A miserable sunday night, complete with high winds and rain, was the setting for the opening round of the Winter Cup/Plate season. Drawn against lower league opposition again, the plan was to beat the O.A.P.s yet forfeit the game on a technicality, and hence go into the Plate, where last season the Perceys were undefeated.
Twiggy Faulkner (work) and Liam Scales (holiday, still) were absentees, but Mark Eaton was able to make his seasonal reappearance between the sticks. (this makes it 3 goalies in 3 games; Perceys being able to use a ‘squad rotation’ system for the first time).
After the initial confusion over which pitch to use (Arbiter Barry Humphries apparently not keen to go all the way over to the other side) the game got underway. The first 10 minutes were quite close, even if the opposition’s name appeared to be a red herring, since they were mostly fairly young. However, O.A.P’s took the lead after 12 or 13 minutes thanks to a smart finish through the keeper’s legs. Perceys regrouped quickly. and although not at their best, managed to apply a little pressure of their own. But, as if so often the case, our heroes conceded a needless goal yet again, to find themselves 2-0 down.
Showing a bit of the legendary Percey spirit, Andy “Pornmeister General” Cocks managed to pull back a goal, after good battling by Ballo and a smart lay off from Down created the chance. If the Perceys could stay at 2-1 until the turnaround, they’d have had a good chance to get back on terms. Sadly, though, a freak goal just before the whistle proved costly. A dodgy pass from the OAP left got caught in the wind and somehow managed to float round the bemused Alex Head and past the flummoxed Eaton. 3-1 at half time.
The second half was much better all round for P.M.F.C. Perhaps, with a little luck, they could have given more of a scare to the OAPs (who are surely better than division 4) James Down confirmed his ability as a striker by scoring his 3rd of the season, a good finish that left the OAP keeper no chance. And, in the final couple of minutes, Head was unlucky not score after a Zidane-esque pirouette completely did the defender, who, to his credit, recovered well to block the goal-bound shot.
Perceys battled well, in truth, but in the finish the classic Percey trait of conceding at the wrong time cost them dear. Still, it was part of the plan, really. Bring on the Plate…
Team; Eaton; Head; Badcott; Ballard; Cole; Cocks; Down; Started as sub; Murray: