Panthers were back to winning ways, all though it took quite a bit of effort to get the goals!
The first game against Leckhampton was all Panthers, with Alex not having anything to do in our goal. The pressure was all ours with the first half corner count at 8. Toby Scott was excellent with his corners, but it seemed that no-one could get on the end of them. Two of the corners nearly went in direct, but were cleared off the line by the Dragons keeper. Eventually the pressure told, and a Leckhampton defender handled a ball in the box. Robin Hanman stepped up and drilled the ball into the bottom left corner. There were 2 more notable efforts in the first half from Tom Mason, who was brilliant on the day, but both were saved. HT 1-0
Panthers maintained the pressure in the 2nd half. A Josh Bird effort deflected wide. The resultant corner flying across the box, untouched again! Charlie Holliday got on the ball on the left wing, and crossed. Josh Bird got a head to the ball, but straight at the keeper. Robin Hanman tried an effort from our half, but the keeper stopped. Josh and Toby Scott also had couple of chances, and there a few more Toby corners flashing across the box. Despite all the play, it took yet another penalty, again for handling in the box, to get on the scoresheet. This time Ben Murphy took the spot kick, and finished in the same corner. FT 2-0
The St Marks game started disasterously, with a goal in the first minute to the opposition. From the kick off, Panthers stood off the play, failed to get tackles in, and failed to clear the ball. The St Marks player shot well high into the net to open the scoring. It took a while for Panthers to get going in this one. St Marks crossed for a good header to be saved by Alex Fulford, and the pressure was all with St Marks. Panthers got a foot in the game, when a kick up field from Alex, put Toby through on goal, he was brought down just outside the area. Although Toby's resultant free kick was deflected wide, the effor put a spring back in the play and Panthers managed to get level before HT. A St Marks player handled about 15 yards out. Toby Scott hit a shot with such venom, that the parry by the keeper, was not enough to stop the ball dropping over the line. HT 1-1.
The second half started with Panthers pressure, with the best piece of play starting with Anna Barnes, who won the ball in defence and released Charlie Holliday down the left wing. Charlie crossed low, for Toby Scott, whose toe poke went inches wide. The Panthers goals actually started with our own goal kicks, and came in quick succession. Alex Fulford hit a goal kick down the right side, which Toby Scott picked up on, cutting in side and hitting a shot that the keeper was unable to keep hold of, and Charlie Holliday was there to tap in the rebound. From their kick off, St Marks pushed up and shot wide, to give another goal kick. Alex conceded the goal kick to Ben Murphy, who also hit the ball well down the right wing. Josh Bird got on it this time, and crossed for Toby Scott to finish well. There were a couple of late efforts from Charlie and Toby, but the score remained 3-1 at FT.
Tom Mason had a really excellent first game in the DMC position, putting in a real effort to get up and back with the play. He also showed good feet and composure in beating a few players. He eventually had to come off in the 2nd game due to exhaustion!! For the effort, Tom picked up the player of the week award.
The first half looked like we would come away with a win, then second half suggested a draw would be a fair result, yet we agonisingly came away with nothing.
It always looked like it was going to be a tough match, when Leckhampton ran in 8 goals without reply in their first game. However, the early pressure and indeed most of the first half play was with Panthers. A Panthers corner was scrambled away at the near post. A great cross from Toby Scott was met on the volley by Ben Murphy, but went just wide. A long range effort from Josh Bird also went just wide. Toby Scott released Ben Murphy who cut inside, but the effort saved.
Leckhampton had little to show in the early exhanges, other than one corner. This led to the opening goal for Panthers, hitting Leckhampton on the break, with Toby Scott released and drilling a shot across the keeper into the opposite corner.
Unfortunately with the last play of the half, following a Panthers hand ball in their own half, a Leckhampton free kick was pumped into the box, and not defended. Leckhampton scrambled the ball home to go in level at the break.
There was more dissapointment at the break, as keeper Ethan Streatfield, had taken studs across his knee in the melee of the Leckhampton goal. This forces a few changes to the Panthers team for the second half.
Leckhampton started to get in the ascendency then, and indeed went in front with a free kick really well hit into the top corner from a tight angle.
Overall the play was balanced, with Ben Murphy having a shot well saved, and Shun-Ta Cheong forcing a corner after latching on to a long kick from new keeper Alex Fulford.
Panthers levelled following a spell of good pressure, when Robin Hanman, having pushed up for a corner, found the ball at his feet in the box with plenty of space. He finished well.
The game did continue to flow back and forth, although Panthers tended to lose their shape a bit late on. Leckhampton scored again with a goal that was a bit disappointing from Panthers point of view. A long ball forward, bounced thorough the Panthers midfield, then the defence seemed to leave the ball for each other, and the ball went straight through to a forward a yard out, for a tap in.
Alex Fulford helped keep the score realistic with a couple of late saves. He tipped around one fantastic effort that seemed destined for the top corner, and then following a hand ball in the box from Robin Hanman, saved a fairly tame penalty which was the last kick of the game. The overall keeper performance from Alex, earned him the player of the week award.
Another day we could have been out of sight by half time!!
CPFC hosted Brockworth for a friendly match, played over 4 x 15 minute periods. The match saw debuts for new players, Taras Wolczuk, Max Perry and Luke Thruston.
The team split into 2, with team 1 playing periods 3 and 4 and team 2 playing periods 1 and 2.
The first period showed early pressure for Brockworth, with CPFC finding it difficult to clear the ball away from corners. In fact most of the half was with Brockworth, and Ethan Streatfield played well in goal, rushing out to be first to loose balls. Ethan was beaten by one good shot across goal, but it also sneeked wide of the post. A few CPFC breaks did happen, with Charlie Holliday having the best effort saved. First period ended 0-0.
Team 2 had more of the ball, and the opening minutes of period 2 were 50:50 possession wise. The better chances did fall to CPFC. A Ben Murphy shot was saved, and the rebound poked wide, then Ben also forced a great save trying to poke the ball home following a corner. The first goal of the game fell to Toby Scott who was released to the left hand side of the area, and drilled a shot back across goal into the far corner. End of period 2, CPFC 1 up.
Third period saw Brockworth getting a foot hold in the game again, and the did levelled with an effort from the edge of the area. Robin Hanman did get behind the effort, but the referee judged that the ball had crossed the line. Soon aftwerward Brockworth found themselves in front, when the CPFC defence was caught too high up the pitch and left Brockworth 1 on 1 with the keeper.
Despite that, CPFC got back level with their best piece of play. Charlie Holliday was played in down the right wing. He beat a couple of players, before crossing to Taras Wolczuk who had found space in the box and finished excellently. End of period 3 - CPFC 2-2 Brockworth.
The last period saw plenty of CPFC possession, but without really creating anything in the last 3rd. Ben Murphy had a good headed effort from a corner that was saved.
Overall a good game, with the right result. A good opportunity to give players match time, and also try out formations. Josh Bird picked up player of the week for his consistency and overall effort.
As per the email, we are intending to have a small party for the children at the CCA on Sat 29th Jan (in recognition that we didn't manage to get this together in December!). There will be a football comp in the morning, and some games, followed by a presentation in the club around lunchtime (Skittle alley available from 12pm).
It would be great if each parent could provide a small contribution to the party food. As per email, here is the current list of who is bringing what........
PLEASE DON'T WORRY IF WE DOUBLE UP ON ANYTHING:
OR LET ME KNOW IF YOU THINK OF ANYTHING ELSE:
Mini Scotch Eggs
Sharon Jones/Vikki Feighery
Milk and Sugar
Cheese & Pineapple
Vas Wolczuk/ Yoko Cheong
Veg and Dips
Your support is greatly appreciated. See you Saturday.