Thursday night football in Penwortham

Bit of a Drought

But a Small Shower in the Second Half

Nearly maxed out with nine players this week - Paul, Andy and Matt returned to a side who the previous week had been the first to take 3 points off the league leaders - how would we fit them in? Well, Gary's unavailability made things slightly easier, so we started with pretty much the same side that played last week, Goose in nets, Joe and Jake at the back, Phil and Mark with Matt alongside them in midfield and Sean up front. Paul and Andy held in reserve for 'impact' appearances later in the game. Mike Rigby styling his relaxed autumn wardrobe on the touchline this week, would it make a difference?

We looked a little weary for the first 15 minutes, Scrap & Co weren't causing us too many problems, but we weren't troubling their defence too much either. Give and take, nip and tuck, not a lot in it. However, cometh the hour, cometh the man, Mark Heaney stepped forward to score our first goal of the night and his fifth in six matches and we went in at half time 1 - 0 to the good. No place for sentiment in coaching, Heaney was off (his refusal to chase down a ball towards the end of the first half simply wasn't good enough) - Andy came on in his place. Joe came off as well (his niggly foul tally was on a rapid rise during the first twenty minutes and it was time for some fresh (?) legs in defence). On came Paul! Andy played up top, Sean dropped to midfield and Paul for Joe was a like-for-like swap (in at least one sense).

Second half started and it was much the same as the first, Scrap & Co were still mounting some attacks, but nothing up to now with a finishing touch on target. Andy wound his left foot up a number of times, but it took until his 4th attempt for him to drill it hard and low into the corner of the net with 10 minutes to go. Matt came off to make way for a re-entering Mark and Phil and Joe swapped a pitch position for a touchline position. A clumsy challenge just inside the Scrap & Co penalty area saw us get our just rewards, was Andy stepping up to take the penalty - I couldn't look - no, Sean was taking it, so I could watch him slot it low and hard into the corner of the goal. Less than 5 minutes to go, another Scrap & Co attack down our left hand side, they work the ball into a tight position and lo and behold dispatch it confidently into the back of the net. Was this going too be a tense end game? Not really, Andy grabbed a second and we closed put the match with a 3 goal advantage.

And, fashionistas, Mike Rigby's relaxed autumn wardrobe made no difference to the game or outcome.

Never Odd or Even     4 - 1     Scrap & Co

Next week - Redstar Fulwood - clash of the titans - are our opponents at 7.45pm on the 22nd November.

Taking on Table Toppers

The Taller They Are ….

The harder they fall.

Seven players again this week - injuries to Paul and Andy, Matt unavailable - so we had Goose in nets, Joe and Jake at the back, Gary, Phil and Mark in midfield and Sean up front. But this week we were up against the undefeated league leaders, after a bit of a mauling last week, how was the going to play out? New formation, Mike Rigby present in his management clothes, could it make a difference?

Not much in it for the first 15 minutes, Goose wasn't too busy, we had 2 or 3 chances but couldn't quite do enough to get the ball in the back of the net. Then a half chance for Ajax Trees Down from distance, a gap in the defence and a low powerful shot all combined o leave Goose on the deck and the ball in the back of the net. The last 5 minutes saw us still looking pretty comfortable and we went in to half time a goal down. Disappointed to be losing by one goal, probably the best 20 minutes we've played so far this season.

Second half started and it was much the same as the first, we were giving as good as we got and Goose was having to work too hard. Then Phil breaks through from the left hand side of midfield, hits a shot towards the goal - was it going to the right side of the post? - Mark Heaney gets in the way, adds some pace to it, re-directs it and we're back in the game at 1 - 1. Ten minutes to go, anything's possible. The ball is being moved from one end of the pitch to another, chances for both sides. Sean has a shot, Mark intercepts it, plays it off his knee and into the back of the net, but they all count. We hold on for the last 5 minutes. Job done. 2 - 1 win. League leaders cut down to size (at least for this week). Moves us 2 places up the table.

Ajax Trees Down     1 - 2     Never Odd or Even

Next week - Scrap & Co are our opponents at 7pm on the 15th November.

Not Hit for Six

Knocked For Seven Instead

Oooh, it was all too painful - Goose in nets - Phil and Jake at the back - Mark, Gary and Joe in the middle - Andy up front.

Up against Lads on Toure, after a quiet first 10 minutes, they knocked in 3 in the last 10 minutes of the first half.

Second half, more of the same, they knock in 3, we get 1 back - Mark Heaney, take a bow - and they then finish off with their 7th and final goal of the night.

Much gloom (and up against the undefeated top of the table team next week, much joy).

Never Odd or Even    1 - 7     Lads on Toure

Next week - 8th November - we are playing Ajax Trees Down at 8.30pm.

Another Draw

At Least We Made A Point

Back to seven players this week, Goose in nets, Phil and Jake at the back, Mark, Chris and Sean in the middle and Andy up front. Up against Redline FC - the sort of annoying team that like to pass the ball around quickly and precisely. Off we went, giving as good as we got, Goose not too busy in goals, plenty of huff and puff and effort from us. Not much in the first 10 minutes, then a Redline move creates an opening, a well hit shot, they're 1 - 0 up. We stick at it, grab an equaliser by half time - Andy knocks one in - and it's all to play for in the second half.

Second half, more of the same. Half way through, Andy tries to take the ball round a defender, gets fouled but the ball immediately breaks lose to Mark, who calmly knocks it in the back of the net. 2 - 1 up and 10 minutes to play. We're hanging on a bit, Redline have more of the ball, they're becoming more and more anxious, but we manage to fend them off. Then, with the last strike on goal of the match, a Jake own goal (header) gives them the equaliser.

Much gloom (after coming so close to taking all 3 points).

Redline FC    2 - 2     Never Odd or Even

Next week - 1st November - we are playing Lads on Toure at 9.15pm.

That's More Like It

Points Proving Particularly Patchy

Back to 7 players this week - hurrah - with a special guest appearance from Chris Heaney, back in Preston for a weekend's rest and recovery. So we started, and finished, with Goose in nets, Joe and Phil at the back, Matt, Sean and Chris in midfield and Andy up front, Mark Heaney was on the touchline ready to respond to any crisis. We had a couple of competitive games against Unathletico Madrid last season, how would this one turn out?

Not much in it for the first 10 minutes, Goose made a couple of good stops and we had a similar number of efforts. Then Andy unleashed a left foot thunderbolt from 20 years out that flew into the bottom left hand corner of the net, 1 - 0 up. Well that just upset our opponents, a tremendous shot, 25 yards out, from the touchline flew in to the net, a back pass to Goose ended up with their attacker nicking it past our helpless keeper. so 2 - 1 down at halftime.

We upped the intensity and work rate in the second half and looked a lot better, Unathletico were being pretty well contained. Mid way through the second half we got the equaliser. A few minutes later we made it 3 - 2, we just need to hang on for the last 5 minutes. Sounds easy, not quite so straightforward in real life. Unathletico get their equaliser with the last kick of the game.

First point of the season, I know how Neil Warnock feels, if only we could have signed Mitrovic!

Never Odd or Even     3 - 3     Unathletico Madrid

Next week - Redline FC are our opponents at 8.30pm on the 25th October.