FT St Mary’s XI 9 - 1 The Birdwatchers
HT St Mary’s XI 5 - 0 The Birdwatchers
Sunday 14th October, Garrison Field, St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly
Match Report by Will Lethbridge
St Mary’s XI
S James (10’, 15’), J Ware (30’, 60’, 70’ pen), R Greenlaw (35’), W Lethbridge (40’, 65’), J Handy (75’)
S Reid (61’)
In the first Sunday morning pre-season game of the 2018/2019 season, a St Mary’s XI comprehensibly beat the Birdwatchers in a 10 goal epic on the Garrison field.
It was a bright and breezy morning on the Garrison and despite the poor weather over the previous days, the pitch was in good shape. Short, slightly wet and with very few rabbit holes!
Due to Storm Callum effecting transportation to Scilly, The Birdwatchers were a few players short.
The emergency transfer system went into effect with St Mary’s loaning some players to The Birdwatchers meaning that both teams had a full XI with subs.
Referee Paul Charnock was unavailable for the game so Matt “Garfield” Simons kindly offered to officiate the proceedings with Lee Eaton running a line and acting as the 4th official.
St Mary’s kicked off left to right and during the early stages, there wasn’t much in it. Both teams had good spells of possession, moved the ball well and used the full width of the pitch.
After 10 minutes the deadlock was broken. The ball came into The Birdwatchers box from the right, it was cleared out to the left and from just outside the box Sam James hit hard and low to the right of goalkeeper Eugene Hogan.
He got a hand to it but couldn’t turn it round the post. 1-0 to St Mary’s.
The home side almost doubled their lead. Rob Greenlaw out on the left whipped in a teasing ball for Will Lethbridge head into the top corner, only for it to be disallowed for offside. He needs to watch the line!
5 minutes later after and some good build-up play on the right and passing around the box the ball came out to Sam James who popped up in a similar position and curled the ball into the far corner for his and St Mary's 2nd. Eugene Hogan had no chance on this occasion!
The Birdwatchers continued to move the ball well in their own half and centre of the pitch, which lead to a few half chances. Just before the half-hour mark Joel Ware’s work rate paid off as he chased down a long ball and superbly lifted it over Eugene Hogan to make it 3-0 to the home side.
Soon after Rob Greenlaw delivered a dangerous curling corner into the box which went through everyone and into the top corner to give St Mary’s their 4th with a possible assist from the wind!
Just before halftime Rob Greenlaw again and the centre of the action cut in from the left took a player on and pulled in back from the by-line for Will Lethbridge to hit home from 5 yards to make it 5-0 at the break.
Despite the scoreline, The Birdwatchers spirits were not down. They started the second half the better team with more possession and territory.
Will St Pier in goal for St Mary’s made a fine save at his near post with his foot to deny the Birdwatchers.
A bit of tension built with a few competitive tackles made and free kicks given!
St Mary’s were awarded a penalty after 55mins. Ben Johnson stepped up, looked composed and struck the ball well only for it to be matched by Kris “Spider” Webb who played the second half in goal for the Birdwatchers. A fine save it was!
The Birdwatchers were still continuing to attack and eventually got what they deserved. A quick corner and one-two came back to Scott Reid who curled the ball into the box through a few St Mary’s players and into the top corner making it 5-1 just after the hour mark.
St Mary’s where back at it pretty much straight away. Joel Ware latched onto a through ball and hit it hard and high with the outside of the boot swerving it in off the post.
There were questions of whether the ball crossed the line. Lee Eaton who was running the line went to VAR/goal-line technology (he was filming it on his phone) to confirm it crossed the line for St Mary’s 6th and Joel Ware’s 2nd goal of the game.
Jack Handy who had looked sharp and played well got the ball on the right, dribbled round a player, cut the ball back which eventually made its way through to Will Lethbridge to tap in his 2nd of the game to make 7-1 St Mary's.
Soon after the home side were awarded their 2nd penalty of the game for handball. Joel Ware stepped up on this occasion smashing it hard and low to the right. Kris “Spider” Webb guessed the right way but there was too much venom and accuracy for him to do anything about it. 8-1 St Mary’s and Joel Ware’s hat-trick!
In the later stages of the game, Jack Handy’s determination paid off as he slotted home to get a very well deserved goal, St Mary’s 9th and the final one of the game.
Both teams continued to create a few chances with the woodwork hit on a few occasions before the game came to its conclusion.
Performances of note and other bits:
First of all, a big thank you to The Birdwatchers for taking us on. I’m sure it will be a closer affair next year!
Thanks to all from St Mary's and Tresco who played, especially those who played for The Birdwatchers - it was great to get 2 full teams with subs. Thanks to Garfield for officiating and to Lee Eaton for running the line.
As far as Man of the Match goes, a fair few contenders:
Sam James and Jack Handy out on the wings had solid performances, both getting on the score sheet, and creating opportunities.
Rob Greenlaw and Dan Ware ran the show in the centre of the pitch, dictating tempo and winning the majority of the 50/50 battles.
The defence for St Mary’s was solid for the majority of the game with Anthony Gibbons leading the line and being supported by Tom James, Ben Johnson and Louis Asten.
Don’t think you can look much further though than Joel Ware for the Man of the Match award. A fine hat-trick, comprised of a delicate lob, thunderous outside of the boot strike and composed penalty.
Coming up next:
Six-A-Side in the Sports Hall Wednesday evening 6-8pm. £5 for the 2 hours or £40 for 10 weeks (I think).
Captains Rob Greenlaw and Anthony Gibbons are picking the teams on Thursday. If you’re interested in playing post below, drop the Facebook page a message or get in touch with someone from the club.
Finally, subs are due. I believe it’s the same as last year £40 for the year or £5 a game.
Thanks again to The Birdwatchers.
Next up is the final pre-season game – the Charity Shield. 10:30 KO Sunday, 21st October.