Football Match Reports 2005-06
Some of these reports have appeared in the Prestbury Parish Magazine
On Saturday the 8th of April, the Prestbury 1st XI faced St Matthew’s, who had at their last clash won 8-2. Things started badly, with St Matt’s taking full advantage of the ‘penalty’ supposedly conceded by Prestbury in the 2nd minute, but it seemed as though Prestbury would be able to hold out. Hopes were high, as the team had been showing a steady improvement throughout the season.
Unfortunately, things all started to go wrong. Despite gallant work from our stand-in goalkeeper, Ben, too many goals were leaking through the Prestbury defence for the scoreline to stay the same for long. Andrew Murton, on his Prestbury debut, pulled back two well-deserved goals, but not even the arrival of Michael Wyatt as a last-minute substitute could salvage the match, which again finished Prestbury 2, St Matthew’s 8.
It was a cold Saturday morning as Prestbury Parish lined up to play West Cheltenham. Although we had never played them before, they wore the same kit as our arch rivals St Matt’s. It was a good start from Prestbury who were playing against the wind and there were several chances to score, one of note an audacious lob from myself which I was about to celebrate but it dropped just over the bar. However, just before half time some slack defending and bad luck led to West Cheltenham squeezing the ball home.
The second half was even better from Prestbury who genuinely had the better chances with some good corners and intelligent play leading to near misses from Tim and Lee with Jack holding up the play well and bringing others into the game. There was a lot of effort put in with Stephen Murton racing down the flanks to chase up what seemed a lost cause which almost resulted in a goal. Even though Prestbury had most of the possession, West Cheltenham scored another goal in a controversial fashion as the linesman and referee disagreed over an offside call but the goal stood. Even so, Prestbury dug deep and got their reward when Tim burst the ball, and passed from the resulting drop ball for Lee to stab it in.
Overall it was a much improved performance and we all went to the Royal Oak after for chips and a few drinks. We had a good turnout in the crowd with many braving the bitter conditions including Lucy and Kathryn, although I think they may have been in it for the chips afterwards.
Saturday 11 February found a very small band of loyal supporters shouting encouragement to the Prestbury Churches Football team. The game appeared to start badly when the Prestbury goalkeeper, John Sexton, injured his right arm. Nevertheless he carried on playing, although clearly in pain. A few minutes later, Cambray scored their first goal, but Tim Rudge soon equalised for Prestbury. However, Cambray scored again from the kick-off and the first half ended 2–1. The Prestbury team played some good balls to their strikers, but the speed of the Cambray defence often outran them. Cambray soon scored their third goal and the Prestbury team tried to get a goal but hit the post. Steve Hawkins for Prestbury scored two goals in the second half, but the final score was 6–3 to Cambray.
Fr Michael and Simon Cozens
So onto 14 January, which saw us trekking over to Naunton Park to play New Life, a free church from Leckhampton, with more than one player sporting suspiciously shiny boots still fresh from their Christmas wrapping paper. On a heavy, mud-strewn pitch though, the gleam of the new boots didn’t last for long, and again, stamina and fitness told against us. Just 1-0 down after 40 minutes, we were feeling this was a game with chances for us but we conceded again on the stroke of half-time and the second half saw us defending frenetically. The star of the show without a doubt was Nick Moore who pulled off some stunning saves (despite barely being able to stand up for all the mud!) and one particular effort, diving full-length to palm a great strike away from the top right corner, was worthy of a TV replay. Our best chance came from a sustained period of pressure leading to a handball but the penalty was struck just over the bar. Meanwhile goals leaked in at our end and at the final whistle we found ourselves on the end of a 5-0 defeat.
Nonetheless, well done to everyone who has played so far and made it such fun to be part of. Better things should come as we start to find our feet as a team and play together a bit more. We’re arranging matches against some of the other Cheltenham church teams through the spring and, who knows, we may even be ready to join the Church league next season. If you’d be interested in playing, supporting or even offering a bit of coaching from the touchline, please ring Fr Grant or Andy Macauly.
Next match 11 February – Come on you Prestbury!
Prestbury Football – Up and Running
3 December 2005
Well, we may not be sending chill tremors of spine-tingling terror through the Chelsea dressing-room and Arsène Wenger is scarcely quaking in his boots but Prestbury Parish now has its very own footie team. Eighteen hardy souls rose to the challenge that had been set before us by the good folk of St Matthew’s (who play regularly in a local league for church sides) and took to the field on a crisp but bright December morning. Sadly the final scoreline of 8-2 to St Matt’s wasn’t all we might have hoped for but there were one or two moments of brilliance and a really solid first 20 minutes with an even more impressive come-back in the last quarter of an hour. Above all, the spirit of the game was great, everyone enjoyed themselves and buoyed up by drinks and the odd chip in the Royal Oak afterwards, the team were keen for more.
The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary and St Nicolas Prestbury Cheltenham - Registered Charity No 1130933
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