Brits outshone by impressive opponents
Tuvieja (4) 9
7, 9, 11, 21, 29, 32, 40, 42, 44
Los Británicos (1) 3
Shaw 19, 27, Morris 34
Parque Ebro 24/02/19 20:30
Wells, Rooney, Verenka, Ferns, Borque, Kinsella, Morris, Shaw
On the back of two wins, the Exiles went into this encounter with high spirits, although no one was under the illusion that this would be an easy game, the opponents had looked slick and sharp when the teams met earlier in the season and were probably the most physically fit outfit in the league.
The Brits were light on the team sheet once again. Gilman, Slater, Pernas and Cabiñero all absent
From the off, Tuvieja's movement was good. Fast flowing football dragging Británico players out of position. Brave blocks and strong challenges, a staple of the Exiles style of play, from Rooney and Verenka were necessary to hold back the initial waves of attack. It wasn't long before the resistance was broken. After some early impressive saves between the sticks, Wells came for a cross and was out-jumped by the opposition striker. It was to be the start of a torrid evening for the stand in keeper. Tuvieja split open the defence with their intricate and fast interplay only moments later, leaving Wells one on one and beaten to the ball. The third was quick to follow, this time an extraordinary looping shot from distance that left Wells flat footed and clipped the far post to nestle in the net. It was acknowledged by all as a fabulous goal but the Brits were ashen faced.
Heads didn't completely drop though and the guile shown in the previous fixtures was starting to show. Shaw was able to pull one back for the away side after some great link up play from Borque and there was a sense that maybe this one wasn't quite over yet. The mood quickly changed again as Tuvieja broke again at break neck speed to make it 4. The Brits had not been completely outplayed, but Tuvieja had been clinical in front of goal whilst the Exiles had either seen chances hit the woodwork, go wide or pull some outstanding saves from the keeper.
At half time the talk was a positive having proven before the steel from which this team has been built but everyone was fully aware they would need to be at their best to pull this back from the brink. Early on again good work from Shaw saw him get his second of the game from a corner and again the Brits dared to dream. Again came the home team punishing the Exiles and beating an unfortunate Wells who had made a string of extremely decent stops that in any other game would have kept his team in the fight.
And yet still the Brits came again, Borque finding a defender wanting near the area was able to get to the byline before cutting the ball back for a tap in for Morris. What followed was probably the Brits best spell, attacking with purpose and drive, putting the opposition on the back foot as the game seemed poised to tip back in the Exiles favour. If a fourth could be found maybe the soft underbelly of the Tuvieja defence could be sliced open and pin back the torrid attacking flair to preserve the lead.
As the game entered it's final stages the fresh legs available for Tuvieja started to take their toll and once again they scored 3 quick goals, carving open the defence and one very well taken chip to wrap it all up, leaving the Brits ruing missed chances including 3 brilliant attempts from Morris all taking a considerable amount of paint off the woodwork. It simply wasn't to be and although coming into this fixture the team would be honest enough to expect little from this game, their determination can not be denied. The referee called time as the ball was fired into the night sky and out of the park into the fields beyond. A band of intrepid Brits were to retrieve the ball later, in what was toasted as the greatest success of the evening.
Borque and Shaw had shown thunderous determination throughout the game, winning challenges against much weightier opponents, both of them ramming through defensive tackles to pound on the door of goal. Verenka was a solid performer at the back alongside Rooney and Morris will feel aggrieved at the lack of goals but he was a constant threat and led the line well. Ferns continues to play like he has never been away and again taking spells in the centre of the park whilst Kinsella seems to be finding more pace and vision with each passing game. Wells felt responsible for the first, but could not be found at fault for the majority of the goals conceded, performing well for the most part, especially with free kicks. On another day it might have been an astounding high score draw but there is no begrudging the young opponents who played in a good spirit and were gracious in victory.
Wounds must be licked and cleaned in readiness for another stern test in the forthcoming fixture against Los Sauves, who are rapidly approaching 100 goals scored for the season and flying 9 points clear at the top.
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