Richards emotionally charged as Botty come from behind to grab a draw

A very late Bottesford Town equaliser yesterday has almost certainly put paid to Penistone Church’s title chances, as the men from Church View Road are now five points behind the League leaders having played a game more.

Church did race to a 2-goal lead with Nathan Keighley getting a brace but Bottesford fired back with Wayne Greaves scoring just after the break, then a late Stephen McCarron finish eventually split the points.

Head of Media Operations at Birkdale Park Howard Pirie was pleased with the character shown. “If Penistone had taken their chances first half they would have been out of sight, at 0-2 half-time we still had a chance and through a bit of graft and for a change good luck we salvaged a point.”

“We’ve lost our way a bit in the past few weeks, but this comeback brings a little bit of self belief and hopefully we can have a decent run in until the end of the season.”

“Things are coming into place off the field mainly due to the constant hard work and perseverance of our Chairman and with a good wind the other bits will fall into place.”

“We are a little club with a big, big heart and if you were there today you would have seen; that if you roll your sleeves up and put a shift in you will get results.”

“Wayne Gravy will be sat at home wondering how he missed a second-half header and Jaime Ture has become our main man for the second week running.”

“I can go out for a pint tonight with a little more optimism knowing that a team is built on players, not individuals. Viva La Botty.”

While from the away dugout, speaking to the Penistone Church press team, Manager Ian Richards got very emotional. “I’m disappointed for the players, not with the players. I’m annoyed for the payers, not with the players. I’m frustrated for them, not with them because, from 18-yard box to 18-yard box, our performance was very, very good today.”

“First-half I’d use the term exceptional performance but, at half time away from home against Bottesford, 2-0 up, created numerous chances, perfect pitch, very well played the opposition. They went very attacking with eight really attack-minded players in their starting eleven. We went in 2-0 up. Rightly so. Looking back now because of the end result… we should have got the third, the fourth hit the post. Two great saves, one on one. They played one off the line. Corners: we’ve had good chances.”

“Then, second-half, we’ve started alright. Again we’ve had a couple of chances, not taken them. Then we just start to be wasteful and a little bit of lack of composure in and around the penalty area.”

“Not that we weren’t creating, so previous games we’ve dropped points – like Barton away and Garforth away – where we’ve not created enough to win it or Bottesford in the first game. Today we’ve created enough to win five games and I’m not over-exaggerating there.”

“We’ve had fifteen corners, potentially. We probably had thirty chances on goal. A little bit more composure, a little bit better decision-making and we go win that game 5-6 and really, really comfortable. The law of averages against a good footballing side who have eight attack-minded players on, they’re going to get a chance. What disappoints me more were the goals that they scored. Again, there’s been some very good individual performances at the back, so this isn’t a defensive defenders issue; this is us as a team just not dealing with it well enough.”

“The first one, we’ve not stopped the cross well enough. We’ve switch off a little bit out wide. We’ve not communicated enough on the cross so it’s ricocheted between two of our players and it’s fallen to their lad and he couldn’t miss. The second one, they were throwing everything at it and they’ve just played a one-two. We’ve just not gone with the run, then we’ve not squeezed the space and blocked the run. He’s bobbled it into the bottom corner.”

“When we’ve had to score good goals or create good chances… I’m talking here as if we’ve lost and we’ve drawn the game but, when you’re so close to the end and you know every point is pivotal in where you finish, it feels like a loss. I just want to congratulate Worksop Town on winning the League. I know mathematically they’ve not, but we’ve got to be realistic. They’re not going to drop the points that we need now – and I don’t like it – and I don’t want it to be there.”

“Wherever I go in terms of football now: here or go and manage the under-6s because my little boy plays or I retire or I stay with Church until I retire, today it’s Bottesford away and April 6th will always be etched into my mind and I’ll never forget. I can’t get away from that and I feel for the players. They’ve given everything and today their conversion rate wasn’t as high as previous games but you can’t fault them.”

“Scriv and Nath for the first two goals: phenomenal! Phenomenal play. If they can just get that little bit of consistency, those two players will go on and play extremely high and have great careers in football. My job is to keep promoting that, developing that, encouraging that and cultivating that, so they can go play as high as they can.”

“It’s great to hear this week that Jordan Barnett has just signed a contract with Barnsley Football Club and we gave him his start in semi-professional football. Had a pre-season and a first third of a season to help him and he has gone on and kick-started his career. Now he’s just signed a two-year after having six months at Burnley and a year at Barnsley, so I’d love Nathan and Scriv to be the next ones. They’ve still got a little bit of learning to do but phenomenal, the first two goals. Outstanding players to manage; outstanding players at this level.”

“We’ve got a number of brilliant footballers and today I feel for them. For the start, I’m not annoyed with them or frustrated with them or disappointed with them, I feel for them. I really do feel for them because they deserve to run the title race a little bit closer than dropping two points at Bottesford.”

“But that’s football! That’s why we love it. That’s why we’re involved in it. That’s why it’s emotionally charged, but I can’t thank them enough for everything that they’ve given over 35 football matches in this League. They’ve been phenomenal. They’ve scored 97… 99 goals now in this League and it’s brilliant.”

“We’ve just got to dust ourselves down, not feel sorry for ourselves. Results have always gone for us, which is really pleasing, except for the Bridlington result, so it still means we’ve got a stronghold on second. We’ve got to go to Eccleshill on Wednesday: another tough away game against a tough footballing side and we’ve got to go and get three points. Whichever way we get it, we’ve got to get three points. That sets us up nicely for our last two home games, which will be really exciting. Big crowds and big performances. Great days against two good footballing sides.”

“But today I’m very low, but I can’t do anything about that now. I’ve got to focus on Wednesday and we’ll do that. I’m sure the players will put it right on Wednesday.”

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