Late Goal Grabs 1st Point Of The Season For Resilient Pirates
(Sunday 30th August 2015)
After having the last 3 games postponed due to poor weather, The Pirates were itching to get back in to action as they made the trip out of town for an Away fixture vs Duke Of Cornwall FC at Filham, Ivybridge. Upon arrival the pitch was in good condition, though in truth it did appear quite small compared to what the team are used to, never the less the buzz was back at having the chance to play Football again. The Pirates made a few changes from the last game, that saw Aaron Reed, James Beckwith come in to the starting XI with Steve Tapper & Wayne Southall added to the squad.
As 10:30am ticked around the game got underway, the Home side in Green attacking from right to left 1st half & it was they who made the better start in truth. Pressing high & aggressive in the challenges Duke Of Cornwall created several early chances & on 7mins the 1st goal of the game arrived. A high ball switched over the top to the right hand channel beat The Pirates back line & allowed the centre forward to run in on goal & fire the shot high in to the top left hand corner beating Keeper Liam Hooks all ends up. 1-0.
Stunned by the early goal The Pirates began to find their feet, keeping some possession & beginning to build some good quality counter attacks, on the 18min mark came the best chance for the Away side, Jimmy Williams getting clear down the right hand side & slipping the ball through to the in form Callum Knight’s shot across goal was brilliant saved by the Duke goalkeeper. The Home side responded in kind as they pressed for a second goal, going close with two low crosses whistling through the box without a finishing touch & narrowly getting caught offside when on the break at pace. The game was a good watch, the entertainment value was high as both sides pressed forward. No further goals would be scored before the half-time break, leaving the score 1-0.
Into the second half then & the first thing to note was the heavens opening! Heavy bursts of rain coming down leaving the pitch slick & zippy, a sure way to guarantee some mistakes in the coming 45mins. Only 4mins in to the previously mentioned second half came a moment for The Pirates to get level, the always industrious & hard working Adam Smietanka gambled on a long ball, controlling it & looking to clip in a cross, Nick Errington fought for the ball however a firm shove in the back gave the referee no choice but to award the spot kick. PENALTY! To many peoples surprise including Manager Carpenter centre back Sam McGowan stepped up to take the kick, pre-game Smietanka himself had been given the duty but after recent injury concerns to his standing leg (Knee) he elected to pass the job on just in case. Any doubts about McGowan’s penalty technique were soon forgotten (For now) as he stepped forward to confidently smash home high in to the net. The leveler, 1-1.
The game was changing, The Pirates gathered the momentum from the equalizer & pressed hard to take the lead, Captain Sam Bruty saw his looping back post header superbly saved by the Home side keeper on 53mins. Only 2mins later another good chance, Bruty agonizingly close to releasing Smietanka with only a studs width brilliant interception denying it happening. It was clear the second half was mostly the men in Red’s to this point, but the urgency to get in front would ultimately cost Carpenter’s team, on 63mins a fast counter attack down the left & subsequent low cross left The Pirates horribly short & exposed at the back allowing the back post finish to make it 2-1.
Despite the set back it didn’t appear to effect the swing of the game, The Pirates pressed hard & got their reward on 73mins, Smietanka again the architect with a run down the left before sliding in Callum Knight who took a superb touch inside the last defender & finished at the near post for 2-2.
With the game so delicately poised The Pirates Boss decided to freshen things with a change, which saw Michael Brown replaced with Rhys Jones, Brown having had a really strong game in the centre of the park, in truth was unlucky to be replaced, but with time running down the injection of Jones’ pace & unpredictable wing play could prove the difference & only 2mins later came a great chance to take the points, after a quick counter attack Smietanka found himself clear in the box but as he tried to turn to get a shot away was shoved in the back & once again the referee pointed to the spot! PENALTY! For the second time McGowan stepped forward to take, but this time his luck would prove to be out, an unstoppable drilled strike was just an inch to high & it came crashing back off the bar! Agonizing! As if that wasn’t bad enough a sucker punch would follow late on…
Only 2mins remaining & The Pirates were caught out, pressing hard for the winner too many players were pushed further forward & the inevitable breaking away occurred resulting in Duke grabbing seemingly a late winner from close range, 3-2. Carpenter immediately sent Steve Tapper on as a sub & urged fellow sub Wayne Southall to get himself forward for one last push to get a point. Incredibly it would come! with less than a minute to play The Pirates forced a corner & from Southall’s superb in swinging delivery Nick Errington rose highest to power home a header from roughly the penalty spot area, narrowly getting in ahead of keeper Liam Hooks who had also gone forward for the flag kick, it was 3-3! Amazing finish! There was hardly time to get the game restarted before the Referee blew for time, a frantic last 5mins of the game that in a draw, a fair result. Full time. 3-3.
McGowan (49) (Pen) Knight (81) Errington (89)
Reed (RB) Beckwith (CB) McGowan (CB) Ewing (LB)
Errington (MF) Brown (MF)
Williams (RF) Bruty (CF) Knight (LF)
Tapper, Southall, Jones.
Riverside Saints (H) Sunday 6th September 2015, Plympton Saint Mary.
Man Of The Match
Man Of The Match: James Beckwith
The Man Of The Match award this week goes to James Beckwith. After missing the cut for the squad on the opening day of the season James proved today he had the desire & ability to come in & take a chance when handed one. With the loss of Brad Smith to illness pre-game James was slotted in to the centre back role along side Sam McGowan & despite the team as a whole conceding 3 goals James was superb, making several last ditch goal saving interceptions & tackles, he more than merited the start & since rejoining The Pirates his work rate in training & high level performances in the pre-season games have been very noticeable. Congratulations James.