PANTHERS MISSING A NUMBER OF PLAYERS CLING ON FOR VICTORY IN GUSTY CONDITIONS

The weather made it difficult with a strong wind blowing against the Panthers in the first half, but for the first 10 minutes Panthers were playing some decent football but couldn’t slice through the well disciplined Claygate centre back pairing.

Then a simple ball over the top, gave the pacey Claygate striker space to run into and neither Ollie nor Jake C could catch him and he made no mistake in slotting the ball past Ethan. Panthers responded well with some fancy footwork from Zeno on the left touchline keeping the ball in and then putting a ball into the box which Binnie finished well to bring the scores level. The game was pretty evenly contested with both midfields battling well. Panthers then took the lead when a ball was floated into the box from Joe, and Binnie, whose confidence was now high, pulled the ball out of the air and finished really well.

 

Claygate were then gifted a goal, and it is not the type of goal I want to see Panthers concede again. Almost a carbon copy of their first goal…ball over the top… but this time the Panthers defence had ample time to clear but nobody took ownership and instead they left it for each other. The Claygate striker made no hesitation in taking advantage of their hesitancy and nipped between them to prod the ball past Ethan.. 2-2

A goal kick against the wind travelled little further than the edge of the box, and the Claygate striker seized on it and scored with Ethan having little chance.. 2-3

Panthers heads looked to have dropped and the Claygate players could sense this game was there for the taking. With the half time whistle approaching, the lead was extended. The high tempo pressing and tackling that was evident at the start of the match had disappeared, and a shot from outside the area was allowed to come in without any Panthers challenge, and it nestled into the top left corner. To be fair it was a good shot, but he should never have been given so much space… 2-4

Half Time: Panthers 2-4 Claygate

With the wind now behind them, Panthers looked threatening, and had a couple of speculative shots. William was now enjoying himself against their fullback, beating him for pace and putting in some enticing crosses that Panthers failed to capitalise on. Then Panthers pulled one back in rather fortunate circumstances. 3-4

The swirling winds were energy sapping and not that conducive for intricate passing, so Omar and Lucca were withdrawn for Jack and Binnie, for Panthers to return to the team that started the game. With 8 minutes left of the game, Zeno won the ball and put in a delightful ball to Jake B who pulled the ball back to Bradley who drilled a shot into the top left corner. 4-4

So with the clock ticking down, a draw looked to be on the cards, but the boys had other ideas. William was again the provider putting over a cracking cross which Binnie took on the half volley to shoot across the Keeper to give Panthers the victory! 5-4

 

Full Time: Panthers 5-4 Claygate

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