Playford 2-7 Gardeners Arms

As we put league action on hold, we entered the first round of the county cup. We welcomed back into the first team Luke Coates and we welcomed in Ellis Rowland for his first competitive game under Chris Smiths stewardship, surprisingly Ellis was able to turn up before kick off which if you’ve know Ellis you would know this was a surprise, probably one of the most surprising things to happen to a playford team other than when Godbold goes down holding his hamstring after 20 minutes.

Chris named a fairly unchanged side today for the cup game, injuries forced the gaffers hand with Rhys and Ben having to pull out of the matchday squad due to injury, we wish you a speedy recovery lads, as they now join Macca in the treatment room. Playford fielded Andy in goal, buoyed by last weeks clean sheet, Sticks started right back with Hunty and Luke at center back, Cam retained his place at left back. Bolton and skipper Dan were joined in the midfield trio today by Yaya Toure’s little brother Kolo Kingy, leaving Ellis and Coates on the wing with Daryl up top, looking to build on back to back hattricks in his first 2 games. Jez and gaffer Chris were named on the bench today, as we also welcomed Part time Childminder and assistant manager Grant to the sideline as he took on the duties of trying to contain the playford ultra Rory.

The game got underway with 2 sides both sporting a 100% record in the league, the game started off cagey as both sides look to stamp their authority on the game. Playford struggled to hold on to the ball in the opening stages allowing Gardeners Arms to have the majority of possession, as playford tried to stamp our authority we were hit with a sucker punch midway through the first half, some sloppy passes from the hosts allowed the visitors to break quickly and fire past Andy to beak the deadlock. Playford continued to play there way into the game but again the hosts were sloppy in possession, perhaps showing the visitors too much respect when they had the ball they quickly fired in a 2nd, Playford tried to rally, the Gaffer made a tactical alteration swapping Dan wide right and bringing Ellis Rowland, fresh off a pre match red bull into the midfield, it wasn’t wings the red bull gave Ellis but much needed energy as he helped the team begin to find their feet in the game, Luke and Hunty began driving the ball out of defence and the full backs started pushing on, the hosts pulled one back as we had a counter of our own, a sharp 1-2 with Bolton allowed Coates to advance forward, Coates rolled the ball back to Bolton who played an inch perfect long ball over the Gardeners Arms defence into the path of onrushing Kingy who delicately dinked the ball over their goalkeeper before it nestled into the bottom right corner, it was a much needed goal for the hosts who were growing into the game at that point. Kingy clearly inspired by Will Gill’s finish last week swiftly added a 2nd, after some nice work on the left hand side again, Daryl rolled the ball into Kingys path who unleashed from distance and nestled beautifully into the bottom left hand corner from about 25 yards out, hopefully club secretary and part time camera man, Chris Jones caught a picture of the strike, more so for Kingy’s social media platforms than anything else. Playford fought back well and the game remained scrappy until the ref blew for half time. With Andy making some crucial saves and the defence and midfield making some huge blocks and tackles playford could have found themselves behind, but after Kingy’s double, momentum had to be with the hosts going into the second half.

Gaffer Chris gave the boys a strong half time team talk, after addressing some handbags from the side, probably more shocked by the fact we actually spoke while on the pitch, he then spoke about the second half gameplan, emphasising to the boys to gain control of the middle of the park and build upon the comeback in the first half, the managers inspiring words really galvanised the team for all of 53 seconds, a cross came into the playford box and their forward was on hand to head home to make it 3-2. Playford still rattled by this then conceded another, Bolton played a suicide ball in between Hunty and Kingy, the visitors pounced on this and added another.

We continued to battle and remained competitive, Gaffer Chris made some changes as Jez replaced Sticks and Chris replaced Bolton with the score at 4-2. Playford unfortunately were forced into a change as Cam believing he heard his hamstring pop, had to be replaced by Sticks once more, luckily it was rolling subs, which wasn’t the only thing rolling as Gardeners Arms began knocking the ball about confidently, they were denied on more than one occasion by Andy before eventually adding a 5th and then a 6th with 2 very tidy finishes by the visitors. The scoring was finally wrapped up as Andy again made some good saves but the opposition forward was first to react to a loose ball and convert into an empty net.

It was a disappointing game all round for Playford who started slow, managed to grow into the game and then seemingly ran out of gas, Chris’s words to the boys at full time were encouraging, he had this to say in his post match interview “It was a bad day at the office, there were some positives for sure, but too many errors have cost us on the day, hopefully by the end of the season we can look back at this as a wake up call and the result that kickstarted a very successful season.” We also spoke to the captain Dan after the game. “We didn’t get beat by them today we beat ourselves, next week we need a reaction and regain our confidence and principles that we’ve developed as a group.”

Playford return to league action next week, with our first away game of the season, we travel to Eastward Ho to face Martlesham Old Boys, hopefully we will travel light and leave the handbags at home and carry on with our 100% record in the league.



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