The Bunwer lads got back to winning ways at La Elipa this morning with a spirited performance against Cervezas Mahou and some great saves from captain and man of the match, Matt Hutchison. Omar Majid got on the scoresheet early before a Joseph “Bini” Binyam penalty and a late Ismael Majid tap-in helped the Britanicos came back from a goal down to secure all 3 points.
“Another week, another early-morning start and another no-show from the handsome Karim…but more importantly, it was ANOTHER WIN for Rami Majid’s heroes.
The setting for the 9am KO was La Elipa Upper, a graveyard of bad memories for the FCB boys, considering the limp performance our last home defeat at the hands to Ruper King FC, however this week said ghosts were well and truly exercised. Returning to the squad we had our influential captain and goalkeeper, Hutch, and the formally injured Rich. Raminho and Fletch had some tough decisions to make this week given the number of players knocking on the door looking for a game, but our esteemed management continued with the tightly knit squad already in place and were rewarded with a deserved 3points.
The team lining up against Cervezas Mahou “MAS TAPAS POR FAVOUR” read:
Hutch, Ally, Martin (a controversial choice), Ojo, Fletch, Reece, Nick, Mikey, Hateem, Ish and Omar
Subs: Chaz, Ricardo, Rich ‘Silk’ Kilroy, Bini and Kiki
The game kicked off in true Britanico style with some slick passing between the defence and the midfield, which was rewarded almost instantaneously as the stand-in No.9, Omar Majid, sprung the offside trap and coolly lofted the ball over the on-rushing Mahou goalkeeper. One – nil, and perhaps a rout on the horizon. Not 10 minutes later though FCB were pegged back by what can only be described as a wonder strike from the Mahou- swilling opposition striker, although FCB were guilty losing possession as a result of some lackadaisical play. Alas, the message was to continue playing as we were, and the lead was nearly regained soon after as Reece came inches to connecting with a deep cross from the right at the back post. Ish too was causing problems for the Mahou backline as his direct running and pace were too much to handle for an aged left full-back. The chances created though could not be converted as Britanicos continued to search for a second goal, frustrating to say the least. Tempers began to flare just after the 30minute mark as the gallant Lee Fletcher was cruelly bundled into the side wall beside the pitch, a clear act of hun behaviour on behalf of Mahou’s No.22. Some rash challenges in the middle of the park from either side added to the tempestuous and unsettled atmosphere, compounded further by the injury to Ally, who limped off with a niggling knee problem. Disaster then struck 10minutes before half time as an in-swinging cross from the right wing was converted via a downward header by the opposition centre forward. 2-1 Mahou, and time to regroup. FCB were in control of the game yet were still making some of the basic mistakes that had blighted the team’s performances in recent weeks, and so Rami sought to mix the team up, replacing the methodological Hateem with the more pacey and direct Bini.
The second half started slowly, and Mahou were again gifted another chance through on goal..however they were met with the imperious Hutch who pulled off a fantastic double save. Hutch then pulled off a string of impressive stops in the ensuing 10minute period, making a very strong claim for the MOTM award…much to the disdain of Maj-ic Omar. As the game went on, FCB continued to pressure, making chances from deep and wide, yet still to no avail. Mikey Langlands and Bini both made mazing runs through the Mahou defensive line only to be met by a save and the side netting respectively.
The minutes ticked by and the increasingly rabid Rami became infuriated with errant passing and poor decision making, begging his men to stick to the basics and work for each other. And then, as if all of his Christmases had come at once, his valiant son was felled by a clumsy challenge by the Mahou’s centre half to give away a well deserved spot-kick. After some predictable gamesmanship by their No.22 (who had previously assaulted Fletch) the box was finally cleared, allowing Bini to step up and fire the ball into the net. Rallying the troops, the ball was claimed from the net and taken to the centre circle by a resurgent Britanicos, eager to quicken the pace and intensity for the final ten. Not content with a point, FCB pressed high up the pitch, despite reverting to five at the back, as Chaz and Ish continued to run the flanks and deliver balls into the area. The earlier introduction of Ricardo and Kiki provided stability and fresh legs in the central positions of the park, running an increasingly tired Mahou team into the ground. A horror lunge 25yards out then gave Bini another opportunity on goal with one of his famed free kicks. The tense atmosphere on the FCB bench was almost palpable as he stepped up to shoot. As fate would have it, the ensuing dipping effort could only be parried by the goalkeeper, and on hand to strike the ball into the net was the impressive Ish, sending the team and bench into a frenzy. A mass-pile up at the side if the park must have been the scene the justice-Gods had envisaged as the Bunwer Lads reacted ecstatically to their late winner (with some even surrendering their spectacles to the La Elipa turf in order to celebrate!). Once the celebrations died down, FCB dealt with the remaining minutes admirably, keeping possession and even coming close once again before the referee blew the final whistle.
The spirit and resolve shown today is indicative of the team morale evident in the Bunwer boys, one which should (and will) continue to grow stronger throughout the season. Of course, Cervezas Mahou were not as good as Procarton of last week or teams that we still need to play, however winning games where you are not at your best and are chasing a goal are equally as important, amplified clearly by Rami’s words at the end of the match. It’s onwards and upwards now for Rami’s heroes, and a return to winning ways should re-install the focus and drive to continue in the same vein.”
MOTM: Matt Hutchison