Sat 14th April – Friendly v Cleeve Colts Rovers (Home)
Sat 21st April – League fixture v FC Lakeside Whites (Away)
Sat 28th April – Final league fixtures v Leckhampton Rovers Villa and Charlton Rovers Blues (Home)
Sat 19th May – Southside Tournament (Bournside School)
Sat 26th May – FC Lakeside Tournament (Dowty)
Fri 15th June – PRESENTATION NIGHT – CCA
Sat 23rd June – Cleeve Colts Tournament (Bishops Cleeve)
Please note: For the game on the 21st April, I will probably only look to take 10 or 11 players to the one away fixture. For the 3 summer tournaments we are entered into, I am only allowed to take 9 players (tourney rules, not me), but will look to rotate players at each event.
With that in mind, please let me know if there are any dates your children are unable to make (or you would prefer a weekend off!), so that I can plan for them.
At this time, I anticipate training all other Saturdays up to the Cleeve Colts tournament, with perhaps a few friendlies or other tournaments to come. Then maybe one last session all together on the 30th June. I would then plan to start up again as Under 10s, a week or 2 into August.
It would be great for everyone to plan to come along to the Presentation night. Last years was good fun, with every child getting at least a momento for their participation over the season.
The long anticipated Derby day arrived, but Panthers had a tough Abbeymead side to play first.
The first half against Abbeymead was end to end, and the sides looked fairly matched. Panthers flashed crosses into the box, but couldn't get people on the end of them. Toby Scott shot wide following a Panthers break away. Robin Hanman saw a long range effort saved, and a break by Toby down the right flank, resulted in a great ball in to Oliver Leathem-Pugh, whose shot hit the post. At the other end, Abbeymead saw a good corner deflected just wide from in the box, a sliced shot go inches wide and a long range effort from a poor Panthers goal kick, made up for, by a save from the keeper.
The second half continued end to end, but it felt like Abbeymead were starting to get a foot hold on the game, and changes throughout the half didn't have too much effect. Abbeymead had a good shot early on, saved, then didn't quite get enough on a cross, which went safely though to Ethan Streatfield in goal. Then it was Panthers again, with a Robin Hanman effort being tipped wide, and Toby Scott crashing the ball into the side netting, after getting on to the end of a long throw down the line.
As the 2nd half progressed, it was backs to the wall for Panthers. A cross into our box, was flashed inches over the bar. Then late on another corner was deflected onto, and over, the bar by one of our own defenders. It was from that resultant corner, that the defensive resistance was finally broken. The corner was too high for everyone, but an Abbeymead player was first to it, on the other side of the pitch. Panthers seemed to watch the ball as it came back across the box, and was drilled in from close range.
And so to the Derby, for which the first half was all with the home side.
Good early pressure down the right, forced the Colts defence to scramble the ball wide. The early goal came, when Alex Fulford fed Charlie Holliday down the right. Charlie beat a couple of players before hitting a cross which was parried by the Colts keeper, with the ball falling nicely for Josh Bird to tap home from close range.
It was more of the recent challenges of Panthers, "not getting on the end of corners" (this time from Ben Murphy), before Panthers got their 2nd of the game. Panthers broke down the right this time, cutting a ball back to Alex Fulford, who had enough time to control and drill a shot across the keeper. It was all Panthers pressure with Ben flashing corners across the box, of which Josh Bird did meet one, but the ball came back of the bar, before being scrambled away, and good pressure resulted in an effort from Maddie Power which went just wide. Colts did have one effort on the break, but the shot went wide.
The second half was a different story! Back came Colts from the sound of the whistle, and they created chances. Austin Plemel, in goal, was on his guard on a number of occasions, saving one where the rebound was luckily smashed against James Bennett, taking up good position on the near post. Austin also needed to save from a one on one situation as Panthers pressed high up the field, allowing Colts to break.
Panthers did have a few chances, with Josh Bird slicing a shot just wide, and just getting beaten by the keeper to a through ball. Colts got their deserved goal through one of those breaks. Callum Ward (Colts) picked the ball up on the right, and went through on the keeper, before placing a shot across him into the opposite corner.
A tough day for Panthers, where they seemed to run out of steam against Abbeymead, and were then guilty of pushing too high up the pitch as the game progressed against Colts. It wouldn't have been undeserved if we had got a point against Abbeymead, but it also wouldn't have been unfair if Colts had snatched a point in the second game. In fact Austin Plemel, in goal for the Colts game, earned himself player of the week, for the great saves that got us all 3 points.
Another 2 good results for Panthers and 2 clean sheets to boot.
Panthers faced Swindon Village in the first game, and the early exchanges were 50:50. The initiative went to Panthers soon after a lobbed effort from Oliver Leathem-Pugh was really well reached by the Swindon GK, and tipped around the top corner. From that resultant corner, Swindon failed to clear their lines, and the shot from Oliver at the edge of the box was too hot for the keeper to handle, 1-0.
Panthers continued to mount the pressure, with good crosses from Charlie Holliday needing to be dealt with. Shun-Ta Cheong tried to stab home following a corner, but the keeper saved. Shun-Ta also did well with possession on the right, and one cross resulted in an effort drilled just wide by Oliver. Charlie also had an effort charged down, and a great peice of play down the right, saw Shun-Ta put Charlie free, who crossed in for Oliver to see another effort saved.
Meanwhile any possession Swindon had, was being well cut out by Anna Barnes, defending high up the pitch. In fact, after dispossessing a Swindon striker, Anna then played a great through ball for Tom Mason, who hit the ball back across the keeper into the far corner. HT 2-0.
The second half started in much the same way. Austin Plemel played in Shun-Ta down the right, who cut inside and cracked the ball against the near post. Oliver Leathem-Pugh was brightest, getting to the loose ball just ahead of the keeper to get his 2nd of the game. Soon after, Oliver found himself free in the box following Panthers pressure, and smashed the ball home to complete his hat-trick.
Fortunatley for Swindon, Oliver picked up an injury soon after, when a stud across the knee cap caused a fair amount of blood shed! Austin had a shot blocked, and the keeper also managed to save the follow up from Josh Bird. Josh broke down wing, passed to Austin, whose cross fell to Tom Mason for another saved effort. Austin tested the keeper again with a long range effort. Anna put Ben Murphy free in the box, but the effort went wide. One of Toby Scott's corners was not quite met well enough by Josh's header, and that went wide too.
The second game started well for Panthers, with a Josh Bird effort just wide, and a corner from Toby Scott hitting the far post and bouncing nicely for the keeper. It was anticipated for this to be a tougher fixture, and was much more 50:50 in the first half. Shun-Ta Cheong, Toby Scott and Josh Bird linked up well, but the crosses were either cut out, or the finishes just off target. Another flashing corner from Toby was also saved under the bar. Josh Bird showed strength to break through on goal, his effort was parried, and the clearance fell to Ben Murphy, whose first time effort looped over the keeper, but came back off the post. Ben and Toby also had another effort each, but we finished 0-0 at half time.
The second half continued end to end. Leckhampton flashed an effort wide, and they earned a couple of corners which didn't come to much. A long effot was well saved by Ethan Streatfield. The most notable Panthers effort in the second half was from Tom Mason, which was saved at the near post.
Two great results for Panthers, and the first time this season for 2 clean sheets. It wouldn't have been unfair if we had nicked a result in the second game either. Obviously Oliver Leathem-Pugh stood out for being the first Panthers player to have scored a hat-trick this season. However, player of the week went to Anna Barnes who was magnificent in defence. In both games, Anna was disrupting play high up the pitch, and cutting out breaks. Under pressure, Anna did the simple things right.