Updated: Dec 28, 2019
A punishing defeat leaves Brits needing a miracle to emerge from their cup group
Mesones Aragones (2) 6
Britámicos (1) 1
Parque Ebro 05/0/19 19:30
Wells, Verenka, Ferns, Keane, Morris (YY), Shaw, Preibañez, Gilman (YY)
There is no doubt that this result is devastating to the Brits. In such defeats there must be some positive lessons to learn, perhaps they come from the least expected angles on this occasion. Nothing can change the fact that pride is stung and without question leaves the Brits in a situation that the next two games are must win for them to have any hope of progressing out of this group in the cup.
It all started so brightly. The makeshift Brit team, although lacking some key players, started with confidence and sure footedness. The Exiles were in the lead before the game had even settled. A free kick some distance out in the opposition half saw Morris run over the ball and leave the shot to Verenka who rifled it home into the far post. Both teams looked bright but the Aragones had the lions share of the attacking possession. The Brit defence were blocking well although the Exiles resorting to a long ball game found the opposition flooding back at them time and time again. Wells in goal was impressive in his confident dive to the right to keep out the first effort to squirm through the defence but was unable to prevent the equalizer a few minutes later equally well placed in by the post. The Brit defence continued to mount a solid resistance with Verenka alongside Ferns but the team were not able to develop anything with possession.
With the pressure the Meson players were putting on the Brits it seemed certain that a second goal would come, when it did come, it was through another slice of appalling bad luck. Gilman monitoring an attack, holding the opposition player at distance, forced a shot which he went to block. His block deflected wickedly and Wells had already committed to the dive. The Keeper manage to get a desperate touch on the ball which spun up into the air, hit the cross bar twice and came back down in the goal mouth, Wells, reached out to push it wide but a striker was on hand to snatch the lead. The Brits started to creep back into the game, it has seemed this team has only come alove once trailing and this was no exception. Finally starting some nice interplay and finding a small yard of space for Peribañez. Shaw showing flashes of pace and Morris causing headaches in the centre they were starting to find their rhythm again. The defence seemed solid and the keeper composed, there was no reason why the second half could not see the Brits turn this around.
Trying to pick apart what went wrong in the second half is at once straight forward and yet mystifying. The Brits had got frustrated at the Meson Aragones habit to play for time once taking the lead and niggles started to build in that frustration further. Morris received a hefty contact in the face trying to connect with a cross from the corner and tempers started to rise with off the ball pushes and trips breaking out all over the pitch. One such tussle saw the game flare up and players surged into a melee after Shaw was on the receiving end of abuse and pushed back. The moment unsettled the Brits and the Meson team capitalized, breaking out from the restart and punishing them with a third.
The Brits then lost Keane to a hamstring injury and while still reorganising from that blow Gilman lost his temper and charged after a player who came on him late. The opposition player was sent off for the foul and so was Gilman for the reaction. The incident had caused another full field melee and some nasty afters behind the referees back. Meson scored another as a shot was angled closer to the keepers body than anticipated and was palmed into the net and the Brits were all at sea. Astonishingly, Morris was then given a second yellow after being adjudged to have reacted to a late challenge and there was no way back for the Brits. Wells performed some heroics in goal, including an impressive run of three saves in a desperate scramble in the box and several one on one blocks earning respect from the opposition who nonetheless added two more to their tally as they swarmed the Brit goal and put the Exiles to the sword.
This was a painful experience for the Brits and they must simply look to enjoy the remaining two fixtures. If they can restore some pride with a win on the first then they can look to the final group game as a true knock out football match.
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