Two penalties put paid to best laid Británico plans.
The cold had finally arrived in Madrid and with the changing of the clocks there was a general feeling that winter had arrived, except for last Sunday in a small Eden in north Madrid called La Elipa where the sun shone out creating a perfect day for football against one of the championship challenging teams for this season.
8th place FCB lined up against 2nd placed Dinamo Sport Madrid with a settled line up that had won one and drawn two of their last three games. Captain Hutchinson took his place between the post and a slight shuffle at the back saw defensive giant Pablo take a rest, Jack filling his place next to big Dave after missing the week before. Cool as a cucumber Christian moved out to right back while the man with dynamite in his boots Bruce settled in at left back. Handsome Irishman Andy moved forward to his more conventional left wing hoping to keep his scoring boots on with industrial tape. The feared partnership of Tomás and recent two time man of the match winner Josh took their familiar places in the centre of midfield while the sensational recent discovery Ben occupied the right flank. Goal machines Zac and Barry, numbers 10 and 9 respectively, made up what looked a very strong team backed up by Seba, Gabi, Fabi, Rob and Adam on the bench.
FC Británico started at a frightening pace which shook the Dinamo boys to their boots as first Barry beat three down the left flank before setting up Zac from 6 yards out and then the Scotsman himself had tough one on one chance, both in the first 10 minutes and both brilliantly saved by the impressive DSM ‘keeper. FCB did their best to keep the tempo high and play the passing game, moving the ball and playing in Dinamo territorial where possible, from the other side, knowing that the low sun was straight in the eyes of the Brits back five, and not able to find any way through Josh and Tomás in centre-mid, the Spaniards were playing a more long ball game without much success.
But the game was opened up on the half hour when a cross smacked into Tomás from the left by-line. Without pause the Referee had blown for a penalty, the men in white looked bemused while Tomás looked scandalised. With his arms by his side standing on the very edge of the box it was a very harsh call. With Tomás’ protests that the ball hit him in the ribs still buzzing in his ears, the arbi called for the DSM captain to take the pen, which was subsequently dispatched to Hutchinson’s right.
In the minutes to halftime both teams probed but with no cutting edge. Andy and Ben were working immensely hard on the flanks tracking back to help Bruce and Chris where possible before tearing forward on the attack.
The dressing room at halftime was a quiet place, but not due to the disappointment of going in 1-0, rather because of the grim determination etched on each player’s face that needed no words to back it up, each player new they could win this game, they were ready to take the game to the Spaniards in the second half.
It was not to be though, within 10 minutes it was 0-2, a good move down the Británico left flank resulted in a tantalising cross to the back post that saw the Spanish Captain rise high and power a header low to the ‘keeper’s right for his second goal.
This did not keep the White Knights down for long though as a wicked corner from the skilful Zac found Dave at the back post arriving like a Madrid Cercanias to power a bullet header straight back where it had come from, luckily Chris was on hand with a right footed hooked volley into the side netting to make it 1-2.
This was FCB’s moment to counterattack, put Dinamo under pressure, show them who the boss of Las Cocheras really is, but the plan fell to pieces on 70 minutes when another penalty for handball, smashed into the net by the Dinamo captain for his hat trick, and a low cross deflected in, both in the space of 5 minutes, put the game beyond Futbol club Británico.
A slightest glimmer of hope appeared when birthday boy Barry was sent away down the right channel of the 16 yard box, he steadied himself and stroked the ball into the far corner with his right foot. At 2-4 and 5 minutes to go the FCB boys were still fighting for every ball in midfield, clearing every ball in defence and running hard at goal up front. The introduction of Seba at right back had added extra steel to the back line, Gabi and Adam had come on for the now exhausted Andy and Ben and were using their pace well, while Fabi was introduced in Midfield to partner Zac, leaving Josh to protect the back four. The dozens of fans were in no doubt FCB were playing the better football , but it was to get worse as the Dinamo left winger cut inside skipping through some tired challenges and let loose a curling finish into the far corner beyond Hutchinson’s desperately grasping fingers.
2-5 it finished and although the score line does not suggest it, the game was very even, two handball decisions and good Spanish finishing did not FCB. It is a strong team which competed very well with one of the top teams in the league, netting a third of the goals that DSM has conceded all season.
The Británico boys will bounce back.
Match Fact: Navidul FC are named after a cold meat and ham business!
The Bunwer bandwagon headed south to Villaverde and, due to directional chaos, arrived at the ground late. Kick off was subsequently delayed and you could have been forgiven for thinking that this disorganisation would affect FCB’s preparations….it was not to be as the lads turned in a ‘jamon Serrano’ quality performance by notching 5 goals with no reply.
After the 5-5 draw at home last week to Liga Bunwer’s resident hatchet men, La Taberna de Pastor, FC Britanico made the trip south to face Navidul with renewed vigour and hunger to grab 3 points. Again, the 8am Plaza Eliptica meeting point proved its worth, and although the Scottish contingent arrived, admirably, 5 minutes early, the FCB faithful still had to make a hasty exit at half past the hour..allowing for only minimal warm-up time. Regardless, the team were boosted by the return of Rob in goals, Sean, the recent graduate Christopher Parker, and a string of other handsome Britanico men.
At the ground, the starting team lined up: Rob; Richard Kilroy Silk, Alessandro, Sean, Zayd; Nicolas, Chris Parker, Alexi Hyner, Emeka; Olivier the Maverick and Dave Hughes.
The plush Britanico bench featured: Chaz ‘Carlito’ Boy-le, Amar, Lil Chris Stradd, Barry ‘Bryan’ Watson, Pablo, Mike Ojo, Ben and Stuie + colourful onlooker Zack – sponsored by Skittles.
The game kicked off a little past 9am, and after a night of rainfall the pitch was fast and slick. This allowed for some quick passing and movement, and Dave was released on goal almost instantaneously before harshly being adjudged offside. Next, FCB patience and possession paid off as the ball was kept neatly by Chris, Alex and Nicolas as Emeka was given the time to control, swivel on the ball, and slash a shot into the bottom corner to put the handsome Brits 1-0 up. Thereafter, Navidul managed to retain the ball with composure, and put some passes together competently and efficiently. Their play was nearly rewarded as a free kick from 25yards crashed off Rob’s crossbar, only to go behind for a freekick. This was a warning for FCB yet they responded almost immediately through their maverick cheshire maestro, Olivier, as he chased a ball down, played a one-two with Emeka and followed his partner’s earlier finish with a similar one past the flailing goalkeeper. It was 2-0, and the game was effectively put to bed when Navidul had a man sent off 25 minutes in, perhaps unfairly, for reacting aggressively to an Emeka tackle. The ball was then played up to Olivier from the resultant FCB clearance, and after easily dispossessing a centre-half to square Nicolas in on goal, the Scottish wide-man coolly putting the ball into the net for his 2nd of the season (and 23rd assist). The rest of the half was played out with little events to note, the positives for FCB being that there was confidence across the whole team, and possession was being retained well. The penetration however was perhaps lacking in the final third though, and this was mentioned upon by the resident FCB tactician Lee Fletcher. Regardless, it was 3-0 at half time and the message was to continue as we were, and to put the game to bed as quickly as possible.
FCB were buoyed by the sideline appearances and support of club legends, Nick Hyner, Stu Gibb, and Diego…adding to the 19-strong squad that had been assembled by Rami on this sunny yet damp Saturday morning. As a consequence of the size of squad, Sean and Emeka made way for Pablo, and Ben in two straight swaps. It was time then for Nicolas to pop up with his 3rd of the season, as he converted a smooth left-side move across the face of the Navidul goalkeeper into the far bottom corner. After an exquisite finish like that, Navidul couldn’t respond, and were snuffed out time after time by the FCB defence. Silky cut out 3 continuous attempted through-balls, and after the third he released Ben down the right hand-side, and but for a poor offside decision, Britanicos would have found themselves 5-0 up. Alessandro, Alex, and Silky then all made way for Ojo, Chris Straddling, and Amar respectively. With 20 minutes left, the dominant Chris Parker jinked by his opposition man to play his tocaya, Mr Straddling, through on goal for a cool rounded finish. It was a well deserved goal for a tidy footballer who not 5 minutes previously was unlucky not to open his account for the season: shooting over from 18yards. As was typical of the game, the last minutes were played out uneventfully although Barry Watson made his debut with a late cameo. Five goals with no response was a very fair scoreline, and after the referee, who had a generally good game by Bunwer standards, blowed the whistle, Rami could finally rest easily.
Although some members of the squad didn’t make it on to the pitch, their support and presence is always influential and key to the team morale. Hopefully another 3 points next week will see the lads climb the table yet again, and the messages relayed at training will continue to resonate throughout the dressing room. Corners were dispatched with easily and calmly, putting into practice Fletch’s brutal tactical dictatorship, and across the pitch the ball was generally kept with composure and patience.
So until next week, enjoy Wednesday’s festivities lads, and lets move on to secure another 3 points against C. Mahou on Saturday.
MOM: Olivier the Maverick
FCB made the short trip to the La Elipa Polideportivo today to face LFC Deportivo. In the absence of manager Neil, Allan took charge of the side and named the starting line-up as follows:
Hutch, Pablo, Chris, Seba, Andy, Josh, Tomas, Adam, Zak, Ben, Barry.
Subs: Fabri, Gabi, Allan
The opening exchanges yielded few opportunities as both sides limited each other to shots from distance. After 15 minutes the score lined remained 0-0.
The first clear warning for FCB came when a low cross from the Deportivo left was met by their centre forward who fired wide.
Deportivo were not to be denied for much longer and, with their next attack, managed to shot past Hutch to make it 1-0.
It was not long before FCB replied. An in-swinging corner from Zak was headed home at the back post to restore parity.
The game became much more open and both teams began to enjoy more time on the ball and started to create more attacks.
In the end, it was a ball over the top of the FCB defence that brought about the next goal. After linking up with the left winger, the Deportivo striker found himself in the 18 yard box and shot high into the net.
FCB came back from behind again minutes later Barry was put through. Beating the offside trap, he managed to lift the ball over the advancing keeper for Andy jumping above the Deportivo defenders, to nod into the empty net.
FCB then took control of the game and enjoyed the majority of possession in the middle of the park. After patient build up play Ben, with a great through ball, was able to free Barry who dribbled the ball around the keeper and calmly slotted it away to make the scored 2-3 to the visitors.
Britanico’s looked to be going into half time in front but when a passing move broke down with 5 minutes to go, the LFC striker punished the sloppiness with an impressive far post strike.
FCB started the second half without any changes. Somewhat against the run of play LFC Deportivo took advantage of a lapse in concentration and took the lead for a third time in the match.
The rest of the second half saw the Britanico’s pinning in their opponents into their half as the looked for the equaliser. Shots were raining in on the LFC goal with Ben coming the closed when he manage to turn a defender inside the box and hit the post from a tight angle.
With the goal eluding the Britanico’s, Allan brought on Gabi into right wing and Fabri into the centre of mid-field. The fresh legs helped Britainicos exert yet more pressure on the LFC defence.
Finally the equaliser came around the 80 minute mark. A quick free kick from Zak could only be parried into the path of Fabri who coolly finished.
A resurgence from LFC opened the game up for the remaining 10 minutes of play and both teams had chances to steal all three points but it was to finish 4-4.
Man of the match: Josh
On a rainy Saturday morning as the cows in the field nestled into the warm grass, Rami Majid’s Bunwer boys awoke to face a well-known Ruper King side, looking to build upon last weekend’s win with another 3 points. In the dressing room, Rami rallied the troops with a heart-warming, and almost touching pre-match speech, spurring the squad on to fight, and put Fletch’s 5P’s from training into practice.
The team lined up: Alvaro, Chaz Boyle, Ally Renucci, Mike Ojo, Nick Boyle, debutant Stuart, Ben, Alex Hyner, Emeka, Olivier the Maverick, and Ismael.
Subs: Silky, Amar, Dave, Jesus, and Zayd.
And so the game kicked off in typical Britanico style as the charismatic, and bountiful Nicolas again, selflessly, headed a ball clear from our 18 yard box to Olivier’s feet who neatly threaded Ish clear on goal. Ishmael then effortlessly slotted the ball past the onrushing RK goalkepper to put FCB 1-0 ahead. Not two minutes later though, although Britanico’s looked good in possession, a silly free-kick reached the far corner through Alvaro’s unsuspecting hands. Alas, the equaliser failed to deter FCB, and more importantly Nick Boyle, who again selflessly whipped a dangerous ball across the front of the RK goal for Ish to slot into the net again. 18 assists for the season and 2-1 to the home side. For the following 15 minutes the game passed by anonymously, the only newsworthy events coming from the Britanico sidelines as the increasingly irate Rami rumbled on. Britanico’s were in control when on the ball going forward, however the pressing and patience in defence seemed to be lacking. Ruper King, and their merry gang of vagrants drew level only 7 minutes before half time through a controversial penalty as Mike was wrongly adjudged to have fouled the opposition no.9. 2-2. Time for calm. Soon after, Ish was released down the left hand side by Stuart, and although taken out by the goalkeeper as the took the ball to his side, no penalty was given despite a clear foul. In a league where most teams exchange simulation after simulation as if it was common currency, this is perhaps an example where Ish’s honesty was perhaps not the best policy. Of course, the referee took no notice of the FCB protests. Although the side knew to keep the ball, another free-kick was then again poorly defended, and the Ruper King frontline found the time to nod the ball across the 6 yard box, and although the initial threat was dealt with admirably by the FCB right back and centre half, a sneaky little niño in yellow luckily put his side ahead with an erratic finish into the top corner.
Half time: FCB 2 – 3 RK. Rami was angry, Fletch was upset, and the players….bloody hell eh?
Finally the rain let up, and with a clear message to attack yet stay compact in defence, debutant Stuart made way for the returning Dave. The effect was almost immediate as some neat play between Ish, Dave, and Emeka resulted in a penalty, banged into the bottom corner by our own number 9 Alex. The ensuing second half followed the classic ‘open football’ pattern that a lot of amateur games do, FCB striking the first blow as Dave slid in to convert Ally’s freekick at the back post, and move the score to 4-3 home advantage. Next Ruper King drew level after another deep free-kick that was not dealt with at the back post only for the opposition to bundle the ball into the corner. The game was scrappy, and although the new/ old comer Dave broke through to put FCB ahead once again with an expert one touch and finish across the front of the Ruper King goalkeeper, FCB were once again punished, with the help of the referee at a set-piece, when the ball was nearly cleared on 3 separate occasions only for a tame shot to sneak by Alvaro to the bemusement of FCB. In the closing minutes FCB were on top, however in all honesty the game was dead. Ruper King attempted to kick some life into the game with a speculative long range effort however this was met by Alvaro’s outstretched hand the pushed a good effort onto the bar.
One should always remember that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going, Ruper King are a side that we lost to twice last year so its not always going to be that a way, but that’s what makes you beautiful. Never forget, and Fletch will right all wrongs this week at L’Epa!
Unanimous man of the match: Ismael Majid
FC Britanico headed to S.A.D. PARQUE SURESTE with a depleted squad of 14 players with 3 subs (some with injuries) determined to break this losing streak they were on. With the team morale up, they were certain they could get something out of today’s game. With Lee Armstrong deciding that he will no longer play for the Brits on a full time basis due to personal reasons, there was a big hole in the midfield that needed to be filled. Up stepped the returning ‘Beast’ ( Josh ), showing last season that he is more the capable to fill that hole. Britanico started the game brightly, creating a lot of pressure and a few chances. Britanicos were keeping the ball well and were rewarded with their first goal which started by the Beast and Ben linking up and a clever chip round the corner by Ben which was cleverly finished by Barry hahahaha.
This lead wasn’t to last long as S.A.D. PARQUE SURESTE struck back quickly with a great finish from 20 yards. The Britanicos weren’t disheartened and carried on pushing forward to find another goal. Britanicos looked like they were going to get another break through when a very acute ball by Barry to Zak which his first touch beat the man and the player took him down in the box. We were award a penalty but the Scottish striker (Barry) was denied by a fantastic save from the keeper.
But the pressure finally paid off when Britannic’s broke down the right hand side of S.A.D. PARQUE SURESTE defence the ball was flashed across the box and clumsily found its way towards Zak who again clumsily helped the ball into the back of the net which makes it 4 in 4 for the attacking midfielder.
So the Britanicos went in 2-1 up at half time. The main message at half time was to maintain a sensible head to not to concede any goals.
Britanicos continued to battle and were defending really well and keeping up to the message, until 30 mins into the second half when S.A.D. PARQUE SURESTE found their equaliser after good work by their number 7 on the right wing.
Britanicos made a couple of clear chances towards the end but failed to convert any of them to take all 3 points from the game. But 1 point each was a fair result on the day.
At the later time of 11am, Rami’s Britanico’s lined up looking to grab 3 points and exorcise the demons of last week’s poor defeat at the hands of last year’s league winners. The team lined up with Rob in goals, a back four of Zayd, Sean, Ally, and Chaz (in a rare starting role), the charismatic and handsome Nick Boyle, Chris Parker, Chris Straddling, and the debutant, Emeka in the midfield, fronted with the powerhouse Ish, and the maverick Olivier up front.
The game started well for Britanicos as they kept possession well across the defence and midfield much to the delight of their erratic manager. Assistant manager Lee Fletcher’s words of wisdom at training and in the dressing room seemed to be working well as through some very patient passing, Emeka found himself free at the edge of the box to loft an acute shot over the head of the Torrepista goalkeeper, nestling nicely into the top corner. 1-0 Britanicos, and a fantastic start to the young man’s FCB career. Soon after, FCB again found themselves in front of goal through some more quick and slick movement across the front. Olivier’s cutback found the rampant Nick Boyle, which he then coolly dispatched into the bottom left hand corner. A dream goal for the lad, and one that was met with delight on the sidelines too. In truth, the first half was quiet, and cool for Britanicos. Defensively, Rob was only called upon to clear up a few speculative efforts from long range, and whenever pressed, the back four were composed and clinical in disposing with any threats. 20 minutes passed, and despite a Torrepista corner that directly skimmed the bar, the game was effectively put to bed 5 minutes before half time when Nick released Olivier to then round the goalkeeper and slot home with ease.
Half time: FCB 3-0
Just as the day was beginning to heat up, the second half started again with the same message. Torrepista had decided to go for broke and play with three centre forwards, each of which consistently enjoyed sitting 5 yards offside, however they soon became undone again by Nick Boyle (15th assist of the season) as he broke down his wing before firing a low cross across the face of the goal to be buried by the impressive Emeka at the back post. Time passed, and changes were made to the defence and midfield as Chaz made way for Silky, and Kostis replaced Chris Straddling. Disaster struck soon after as a result of some complacency, and a miscommunication between defence and goalkeeper allowed for an otherwise redundant number 9 to calmly roll the ball into the unguarded Britanico net. Although Rami had demanded a clean sheet at half time, it was not meant to be. The loss of the goal was soon put into perspective though as Emekas’s replacement, Stuart, was tackled into the side barriers, and smacking his head in the process. After 10 minutes delay, and an ambulance call, the game restarted and was played out well by FCB. The passing and concentration had perhaps faltered through most of a scrappy second half, however in the closing moments FCB were not troubled, and finished off the match professionally and in control.
Welcome back to another season of Silky’s final thought following each Saturday morning Bunwer fixture.