Match Report – Pilgrims vs Tankerton Seniors

I have posted a couple of my other match reports on here in the past and seeing as I was posting them on the Tankerton Facebook page I felt no need to repost them all on here. However after reading one of my formally posted reports I feel my writing style has improved. Therefore I’m posting this one on here for comparison. 

The remainder of my match reports can be found on http://www.facebook.com/tankertonfc

Thank you 

Match Report – Pilgrims vs Tankerton Seniors – 8th February 2015 

Searching for their third win on the bounce since the painful defeat away to Herne Bay at the start of this year, Tankerton Seniors were set to face promotion rivals Pilgrims admits yet more freezing temperatures in Ashford.

After seeing off strugglers Monkton last week in similarly cold conditions atop a very stodgy pitch, Tankerton’s spirits were high as the team warmed up ahead of the 2pm kick off – eager for revenge for Pilgrim’s 2-1 win at Seaview on November 1st.

Tankerton lined up as follows – Crane, Whyte, Agada, Bardrick (C), White, Rigden, Kupperblatt, Russell, Ginnaw, Roffe and Radford – with Clements, Lavender and Hinchcliffe as the substitutes.

The visitors were reminded prior to kick off of the home side’s ‘physicality’, so to speak, and their need to use strength and to stay disciplined if they were to control the game ahead. As if immediately from kick-off this fact became evident with Pilgrims committing many a foul within the first 5 minutes or so. However from then on the visitors became more aware of the style of play in which would need to be instigated in order to gain the three valuable points this afternoon. Tankerton were becoming stronger into the tackle and weren’t allowing Pilgrims much time on the ball. The first 15 minutes of play cast a very even contest with the majority of the ball held up in the middle of the park. Pilgrims had one notable chance whereby a pacey left sided forward got in behind the Tankerton defence; however Crane saved well. For Tankerton, the majority of their play which threatened Pilgrims the most came via long throws on either flank from Bardrick and Rigden.

The sheer length of which these two players can put into their throw-in’s has meant they have become another form of set-piece for Tankerton in recent weeks. The most notable example of the effective use of these came during Tankerton’s top of the table clash with Herne Bay Youth Juniors whereby Bardrick threw the ball into the Herne Bay penalty area for Ginnaw to head home.

Tankerton were hoping for an event almost identical to that in order to deservedly take the lead here against Pilgrims. In fact it was exactly what the visitors got upon the half an hour mark. However this time it was Clements who surprised everyone by lofting the ball into Pilgrims’ penalty area where one of the home side’s defenders headed it only into the grateful path of Ginnaw; who was waiting to tuck it home at the back post. There was some deliberation as to whether Ginnaw did indeed get a touch before the ball crossed the line however I feel I’m not fit enough to decide either way!

During the remainder of the first half Tankerton maintained control over a very over-physical side in Pilgrims. The home side had a player booked and were continuously giving away fouls. Ginnaw and Hinchcliffe were both forced off either side of half-time with injuries during the game which may or not have been in conjunction with the home side’s over-physicality.

The second half started well for Pilgrims as Tankerton had to adapt to playing up hill and against the sun. However Crane still was largely unaffected by the home side’s pressure with the Tankerton goalkeeper having very little to deal with. The game was becoming very even with both sides battling for possession and control being contested heavily in midfield. The key event of the second half came with half an hour to go. A Pilgrims’ player went down in the box under a soft challenge by Agada. Much to the shock of many of those on the pitch, the referee awarded a penalty to the home side. The Pilgrims attacker stepped up and fired his shot straight at Crane’s legs where the ball rebounded off and seemed to hit the back of the net just under the crossbar before falling back into Crane’s arms. All of the 22 players turned their backs and prepared for kick off waiting for the referee to confirm the equaliser. However the confirmation, much to the disgust of all those in favour of the home side, never came and the game remained at 1-0 to Tankerton. Every player on the pitch was sure it had gone in (with the shaking of the net being a clear indication of this). However the game carried on as per normal.

To rub salt into the wounds of the Pilgrims faithful, merely 10 minutes later Tankerton extended their lead to 2-0. Whyte cleared the ball into the feet of Kupperblatt who’s shot was saved by the home side’s keeper however the rebound only fell into the path of Radford who headed home.

Tankerton were far more comfortable at this stage of the game and with the score at 2-0. But this crucially led to large gaps forming between midfield and defence for the visitors; a sense of over-confidence feeding in. Pilgrims responded and were soon awarded their second penalty of the game – a rather debatable ‘handball’ given against Rigden. Surprisingly, the Pilgrims’ goalkeeper stepped up and this time the penalty was saved brilliantly by Crane as he dived down to his right hand post.

Tankerton made the most of these goalkeeping heroics by regaining their shape and then scoring a third via a Russell free-kick of which found Radford once again who headed home his 5th goal in 3 games at the back post.

From then on, Tankerton maintained control and the defence was largely untroubled. The game ended at 3-0 to the visitors meaning a second consecutive clean sheet and three important goals to aid the what could be so influential goal-difference at the end of the season.

Next week Tankerton are up against Tankerton Colts of whom haven’t played in two weeks and would certainly not like to recall the previous meeting between the two sides this season (a 9-0 win in favour of the Seniors)

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