Five Wins On The Spin As The Pirates Climb The Table
(Sunday 25th October 2015)
The in form Pirates arrived at Skull N’Bones park today look to secure a record fifth straight victory as they took on stragglers Riverside Saints Reserves. Upon arrive the game was immediately put in to doubt as no Referee had appeared nor had a replacement been allocated! This only added to the Pre-Match problems for The Pirates Management team. No fewer than twelve 1st team squad members were missing for the game. With so many players missing Boss Carpenter dipped in to the ‘free agents’ market to sign on Nick Errington’s Brother Craig Errington as cover in Midfield, as well as Assistant Head Coach Sean Cross who had only recently recovered from the injuries that lead to his Pre-Season retirement from active squad action. Both took roles on the subs bench.
Elsewhere the starting eleven took on a much changed look, Dan Sanderson replaced Liam Hooks in goal, Nick Errington returned from an injury lay off at Centre Back partnered centrally by the also returning Brad Smith. Enda Hannigan & Michael Brown formed the Midfield two, with Wayne Southall getting the nod furthest forward as the target man. Steve Tapper missing out with injury.
With no Referee able to be drafted in both teams eventually agreed to a member of each squad doing a half each, Craig Errington elected to take the first half duties & despite being half an hour late the match got underway. The Pirates making the perfect start to proceedings. Only four minutes in to the game Jimmy Williams found himself some space on the edge of the penalty area after a positive run with the ball, with the cleanest of strikes he said the ball goal wards with a twenty yard shot, with a loud clang the ball came back off the crossbar, unlucky! But the ever alert Loreaz Manolias was on hand to drive the ball high in to the net on the rebound for the opener. 1-0.
After a superb start The Pirates poured forward in search of a second but were very nearly caught cold on ten minutes as Riverside called stand in keeper Dan Sanderson in to action, the pacey No9 got clear on the left hand side & unleashed a shot towards goal which deflected off Nick Errington, a seemingly certain equalizer, but a quick readjustment of feet from Sanderson allowed him to produce a truly stunning reflex save pushing the ball away! The warning was noted! The Home side tightened up & got back on the front foot, Wayne Southall releasing Callum Knight who’s shot was well saved (14) Enda Hannigan headed Nick Errington’s cross narrowly over the bar (18) & Manolias again going close with a low drive (21) the pressure was ramping up on the visitors.
Two goals in a little over ten minutes was exactly what was required to steady the game for high pressing Pirates, on twenty five minutes Brad Smith set up Callum Knight for his seemingly standard goal in every game! A clipped pass in behind released the top scorer in Devon’s Sunday League & after rounding the keeper he finished for 2-0. Then at the turn of the thirty sixth minute a superb back post cross from Enda Hannigan found Loreaz Manolias, who headed a third. Surely even at this stage it was game over at the break, the three goal lead seemingly tough to peg back. Half-Time: 3-0.
The second period saw Riverside Saints Manager take up the mantle as stand in Ref & within ten minutes of the restart The Pirates grabbed a forth goal. Callum Knight was released Loreaz Manolias in much the same fashion as Brad Smith had done so in the first half, the rest was predictable, once again the in form striker rounded the keeper & knocked in his second of the match. 4-0.
With the game now playing out both sides exchanged possession for the a period of fifteen minutes or so, but a devastating five minute burst of three goals made absolutely sure for the Home side. on seventy three minutes the now debuting Craig Errington swung in a corner which found the head of his Brother Nick who scored on his return to the side & just two minutes later it was six, Manolias this time the architect beating two men, then saw his cross come shot parried out by the keeper only to the waiting poacher, Sean Cross! The man returning to the team for the first time in over six months notching a come back goal from five yards. There was time for the opposition to pull one back as The Pirates switched off, but two minutes later Manolias was able to complete his hat-trick by turning home sub Rhys Jones’ superb low right wing cross from close range to make it 7-1.
The final ten minutes or so passed without to much note as both sides knew the game was over, handshakes were exchanged at the final whistle as The Pirates move up to 3rd in The League.
Manolias (4,36,78) Knight (25,55) N.Errington (73) Cross (75)
Stephens (RB) Smith (CB) Errington (CB) Ewing (LB)
Hannigan (MF) Brown (MF)
Manolias (RF) Williams (CF) Knight (LF)
Jones, Cross, C.Errington .
Bar-Sol-Ona (H) Sunday 8th November 2015, Plympton Saint Mary
Man Of The Match
Man Of The Match: Dan Sanderson
Despite Loreaz Manolias grabbing a hat-trick on the day & in truth a few others putting in stellar performances, the MOTM award this week goes to stand in Keeper Dan Sanderson. Stepping up to play between the stick is never easy, but especially when you have never done it before for this club! That was the challenge that faced Dan today & he passed with flying colours. Making a stunning save early on with the score at only 1-0 was crucial but as well as that his reading of the game, organisation & presence in goal was a superb building block to set up The Pirates victory today.