Although it is a classic footballing cliche, this really was a game of two halves! If you have never been to Pennthorpe, you won’t be able appreciate the slope that the pitch sits on. Obviously it is not an advantage to anyone, but it is fairly important to capitalise when going downhill, and we had this opportunity in the first half.
Without wishing to sound over-critical, the team just didn’t gel together and conceded 4 soft goals. Goalie Joe actually played very well and without him we could have been looking at 10 in the first half. Pennthorpe played well and didn’t make many mistakes, whereas Copthorne were tackling each other, and rushing their passes and control, and most irritatingly of all the defense were sitting back allowing the Pennthorpe strikers just to wait for the long ball and pounce on it.
One fairly rigorous team talk later from my good self and (more tellingly) caretaker/manager/chauffeur Ray left the team with a new vigour for the game, but facing up the north slope of the Eiger was going to prove a challenge. Man of the Match Luke kept his defense in a good tight line and Pennthorpe were caught offside countless times, and even though we conceded another 4 goals, we actually played very well. Utilising the standard prep school long ball tactics Pennthorpe would have reached a much larger number if it was not for the defensive bravery shown by all, and even though 8-0 looks like a drubbing it was not and there are definite positives we can take from that rainy Wednesday in Rudgwick. I expect Cottesmore are nervous about the prospect of a trip to the ‘Thorne next week for what promises to be another classic encounter- see you there!