Pumas pick up first points of season
8:20am Thursday 13th September 2012 in Sport
Sully Sports 1 FC PUMAS 3
AFTER a terrible start to their Vale of Glamorgan Soccer League season, FC Pumas were up against 'landlords' Sully Sports.
With numerous injuries, work and family commitments and holidays, 'Gaffer' Andy Parfitt spent the majority of the morning chopping and changing the 1st and 2nd team line-ups.
On paper, Parfitt still had a very formidable starting XI, with Paul Fisher in goal, Davey Allen and Joseph Cleary the centre backs, Jon Barratt right back and, at left back, Lee Saif. The midfield was Jason Collard and Jodie Dean (centre), Brian Gillen (left) and Nelly Jones (right). Connor Ogden and Frank Zizou were the front line. The subs were Michael Lewis, Leighton Gronow and Parfitt.
After a very upbeat team talk, some group hugging and a team photo, the lads where all ready to take the game to Sully and try for their first points of the season.
For the first 10 minutes it was Sully dominating but the Pumas' back line held firm and coped well with an attack which featured former Puma Ryan Warden who was playing after stepping down from his usual first team action; something Jones (from the Pumas) seemed to be reminding Warden of on the pitch.
After some nervy moments, with Sully going close on a couple of occasions, the Pumas came back in to the game and mounted some good attacks, with Zizou, Ogden, Gillen and Dean causing mayhem at times and Collard holding firm in midfield.
When Dean slotted home a penalty after a Sully handball, the confidence was brimming over but that was shortlived when Sully won a penalty of their own - again for a handball - which Fisher nearly saved.
In previous games the Pumas would have imploded but, not today, and from the kick off the lads were back at Sully, making their defenders work for their money until the half time whistle. In response, Zizou hit the post and Ogden buzzed in and out of defenders' tackles.
Knowing Sully had made changes, the Pumas went out looking for more goals before they tired too much and, after some pressure from Sully with Warden making Fisher produce a candidate for save of the season, a free kick was won about 30 yards out after a foul on Ogden. Saif smashed a curling shot at the Sully stopper and, when he fumbled, Dean was on hand to net.
There was plenty of Sully pressure but Fisher was outstanding in goal and his back line seemed unbreakable. Sully kept applying the pressure so Parfitt introduced Lewis for shattered Jones and this saw the Pumas trying to attack more and gut busting runs from Ogden, Collard and Lewis nearly produced further goals. Indeed, Ogden struck the post, and Lewis linked well with Gillen and Barratt down the right for Dean to smash a shot just over.
The final whistle blew and the Pumas had won their first game of the season and gained their first points against a previously unbeaten Sully side.
Thanks and unlucky to Sully Sports and thanks to referee 'Slick Nick' who produced a fantastic showing as the official. Also thanks to all staff and punters at the Tadross Hotel for yet again amazing food and great banter.
FC Pumas man of the match was Jodie Dean for his two goals and all round battling display in midfield but that doesn't take it away from what was an all round great team performance from the Pumas.