Next up in the league for Británicos was AFEN Fraher who finished second in the Liga Bunwer Apertura. This game always brings drama, lots of end to end action and plenty of goals. Last time Británicos played Fraher, the score finished 3-1 to the men in red. To kick on from the first win of the season, Británicos were hoping for the same outcome. The starting line-up consisted of Josue in goal; a back four of Harry, Ricky, Rama and Jose; a midfield three of Fabian, Matthew and Calum; the front three were Ed and Mathias either side of Joe up top. The boys looked raring to go as kick-off had been delayed due to the caretaker arriving 50 minutes late but that was not going to stop Británicos.
The first half was a very strong display by Británicos. From the off, Británicos showed a good intensity in their play, winning the ball back quickly and passing the ball around nicely. The team had to be aware as well that Fraher were a threat going forward, but no team created any clear-cut chances. The first big opportunity fell to Joe who was gifted an opportunity after miscommunication between Fraher’s defender and goalkeeper. The ball was played back to the keeper who thought the ball had gone dead and allowed Joe to score under no pressure. It was a fortunate goal but no Británicos player was complaining. There was a confidence to Británicos play now and the pressure told as Joe harassed the opposition centre-half in the corner, who went down embarrassingly too easy, and Joe squared to Calum who finished calmly. Only minutes later Británicos had a corner, Mathias whipped it into a good area where Ricky had got away from his marker to head towards goal and Ed was in the right place at the right time to poke it home from close range inside the six-yard box. The final goal of the half was a goal out of Rami’s dreams. It started from a short goal kick, it started with composed possession in defence which saw it build down the left-hand side of midfield. After drawing in the Fraher midfield Calum was able to turn his man and played a nice ball out wide to Ed down the right-hand side. Without breaking stride, Ed sprinted onto the ball and picked out Joe at the front post with a beautiful Giroud-esque first time finish to beat the keeper. Against the calibre of the opposition, the first half couldn’t have gone much better with Británicos coming in at halftime with a 4-0 lead.
The halftime team talk focused on what must happen in the second half to maintain Británicos dominance. Keep the ball moving and make the opposition run. One substitution was made as Jose came off for Luigi due to an unlucky yellow card at the end of the first half, with Ed moving to left back and Mathias moving to the right side of the attack. It was a bad start to the first half as the opposition pulled one back in the first two minutes with their striker breaking through and finding the bottom corner. The game became scrappy for the next 10 minutes as neither team could assert any dominance. The next Britanico change came with Joe coming off after a knock to his ankle with Cian coming on. Cian had an instant impact playing a great ball over the top for Calum to run on to and confidently finish in the bottom corner. Británicos were opening up the opposition but looked vulnerable at times themselves. The referee waved away a few penalty scares in the spaces of a few minutes but after a surging run from Luigi down the left, he was taken out in the box and Británicos were awarded a penalty. Calum, who was on a hat-trick, stepped up and spooned the ball high over the bar. Think Beckham vs Portugal with less power and worse technique. Sam and Jordan came on in the last 15 minutes to see off the victory even though the opposition grabbed another before the end. Británicos had dominated for the majority of the game. It was a very encouraging performance but still room for improvements going forward. There was a good buzz in the changing room after and the boys deserved the victory!
Man of the match: Matthew Laverty
Goal of the match: Joe Simmons’ second
Quote of the match: “Que frio ehhh” said the caretaker to Rami with a look of astonishment over his face as she seemed completely oblivious to the fact she had arrived 50 minutes late to open up the changing rooms.