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Keeper Concedes 22 Goals, Takes Away Plenty Of Positives

Like your footballers to be “glass-half-full” types? Then allow The18 to introduce you to Cheadle Town FC goalkeeper, Steve Piggott.  

Piggott had a rough weekend, to say the least. On Sunday, Cheadle Town, a non-league club from the north of England, played Russia’s under-19 national side in a friendly. While Cheadle’s first team is comprised of builders, plumbers and truck drivers, Russia’s young pups play for the likes of Zenit St Petersburg and Dynamo Moscow. The result? Piggott was forced to pick the ball out of his own net on 22 separate occasions, or once every four minutes. 

Now, Cheadle are no strangers to international opponents: this summer they faced Dinamo Bucharest in a pre-season friendly (losing 5-0), while they’ve also played at Mexico’s Azteca Stadium and on the hallowed turf of Brazil’s Maracana. So what was so special about the Russians? Piggott isn’t making any excuses:  “We weren’t at full strength. There were a lot of tired legs and a few niggling injuries. We had some young players in and we weren’t all used to playing together…. The Russians seemed to have the wind behind them.”

We can sympathise. Conceding 22 goals is bad enough, but having your travails trend on Twitter is beyond the pale: at one point Piggott’s and Cheadle’s exploits were rivalling Chelsea and Arsenal for Twitter-sphere supremacy. 

Not that Piggott is letting the small matter of conceding half-a-season’s worth of goals in just one game bother him. Indeed, the 33-year old is rather up-beat about his performance: “We can take plenty of positives from the game. I pulled off a few good saves, maybe some world class ones. I probably kept the score under the 30s.” That’s the spirit, Steve.

There were some winners within Cheadle Town, however. As Karl Florczak, Cheadle Town's Website and Social Media Manager (a title we suspect he hastily gave himself shortly before the national press came calling), pointed out: “Before the game we had the region of 1,500 twitter followers, now we are knocking on the door of 3,000.”

There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

The18 has found some footage of this game. "The Great Game: Cheadle Town Edition" will now live on in infamy.

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