Smeaton Smash & Grab Leaves Pirates Gutted
(Sunday 8th February 2015)
After a 2 week break due to adverse weather & pitch conditions The Barbican Pirates returned to League action today facing Smeaton Homes at Plympton Saint Mary. Coming in to the game both sides found themselves towards the bottom end of the League table & when all was said & done it would be The Pirates left scratching their heads as to why the 3 points weren’t theirs.
Kicking from Left to Right The Pirates got the game under way, Manager Kris Carpenter drafting in the returning Adam Luckham alongside the ever improving Dave Isaacs to bolster the MF, whilst in Defence new boy Sam Bruty played out of position at CB alongside Adam Morgan, who Himself had been suffering with illness all week. It was to be quite an eventful opening quarter. Both teams set out with clear intentions on attack, exchanging the ball for the opening 5mins before The Pirates made the 1st dent on the scoreline, Isaacs picked up the ball on the edge of His own box before flighting a perfect ball over the top for the fleet footed Callum Knight to race on to, the young striker squared up the last defender before cutting inside & thrashing a low shot in to the net, 0-1.
Smeaton Homes were stunned & immediately sprung back in to attack in search of the equalizer, a superb 20yard curling effort narrowly skipping past the post & forcing 2 corners. It was clear an equalizer was coming & just after the 15min mark it arrived, a deep cross to the back post was struck goal wards & via a cruel deflection the ball squirmed between keeper Richard Johns legs for 1-1. A really harsh & unlucky goal to concede. The fast start to the game would continue, Smeaton pressing The Pirates back to try to get in front, Johns making a good tip over & Bruty making 2 key headed clearances to keep the scoreline to 1-1, on 20mins though it would be the other end that the net would bulge! Adam Luckham making His return to the squad after a brief break from Football, flighted another another superb ball over the top, once again in search of Knight, the result would be the same, this time the Centre Forward taking on & beating 2 Defenders before rattling home past a stunned keeper, a superb goal, His & The Pirates 2nd, it was 1-2.
With the 2nd goal came wave after wave of Pirates pressure, Jimmy Williams putting Knight through a 3rd time but this time the keeper winning the duel with a superb low save, Williams Himself would then go agonisingly close Himself, Knight clipping a cross but the MF narrowly missing the diving header attempt from 10 yards with the goal gaping, despite the best efforts no further goals were registered before the break, so 1-2 up at half-time things were looking good for Carpenter’s men.
The 2nd period got under way & the pattern remained the same, constant Pirates pressure, the Luckham/Knight combo was put in effect again, the Smeaton keeper pulling off a point blank range save & despite Isaacs & Williams best efforts the ball somehow ended up wide despite a goal line scramble. After 57mins another unlucky effort, Isaacs superb long throw was met by an in flight Jimmy Williams who headed within inches of the far post angle of post & cross bar. The same man also lobbed a delightful lob on to the crossbar a few mins later. It was clear from the sidelines that The Pirates could & should have been 3, 4 or even 5 up at this point, sadly with 13mins to go the rotten luck would come back to bite & punish the missed chances.
Smeaton Homes, having been battered for well over 3/4’s of the match somehow grabbed a leveller, with legs fading a long ball caught out The Pirates back line & despite a superb effort from Johns & the ball was scrambled over the line from close range, Captain Enda Hannigan & RB James Berntsen so unlucky to not clear on the line. Only 2mins later the misery was added to, Sub Sean Cross was booked for a touchline scuffle with Sematon’s No8 & with tempers fraying on 82mins the Home side snatched the 3-2 lead, another straight long ball catching the back line out & the big striker steering a low drive in to the net. The Pirates went all out attack to try to salvage a point, subs Cross, Stephens & Reed waved forward, as was Sam Bruty who moved in to MF leaving a back 3, with so many committed forward the seemingly inevitable happened, despite 2 narrow misses for the leveller Smeaton grabbed a breakaway 4th via a 2 on 1 situation & with seconds to go a 5th rubbed salt in the wounds. There was still time for Jimmy Williams stunning 25 yarder to come back off the inside of the post & roll right across the goal line before going behind. Quite how Sematon won this game is still a mystery, The Pirates leaving the pitch with an air of being robbed. Final score 5-2.
In summary this game is easily summed up by saying the better team lost! The Pirates ultimately paid for wasting chances in a superb 40min spell either side of half-time, mixtures of unlucky deflections & a lack of ruthlessness cost them on the day & this game can now only be used as a template for improvement in the coming weeks. The plus points of the game were some superb individual performances & real signs of cohesive Football being played through out the team, but ultimately the feeling of disappointment is what will linger when looking back at a game that was there to be won but was somehow lost. Need-A-Cab are next up for The Pirates, a tough test awaits.
The Man Of The Match award this week goes to Jimmy Williams. Callum Knight, James Berntsen, Dave Isaacs & Sam Bruty were all superb on the day but narrowly pipped by Jimmy, who’s work rate, desire & quality got Him the MOTM award. Strong tackling, high intensity of running & leadership shone through from Jimmy today, His ability to motivate others around Him with His never say die approach is a huge plus point for the team & moving in to the latter part of the season having a player of His quality only adds to the chances of getting result. Congrats Jimmy.
Goal Scorers: Knight (5, 20)
Johns, Berntsen, Bruty, Morgan, Hannigan (c), Brown, Lacy, Isaacs, Luckham, Williams, Knight.
Cross, Reed, Stephens.
Image To Follow….
Man Of The Match: Jimmy Williams