Updated: Dec 29, 2019
Britannia (2) 4
Tamargo (9,19,47), Morris (58)
Submarino B (2) 6
16, 25, 36, 37,44, 59
@ Parque del Ebro
An early kick off for Britannia meant they played under the slow setting sun of a pleasant February Sunday afternoon. A fixture that could put clear blue water between themselves and the relegation zone if a win could be carved out. This was going to be an uphill task as injuries, suspensions and absentees left the team only managing to field the required 7 players with no substitutes.
The pattern of early exchanges was to set out the rhythm of the game for the ensuing hour. Submarino being allowed to have the lion’s share of the possession with Britannia holding a strong defensive line, generally restricting the opposition to shots from distance with little effect. The Brits effectively playing a direct game to Tamargo in response.
Submarino looked to have beaten the defensive line with a gentle chipped pass in behind when Wells, tracking the runner, tangled legs and they both went to ground. There was a moment of uncertainty as both teams looked to the referee who quickly showed he was not interested in penalising the Brits, in fact in general he allowed the game to flow which encouraged a good spirit with no bookings, albeit denying Britannia moments of rest.
Britannia broke the deadlock with a fast, slick break that saw Tamargo receive the ball from Morris and drop his shoulder with a trademark turn before beating the keeper at the far post.
Submarino pushed harder and started to find some joy with their overlaps, stretching the defence and testing Perez in goal. For a change the Brit’s luck seemed to be holding out until an attack broke down and left the back two exposed. Submarino took advantage of the space and pegged back the score. Britannia felt aggrieved not to be given offside, after holding a tight line that had been successful until then.
The deadlock did not last long, Britannia pressed with urgency and desire, winning a corner after Tamargo forced a save. Wells dropped the corner delivery into the danger zone invitingly for Tamargo to rise to meet it, heading it back at the near post and leaving the goalkeeper stranded.
Frustratingly, Submarino were quick to respond, scoring from a corner of their own. The second half continued to play out in this way without further score. The teams in deadlock at half time, the major question was whether the Britannia legs and lungs would hold up to the onslaught as the second half progressed.
It was not long before that task became inordinately harder. Another over the top ball found two Submarino players seemingly offside. Britannia should have played to the whistle but were dumbstruck when play was allowed to continue. Submarino seemed surprised too, their player reacted late, expecting to be called offside and he stretched to pull the ball back before going out for a goal kick. The ball managed to contrive to squeeze between Perez and the post. The goal did not take the fight out of Britannia, who immediately attacked for the kick off, but an interception found Submarino with a man advantage on an attack. The shot was placed with accuracy into the far post and the Brit ship was fatally holed below the waterline.
In response, Britannia fought valiantly to take the game to their opposition. Some inviting link up play down both wings and resilient turnover of possession in the middle of the park kept the Submariners at bay, but a knock-out blow was delivered from the Submarino left with an extraordinary goal. Hit sweetly from outside the area and in off the far post finally saw Brit shoulders slump.
Wind was put back in their sails almost immediately as Morris fed Tamargo who wrestled the ball through two challenges and smacked a shot in from an improbable narrow angle to complete his hat trick.
Doubt crept in to the submarine play, as if they could not comprehend how this team refused to die. Tired and seemingly defeated, the Brits now found a new resolve. Submarino passes went wayward and Britannia started to find gaps and angles. The hard work was rewarded with a well taken goal for Morris, rifling home from near the penalty spot and sending a shock wave through the opposition. Morris collected the ball and ran it to the centre spot, with a little under three minutes and the desire and momentum super charging their engines, was it possible that an epic comeback could earn Britannia a hard fought draw against all the odds?
No, this week, the fairytale was not to be, Submarino finally found the dagger to the heart, restoring a two goal cushion and ensuring their three points. The whistle sounded and both teams embraced in genuine mutual respect for a hard fought game played in a warm spirit. Despite some borderline offside decisions that had been questioned by Britannia, the referee had played his part in allowing the game to express itself and was thanked and congratulated by both teams after the game. Britannia do not begrudge Submarino B success in their push for promotion and wish them all the best.
Sometimes a team learns as much about themselves in defeat as they do in victory. The Brits can be thankful that results elsewhere actually left their position and task unchanged. With some returning players next week, the six pointer against New Team will go a long way in forming the fate of both teams come the end of the season. Britannia have done enough to demonstrate they are competitive at this level, if key matches can produce the points there is no reason why the team cannot consolidate their survival.
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