Sunday, 9 October 2011

Bishop's Cleeve Mitre Won (But They Didn't)

The Tai Stand definitely exists (and that is James Nortei in the yellow) ...
... whereas The West End Stand appears to be more of an abstract concept behind Kyle Phillips

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 10 October 2011 at Kayte Lane, Bishop’s Cleeve
Bishop’s Cleeve 0 Paulton Rovers 1
FA Trophy Preliminary Round – both these clubs play their league football at step 4 in the Div 1 S&W of the Southern League
I am here randomishly (see previous post) because of the seven-point margin of defeat suffered earlier in the day by England’s rugby union team in their QF against France.
This match in one sentence
Paulton Rovers pull off an unlikely win with nine men as Bishop’s Cleeve fail to test an outfield player forced between the sticks after a keeper is red-carded.
So what?
Paulton Rovers win £2000 in prize money and go on to play at Taunton Town in the next round.
The drama unfolds
This is the third meeting between the clubs already this season and it became quite a niggly affair even in the early stages.  The Paulton dugout in particular set the tone for loud challenges to the ref’s decisions – and Mr Smart was to have a challenging afternoon with the whistle.  My scene setter clip is from the early part of the game before Cleeve Hill was hidden by drizzle.

After 5 minutes Paulton’s goalkeeper Kyle Phillips made a fingertip save from a low shot by Elliot Kennedy after good work by Carl Brown.  However, Paulton went on to waste several chances and half-chances of their own.  Craig Loxton put in a tame cross when he had plenty of time.  This one-on-one (and several others) were missed as the offside line was sprung…

That one was after 11 minutes and there were others after 15 and 17.  The third clip was taken around the half-hour mark to stop me dozing off because frankly the game was rather predictable and tedious at this point.

The Bishop’s Cleeve defence were berating their keeper, James Nortei, for his positioning and clearances, even before Paulton’s Josh Jeffries headed well wide with no defender within metres of him.  That was his last contribution apart from the attempted tackle that earned him a straight red card after 35 minutes.  Just before half-time, Paulton had yet another half-chance but Ben Lacey, not for the first time, shot wide.  0-0 at half-time

The second half started with a moment of madness from Kyle Phillips.  The ref judged that he had handled just outside the area and produced a yellow card.  I couldn’t comment from my angle of view, but there is no defence for Phillips’ actions as he petulantly kicked the ball out of the ground (and may also have expressed his opinion verbally).  Smartcards of the yellow and red variety followed immediately – he had no choice whatsoever after such a  display of dissent – and Phillips angrily dumped his green jersey on the ground as he stomped off to the changing rooms leaving Paulton with nine.

James Billing picked it up and went in goal.  Other than one fluffed clearance early on, he was to be relatively untroubled.  Bishop’s Cleeve failed to make him save a serious shot on target, and he made three good catches from crosses as the game went on.  This effort rather summed up the game at this point.

Then, this happened in the 67th minute.  An unusual goal for Craig Loxton.  0-1

Paulton, unsurprisingly, went 4-3-1 (if not 4-4-0 which by coincidence is the wheel classification of the steam locomotive City of Truro which operates on the adjacent Gloucestershire Warwickshire railway, but I digress) and ran the ball into the corners and channels as the clock ticked on.

Bishop’s Cleeve never really got to grips with playing 11 v 9 and these clips show their increasing desperation.

After 82 mins, the home side’s central defender Jake Lee smashed the ball away after the ref’s whistle, this time hitting the official from close range.  The yellow and red card combo appeared again to make it 10 v 9, but Lee’s in-his-face reaction to the decision, and his loud protests as he left, may yet earn him a longer ban if mentioned in Mr Smart’s match report.  The game fizzled out, and at least these two sides do not face up again until January.  Final score 0-1
James Billing, who dealt with everything that the home side threw at him - i.e. not a lot.
Even given stand-in keeper James Billing's clean sheet, my vote goes to Paulton’s central defender Scott Brice who had a strange but effective afternoon marshalling a 4-3-1 formation for much of the second half and personally getting in the way of most of the Bishop’s Cleeve balls into the box in the final quarter.
A snippet from the programme
“I hope that by now, England have stuffed the French down in New Zealand … “.  Er, no, or I wouldn't be here, so moving on quickly, and past the dodgy jokes, there is an unattributed very tongue-in-cheek article called “Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics”, from which I have extracted this paragraph:
“A high possession rate is the mark of a great team but a low possession rate is the mark of a poor team.  Therefore, when praising a side for having control of the ball for 70% of the game you have to criticise the opponents for only reaching 30%.  So, fittingly, praise must be split into percentages.  If a team has 70% of possession you must take account how poor the other side were and reduce your praise by the percentage of the total possession of the team who had the ball most, meaning you can only praise them for 49% of it.  Which we can round up to half for arguments sake. (Note: No apostrophe – see below!)  Conclusion: stats detailing possession can be used to argue anything you like.”
What I learned today
The football club have dropped the apostrophe from the placename – it features nowhere that I could see either around the ground or in the programme.  This is deeply shocking, if not catapostrophic, and the Bishop should be told.  Other than that, I have to say that it is a well-equipped, neat and tidy ground for a step 4 side, clearly well looked-after and in a picturesque spot under Cleeve Hill, with Cheltenham racecourse and the occasional steam train on the horizon.
What Next?
No idea at the moment – follow my twitter feed (@GrahamYapp) for details.

1 comment:

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