29/01/2012 – FC Britanico 2 – 5 Absolut Sport A
Stylish FCB Regional went down hard on Sunday in a wonderful game at the Cage. This was a game that had the barrio out in force as two top football sides showed off their talents by the barrica. 2-2 at half time with some sumptuous football already played saw Britanico come out confident of taking all 3 points, however, it was not to be after an early penalty and two late goals meant a harsh scoreline to a very even game.
Match report by Michael Langan
Returning to what has been, generally speaking, the happy hunting ground of La Elipa, FCB Regional took on high flying Absolut Sport A. Diminished in terms of numbers, FCB were forced into using a makeshift back four, but there was real quality throughout the side, and a determination to halt the malaise which had descended upon the club in the previous weeks. FCB lined up: Hutch, Yoichi, Lee, Will, Ne-Yo, Nick, Paul, Tomáz, Michael, Dave Pugh and Chat Pat. FCB began at a high tempo, taking the game to the opposition, with Pat beginning well in what is correctly renowned as an often thankless task. Little and large (although Lee Armstrong is slight in height only) were proving an effective combination in the centre of defence, and neither could be blamed for FCB going one down as an unlucky ricochet off saw the ball spin agonisingly into the net . A few minutes later, controversy struck, as an apparent handball, offside and definite lack of yardage saw FCB two nothing in arrears, although it has to be conceded it took a very smart finish to beat Hutch. However, while the last three games may not be looked upon fondly, there has been an evident lack of spirit and resolve underpinning the regional efforts and, a few minutes later, Lee Armstrong halved the deficit with an excellently struck penalty. In fact, it was the exact opposite of his last effort prior to Christmas. Seconds later, the game was level, after Lee delivered a testing ball on top of the goalkeeper, which was eventually bundled home by club captain Tom. Suddenly, FCB had a real opportunity to acquire an unlikely half-time lead. The half-time whistle came a little soon, however, and parity between the sides remained.
While a lingering doubt that half-time had come at precisely the wrong time, this notion crystallised minutes into the second half when, after a moment of madness, FCB conceded yet another penalty. Worryingly, it was given for a push in the box, the second in two games, and something that must be corrected. Try as our colossus goalkeeper might, the penalty was the epitome of composure, and FCB were again behind and winded in the process. As the game crept on, in truth, tiredness began to become a feature, and the late salvo for an equaliser never materialised. While FCB had much of the ball and, as opposed to last week, in the opposition third, there was a lack of guile and penetration, and the danger that we may be caught out persisted. Ultimately this was the case, although we can have no complaints concerning the fourth and decisive goal which was a tremendous finish. Following this, FCB probably gave up hope a little, and were punished again in the dying minutes after an excellent delivery from a free kick was thundered home to give the scoreboard a rather unflattering slant.
While this is a third successive defeat, there is a certain belief that, at least, FCB regional are playing the correct way, and are rarely outclassed by the opposition. As it seems with British teams generally however, there is a slackness which handicaps our play which simply isn’t replicated in handsome Spanish sides. If we can find a way to eliminate this, a strong end to the season is by no means beyond us.
As a final point, a special thanks to the Bunwer lads who made the trip down to the game, as the Saturday side also do not have their troubles to seek, and the support was appreciated and most welcome.
Editor’s note: Michael Langan won the Man of the Match due to his diligence and will to work in the centre of the park. He was the main reason FCB controlled that middle third and managed to have the ball as near to the opposition goal as they did. He is too modest to mention this himself.
Goals: Lee, Tomáz
MOTM: Michael Langan