Stormy Waters Dent Pirates Progress
(Sunday 24th August 2014)
A Day of huge disappointment for The Pirates at Brickfields against a well organised & talented Plymouth Hope side. Despite the opening day loss to The Southway confidence was high that a result could be gained on the day, sadly that confidence ebbed away quickly. Starting in a 4-5-1 formation to pack the Midfield The Pirates started well, pressing forwards in search of an early goal, Gary Holder forcing a familiar face, Eric Wu, in to a fine low save. Just after the 10min mark the 1st goal came, slightly against the run of play the quick Number 7 broke clear of the defence beating keeper Rich Johns to the ball to slot home. 1-0 to the Home side. A period of calm was restored for 20mins or so, both sides searching for the long ball forward in search of goals, but without any luck. The 2nd goal did arrive however on 33mins, another forward ranging long ball from Plymouth Hope flicked off the unlucky Andy Brettell’s head into the path of the onrushing forward to take it down & fire in to the top right hand corner, a superb finish. 2-0. The pressure kept coming, indeed it took Man Of The Match Michael Brown to execute the most incredible flicked goal line clearance to keep the score at 2-0. Despite the period of pressure The Pirates rode the storm with the 1st half petering out, both teams seemingly looking to get to the break to re-energise & go again for the 2nd half, The men in Red repelling a late spell of pressure to go in at the break with the scores the same. So began the 2nd half, The Pirates starting with a real show of guts & intent, forcing 5 successive corners, Dan Amador narrowly missing from close range & a further chance for Gary Holder was also cleared away, but despite the signs of attacking intent no goals were coming, so management team Carpenter & Miller sent on subs Rob Gregory & Chris Stephens to inject fresh legs, frustratingly though 2 quick hammer blows were to follow, 1stly on 72mins a speculative low drive from a full 20yards rocketed into the net for 3-0 & just 3mins later a free-kick caught out keeper Johns to fly into the roof of the net for 4. The game was effectively over. Sean Cross was sent on up front for a tiring Steve Lacy, the formation was tweaked to 4-4-2 for the remaining 15mins. Cross was to make a real impact, His high energy closing down & desire to run at defenders causing real problems to The Hope’s defenders. It took until the last 5mins for The Pirates to seemingly grab a consolation, A through ball was latched on to by Holder & Cross, the latter sliding the ball past keeper Wu, who reached out in a vein attempt to grasp the ball, slipped & went down, Cross taking the ball on & sliding in to the empty net, but to huge frustration & annoyance of all concerned the referee awarded a foul on the keeper! It has to be said a very poor decision & Cross was wrongly denied His 1st Pirates goal! To rub salt in the wounds a further 2 late goals were scored by the Home side, the 1st on 86mins a shot from the edge of the box low into the right hand corner, followed by the last kick of the game, a one on one after a beautiful through ball allowing the Striker to fire into the net to complete His hat-trick. A 6-0 scoreline that seemed harsh at the time, but looking back at the game now its fair to say Plymouth Hope are rightly one of the League’s favourites this season.
A really heavy defeat for The Pirates in truth, despite the late disallowed goal & a few chances from corners Plymouth Hope dominated long spells of the match & where very worthy winners, some home truths were read after the game & Manager Kris Carpenter asked the team to use this defeat as a marking point of which to learn from, forget & improve on moving forwards.
The Man Of The Match award this week goes to Michael Brown, once again stepping in to cover at Left Back, a position He has matured in well over the last season, with tough tackling, a good reading of the game & one outrageous goal line clearance he was the clear pick on the day. Having a player with such a keen desire to help the team in any position is a huge plus. Congrats Michael.
Goal Scorers: N/A
Johns, Brettell, Hannigan (c), Ewing, Brown, Davis, Reed, Millar, Amador, Lacy, Holder.
Dainty, Cross, Isaacs, Stephens, Gregory.
Man Of The Match: Michael Brown