A new season, new players and a new home greeted the men of Albion on their return to the Bunwer League after a few months with withdrawal symptoms over the summer.
One thing that is had not changed over the break was veteran manager Rami who remains his old cantankerous self and was smartly dressed and in fine fettle from the off today in his delightful shirt and chinos combo. The gaffer went with an XI including a back three of son Omar, Rama and Ricky with Ed and Sean as wing-backs, a midfield of new boy Oscar complemented by fellow new boy Mathi and returning starlet Calum Cant back from his ill-advised misdemeanors in Liga Preferente. Joe and favourite outlet for rage Luigi completed the lineup on a perfect day for a game at La Elipa.
The first half was predictably strewn with errors as the men in yellow attempted to play the ball forward too early rather than making their older opponents Bar Hermanos Arribas run around. The fluency of the game in the early stages was not great as the lads attempted to get used to the smaller confines of their new home ground. Fortunately, FCB weren’t to suffer a Spurs-like hoodoo at their new residence and were off the mark after 15 minutes when Omar powered a header in from a corner. The second followed soon after when a cross from the right was headed onto the bar by Sean and the rebound stuck away by Luigi to get his pursuit of the golden boot up and running for the season. The men in pink struck back in very controversial circumstances, however, as their striker was played through whilst in a clearly offside position ( honest guv, I swear down) and slotted home for 2-1.
At the half BFG Marcel and new boy Nacho came on in place of Luigi and Mathi and the boys got about their work as Joe slotted home a nice through ball from the right. The cohesion at the back was lacking thereafter despite Macca and Pete being brought on as FCB conceded two sloppy goals from corner routines to give the men from the bar a slither of hope at 3-2 and for a while, the game was very disjointed and punctuated by dodgy offside decisions. That was until a freekick was awarded to the home side 25 yards out and mysteriously nobody stepped forward apart from the captain who for only the second time in his life put a dead-ball into the back of the net for 4-2 and a palpable sense of relief. To be fair the keeper was not exactly spry and was also just a wee fella.
That was the cue for the bench to be emptied with Alberto and Sam coming on for the closing stages. The next action of note was of some note indeed; not content to be outdone by his opposite wingback Sean sunk a bouncing ball across the keeper into the right hand side of the net for a Charlie Daniels-esque screamer and contender for goal of the season to put the Brits 5-3 up and the game was rounded off by Sam who slotted home with the outside of his foot whilst being dragged down in the area. Final score 6-3 to the home side and the post match beers (and chilies for the new lads) were deserved despite the unconvincing early season performance.
Man of the match: Oscar Walet Turner
Game of the match: Sean McBride
Miss of the match: Joe Simmons
Quote of the match: “You can’t get to the 10th floor from the ground floor” Rami Majid