Goal Hungry Pirates Take The Saints Apart In Thriller
(Sunday 6th September 2015)
The Pirates grabbed their first win of the new season in style with a hugely impressive scoreline vs fellow Division 3 League side Riverside Saints Reserves in The Ken Rickard League Cup Round 1. The match was played at Skull N’Bones park in somewhat unusual bright sunshine for a September morning. The Pirates made two changes to the starting XI from last weeks 3-3 draw away at Duke Of Cornwall FC. Enda Hannigan came in at LB with James Ewing switching to RB, also Loreaz Manolias made his first start in adult Football on the right side of the attack, at just 16 years of age big things are expected of the talented teenager. He certainly impressed today!
After observing a minutes silence to pay respects to a close family friend of the opposition passing away the match got underway, The home side kicking from left to right in their Red strip. Only 2mins in Sam Bruty thought he had given The Pirates the perfect start, latching on to Callum Knight’s ball winning challenge & slotting in to the bottom left only to see the raised flag of the linesman ruling out the goal. a dubious decision at best in truth. However, the wait for the opening goal wouldn’t be a long one, in fact just 2mins later the hugely talented Adam Smietanka blasted a 20 yard curler into the bottom right corner of the net to banish the injustice of the offside decision earlier. A superb strike, from Callum Knight’s perfectly weighted pass to assist. 1-0.
After such a superb start to the game it was clear the home side were in tip top form & on the hunt for more goals, on 17mins Callum Knight almost doubled the lead, charging down The Saints goalkeeper’s attempted clearance, but fired narrowly over the bar, the young attacker was seemingly everywhere & bang in form & at the turn of the 26th minute he created the second goal for Sam Bruty, an outrageous rabona cross found the CF’s head at the back post but despite firm contact the keeper made a blinding save to keep it out, only to see Knight clip the cross back in & Bruty meeting it with a sumptuous volley from the edge of the box down in to the ground & flying past the defender on the line in to the bottom left corner of the net. 2-0. Just 2mins later came the chance to extend the lead further, Adam Smietanka’s skill on the left side of the box beat his marker but as he drilled a low cross into the penalty area the away side defender went to ground & clearly handled the ball, PENALTY! Having scored & missed penalties last week Manager Kris Carpenter gave the responsibility back to Micheal Brown, who started last season as the regular taker. It was to prove a good choice, a confident spot kick low in to the bottom left made it 3-0!
At 3-0 up before the half hour you could forgive the home side if they took the foot off the pedal, but there was no sign of that happening in truth, the attacking diamond of Knight, Bruty, Manolias & Smietanka were causing all kinds of headaches to The Saints Defenders, their movement & willingness to run into spaces as well as passing & moving was a joy to watch and as if the 1st half couldn’t get any better on 36mins came a moment a certain player had been waiting a long time for… James Ewing had been ribbed for months about his inability to find the target despite taking shots from every angle & distance in his Pirates career, well, he will be ribbed no more! After picking up Callum Knight’s pass just inside The Saints half on the right hand wing he drove forwards in to the space & unleashed a cracker from 25 yards out, a collective hush descended around the pitch as the shot sailed towards the target… BANG! In to the net beating the stunned keeper inside his near post! His celebration was a picture, wheeling away & leaping in to the arms of Nick Errington with a broad smile across his face! Relief, shock or joy? Maybe a mix of all three in truth! 4-0.
Further chances came before the break, fresh from his first ever Pirates goal James Ewing very nearly bagged another, missing Knights low cross by a studs length (38) & Nick Errington saw his back post header saved superbly by the away team keeper from point blank range (45) It was a half of Football to savour for the on lookers, as the whistle blew for Half-Time, the score standing at 4-0.
The second half got underway & within seconds of the restart The Pirates should have bagged again! Loreaz Manolias was causing all kinds of problems for The Saints defenders & after another superb piece of close control & a trick his pass sent Adam Smietanka through on goal, only for the forward to see his goal bound shot brilliantly kept out by an inform keeper. It wouldn’t be a long wait for Smietanka to make amends though, Callum Knight’s perfectly flighted corner on 47mins found him unmarked at the back post for the easiest of free headers to make it 5-0.
The attacks continued, Knight desperate to add a goal to his 4 assists went close on 49mins, but fired just wide, however on 50mins The Riverside Saints spoiled the clean sheet the back four were keen to keep, a ball over the top latched on to by the CF who fought off James Beckwith & low fired past Liam Hooks, who until now had had a very quiet afternoon. 5-1.
Despite the set back of losing a goal The Pirates were in no mood to let the opposition back in to the game, on 64mins Dan Sanderson was brought on to freshen the attack, replacing Loreaz Manolias who had made a real impression on full debut, receiving applause from the sidelines as he made his way off, Sanderson himself making his competitive debut & within seconds of his arrival he really should’ve scored, somehow firing wide of the empty net after the keeper had parried a Knight shot in to his path, Adam Smietanka also could’ve completed his Hat-Trick moments earlier but missed a free header. In fact the same man had another chance 5mins later after a superb solo run ended in a shot that whistle narrowly past the far post. The best was yet to come though.
Having had a superb game already Callum Knight was about to leave his goal touch on the game, an incredible 7minute Hat-Trick! The first a clever piece of opportunism robbing The Saints substitute keeper & slotting in to the empty net (72) then grabbing a second 3mins later turning in a superb Smietanka cross from the right (75) The best goal of the bunch & treble clincher duly arrived a short time later, Sam Bruty’s cushioned lay off found The Pirates no9 on the left hand edge of the box a clever shimmy inside, opening up his body & curling a beautiful finish in to the far post past the stranded keeper to make it a day to remember (79) the scoreline now stood at 8-1.
There was still time for the cherry to be applied to the already heavily iced cake! Dan Amador, a late call up to the squad the morning of the game last season’s Player Of The Year was introduced as a sub on 80mins & with just 2mins remaining he added his name to the score sheet, Enda Hannigan & Sam Bruty combined down the left & when Dan Sanderson slid the cross back in to Amador’s path the big no15 calmly touched the ball to the side of the defender & stroked home in to the top right hand corner from the edge of the 18yard line, a super finish. The perfect way to round off a near perfect match! The Pirates advance to the 1st Round proper of the League Cup. Full-Time 9-1.
Smietanka (4,48) Knight (72,75,79) Bruty (26) Brown (28) (Pen) Ewing (36) Amador (88)
Ewing (RB) Beckwith (CB) Errington (CB) Hannigan (LB)
Williams (MF) Brown (MF)
Manolias (RF) Bruty (CF) Knight (LF)
Amador, Southall, Sanderson, Jones.
Need-A-Cab (H) Sunday 13th September 2015, Plympton Saint Mary.
Man Of The Match
Man Of The Match: Callum Knight
The Man Of The Match award this week goes to Callum Knight. What can you say about Callum today, a near faultless performance from the young forward, last season’s top scorer has clearly got his eyes on a repeat performance this term! His desire to try things, electric pace & sheer willingness to attack the opposition got him the rewards he deserved today. An astonishing 5 assists & 3 goals in the game makes this his best game in Pirates colours for sure, a pleasure to watch & at just 19 years of age he’ll only get better! A frightening thought for all future opponents!