FCB ended a hugely enjoyable season against Banco de Espana at Urbis on a day that promised temperatures more likely to be found in the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia than on a football pitch in Europe. Despite the threat of their pallid complexions being turned a nuclear pink the lads were in great spirit and if any of them were hungover they were hiding it well. A starting XI of stand-in goalkeeper Jorge, Dorus, Rama, Ricky, Ed, Ben, Fabian, Luigi, Joe, Sean and Dave took to the field with their mission clear: win the game, finish the league in third place and lay down a marker for next season!
Having tripped in the warm up, Sean was feeling his ankle straight away and had to be replaced inside ten minutes and his compatriot Dave followed shortly after and for once this season the British team were briefly without a Scot on the pitch! It didn’t matter a jot, as Joe converted from the spot shortly after the injuries before missing another one against the inside of the post. The second came soon after, after Fabian was generously allowed to take a free-kick straight against the wall, Luigi hit the underside of the bar with the rebound and Joe poached his second of the game as the keeper looked for the ball in the sky. Halftime saw a Churchillian speech from the departing midfield linchpin Ben Precious and plenty of fluids being taken on as the temperature climbed like Rami’s heart rate during a penalty shootout.
In a day marred by some terrible free kicks Luigi’s dead-ball effort shortly after the restart, which he claims was a shot rather than the more prudent cross from the position, put the boys 3-0 and on easy street not that you’d have known it from the imploring cajoling figure of Majid on the touchline. The opposition in truth did not threaten from open play all afternoon and showed their age, brittleness and lack of dignity in defeat throughout bristling at the referee and FCB players on several occasions for perceived slights and what the rest of the sport playing world would consider ‘tonterias’. The dominant team, now making the men in blue run around and chase shadows, went 4-0 up soon after through another Luigi goal, and then 5 to the good thanks to a nice Foxy header. Goals 6 and seven from Luigi and Luke respectively had the opposition manager and players literally begging the referee to end the game early and brought to a conclusion the first part of the day for the club as a resounding 7-0 win thanks to which FCB took 3rd place for the first time in the club’s history! The second half of the day was to come later as the boys celebrated with some cold ones and some prime beef before handing out awards, high fives and hugs and reflecting on a job well done and a season thoroughly enjoyed by all. Bring on the 2017-18 temporada!
Goal of the game: Luigi (who else?)
Miss of the game: Too many to choose from. For this writer’s money Dorus’s one on one was priceless though.
Man of the Match: Can’t remember. Everyone played well. Probably Ricky.
FCB started with a different lineup from their previous. Hutch, Ed, Macca, Rama and Callum made up the back line. The returning Calum Cant and Sean made up the centre with Luke and Luigi making up the rest of the diamond and Foxy and Joe being the main threats up top. The strategy was simple, make them play out wide or through a well drilled and disciplined side. It worked at Joe pressed on their goalkeeper and forced a big error. 0-1. While FCB did not have the ball for long periods of time what ball they did have was quick, decisive and cutting. The back line coped easily in the early stages and hutch was not tested. This continued until Luigi beat a player and shot from a ridiculous angle only to find the top bin. 0-2. They responded with a free kick that resulted in a free header. 1-2.
Half time 1-2
The half started with the expected theatrics and Oscar performances. The game was stop-start and this played into their hands. The cutting edge was dulled and the final third became a tough area for the Brits. While Bar Castilla’s were not troubling the defence it was a frustrating game in the second half. Some excellent passing meant that their captain got in behind and levelled the score with around 15 mins to go. 2-2. With the scores levelled, the intensity lifted and the referee was blowing up nearly every minute. This culminated in Rama being given a shot to the mouth and the boys in red were seeing red. The referee did nothing but look on and no card was shown despite the infractions.
MOTM- Calum Cant
Miss of the match-Joe Simmons
Quote of the match-Too many to mention, mostly involving that short little arrogant guy for the opposition