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A torrid dual on the feast of the dragon slayer

Updated: Dec 28, 2019

Brits left despondent after astonishing fight back is cancelled out

Los Británicos (1) 4

Peribañz 3, Bosqued

Los Olivios (3) 7

Parque Ebro 23/04/19 13:30

Wells, Rooney, Ferns, Verenka, Gilman, Shaw, Preibañez, Bosqued

A strange affair twas this. A Sunday league game played on a Tuesday, but not just any Tuesday, this was St. George’s Day. A chance for the English knights bedecked in gleaming white to rise up and slay the Olive toned dragon. The weather was overcast and heavy with the portent of rain. The team was a rag tag compilation. Easter holidays having sucked the marrow and stripped the muscle from the bone of the exiles. It would be a makeshift force to face the fiery breath of the beast in a kick off prior to lunch. The Británicos would face their opposition without the strength of Morris, the guile of Keane, the cavalier eye of Slater, the sly hips of Pernas and the big hands and heart of Caballero. It was to be an uphill battle for the makeshift team, but surely the day was made for the English, on the day of their Patron, under a leaden sky in the wet, against the bottom of the league. Surely today they could slay the ghosts of so many desperately unfortunate results to shine through? Surely?

The match started with a vibrancy and speed that seemed to catch both teams off guard. Open flowing passing from both teams immediately set the tone, the Brit defensive pairing of Ferns and Rooney continued in defiant mood, breaking up attacks and guarding their stand in Keeper Wells to great effect, despite feeling over exposed by the speed the opposition came through the midfield. Verenka in the middle of the park could stride forward with a glint in his eye and on the wings Shaw and Gilman seemed to have some impressive running in them. Up front Peribañez had a rare opportunity to get a full game under his belt with Morris absent and he seemed to take the chance with impressive relish.

The front pair from Olivios had pace, but seemed to lack enough close control to make their speed pay and the Brits, whilst in no means dominating the game did not look in danger of losing their grip. It took an impressive freekick to unlock the scoring. The shot hit low with power was positioned in literally the perfect spot, glancing off the far post, having enough power to breach the gloves of the keeper. Wells was to have a torrid time in goal this miserable afternoon. The second was hit immediately afterwards. An uncharacteristic miscommunication from the kick off saw an opposition player steal through and open up the defence, one on one with the keeper he finished with clinical efficiency and the Brits seemed to lose the faith. They started to rally and persisted in playing their game, their way. carving open the opposition with fast passing moves that streamed from the back line to the danger zone in impressive style. They went narrowly wide of the post and forced impressive saves or last ditch tackles but seemed to lack a little bit of luck in turning pressure into goals. It was against the run of play that the third goal came, a swift attack finally saw the opposition rupture the back line and with two players bearing down on the goalkeeper the Brits now had a mountain to climb.

What followed either side of half time was some of the most joyous and impudent football the Brits had played all season. With the pressure seemingly off, no one expecting the Exiles to stage a comeback or compete for the points, they began to express themselves with calm assured football.

Prior to half time they had pulled one back through the Spanish connection. Bosqued collecting a ball from Ferns on the right cut inside and played forward to Peribañez who feinted and ghosted around two defenders and planted the ball the wrong side of the keeper after pulling him this way and that with his defiant confidence in the area.

After the restart, the magic show continued as the Brits started to pull rabbits out of hats. Peribañez once again shimmying his way through a helpless defence and finishing with style before turning provider for Bosqued to split open the same hapless defence and equal the scoring.

The Brits could smell blood, the Olivios could taste their own demise, the game wavered in the balance of newly found equality and n their fragile but determined states both sides had to push on. It was a credit to the character of the opposition that they struck first. Managing to hit a shot with enough force one on one with Wells to slip through his lunging legs and gloves and the Brits were behind once more, although not for the long as Peribañez popped up in impudent style to dazzle two defenders and effectively curl a lob beyond the keeper into the far corner. It was the English who would not be tamed, as the dragon had dealt them devastating blows, they had stood up to their foe and struck back, doubt crept across the skin of the green shirted opposition, and the Brits felt the ash of their day reform into glowing embers and tease at the snatches of air.

What was to be their undoing was simply strength in numbers The Olivios had effectively a second team of players on their bench and their coach reshuffled his pack. the fresh legs quickly put the brave Brits to the sword in the latter stages of the second half. Carving open the defence wife more leaving Wells hopelessly out numbered and another speculative shot which had enough force to squirm through the hapless Keeper’s legs. To have travelled so far only to fail to arrive was devastating for the exhausted Brits. they had given all on the field. The Spanish duo had been the outstanding performers on this most English of days, a timely reminder that Saint George is the chosen patron of Aragon as well. Gilman had running and strength in his legs as if he had not missed a chunk of the season through invasive surgery. Shaw showed speed of thought and touch on the other wing and Verenka had bossed the middle of the park. The back pairing had played with fore and power, and despite having to collect the ball from his net seven times there was not really a lot that Wells could have don differently in goal. The opposition simply took their chances and as legs tired chasing the game they managed to open up and exploit the emerging spaces at the back. The result leaves the unfortunate Brits holding up the table which feels difficult to swallow. They have proven to be a competitive and difficult team to play against all season and have been on the wrong end of some extraordinary affairs that could have gone either way. With one league fixture remaining, giving a chance to finish on a more positive note, the Exiles must take heart from what has been a very successful and enjoyable first season. Perhaps Británicos can find a reversal of fortune in the cup?

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

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