Thursday night football in Penwortham

Redstar Revisited

1 Goal Each, 1 Point Each (Sigh)

Goose unavailable this week, attending a photography award event (fingers crossed), so Phil 'The Cat' Rigby was drafted into nets as his replacement. This allowed Paul and Jake to play in defence (with Jake adopting a 'roving' brief - seemed to pop up in attack countless times) - Joe, Mark and Matt in midfield and Andy up front. Gary and his tender shoulder watched the game from the sidelines in the first half.

Not much in the first 15 minutes, Phil was pretty quiet in the nets, we had a number of shots, but were struggling to get them on target, unsure how many times the ball flashed just wide of their posts. Then a shot by Redstar, relax it's going wide, but a slight deflection from Matt takes it on the knee of a Redstar forward, from which it bobbles in to the back of the net to everyone's amazement (including the Redstar forward) and Phil's absolute disgust. Joe wasn't happy before, even more disgruntled now. One nil down at halftime.

Change of plan, Jake came off, Gary went on, Joe dropped in to defence. Still much the same Phil more or less a spectator, we're pinging balls towards their goal, but their goalkeeper's hands aren't getting too warm. Then Andy seized his moment and knocked it in to the back of the net from 10 yards out, just left of the centre of the goal. Back in it. Time for our final change, Jake back on, Matt off for the last 10 minutes. The only real action of note in the end game was a nicely struck shot from Redstar that looked to be going in next to our right hand post until Phil 'flapped' at it and pushed it out for a corner. Why can't he keep a hold of these? What would Goose say? (Matt's view was that Goose would have been very impressed.)

Never Redstar Fulwood     1 - 1     Never Odd or Even

Next week - Man Dem are our opponents at 9.15pm on the 29th November.

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.