Kolts Put Pirates To The Sword In Painful Drubbing
(Sunday 21st September 2014)
Despite some impressive performances in the last 2 games this was desperately disappointing day for The Pirates. Playing on a 3G pitch for the 1st time in a League match, the sun shone down on Devonport High School at kickoff, but the clouds were soon falling on the Away side. Lining up in the now regular 4-5-1 formation, Michael Brown returned to the Left Back role covering the injured Andy Brettell, whilst there were also recalls for Paul Millar, Aaron Reed & James Bailey after missing the last game, Gary Holder was playing His final game before an enforced lay off due to ankle surgery. The game kicked off with The Pirates shooting from left to right, sadly within just 10mins the problem of conceding early goals would haunt once again! Only 4mins on the clock, Keyham Kolts won the ball in the middle of midfield, despite everyone in a mile distance of the game appealing for the clear & obvious foul the referee allowed the game to continue with the striker to run through on goal & slide the ball low in to the bottom right corner. 1-0. Despite the clear injustice more late challenges followed, the referee clearly in no mood to give the men in Red any decisions. Only 6mins later The Pirates found themselves 2 down, an aerial duel in the centre of the pitch was lost & when the 2nd ball fell in Keyham’s favour the outcome was a 20yard drive beyond Richard Johns for 2-0, an uphill task just got harder. Manager Kris Carpenter & assistant Dave Miller made changes, asking the midfield to drop a little deeper & encouraged short passes to keep the ball, a plan that would slowly improve the flow of the game, more crunching tackles & more pressure putting the away side back in to the fight of the game. Then came what was to prove a key moment in the match, Sean Cross pressuring the advancing Keyham full back in to a mistake, the ball breaking to James Bailey who with a superb 1st touch got clear on the right hand side, cutting in towards goal eyeing up the target, but, without any intent to play the ball was crudely two footed by the Keyham man in the box! For the 3rd game in succession The Pirates had a spot kick, the red card seemed inevitable to follow, but incredibly the hopeless referee produced only a yellow! A truly staggering decision! Worse was to follow… Paul Millar stepped forward to take the penalty, struck it hard & low to the keepers right, but sadly a super save denied a way back in to the game, the score remained 2-0. A period of calm fell over the game for the next 20mins, challenges were still coming thick & fast as were chances for both sides, but it was to be Keyham who struck their 3rd right on the stroke of half-time, a free back post header, another poor piece of defending. Carpenter gathered the Boys together for a strong half-time team talk. The same team was given their chance to improve at the start of the 2nd period & for the 1st 10mins they seemed keen to make a mark, Dean Matthews & Gary Holder looking a threat down the flanks, with Paul Millar & Aaron Reed also striking shots on goal. Despite the pressure it was to be game over on 60mins, Pirates Captain Enda Hannigan counting himself incredibly unlucky as he rose highest to meet a headed clearance the ball clipping the top of his head as he slipped & dropping behind the defence, allowing the Home sides forward to drive in to the box & finish low to the right for 4-0. The skipper’s luck went from bad to worse as he was forced off just a minute later with a badly twisted knee, Dave Isaacs coming on for His 1st appearance this season, he did very well in the circumstances. Further subs were made a couple of minutes later, Chris Stephens & Ryan Dainty coming on for the shattered Sean Cross & industrious but off colour Aaron Reed, the system was changed to a flat 4-4-2, with Gary Holder moving upfront. With the game seemingly over as a contest both sides exchanged possession & periods of play for most the remainder of the game, The Pirates suffering yet more bad luck on the injury fronts, with Holder & Millar both struggling to carry on with strains. The last 10mins was when the walls rather fell in on the men in Red, some simply poor & rash defending letting Keyham in to score 3 goals in the closing stages, the 1st on 83mins from a low drive, another a minute later after woeful tracking of runners & the rout was complete on 88mins after Johns did superbly well to parry an initial effort only to be let down by His defenders to see the rebound drilled past Him. The final whistle was mercifully blown at 7-0.
This was a really disappointing day for all, after so much improvement in the last 2 matches The Pirates will really have to go back to getting the basics right again in the coming games if they are to get back on track. Too many off colour performances on the day & several poor moments defensively as a team really bit hard. Picking some plus points the short range passing was much improved as was some periods of keeping the ball. Much improvement & fighting spirit will be needed ahead of next week’s Ken Rickard Cup match away against the team currently lying 3rd in Division 1 & former League champions Kings Tamerton CA. A really tough test.
The Man Of The Match award this week goes to Michael Brown. For the second time this season Michael takes home the MOTM trophy, his desire to win tackles, sensible & efficient distribution of the ball to team mates & fantastic attitude to fight all the way to the final whistle really stood out. Whether playing in His preferred Midfield role or reverting to Left Back again Michael continues to impress in the team even when results go against the Pirates, Congrats Michael.
Goal Scorers: N/A
Johns, Berntsen, Ewing, Hannigan (c), Brown, Reed, Millar, Bailey, Matthews, Holder, Cross.
Isaacs, Dainty, Stephens.
Man Of The Match: Michael Brown