Park Vets 4 Cadoxton Barry 1
12:34pm Tuesday 12th March 2013 in Sport
AT LAST, the first meeting of the season for these Vale Senior Soccer League teams, the lack of a referee having led to the late postponement of the first fixture back in September.
There were only three changes for CB this week as they trotted onto a surprisingly decent surface at the Athletic Ground.
After back-to-back defeats, CB were hoping third team stalwarts Craig Johnson (goalkeeper) and Mikey Bobbett (support-striker) would help give strong-going Vets something to think about. Only two chances came in the first quarter of an hour, both to CB.
Bjegovic outpaced two defenders, but his cross came to nothing. Then ‘Muscles’ gambled, dispossessed the centre-half, but somehow managed to poke the ball past the post.
CB’s problems started in the next minute, when defenders forgot the old saying, ‘Play to the Whistle.’ The Park striker may have looked half a yard off, which was not evident from the line, and referee Paul Bright was well-placed to disagree with the defenders.
Unchallenged, the striker gave Johnson his first task, to pick the ball out of the net. CB came back strongly but Bjegovic and Kieran Ashton could only threaten. Park did a bit of threatening also, mainly because Austin White was dropping off and not being picked up.
His through balls were feeding quick runners, but tackles and blocks prevented a second Park goal, and CB might have levelled 10 minutes before the break. Full-back Rhys Newlands, starting for the first time this season, sent in a delicious free-kick. Untouched, it slipped agonisingly past the far post.
CB lost two players to strained muscles inside the first 15 minutes of the second half. Newland and ‘Rocco’ were replaced by the very capable Sean Andrews and Amos Geary.
Neither is a centre half, and so a bit of reshuffling was necessary. Seconds after ‘Rocco’ had left the action, Park had doubled their lead. Sadly, it was another case of ‘arm in the air, calling for off-side’ instead of playing the whistle.
This happened despite the half-time discussion, when senior players, managers, etc. Bobbett, Tommy, Tinker and Frank, as well as manager ‘Panto,' pooled 140 years of experience. Five minutes later, it was curtains, as 'keeper Johnson called, came out and failed to collect.
The 3-0 scoreline prompted ‘Panto’ to play his last card, coming on for young Kieran, who had shown plenty of skill and composure with no reward. As in the previous week’s cup-tie, the reaction was instantaneous, ‘Nonny’ being pushed in the box. Bjegovic, once more sporting Frank’s books, quickly grabbed the ball.
Some suggested Frank should take the kick himself, but only three subs are allowed. Having scored in the cup-tie shoot-out, Luke was confident, but, sadly, he was inaccurate, shooting straight at the 'keeper.
If that one had gone in, ‘Nonny’s’ goal, smashed home after a corner two minutes later, would have put the cat in the proverbial place. There was still almost 15 minutes remaining, but Park were the ones to score again and, in the end, thoroughly deserved their win.
Best for Park were Scott Larsen, Lewis Stait and White. ‘Buddha’ Murphy also shone when he came on. More victories are a certainty. For CB, it was a difficult task to pick out the best, as this was not a vintage performance. ‘Muscles’ put in his usual good shift, young Kieran should not be disappointed with his performance and Bjegovic ran his socks off.