Wednesday, 23 August 2017

22nd August 2017 - Penrith (h) FAC QR

A late equaliser from a Potter-transformed Bay in Cumbria meant one aspect of football went my way after a disastrous trip to France. My beloved Lens had lost their fourth league game out of four to keep them joint bottom of Ligue 2. To add to the club's misery a section of the fans had  invaded the pitch during the game and demanded the coach's resignation. (For more see
Tonight I was joined by Silly Andrew. Waiting outside the Seahorse for The Boy Mark to arrive, after dropping my wife off at the pub (long story but suffice to see Mark is a very kind man!), we leaned against the railings. At this point a fan-lady drove her car onto the pavement to park and promptly berated us for not  instantly moving out of the way of her car: pardon me good lady but last time I checked the pavements were for the walky-people and the roads for the wheelie-people. Silly and I were not impressed! Not wishing harm to anyone, karma may have struck, however, as we think we spotted a Penrith clearance rebound off one of the terrace roofs onto her head.
Hope she was okay: honest.
It was great to be joined by the effervescent Bob and Moira who, predictably, were going on about the shirt numbers and wondered whether the number 8 had been put on upside down...he's never happy. I don't think it has been but if anyone is an expert on the comic sans font and can help out, let me know. Also joining us was Running Keith who kept saying how exciting the game was: hopefully he'll be back soon.
There was no Thibault as he was enjoying himself in Southern France so Matty Cornish was given his first start while magic-man Potter replaced PGR (Peter Glen-Ravenhill). A fit-again Josh Nearney came back in for Reay.
Right from the off, the Bay were on the attack, keeping possession with some great football. Fears that we might miss the Call-ault duo ( Callum and Thibault) in the middle of the pitch were instantly eased. Cornish and Haley (Halish? Corney?) were everywhere, tackling, driving, prompting. For long periods of the game, Penrith hardly had a touch and when they did HallByerWilliNear (okay I'll stop this..sorry) showed similar amounts of skill, grit and determination. Surely we were on for a cricket score?

No! In one of Penrith's only serious threats on goal they scored: Jonny Murray scoring after a long throw. But back came the Bay with Potter continuing where he left off the previous Saturday. There was consternation in the visiting penalty area when keeper Stuart Dixon went down under a terrible challenge. A succession of corners saw the visitors fully stretched and their keeper was performing extremely well. However, they were clearly rattled. Their defenders argued with the ref that the Whitley players were being weally weally mean! The Allotment Enders behind the goal begged to differ...but then we would.

Everyone agreed that this had been one of the best halves from a Bay team, regardless of the fact that there were a lot of first team regulars missing.
The big fear in the second half was that the Bay would run out of steam, after the hard-pressing start so feared the worst when Penrith crept back into the game. Mistakes were being made by the home team and when a shot pinged against the crossbar, it looked only a question of time before they fluked the decisive second goal.
However the arrival of PGR and Glenn Reay, on for the hard-running and unlucky Blondie Patton and Michael Hall, energised the team. The attacks on Dixon's goal began again and with nine minutes to go the Bay were level.
All of Cornish's hard work was rewarded as he scored a curling wonder-goal. He was rather pleased.
Moments later the noise level from most of the 358 fans rose up a notch as Scott Jasper saw the ball bouncing agonisingly around his feet. Thankfully he managed to slot it past Dixon before he could snatch it. He celebrated with a repeat game of pile on.

It was all the Bay to the next round when Cornish ran onto a pass from supersub Liam Brooks and slammed the ball home. Cue pandemonium at Hillheads. 3-1 and the Bay were through to play Newcastle Benfield. Penrith had played an extremely hard and strong game but in the end the lads had managed to outwork and out muscle them. Every player was a credit to the Bay.
Morpeth? Never happened.

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