Year 11 County Cup Football

Gillingham School 1 Purbeck School 4

After being knocked out year after year in the later stages of the Dorset Cup, this was the year 11 boy’s last chance to begin their journey to getting their name on the trophy. The Purbeck boys had played Gillingham twice over the last four years, once in year 7 when they lost 8-2 and once in year 10 when they lost 2-1. The draw was cruel on us to say the least!

After a long bus trek to Gillingham, Purbeck started brightly keeping possession of the ball really well with intricate passing in a new 3-5-2 formation with wing backs. Unfortunately in the early stages, Purbeck were restricted to long shots and a snap shot chance on his left foot by Billy Winch. Then disaster struck, after pressurising the ball high up the pitch and aimless long ball was hoofed over the back of the Purbeck back three for the Gillingham striker to latch onto and score past Lewis Reeves. Our boys are made of tough stuff though and this didn’t allow their heads to drop. The next 30 minutes was very much hit and hope football. Purbeck were trying to put pace men Kyle Cavendish and Billy Winch in over the top, but to minimal effect. It was minutes before half time, when an exceptional bit of team play got Purbeck straight back into it. Some intricate play from Ciaran Waterman and Aston Harley down the left hand side allowed Joey Towers to square the ball into Jack Hughes’ path to bury it straight past the keeper. Half time 1-1.

To say Mr Tarbard and Mr Hunt weren’t happy at half time would be an understatement. The half time message was very much to get the ball on the deck and play football, and that is what the next ten minutes showed. Purbeck then became unplayable, with Gillingham not being able to touch the ball at all. Joey Towers came right into his own driving at defences quaking in their boots. After some good play down the left hand side the ball was cut back to Joey from 25 yards who struck a peach of a half volley right into the bottom left hand corner 2-1 to Purbeck. Within minutes Joey found himself in a similar position but slightly further forward on the edge of the box. Billy Winch held the ball up really well, playing the ball back to Kyle Cavendish who then laid up Joey to score his second of the game. 3-1 Purbeck. Then the flood gates started to open. Some excellent switches of play turned Joey from goal scorer to provider, playing Jack Hughes down the right hand side of the box to strike it straight into the top right hand corner. Gillingham looked deflated and well beaten at this point and unfortunately turned the game into a significantly more physical contest very much taking gamesmanship to new levels. After ringing the changes and getting everyone in the squad game time, Purbeck saw the game out to win 4-1 an incredible achievement considering four years ago they lost 8-2 to the same team.

I think what was most impressive is that a group of boys that trained every week together for four years, have finally pulled off an exceptional win against a very well drilled and physical Gillingham side. What it shows is that practise does make perfect and long may it continue!

Purbeck Team: 1. Lewis Reeves, 2. George Maytum, 3. Ciaran Waterman, 4. Bailey Perren, 5. Ethan Hewitt, 6. Jamie Foskett, 7. Aston Harley, 8. Joey Towers, 9. Jack Hughes, 10. Billy Winch, 11. Kyle Cavendish, 12. Kieran Eite, 13. Harry Kane, 14. Kian Salina, 15. Ollie Peters

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