Address: Paseo Plata y Castanar, 7, 28021 Madrid
Cercanias: Puente Alcocer
Metro: Villaverde Alto (line 3)
This week saw majid’s men take on bar Galicia Villaverde with a nine o’clock start in their home barrio. Watched by a decent crowd and preceded by a perfectly observed minute’s silence the boys started sluggishly with ponderous passes and morbid movement. As the Dundee express had pulled up with a recurrence of an old injury and Foxy was also on the treatment table, the Brits lacked penetration to their play and encountered stubborn well organised opponents who got men behind the ball and kept their shape. A starting lineup of Josue, Macca, Pete, Ricky, Dorus, Ben, Fabian, Ed, Luis, Luigi and Joe went into the break having failed to test an opposition goalkeeper who Rami had almost broke the minute’s silence to denounce as a non-keeper! The second half started in the same manner as the first had, but despite plenty of effort and running from the expats, their play in the final third let them down. The supporters who had got out of bed for this game and come all the way to south Madrid were more entertained by the sex shop billboard than the footballing fare on display. Villaverde weren’t even bothering to attack now and FCB were growing ever more rushed in the build up play and forcing things too early. The highlight of a dour second half was a debut for Luke Bedford and a comeback from injury for Jose. Final score 0-0 against an opponent who managed the same score against the Brits on this ground last season and from their time wasting antics were clearly chuffed with a point.
Continuing their tour of the parts of Madrid ‘donde cristo perdió la chancla’, FC Britanico were on the road in Villaverde on Saturday for an 11am match against the vastly experienced apertura winners Union Selección. Their mission spelt out in no uncertain terms by manager Rami before the match was to bring back the three points and all the warm up balls.
The lads lined up with Josue in goal, an unchanged back four of Dorus, Ricky, Rama and Ed. The midfield was composed of Ben, Fabian and Luigi with Sean and Joe on the wings and Foxy was the man charged with the Shane Long role of chasing and harrying up front. FCB’s opponents are as experienced, wily and composed on the ball as any team in the league and looked to keep the ball on the floor and pass out from the back in the opening minutes. This tactic swiftly bit them in the arse though as Foxy and Joe pressed a rare poor touch from a defender and Sean gobbled up a loose ball to slide a right-footed finish into an unguarded net for one nil inside 5 minutes. This didn’t phase the men in black and white though and they continued to dominate possession through their classy midfield after the goal, looking to suck the younger Brits out of position and exploit gaps. A team coached by Lee Fletcher, however, were never likely to be found wanting in this regard, and the first half passed without Union coming close to threatening Josue’s goal despite build up play that was at times very neat. At the other end, the Brits were being penalised for offside too much for Rami’s liking and lacking a measure of composure in the final third. The tie could have been put beyond the veterans in the first half had a final ball or finish been 5% better from the men in red.
The message at the half was to close down the Union playmaker and find a measure of calm when attacking. The Brits took to the pitch for the second half without changes to personnel and continued in much the same fashion as before with some sloppy touches in possession but excellent defending when the opposition reached their defensive third. The bench was emptied as the half wore on, and Macca, Luis, Sam and Calum all got a run out and as added some energy to proceedings. The home side were limited to a speculative volley and an offside chance in the entire second half despite seeing the majority of the ball. The away side however did create chances and were wasteful once again in front of goal. Sam, Luigi and Joe were all either culpable or unlucky in front of goal and predictably Rami was a picture of measured calm and constructive advice on the sidelines as his side churned out what was in the end an archetypal workmanlike 1-0 away win. This must go down as a creditable win against a tricky opponent, and one that keeps the Brits unbeaten run and assault on the top 3 in good nick.
Man of the match: Fabian
Miss of the match: Sam for not sidefooting it!
Quote of the match: [Four players turn to the bench and shout in unison] “Shut up Rami!”
Poser of the match: Dorus and his fantastic hair-band