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Británicos (3) 7

Lepore 5, Gilman, Pernas


@CMF Pablo Iglesias 13/02/22 19:15

"You don't have to move a mountain. Just gimme the strength to climb" - Wu-Tang Clan

The Brits had experienced a tough run of results in their recent encounters but with a draw in the previous outing, hopes were high that the Exiles could take three points from this encounter. After the extraordinary twists and turns of the previous match it surely could not be possible for the Brits to deliver something even more dramatic and entertaining? Surely?

Once more, for the third time this season Wells was between the sticks, Rooney was unavailable so Shaw once again took the role at the back and the man mountain Bates was unable to play. The team was down to bare bones with just Munro on the bench but the team spirit was strong.

The Exiles started with a calmness and an authority, passing the ball around with patience before unlocking the opposition defence. Pernas placed an impressive header from a corner in the early stages that was blocked on the line. XIXI demonstrated they had bullets in the chamber as a long throw from the keeper tested the defensive pair. Ferns made an uncharacteristic error but Shaw was able to break up the play before Wells was tested.

Gilman was a revelation. Running tirelessly on the wing he would prove to be a thorn in the side of the opposition but it was the relentlessly impressive Lepore who opened the scoring mid way through the first half as he turned his man on a route one pass from Ferns and bore down on the keeper to slot home with confidence.

The lead was nearly doubled when Gilman ran the line and played the ball in for Lepore to turn but unable to finish. Ferns then went close with a ludicrously long distance effort and Gilman was unlucky not to make a header. The Exiles were looking strong and competent and the opposition did not seem to have any answers to the Brit waves of attack. The impressive crowd of spectators, drummer included, urged on the Spanish outfit. The only outlet was the long ball and after the first scare the Brit defence were comfortable, especially Shaw, had the striker in his pocket.

The Brits continued to stroke the ball about impressively. A delightful patient series of passes resulted in Wolfenden crossing for Gilman at the back post. The resultant corner gave XIXI GOLS their best attack of the match, finally breaking with the ball at their feet. Despite having the space to run at, with the defence caught up the field it was the impressive running of Pernas to come back and break up the attack. The Brits sprung back with impunity, Pernas running upfield and then releasing Gilman, who passed two men and laid it off for Pernas again to pull it back for Lepore. The Italian turned and shimmied and shot narrowly wide of the far post. The Brits would need to make this domination count or they might come to regret it.

Munro swapped in for Gilman and was ghosted through by Lepore and could not get himself around the ball to double the lead. The Brits doubled down the pressure with Pernas causing havoc with his mazy runs. Wolfenden showing his terrier like tenacity. Lepore prowling the box and the defence looking solid.

Wolfenden released Lepore for the second goal. The Italian ran his defender wide but his shot was blocked. Such a trifle does not dissuade the Italian Stallion. He won the ball back and finally got the second goal on the board.

XIXI GOLS seemed to finally be forced into life and started to carve out their own opportunities. A shot was finally on target but Wells got enough of a touch to push it on to the post. A further shot was handled by the stand in keeper but the crowd started to sense a turn in the match. The volume increased, the drum was beating louder and the cries of encouragement more earnest. Gilman was deemed to have fouled on the wing but Wells was up to the shot. The keeper was called upon once again shortly after, leaping to push away a looping header. The two nil lead suddenly looked under threat. Eventually XIXI GOLS found a bit of space, as Gilman was tempted in field and the striker punished the mistake with pleasure. Despite only being the first half the XIXI GOLS team grabbed the ball and ran back to the half way line, showing how they felt they had the chance to pull level. Instead, Lepore restarted back to Pernas who unleashed Lepore to run forward. The defenders crowded him so he played the ball across to Wolfenden who returned the ball back to Lepore who shimmied his way to a first half hat trick. That was half time and those who were there to witness it, could not imagine what was to come.

XIXI GOLS came out for the second half a team transformed. They pulled one back from the kick off running round the defence and finding the far post from a narrow angle. The tables were completely turned and now the Spanish outfit were pouring forward on the Brit goal.

The equalizer came from a long high throw to the far post and as Wells failed to call for the ball he got caught between defenders and the boys in green had an easy poke home from close range. XIXI GOLS continued to press and Wells had to prevent a long distance effort with a solid arm. As the ball ran out for a throw Wolfenden got involved in a tussle and was booked. The Brits immediately subbed him off yet a wayward pass then provided the greens a chance to hit a speculative swirling shot that found the far post. The Spaniards had their tales up and before the Brits could come to terms with the turnaround, a throw to the front post was pounced on and suddenly the Exiles were trailing by two with just under ten minutes left to play. They had barely got out of their half after having XIXI GOLS pinned in their area for the first period.

Then the match went into hyperdrive. A Brit corner was not cleared by the XIXI defence and Gilman was on hand to lash the ball home from close range. Now it was the Brits turn to race the ball back to the restart. XIXI tried to take the frenetic madness out of the game and stroke the ball around but the Brits were now in the ascendency. Ferns ran it forward and then passed to Lepore who was unable to turn his man so fed it out to Wolfenden on the wing. He set the ball up with one touch then scooped it into the area. It came back off he far post for Pernas to be able to mop up in front of an open goal.

The opposition had to go back on the hunt. A freekick was dropped perfectly onto a striker's head in the area yet Wells was positioned perfectly to collect. Then the narrative threw an unexpected twist. Lepore snatched a loose ball after Ferns put a midfielder under pressure. The Italian swerved and slalomed through the defence to put the Brits back in the lead. The relief was palpable and the applause of the crowd in recognition of the skill displayed was gratifying.

Now the Spanish had to push forward in desperate attempts to salvage something from the game. Wells was on hand to deny an extraordinary shot with a vital save. The Brits broke the pressure with Pernas who felt he was pulled back by his shirt. There was life in the game yet. XIXI reverted to their route one football and with stunning success. Arnal was rewarded with his fourth of the game as he held the ball up and hit well on the turn to slot home at the far post. The celebrations were raucous. The game had been pegged back once more.

The Brits pushed forward from the restart. Ferns attempted to find Lepore as he turned off the shoulder of his marker, but the pass was intercepted. Pernas picked up the ball and threaded Lepore through once more who gratefully turned it in to score his fifth of the match, equalling a Británicos scoring record for the number of goals scored by one player in a match.

With a little more than a minute to expend the XIXI players pressed to try and claw it back once again but the Brits were not to be broken this final time. The match drew to a stunning conclusion in a stunning drama. The Brits had been devastatingly dominant in the first half and almost entirely absent for most of the second half.

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