"With a number of debutantes in the squad, we started out very positively and actually managed to string more than 2 passes to each other for a change. As a result, we dominated possession in the first 10-15 minutes and built up a number of promising attacks. In fact, Beech should have had a hat-trick in the first 10 minutes, including a penalty, awarded after Steve Coates was bundled off the ball when about to shoot, which their keeper saved easily. After 15 minutes, and totally against the run of play, Pas, with their first real attack, floated the ball into our box and one of 2 unmarked attackers headed the ball into the net to give Pas a surprise lead. We continued to play some good stuff, and create a few good chances, but the equaliser came from a bit of a fluke when Beech punted the ball towards goal from the left touchline, and the wind took it and it sailed into the net over their keeper to make it 1-1. Although Pas came more into the game, we continued to dominate, and further goals from Coatesy and Beech gave us a deserved 3-1 lead at half-time, and it could have been even more, as we reckon Beech alone had at least 9 shots on goal - including the missed penalty!
With a slight wind advantage for Pas, and Turns coming on in central midfield, we knew it would be a closer game in the 2nd half. However, we got off to a perfect start when newcomer Ian Galloway made a good run down the left, and put in a perfect cross to find Coatesy unmarked who made no mistake with his diving header to make it 4-1. Pas then started to test our defence, well marshalled by Nathan Lumber and Spraggy, as they came increasingly into the game. However, we were then awarded another penalty, when Beech was unceremoniously bought down in the box. Stan and Clarky were both keen to take the pen, but as neither of them can kick a ball more than 10 yards these days, we left it to our usual penalty taker Coatesy to make the game safe for us, but he put it in exactly the same place as Beech and the keeper saved it again! Soon after, a mix up between Nathan and Scott in goal left their forward with an empty net for a tap in to make it 4-2. This goal gave Pas extra momentum, as they threw men forward, and it was no surprise when they scored their 3rd goal with 15 minutes to play. Pas continued to put pressure on us, although the 2 best chances fell to Beech and Coatesy who both only had the keeper to beat, and both shot straight at the keeper. With time running out, Coatesy was looking dead on his feet on the halfway line when the ball fell at his feet and he suddenly sprang into life, beat 2 defenders, and, as the keeper came out, he tripped over from sheer exhaustion, but somehow managed to chip the ball over the keeper into the net. The final whistle blew soon after to make the final score 5-3, and a well deserved victory, although Pas pushed us hard. A good competitive Vets game played in an excellent spirit.
PaS Masters Report:
" PAS had on paper a strong team for this game, the only issue we had to contend with was the 4 players who wanted to play up front, which resulted in us playing a 4-3-3 formation, which clearly didn’t work.
There were 2 penalties in the game given against PAS, both seemed perfectly fair from where I was standing and both were slotted to the bottom left corner and saved by our Keeper Steve, fair play and probably our MOTM on that basis as the saves kept us in the game until the end.
At one point in the second half we were 4-1 down, but continued to battle on and managed to pull it back to 4-3, at 4-3 with the game looking like it could end 4-4, Steve Coates went down our right wing straight past Nick our right back and chipped the keeper, into the top corner to close the game out 5-3.
This is the strongest Cribbs squad we have played against for a while, fair play to them, whilst it was a bad day at the office for the PAS defence, Cribbs have clearly strengthened their attack with another big bold guy… and had a couple of decent additions in other areas too.
Great game, nice bunch and as hospitable as ever.