Pirates have finally put an end to their run of defeats with a hard fought comeback from 2-0 down, to draw 2-2 in a niggly encounter with The Cove.
Right from the start, tackles were flying between the two sides that were desperate to restart their season with a win. The Cove managed to enjoy a 5 minute spell midway through the first half which saw them attain a succession of corners. Inevitably, they made one count after Pirates were slow to get out of the box from clearing the initial ball, allowing Cove to fire a shot back in which deflected off Ollie Graham and into the net. In response, Pirates came desperately close when a cross from Pacilo was met by Nick Davis yet he found the Cove goalkeeper in splendid form as he somehow managed to tip away off the line. Pirates continued to have the better chances right up until the break, but couldn’t find the equaliser.
Things then took a turn for the worse as Cove added a second on the hour mark. A well worked move down the right hand side allowed them to get in behind the defence and put a cross in which Andrew Dyer failed to clear effectively, giving Graham an easy finish for his second of the night. It was obvious that changes were needed in order to stage a comeback and Pirates head coach Mauro Demarco did exactly that, bringing on Steven Savino, Shohei Misawa and Tony Manocchio who would all have big influences on the result. First, it was Misawa who pulled the game back to 2-1. A counter attack led by Nick Mavromatis was initially held up but still Misawa managed to break free from the shackles of the Cove defence and neatly tuck away his first of the season. Then, Manocchio got himself in a dangerous position after charging down the right hand side and sent in a cross towards strikers Mead and Savino with the latter seeing his flamboyant backheel attempt blocked before turning quickly to put the ball through the keepers legs and into the net, leaving just five minutes for both sides to try and get a winner. The final hero for the night was goalkeeper Finn Murphy who bravely dove into a 50/50 with the Cove striker in the dying embers of the game to stop a possible shooting opportunity. Hurt but not shaken, Murphy went on to take the Man of the Match award for the night.