Monday, October 3, 2011

At last ....

... we managed to get some football in today. My withdrawal symptoms are over.

It's League Cup week - round three as it happens -  and this is why matches have been few and far between this weekend. Pionsat has made it through the first two rounds without my help and today they were up against it - in the shape of Les Ancizes who play three divisions higher up the pyramid and who included two players who played in CFA2 (the 4th level of the French pyramid) last season.

And what didn't help matters was that they gave away three silly goals of the type that I have spent the last three seasons trying to get them out of - a lazy defence that won't talk to each other, won't track back and lack a real dominating presence.

They also conceded a fourth goal that was quite a good effort,and Les Ancizes hit the woodwork twice when it would have been easier to score.

With Cedric working hard up front supported by Nico they huffed and puffed but they never threatened to blow Les Ancizes' house down, but then Thomas came on as a substitute for Jojo, who was clearly not having the best of games.

I first saw Thomas play three seasons ago as a new kid on the block and how promising did he look in those days. But the last two seasons he never seemed to fulfill what he showed back in those days. Today, though, he came on clearly with a point to prove and from that moment onwards the match changed in character. Cedric and Nico scored a goal between them and Thomas ran riot down the inside right position and scored two magnificent goals, including a brilliant diving header that would not have been out of place on the telly.

Highlight though was definitely Pionsat's equaliser. The two players that Les Ancizes signed from higher up the pyramid spent much of the time showing off on the ball and it was odds-on that it was going to end in tears. One of them had already had a narrow excape when he tried to dribble around Cedric on the edge of the penalty area and although he eventually managed to keep the ball,his pass out rebounded off a Pionsat player and could have gone anywhere. But hsi colleague was not so lucky. His effort with just 10 seconds to go rebounded off the referee of all people and fell to Cedric totally unmarked in front of an empty net and Cedric doesn't miss those. 

And so we had penalties - and cool heads at Pionsat saw them through by 5 penalties to 4 and a lucky victory that it was too. It's not often that Lady Luck smiles on Pionsat but she did today and the team can bask in their success here for the rest of the week.

It was also probably the hottest October day I have ever known. Absolutely beautiful. We are having most unseason-like weather just now and I expect that we will end up paying for this. 

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