Updated: Jan 4
The Brits fail to trouble the scorers for a second week in a row
Old School (1) 2
Británicos (0) 0
Parque Ebro 01/12/19 19:00
Wells, Ferns, Rooney, De Vicente, Gilman (Y), Shaw, Martin, Peribañez, Borque
The Brits gathered on a crisp December evening to attempt to reverse the current trend of disappointing defeats. Free-scoring Morris was still unavailable through injury and Beattie still on fatherhood duty. Keane and Pernas were both unable to perform carrying injuries and Clapson unable to make the match. The return of Peribañez was a welcome tonic and there was an air of determined optimism over the chances of the team taking something from this clash.
The match got underway and immediately settled into a fascinating encounter. The game was played in a respectful and enthusiastic manner. Old School showed industry and clever use of possession in the final third Wells, once again deputizing in goal was tested early on and made a couple of impressive saves that drew applause from both sides and the Brit ability to build from the back looked a little more fruitful than the last couple of outings, breaking out via the wing and causing concern in the Old School defensive line. Early breaks down the right saw half chances open up for Gilman and De Vicinte.
The game ebbed and flowed with both sides showing dangerous possibilities. The Brits seemed content to shepherd the opposition into taking long-distance shots which sailed wide and then build out of the back through Ferns. A shot was pushed clear by Wells and the rebound scuffed the far post. A series of corners saw the Brit defence held firm and Wells was able to repel a couple of free kicks. Just as it seemed the storm had been weathered, for the second time in two weeks Wells was then beaten by a very well taken shot that found the bottom corner at the far post.
As heads dropped in the aftermath of the goal, Old School looked to double their advantage and turned the screw on the Brits. Rooney and Ferns with the dedicated back tracking of Gilman and Shaw repelled the worst, Wells blocked a powerful effort and was then adjudged to have been fouled while attempt to collect the rebound. Wells showed he had added a long throw as part of his goalkeeping distribution and some brisk and thoughtful attacking moves via the running of Shaw or Wolfenden and the playful brilliance of Peribañez saw the Brits peg back the opposition to cautiously defend their slender lead. A moment of confusion as Wells and Rooney awaited eachother to clear the ball was the only moment that saw any doubt in the Brit back line, otherwise, impressive blocks and tackles kept the Old School attacks to a minimum.
Half time saw the team confident that the game was evenly balanced and there was every chance that three points could still come their way.
The second half saw the Brits work tirelessly and effectively as a team. Showing impressive passing and attacking overlaps which started to carve out opportunities to bring the game back into balance. Able to soak up the Old School attacks with confidence and turnover play to fast moving attacks saw the match hang by a slender thread. A crowd gathered to enjoy the fast moving, pulsating affair.
The Brits started to find genuine spark in fron of the opposition goal. A fabulous fast passing move down the wing saw the Brits open up the opposition defence and the ball fell to Gilman in front of goal who probably did not realise just how much time he had and rushed his shot. Martin combined well with Peribañez to take shots that narrowly went wide on more than one occasion. A De Vicente freekick was clawed over the bar by the keeper. The resultant corner saw Martin and Peribañez both extraordinarily denied at point blank range by a combination of defender and keeper blocks. It felt like the Brits were certain to find the net and draw level.
Sadly, with the Old School team on the ropes, they found the killer blow against the run of play. As the only moment that successfully found space in the Brit defence was exploited and Wells was finally beaten low down to his right. It was a devastating to the Brit energy and with just five minutes remaining a knock out blow.
The Brits continued to press with resolute determination but the game had been settled. Gilman was given a yellow card after being found guilty of a foul after a fascinating one on one encounter on the wing and the game drew to a close. The teams embraced warmly. The game had been played in a great spirit and both teams had respected each other. The players wished eachother well for the remaining campaign and the Brits trudged wearily to the dressing room. It will be key that the Exiles find their striking boots once more, and hopefully, the insecurity in the gap between the defence and midfield in possession seems to be healed.
The league has been expanded with two new teams being introduced into the table. There will be no matches on the next weekend and a majority of the Brit squad will be in the UK over Christmas so there will be a lack of matches over December. The much anticipated Team Christmas Gathering will be taking place mid-December and is hotly anticipated by all the squad. No doubt the annual debate as to whether girlfriends and wives can attend will dominate the team whatsapp conversation in the coming week.
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