PASALB FC 3-1 London Scottish
PASALB FC have won again. Here’s the match report…
PASALB advanced to the quarter finals of the Dave Baister Cup with a 3-1 win over London Scottish, who looked a shadow of the side that furnished us with a 5-2 drubbing in the dying days of the 2014/15 season.
Resplendent in full Argyle regalia, thanks in part to the support of kit sponsors RHP Pipeline Services Ltd, for all your pipeline needs (in the Brixham area, at least), the team looked utterly magnificent, with the presence in the starting line-up of two of our most celebrated ringers, Damir Brujic and Jesse McGrane, only adding to the pageantry.
The afternoon began inauspiciously when the simple task of kicking off proved beyond the capability of strike duo Watkins and Disco. As the LS players advanced, the ball singularly failed to move, following the gentlest of nudges from one of our two centre forwards (your correspondent forgets which one) and momentary panic ensued. Thankfully we literally got the ball rolling at the second attempt and quickly asserted our dominance.
Early chances fell to Cassidy, who smashed over from just inside the area, and Hildyard whose effort was tipped round the post by a flying save from the LS keeper (who had a very reasonable game).
We were pretty much camped out round their penalty area, with plenty of corners and throw-ins flying in, but alas no goals. The fact that everyone looked so good in our new Argyle kit, supported by RHP Pipeline Services Ltd, was at this stage scant consolation.
However as half-time approached we quickly breached the Scottish defence not once but twice to ensure the scoreline at the break just about reflected the balance of play. For the first, Brujic glided through the midfield maelstrom like a prizewinning figure-skater before threading the ball through for Watkins, who had sprung the offside trap. Last season’s top scorer showed the striking prowess that has already delivered a goal every game in this campaign, finishing coolly past the keeper before repeating the trick a few minutes later. This time, the ball fell kindly for Watkins from a Cassidy throw, and a slight nick from a despairing last-ditch tackle took it through the keeper’s legs.
High spirits at half-time soared further at the late arrival and introduction into the fray of PASALB stalwart Matt Prout, who didn’t take long to announce himself by scoring our third goal, sweeping home another long throw from Dave Brown at the far post.
Even with the game won, there was room for some late controversy after a very dubious refereeing decision handed LS a free kick right on the edge of our area. The resulting strike into the top corner was an absolute peach, soiling Langworth’s clean sheet and perhaps offering some hope to the absent Willacy of winning his place in the side back via the goalkeeper’s jersey. Moments later that glimmer of hope was firmly extinguished by a flying save from Langworth, tipping the ball onto the post and preventing what could have been a nervy last 5 minutes. LS also passed up another very plausible goalscoring opportunity, shooting straight at the keeper when clean through.
Despite these scares, we were always in control, with another assured performance from Brown and Kidd at centre back, ably supported at various points by Braveheart, Mumford and Cassidy in the full back positions. Indeed we could easily have added a couple more late on. Hildyard drove through the midfield, going past four defenders before firing against the post from the edge of the box. The rebound fell to Disco but with both the goal and Watkins looming in front of him, the opportunity to smash it straight at the latter proved too tempting. Who amongst us can truthfully say that they would have done differently? Mumford also almost snatched an unlikely goal from right back, cannonballing into the box to join a late counter-attack, but was denied by a desperate block.
This was the last meaningful action of a fairly comfortable win. Cassidy continued a trend of winning the man of the match vote that is effectively turning him into our first paid player, though there were also votes for 2-goal hero Watkins and Jesse McGrane who dominated the midfield.
The win sees us advance to the knock out stages of the Cup, with the remaining fixture against Aberdeen Strollers to decide who tops the group. Next up in the League is Roma in two weeks time – a team we have never previously beaten but after three straight victories, the opportunity to rectify that statistic is surely one to relish.
Team: Langworth, Braveheart, Mumford, Brown, Kidd, Cassidy, Brujic, Hildyard, McGrane, Disco, Watkins, Prout, Grant, Morris
Goals: Watkins (2), Prout
Assists: Brujic, Cassidy, Brown