Pirates Impress As Need-A-Cab Hit & Run
(Sunday 15th February 2015)
Another Sunday morning & another of wind & rain! The Pirates rocked up early to find Pitch 3 almost under water so before the game could even get under way thoughts turned to how to clear the pitch to make it playable. With zero help from the opposition (Who were actually the designated Home team) The standing water was shifted with some hard work & elbow grease, however the referee far from happy with the surface decided the best option was to switch to the junior DGM pitch next door, so the decision was made & the game was given the all clear.
Shortly before kick-off The Pirates Management team over heard some Need-A-Cab players scoffing at the game, with comments like “We will smash this lot” & “They are easy pickings for us” That was all the motivation needed for a fast start, something The Pirates were keen to make, they did just that. Only 4mins on the clock & the 1st chance was presented, with Callum Knight having to withdraw for the squad overnight due to work Jimmy Williams was picked to spearhead the attacking line, James Berntsen clipped the ball down the inside right channel, Williams skipping inside & letting the shot rip narrowly across the far post, a close shave. Just 3mins later another chance came & went, Michael Brown swinging in a corner from the right picking out the returning Dan Amador who’s header clipped the crossbar, agonisingly close again. Carpenter’s Pirates had made a good start.
Judging from the fast start it was clear The Pirates were in no mood to let the cocky opposition take anything in the game lightly, the central MF 3 of Bruty, Amador & Isaacs was working well together & with Brad Smith & James Ewing’s CB partnership restored things were looking good, 10mins in yet another chance would be created, Michael Brown again the architect with a ball over the top inside the right channel, Jimmy Williams getting to the byline & crossing for Amador who again was hugely unlucky to see His low drive whistle past the far post. Williams Himself would be next in line to go close to the Need-A-Cab goal, a terrible clearance from the Goalkeeper presented an opportunity to lob the ball goal wards, but once again luck was against the Forward, His effort dropping just wide with the goal gaping. The chances though kept coming, on 16mins Williams again finding room on the edge of the box but again shooting narrowly wide of the angle of bar & post on the left side, what was clear was one chance would HAVE to be taken soon, the worst part of that statement was it would be Need-A-Cab that would take that chance!
20mins of constant Pirates pressure was turned on its head as Need-A-Cab took their 1st chance on goal of the match! A long hopeful punted clearance was launched into Pirate territory, a combination of the pitch, bounce & bad luck left Brad Smith in trouble & the ball was fired low into the bottom right corner by the centre forward, the returning Rhys Jones has no chance. 1-0. Despite this set back the Away side got straight back on the offence, Dave Isaac’s launching one of His patented long throws in to the box only to see Williams again frustrated to see His goal bound header drop an inch wide of the far post, 3mins later The Pirates would be dealt another sucker punch! This time it would be James Berntsen who would be left defeated by the awful bounce on the pitch, another long clearance turning in to a through ball & once again the lucky Striker would be given a clean run throw on goal to tuck away the second, 2-0 & the Police were called to investigate a daylight robbery!
The concession of the second goal clearly hit The Pirates confidence, miss placed passes & panicking possession was rearing its head again & on 32mins a 3rd goal would stun them still further, directly from a corner the ball was flighted over everyone’s head & in at the back post, despite being an excellent ball in there was no way this was planned, it was 3-0. Heading in to half-time Carpenter’s men went in search of a goal back to build on, Jimmy Williams again came within a whisker of getting it, the Need-A-Cab keeper again looking dodgy, flapping at a corner but Williams couldn’t keep His shot down, the half-time whistle blew at 3-0.
The 2nd half got under way, Carpenter, Assistant Dave Miller & Coach Steve Harvey making it clear during the break that the game was still alive for The Pirates & the next goal would be crucial, that next goal would be a Pirate goal! Just 5mins in to the second period, Skipper Enda Hannigan was crudely chopped down at an angle 25yards from goal, Brad Smith swinging in a delightful back post free-kick for Sam Bruty to arrive, glancing the header home at the back post, a suspicion of offside, but the goal was given & it was game on, 3-1. The game was well & truly back on, Need-A-Cab visibly shocked at The Pirates fighting qualities, some very tasty challenges rattled in from both sides, one of which resulting in a booking for the Home sides No7 for a crude 2 footed lunge on Dave Isaacs, in another game at another time a red could’ve been the result!
A period of end to end action ensued for the next 20mins, Rhys Jones making 2 superb reflex saves to keep the score at 3-1 whilst at the other end The Pirates looked increasingly likely to get the 2nd goal back, James Ewing almost catching the keeper out with a long range lobbed effort, in truth a superb save denied Him the goal. Dave Isaacs also making a superb goal line clearance with 9mins remaining, time was running out to get the goals back & claim something from the game. Manager Kris Carpenter introduced subs Ryan Dainty & Aaron Reed, replacing the hamstrung Brad Smith & shattered Dan Amador, Sam Bruty was pushed in to the centre forward role in an effort to grab a goal, despite every effort it wouldn’t come. With the last kick of the game Need-A-Cab grabbed a hugely undeserved 4th, with The Pirates over committing to get back in the game a 4 on 3 overload resulted in a shot being deflected over Jones & goal wards by Berntsen & into the net, Sean Cross trying His best to clear from under His own crossbar but to no avail. The game ended 4-1.
For the second week in succession this game left so many feeling frustrated & gutted at not getting what was more than deserved! The Pirates raised their game against a side beaten only twice all season & one that only conceded 13 goals. The level of performance couldn’t be questioned, shorn of the attacking talents of Callum Knight only the goals were missing from this game, feeling gutted at not being 4-0 up inside 20mins is not something we are used to, but on today’s experience its something we are more than justified to feel. The progress keeps coming & with Tamar View up next (Subject to weather) spirit in the camp is good & confidence high that a good result is on the horizon.
The Man Of The Match award this week goes to James Ewing. James returned to the heart of central defence today & shone. Alongside Brad Smith he showed determination, commitment & a strong will to win every challenge. Going close with a long range shot as well. As the season has progressed it is clear James is now a vital cog in The Pirates Defensive set up. Congrats James.
Goal Scorers: Bruty (50)
Jones, Berntsen, Smith, Ewing, Hannigan (c), Brown, Bruty, Isaacs, Amador, Cross, Williams.
Reed, Dainty, Carpenter.
Man Of The Match: James Ewing