By James Plumb
Ten Goal Boxing Day Thriller
It has become a Boxing day tradition for the Rowing club to play football against Peterborough Rugby Club and this year didn’t disappoint.
It was a lovely mild morning, perfect for football in the knee-high grass. The goals were measured out, one being the goal frame and the other formed by kit bags. On paper the numbers were fairly equal, but matches of this magnitude aren’t decided on paper!
The rowing club took kickoff, with a Spain-like tiki-taka planned; it remains debatable as to whether or not the plan succeeded! The rugby club had a couple of chances early on with a quick succession of corners. The rowing club grew into the game, but a counter attack from the rugby club resulted in the first goal; a cleanly struck shot had the venom needed to beat the PCRC’s number 1 JC.
The rowing club responded with a ball played in from the left, tapped in by Forbes Plumb. The rugby club immediately replied with another counter attack and pounced on lacklustre defending. The rowing club’s second resulted from a Gwion Edwards-esque nutmeg by Piers Casey to beat the defender before a pass and a clinical finish by Plumb. To complete his hat trick, a through ball from Callum Gilbey resulted in the potential for a shot from a tight angle on the right hand side. In great goal-scoring form, Forbes hit an unstoppable and sweetly struck drive into the bottom corner, just like Junior Morias; he even got to take the match ball home… Granted it was his own ball!
Two potential goals were disallowed after some dubious refereeing. The “referee” decided to defer to the rugby club when deciding if the shots were goals and was told that
in their (admittedly superior) experience they “looked more like conversions” than shots on target. The whistle was blown with the rowing club leading 3-2.
A resurgence from the rugby club resulted in an equaliser to level the score at 3-3. The rowing club had to dig deep and start to focus on a higher tempo of play to break down the opposition. Piers Casey ran in from the left and his shot flew past the goalkeeper into the near post. An outstanding build-up resulted in a chance from short range for Callum Gilbey, who tapped it in for the 5th goal. This made the score 5-3 and the rowing club could start to relax a little.
The rugby club substituted their goalkeeper and this resulted in their fourth goal after the rowing club defenders gave the number 9 too much space. This caused a nervy couple of minutes for the home side. The win was sealed by slick build up play through the centre between James Marshall and Dan Richardson, resulting in a 10 yard strike towards the near post. Despite multiple heroic saves earlier in the game, this shot finally beat the replacement ‘keeper.
A few rowing club members are mentioned above, but there were too many great performances in non goal-scoring positions to mention. Massive thanks to all that played, but last but not least thank you to the rugby club for giving us a great game.
The final score of 6-4 to the rowing club gives us our fourth successive home win. Next year the game will be held at the Rugby Club, where we hope to build on our home success!