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The Jesus, Hail Mary Game!

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

The Exiles frustrated by bad luck as they succumb in another 7 goal thriller!

Los Británicos (1) 3

Borque 7, 44, Perobañez 42

Meson Aragones (2) 4

15, 20, 31, 36

Parque Ebro 27/01/19 18:30

Cabañero, Wells, Borque, Gilman, Pernas, Shaw, Peribañez, Kinsella, Rooney

The temperature was low and the wind had a vindictive chill as Los Británicos took on their final opponent in the first half of the season. Their opponents were high flying chasing promotion, and with injuries and absent players, the Brits knew they would struggle to go the distance with the Aragones.

The early exchanges showed immediately that the Meson team were experienced playing together, with impressive movement off the ball and clever interplay in attack. The Brit defensive pairing of Borque and Wells handled the attacks and quick release on the counter attack saw the Brits exposing the soft underbelly of the Meson defence with surprising ease. Gilman was unleashed by an impressive mazy run from Borque through to Pernas and setting up the tall winger. Gilman hesitated and the keeper blocked.

Pernas and Shaw were finding impressive space and creating chances on the break, but from a very early stage it was clearly the Borque show, Jesus Borque, the quiet man of the team, the senior member of the squad that in recent games has come alive with terrifying success. This match was no different. He turned opposition at ease, charged forward with poise and threat. It was inevitable that he would be the source of the first Brit goal. Defending a corner, Pernas cleared and Broque collected the ball outside his own area and drove forward. A cute interplay with Peribañez found him bearing down on goal and he made no mistake. The opposition were rocked.

The Brits should have doubled their lead on two or three more occasions, as they broke the defensive line time and time again. Shaw shot narrowly wide, as did Peribañez. It was an impressive display of fluid attacking football, unleashing counter attacks from their own back line to shooting chance with two or three well placed passes. Meson corners seemed to provide the Brits with their best attacking chances.

Wells swapped out for Rooney and the match continued in a similar vein, with rapid counter attacks and piercing runs from Pernas, Borque and Shaw breaking out from Meson possession and pressure. Sadly the game was pulled level with a moment of impressive skill as Rooney found himself against two attackers. Rooney effectively pressured the pass out wide and looked set to intercept, but the striker hit the ball impressively first time, leaving Cabañero no chance.

The Aragones started to exert their authority on the game, strangling the Brit counter attacks and piling on the pressure. Borque needed a rest and the defensive line was now made of Rooney and Wells with Kinsella ploughing the furrow on the left in place of Gilman. The wingers came tight to hold the line with that defenders and all put in impressive tackles and blocks to break up the play, but, the ball continued to return to green shirts.

The match tilted in favour of the Aragones with a bit of luck that looked like an impressive pice of skill. Of all the goals scored by the Meson Aragones players, it was the least well taken, but it is the goal they will celebrate for some time. A corner that was successfully cleared but then sent back in. The Meson striker had his back to the goal and shaped up to attempt an overhead kick. Wells had come off the post and had positioned himself to block the attempt, only for the striker to mistime and miskick, scuffing the ball wide of the defender and in by the post. It was a painful way to go behind and the team were frustrated.

From kick off the Brits tried to reassert themselves on the game and almost equalised through the astonishing Borque who was called back for a foul on the opposition goalkeeper. He felt aggrieved and insisted he reached the ball before the keeper collided with him, but to no avail. Cabañero was called upon to save impressively moments later and the first half came to a close. Unfortunately as the whistle blew Shaw rolled his ankle and was unable to continue.

Half time saw the Brits confident they could stay in the game, but with the injury to Shaw and Pernas benched while he had to relace his boots, it was clear that legs would start to slow. The opposition were full of running and intelligent tactical play. They would clearly find space and opportunities, especially as the Brits attempted to level the game.

What followed was a torrid ten minutes that saw the Brit defence stretched to breaking point. Rooney and Wells were not alone. the whole team made impressive blocks and tackles, but the overlap was frequently available. Loose balls squirmed and bounced to green shirts and the inevitable third goal came within five minutes of the restart. With three players pouring down the Brit left, Rooney and Wells had no choice but to attempt to break up the play. The ball was cut back across the box, Cabañero, was aware to the pass and Wells came back to cover the line but to no avail. The match started to look like it was beyond the tired Brits. They were unbowed though and pushed harder to get back into the game. Surging forward, throwing caution to the wind in an attempt to pull goals back. Borque and Peribañez combined well and frequently terrorised the opposition but when the Aragonse snatched fourth on a fluid break it seemed the resistance would crumble. The team were tired and struggling to handle the movement of the opposition and were struggling to find any luck in front of goal. It was, once again, Jesus Borque who would drag the team by the scruff of the neck back to their feet.

Another driving run by him wrong footed opposition and saw him split the defence with a precision ball to Peribanez, who finished without hesitation, curling the ball beyond the keeper. The opposition wavered, everyone felt it. Suddenly, the Brit tails were up. They could smell fear. the Meson Aragones started to play with more caution, trying to run the clock down and hold possession. The Brits pushed their line higher and doggedly closed down their opposite numbers. They streamed forward as a unit, only Cabañero remaining in their half as all members of the team sought the goal that would give them a fighting chance. Despite delightful interplay and half chances for Rooney, Gilman, Peribañez and even Wells forging into the opposition box, it was, of course, Borque who rocked the opposition once more. A simply sublime run onto a lifted pass saw him collect near the left side corner flag, play through his marker, then grapple past two more challenges before rifling a shot that was saved, the ball tumbled wildly in front of goal and fell once more to Borque who converted at point blank range. The Aragones could not believe it.

The Brits applied the thumb screws and push harder, Meson recovered their composure and started to attack once more, rather than try to suffocate the game. It was a barmy final five minutes, with players of both sides trying shots at distance or trying to unlock the other defence with that killer pass. Despite the exhaustion, the Brits were still able to defend as an entire unit before breaking on the counter with impressive speed. Peribañez broke up an attack and moments later was dancing around defenders. He was unlucky not to have scored twice, their keeper making impressive saves. Meanwhile at the back Wells headed off the line to prevent another. Rooney put his body on the line and performed a number of interceptions and tackles that seemed beyond physical possibility. As the game drew to the final seconds, Pernas collected the ball and skipped through challenges to seek goal. He was blatantly stopped illegally and the Brits had a free kick with seconds remaining. Alas, the fairy tale was not to be and the wall blocked the attempt. The referee blew the whistle and drew a stunningly entertaining encounter to a close.

The Brits fell to their knees or sunk to the floor in exhaustion and disappointment It had been a monumental performance in which a below strength team had gone toe to toe with an impressively organised and efficient opposition. They recognised they had been given a solid game and it had been played in a good spirit. Despite the recurring frustration of the lack of luck the Brits seem to have, the entire team was proud of their performance. There will be sore and tired legs for all tomorrow but the squad have met all teams in the league before the second round of matches and are confident that they can give all comers a tough and competitive game. The struggling league position simply does not reflect the quality of the team play. We do not give a Man of the Match award normally, but the performance by Borque today is unquestionably one of the most astonishing individual efforts seen this season. He has shown such threat and drive in recent matches, but today potential energy became a kinetic explosion.

No retreat, No surrender! Onwards Brits!

Thanks to our sponsors Gallagher Irish Tavern and Liberty English School for your continuing support.

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