Updated: Dec 28, 2019
Brits fail to fire in a close affair
Británicos (0) 0
Sherman F.C (1) 2
Parque Ebro 24/11/19 19:15
Wells, Ferns, Rooney, De Vicente, Pernas, Martin, Gilman, Wolfenden (Y), Shaw, Keane
The Brits were delivered an escalating injury crisis in the lead up to this match with the hot boots of Morris missing after a hamstring and calf injury keeping him out of the fray. He was not alone though, Borque and Peribañez were also unavailable and Clapson failed a late fitness test. This was then made even more complicated as Beattie was declared absent, albeit with a legitimate excuse, being required at the bedside of his good lady for the birth of his daughter Alba. The whole Brit team sends their love and warmest wishes to Adam and his new family, although we feel his daughter should have been named Brittany.
Wells therefore resumed his deputation in goal and the return of Matt Keane for his first start of the season enabled a rotation of potential deputies up front.
The game was a tense affair. The Sherman team were disciplined, clearly familiar with their team mates and played a searching and dynamic forward line. There were early nerves at the back as Wolfenden twice took a throw in that invited pressure onto the back line and Sherman piled relentless pressure on the Exile defence. The trusted pair of Rooney and Ferns managed to keep the attacks in check and Wells when called upon was capable of withstanding the speculative efforts on goal. What was distinctly lacking was a killer instinct up front.
The Brits were carving out half opportunities, searching runs by De Vicente down the right and with Pernas providing a threat from the middle of the park it seemed for a time that the lack of imagination up front would be resolved. In fact a chance fell to Martin against the run of play but alas he struck it directly at the opposition keeper.
Sherman seemed content to play a patient game and looked to exploit moments of weakness, which enabled the Brits to grow in confidence and stature at the back and kept the game in an uneasy stasis of deadlock.
The Brits had plenty of ball but were unable to carve out outright chances and meanwhile on the few occasions the opposition found chinks in the defensive armour, Wells was up to the challenge of the shots fired at his goal. It seemed the game would go into half time as a goalless stalemate but as Gilman hustled a Sherman player out wide in what seemed a dead end run he rifled off a devastating shot that found the far post low down. It was probably the most accurate shot of the players life and a keeper's worst nightmare. The Brits were devastated to go into the break one down.
Spirits were high if not frustrated on the break. The team were playing well, with Morris on the sideline managing the substitutions, if the Brits could carve out even one decent chance, there was no reason they could not take something away from this performance.
The second half started with a torrid period of pressure on the Brit defence. Wells was called upon on several occasions in quick succession to keep the score down. Punching a cross off the head of an attacker and diving low at full stretch to deny three shots at either post. Ferns and Rooney were playing an exceptional game to shut down attacks but it was becoming clear that something was not working when the Brits were in possession. A growing gap between the defenders and the midfielders was emerging leaving Brit possession falling flat and returning rapidly to the opposition. It was one such moment that gave the Sherman attackers a chance to pounce and closing down on goal the shot was low and tight and left the Brits with a mountain to climb.
Martin ploughed th forward line with persistence, Keane showed flashes of his skill that had earned him such a fearsome reputation but seemed to lack a final product. Pernas looked impressive but was once again shackled by heavy tackling. Shaw showed some glimpses of his pace and eye for the break, while Gilman harried and like a hell hound, but none of this relentless effort seemed to be reaping any reward.
The Brits continued to press but Sherman showed a talent for game management. Clearing the ball with gusto, taking a slow trot for dead ball moments and cleverly breaking up any chances of attack with tackles that walked the line of legality and exploited growing frustrations in the Brit lines. As the game drew to a close Wolfenden, who had harried on the wing with enthusiasm was scythed not once but twice on a run. He reacted angrily and was booked for his trouble.
The team were disappointed with their failure to score and although the performance was better than the previous shift, there is a clear concern on the seeming failure of the team to reverse this run of bad results.
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