward for the hard work undertaken by all.
UP THE PIRATES!
Quite a short sum up for this game… GET IN THERE!!! Hardwork, sticking together & fighting for the cause gave The Pirates this win, the feeling is going forward this could be a real turning point & to see the team with smiles a plenty was heart warming. After this euphoria a seriously tough task awaits this coming weekend, with a trip out to the sticks to face Division 2 side Walkhampton in the Novahomes Challenge Cup, but after this result today The Pirates fear nobody. COYP.
The Man Of The Match award this week goes to Dan Amador. In truth the team as a whole were all superb, but the MOTM award was richly deserved for Dan, a tireless performance in the centre of the park dovetailing brilliantly with Brad Smith from the off & with 2 goals notched He was able to get forward & show His arsenal of flicks, tricks & soft touches in the process. After impressing from day 1 of joining, Dan’s ability & positive, attitude of leading by example has been a huge hit within the squad & He richly deserves the trophy this week. Congrats Dan.
Goal Scorers: Knight (5) Amador (19, 44) Davis (23)
Jones, Berntsen, Hannigan (c) Ewing, Brown, Reed, Luckham, Smith, Amador, Davis, Knight.
Cross, Isaacs, Stephens.
Man Of The Match: Dan Amador