Updated: Dec 28, 2019
The exiles exacted a punishing rout on their first opponents of the new season as Brexit uncertainty swirls
Británicos (5) 6
Morris 5, Shaw
Estrella Aragon (1) 1
Parque Ebro 20/10/19 19:30
Wells, Ferns, Rooney, Pernas, Martin, Shaw, De Vicente, Morris, Borque, Gilman
A new season has arrived. The Brits returned to the battlefield with a squad that looks remarkably similar to our inaugural season, but some new faces have bolstered the exile line up.
After a pair of useful friendly contests, the squad felt quietly confident that they had the balance to make a far better challenge than last years' survival struggle but team news for this first tie was dealt a bitter blow when the new goal keeper Beattie withdrew with a DIY injury. With Wells resuming his stop gap role as the man between the sticks, the game got underway with the Brits looking assured and calm. Passing looked confident, ball retention was comfortable and movement energetic. The opposition were struggling to press effectively on the Brits and seemed uncertain when their defence was probed.
It therefore came as a bit of a shock when they scored. Ferns ran himself into trouble with the ball and the striker surged at the keeper. He took the shot well, fast and low and the first duty of the Brit keeper was to pull the ball from out of his net.
The early goal bouyed the Aragonese but did not dissuade the Brits from their patient game. The rewards were a session of golden football. The Brit defence closed the door and Wells comfortably collected or watcehd long shots sail wide. Ferns and Rooney left attackers chasing ball as they distributed from the back. Pernas and Bosque menaced the midfield and Gilman and Shaw showed energy in chasing down the flanks. Furthermore, the team pressed and harried the opposition, forcing errors and wayward passing all over the field.
The Brits pulled the game level with a well worked team goal rounded off by a thunderous conversion from Morris. Only minutes later, building from the back once more, Shaw took a Rooney pass and carved open the defence before ending the keeper the wrong way with a deft clip of the outside of his boot.
As the Aragonese attempted to regroup Morris sucker punched them with a conversion from a throw then stealing in at the near post to stab home from a corner. Possibly the quickest hat trick of his playing career. Unquestionably they were on the ropes now. Losing shape and focus, frustration led to some dubious challenges and temperatures rose after Gilman collided with their keeper in a 50 50 challenge.
Morris was on hand to extend the lead on the stroke of half time and the most impressive half of football in the short life of F.C Británicos came to a close with smiles all round.
The halftime talk was brief, keep up the communication, hold the discipline and shape, maintain the press and passing accuracy and see the game out. It was to be expected that the second half would see the opposition up their efforts and the Brits were back on the field almost immediately to receive them.
New arrivals De Vicente and Martin were able to demonstrate their skills in the second phase as Estrella came out with determination not to be humiliated. A period of extended pressure gave the Brits a chance to stress test the resilience and discipline of their defensive line. The second half became one of quick counter attacks breaking out of the crowded back third. Estrella took several attempts from distance, and although drawing two impressive diving saves and one nervous recovery from a double deflection, Wells remained untroubled. The deep defensive line was a sturdy redoubt, several players throwing their body on the line to block shots, clear balls or intercept dribbles. De Vicente, Rooney and Gilman of note. A free kick finally beat Wells but the relentlessly impressive Borque was on hand at the back post to clear off the line.
A series of corners were also handled in solid fashion and as the time ebbed away, the Estrella legs began to tire and the game began to open up once more. Frustration and tiredness led to inevitable late tackles and some cynical challenges. Pernas, Borque and Morris all suffered challenges that were lucky not to receive hefty discipline from the referee and as the opposition lost their calm and started to argue with his decisions, Morris was on hand to deliver the final blow scoring a 5th to put himself top of the scoring charts and the Brits, top of the league.
As the referee came in for considerable criticism and fury from the opposition, the Brits quietly withdrew to celebrate a club record win. With the talents of Peribañez and Keane to make a return to the line up and new recruits Clapson and Beattie still to make their debuts, the signs are very encouraging for the season to come. A league that lines up very differently to last year with a reorganisation seeing two leagues run parallel on Sunday evenings, the Brits have been placed in a group of unknown quantities whilst many of last years rivals line up in the other league. Regardless, the table never lies, and for now, the truth is, Britannia rules the league.
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