Metro: La Elipa (Line 2)
Autobus: 110, 113, 210
After their winter break several members of the FCB squad were back in the Spanish capital for their clash against old goes Union Selección at their new la Elipa home. A scratch team to take in the division winners from last season was:
For a team thrown together after tireless phoning round my manager Majid, including two centre-backs who didn’t know each others’ names playing out of position, the boys got off to a flier. Craig found himself with space on the edge of the box and fired what was told to his girlfriend at the bar later as a runaway train of a shot that screeched into the top corner but was, in fact, a reasonably well-struck effort which the keeper failed to handle. Either way, 1-0 to the hosts.
The visitors were rattled and some off the ball nonsense followed as Ed flew into a challenge and for the first time in his skinny life flattened the opposition winger (fairly) and was unceremoniously shoved over. The visiting side’s increased intensity paid off when a ball was cleared from the FCB area but not held onto by the strikers and it came back with interest past Jorge for 1-1. The Brits reacted however and were able to make it 2-1 before half time courtesy from nice play from Ish to set up Vikante.
The second half was short on quality from FCB and they conceded a scrappy goal for 2-2 pretty soon after kick off as the opposition veteran marksman managed to scrape the ball in from a tight angle after a great save from the goalie and a scramble in the 6-yard-box.
There were chances for both teams, with Joe missing a particularly presentable chance coming in off the right wing before Ish was sent off for reacting verbally to an off the ball trip. The ref heard the insult but did not see the trip and had to send the captain for an early bath. Listless in midfield now, FCB conceded a third when centre-back Chema missed a ball coming out of the sun and the league’s always courteous top goal-scorer stole in the plant a header over the stranded Jose Miguel. 3-4 now and seemingly sunk, FCB did have a stonewall penalty claim turned down before flooding forward in search of an equaliser and predictably conceding a 4th goal to end matters.
The lads will be looking to bounce back with a full roster against Bar Castilla this Saturday.
Man of the match: Briggers (why not)
Goal of the match: Briggers (why not shoot)
The second round of the 18-19 Bunwer Apertura saw FCB play their first home game of the season against Carrozas at their new home ground at las Cocheras in the glamorous environs of la Elipa. Rami’s XI on the day was:
The first twenty minutes or so weren’t great from either side in truth as the lads tried too hard to force passes and turn the away defence before possession was under control. After new signing, and Gareth Bale look alike, Lewis gobbled up a goal-keeping mistake to make it 1-0 from close range, the WD-40 was applied to the ring-rust and the home team started to click and play two-touch football. Two more goals followed before halftime as Luigi exploited space in the box to put past a non-specialist goalie who Rami had flagged to the lads before kick off. Then Ish did well to spot that the stand-in-stopper was off his line and neatly lobbed him from 25 yards to leave the score 3-0 at halftime.
After the interval, Macca came off to a standing ovation from a capacity crowd to be replaced by new signing Michael. The change of system that accompanied the substitution seemed to confuse the men in red. Concentration went the same way as calm as the ball was played forward from a Carrozas defender and allowed to bounce by the Brit centre backs leaving the opposition striker to swivel and bring the scoreline back to 3-1. In the intervening period before a smart, if somewhat scrappy, Simmonds goal made the scoreline 4-1, the Cocheras faithful on the terraces were treated to the perennial scrapping on the touchline and poor sportsmanship that tend to occur when these two teams meet. This time two particularly bellicose protagonists, one from each side, were the talk of the bar afterwards; one for being pushed in the back and retaliating, the other for having skin as thick as that of Donald Trump and refusing to shake hands.
Argy-bargy is never good for concentration, and when new signing Michael was deemed to have had his hands in the back of his opponent, Carrozas took advantage by chipping the ball over the wall and into Jousé’s net with relative ease to make it 4-2. Further changes arrived at this point with José coming on to replace cramping man of the match Craig for the last 15 minutes or so, before FCB nerves were eventually settled after some wasteful finishing when Ish was awarded a penalty for a clear foul in the box which Mr Simmons slotted to make the final score 5-2 and avenge the embarrassing draw from last season’s Clausura.
Man of the match: Craig Briggers
Goal of the match: Ismael Majid
Miss of the match: Calum Cant
A delightful Saturday morning at la Elipa saw FCB play host to the side that pipped them to the title last season. Like their opponents, Bar la Piscina came into the game with a 100% record from the first two games of the fledgeling season and even this early the matchup with FCB had the feeling of a crucial encounter in deciding the destination of the apertura trophy.
A strong squad was named by manager Majid with promising young Jorge keeper making just his second appearance for the club between the sticks after being ‘tapped up’ by the gaffer last season. The defence was unchanged from the previous match with Rama and Omar paired at centre back with Ricky and Ed occupying the flanks. Midfield was made up of Sean, Calum and Mathi with the returning ‘Kane Train’ playing in his favoured right-wing position after a gruelling 3 weeks rehabilitating various injuries on a Malaysian beach. Up front were Venezuelan poet Luigi and Spanish mountain Nacho. The bench was comprised of Joe, Pete, Macca, Marcel, Harry and Sam.
The game kicked off with a degree of intensity not seen in the two previous games as the sides looked to get the measure of each other with no quarter given in the midfield. A string of early corners for La Piscina lead to a half chance which was smartly parried by rookie stopper Jorge while at the other end Calum shot wide from just inside the box after some nice work in the final third. The next action of note was a good FCB chance sparked by a rare error from the ex-professionals in the Piscina defensive line. An innocuous backpass combined with a possible lack of sleep for the opposition goalkeeper and lead to Luigi smashing the bar from the resulting indirect free-kick. In terms of action at the other end, Jorge was in the wars as he was clattered by an onrushing opposition midfielder and looked to be in some pain as he claimed the ball ahead of the out of control Piscina veteran.
The intensity in the second half was upped further and although the game was punctuated by more than its fair share of throw-ins and free-kicks on tight confines of the Elipa pitch the level of football on display from both teams was at times of a standard rarely seen in the Bunwer league. The first goal was accurate in its execution and capitalised on a moment of hesitation on the part of the FCB defence. With the defence slightly out of position, a gap was left for the opposing striker to run onto and lob the on-rushing keeper for 1-0 to the away side.
The reaction from the boys in red spoke volumes of their desire and resilience. In the fifteen minutes immediately after conceding the first goal, FCB upped the intensity and there were missed chances for Ed and substitute Joe. Eventually, a free kick on the left was chipped in by Uruguayan set-piece specialist Mathi to the head of Nacho whose header made no mistake and got the lads back on level terms. The momentum, however, was to swing back the other way in the last quarter of the game. The later period of games, usually dominated by the younger fitter FCB men after running their opposition into the ground on the vast swathes of their Vallecas pitch was this time dominated by the canny old campaigners of the Getafe based team. Some good defending from the home side was eventually undone by an uncharacteristic defensive error which was pounced on by the opposition striker whose shot was parried by Jorge but agonisingly had enough on it to dribble into the net for 2-1 which despite the best efforts of the home team in the last few minutes and a difficult headed chance for the excellent Calum Cant was to be the final score.
The boys will be looking to bounce back against Banco de España next week. Tune in to Facebook and Twitter to see how the lads get on!
Man of the Match: Sean McBride/Calum Cant
Miss of the match: Joe Simmons
Quote of the match: Rami Majid “A scorpion doesn’t change”
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