The Exiles and the"Big" Cats provided a feast of football in an entertaining display
Británicos (1) 4
Lepore, Bates, Shaw, Atrian
Leones De Torrero (0) 2
@Parque Deportivo de Ebro 14/11/21 19:15
"Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art" Stanislaw Jerzy Lec is quoted as saying. Perhaps he had been watching the Británicos in their clash against Leones De Torrero. The Leones are effectively an under 17 team and a skilful one to boot. While the Brits might be able to bring physical presence to the struggle, they would have to have their wits about them to overcome the exuberant youngsters.
The Exiles named a strong starting seven with the ever popular Rooney making his first appearance of the season joining Ferns behind a pair of wingers with pace in Wolfenden and Shaw flanking Lepore in the centre to attempt to feed Bates up front. Although the man mountain would be regularly coming deep to break up opposition play in the middle of the park.
Prior to kick off the teams stood in silence in remembrance of the dead. The players proudly displaying poppy armbands in a personal tribute to the fallen. The gesture was immaculately observed by the opposition and their supporters. The Brits showed their gratitude for such dignity and respect.
With the Brits watchwords of "discipline" and "organisation" echoing in the players ears the game got underway and the lilywhites looked assured and calm. Patient build up and getting the ball to do the work paid dividends as the Brits dominated early proceedings. The teenagers found success in using their pace to launch rapid counter attacks when they broke down possession in the middle of the park. This resulted in the Leones coming closer to scoring even if the Brits set the tempo of the game.
On several occasions the youngsters used their pace to open up opportunities or their speed of thought to draw fouls. One such foul provided a freekick which was unleashed with venom but Atrian produced an impressive save to keep the scores on parity.
The Leones spurned possibly the best chance of the half when they broke three on two and instead of playing a killer pass, their diminutive captain, Muñoz went for glory and the defenders were able to break the move down.
The Brits made good use of their astonishing height advantage and the onslaught of high balls to Bates started to force the Leones to fall deeper and in greater numbers. Lepore was released by Atkinson through the centre with a dangerous dribble to be brought down on the edge of the area for the first card to be produced.
Atrian almost took an assist with a quick release down the middle that found Bates in the opposition area. It seemed as if he had put the Exiles in front but he was penalized for using his hand, somebody jokingly called him "Maradona" and he showed no complaints over the decision, which replays showed to be correct.
The Leones found a decisive drive through the centre with Muñoz once more that fizzled out once again. From the release Atrian and Ferns exchanged passes and fed the ball to Atkinson, he was unable to shrug off attention from his marker but Cordoba found the loose ball and dinked it forward to Lepore over the heads of the defenders. The Italian pierced through the pair and then with a single touch sent both defenders the wrong way and he calmly sent the ball wide of he keeper and the Brits had taken the lead. The ball from Cordoba was beautifully weighted and Lepore finished with real skill. The pair are forming a promising relationship on the field.
The goal came at the death of the half, with the Leones having one final crack with a fast break which saw Atrian come out with determination to smother the attempt on the whistle.
The half time talk was simple, everyone should just continue doing what they have been doing. It was a solid and assured half.
With the most diligent first half of football under their belt the Brits embarked on one of the most unpredictable halves with the second. In a matter of moments they had doubled their lead with Bates snatching a poor misplaced pass and mishitting the ball in to the net for his second in as many games. He did not celebrate, feeling terrible to have landed such luck in getting on the score sheet but it put the Brits firmly in the driving seat.
Torrero were not to be deterred and continued to press with energy. The Brits were looking stronger and more assured and were able to contain the threats. Having broken up an attack Rooney passed back to Atrian to slow down play and take possession only for the keeper to come under pressure. He showed maybe a touch to much confidence in his abilities and attempted to play past the player who managed to get between him and the ball and Atrian was judged to have dragged him down to concede a penalty. The Torrero captain stepped up to convert with confidence and the youngsters raced to collect the ball and return it to the centre, sensing they had made a breakthrough. The chill of the collapse the Brits suffered in their previous outing was apparent and it was obvious the Exiles had to take control of the match .
The best response was forthcoming, with Shaw ploughing through several defenders to drill it home and restore the two goal cushion. This sowed doubt in the teenage team and cracks appeared in their line up with passing errors and recriminations through the ranks. To their credit, they managed to restore their discipline and as a result it was the turn of the Exiles to gift wrap a goal. As the defence broke up an attack, the ball found it's way back to Atrian who passed forward to Wells who inexplicably played it back into space. It seems he thought Wolfenden was moving into the space but he left the winger to much ground to cover and the unfortunate result was he conceded a further penalty. This caused some fractious exchanges within the Brit ranks and as the opposition captain produced a carbon copy confident penalty to send Atrian the wrong way the Leones once more felt the match was there for the taking.
The game was finally put to bed a few moments later in a most improbable manner. Atrian launched the ball forward and extraordinarily found the net at the other end of the pitch. The keeper ran the length of the pitch to celebrate his success with his father who could not have been prouder of his boy.
Rooney got himself in the book late in the game and Ferns was unlucky to be judged to have fouled just outside the area shortly after. The resulting freekick was handled with aplomb by Atrian and the referee was satisfied that time had run out for the Torrero youngsters and called the game to a close.
It was a good natured game and the Brits warmly congratulated the opposition on their maturity and sportsmanship. They were a credit to their parents and we wish them the best of the luck for the season. Fort he Exiles meanwhile, jubilation in the changing room for getting off the mark and plaudits for the young keeper.
There are real signs of a good team spirit emerging this season and with Munro making his debut this game and another two new signings to line up for debuts as well, it seems a real strength in depth is emerging. The Brits will face El Metodo next week who overcame Union Decadentes 3-2 to register their second win of the season.
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