On 25th March, PCS went into a cup match against Dorothy Stringer with a good run of matches behind us.
We had won quite a few previous games and were looking to extend our run of wins. From the off, we dominated possession. We were covering lots of ground up the wings and looked a threat throughout the game. On every occasion, we were knocking on the door, but we didn’t get a reply. We had lots of shots on and off target, but nothing came of it. Every time we had the ball, Stringer were in danger, and lots of the time we had free shots, but I have to praise Stringer’s keeper because of how many shots he had to put up with. It felt that (for a while) their keeper was the only person keeping them in the game. But we didn’t lose hope going into half time.
We set out the same as at the beginning, determined, and raring to go. We knew that this was 1 of 2 games we needed to win to get to the final. So, we kept applying the pressure until we finally made a breakthrough from the man of the moment Theo, who scored a lovely flick on from a cross.
After getting over what seemed like an invisible barrier, the goals came flooding in. Charlie (who played his first game as striker) ended up scoring 5 goals after being subbed on and Ollie popped up with a goal after staying up from a corner. Our debut maker Dayton came on and gave an immense impact up front and almost bagged himself a goal in the dying moments.
All in all we had a great game all round and it was great to see new people making debuts for the team. Final score 8-0.
On 21st March, PCS played Cardinal Newman in a county cup match. Our position was to be decided in this game.
For the third time in two weeks PCS were underway in yet another cup match and the last before the semi-finals. We started off really well and were breaking through on every occasion. After a few minutes, we were already due a goal. We were exploiting them all the time with passes over the top, in attempt to get the ball to one of quickest players to glance the field that was Tom. We would send a ball through to him and his sheer speed would usually get him a one on one situation. He had them for pace, and he could finish it was just whether he could tuck his chances away.
At around the ten-minute mark, we had already capitalised through Theo, being his 5th or 6th goal in our county cup campaign. A tidy header from a corner had propelled us into the lead. Because of our success, we had kept feeding the ball through to Tom and Theo and we were again rewarded. It was Tom this time who finished the chance he was given, and a side foot finish into the bottom corner had given us a two-goal lead and at the moment we were sitting comftably.
From there we started getting creative with our decisions and passing. We had our strikers making diagonal runs and our wingers storming into the box. This led to our next goal where a perfectly-weighed lofted ball found itself reach the lethal finisher (Theo) who drilled one home 5 minutes before the interval.
At half time, we were panting like dogs, the sun blazing down on us and both teams looked drained. As a result, both teams looked sluggish and the game’s pace had slowed down drastically. We made some subs but started to lose our heads. We made some bad decisions and found that we had conceded a goal. A lack of work from the midfield let one of their players line up their shot and fire one home. Our heads were dropping but we still had some determination left in us. Their siege of attacking play had not finished yet. A misplaced pass had let to a counter attack and there was not much the defender could do apart from bring him down. This led to a dangerous free kick that was converted well.
Now, there were only two minutes left. But, Newman wanted the game. It was in the dying moments of the game that one of their centre midfields took a wild shot outside of the box and it happened to find itself in the top right corner. Final score 3-3.
And with that, the final whistle blew, now we had to wait for goal difference to see who would progress.
On 18th March, PCS played BACA in a county cup match. It was the first meeting between the teams in our year, so it was a new opportunity for both sides.
Before we knew it, we were underway and were getting closer to that position in the final. We started off anything from sluggish. We were knocking the ball around with confidence and were playing with our shoulders back. It was a yet another game we needed to win if we were to claim that place in the final. We played with passion, hunger and willingness to give it our all. Our passing at times was effortless. But, despite our hard work, we couldn’t put away our chances. BACA had set up quite defensively. They had almost every man behind the ball when we were in possession. This mean that they were very hard to break down.
It was with around 10 minutes to half time, that PCS drew first blood. After playing the ball around the edge of the box, a ball bobbled to the feet of Tom Payne who tucked the first goal away. We had gained the lead and were one step closer to that golden final position. Our lead was not put on hold, with some good build up play, PCS extended their league by another goal and that led to half time.
At half time, we realised that our tempo was too slow, so we played with a higher intensity and were really knocking on the door. We were attacking on numerous occasions and as a reward, we had some more goals fly in. A beautiful volley from Ben saw us go 3-0 up, after this we took control of the game and were running rings around them. We were breaking through the wings, middle…you name it we had done it. As a result of this, we got a dangerous free kick which was in perfect range for our free kick specialist Louis. He stepped up and curled one round the wall going in off the post.
In the end we won 4-0 and it was another victory for the PCS team. Now we have to play one more game and we are in the dream final.
Reports written by Tommy