The Exiles left frustrated at another draw
Británicos (4) 4
Morris 3, Martin (P)
AC Frio (2) 4
Parque Ebro 23/02/20 20:20
Beattie, Wells, Rooney, Ferns (Y), Gilman, De Vicente, Morris, Wolfenden, Martin
It was the very fag end of a weekend, and later than advertised the Exiles got underway under the lights in a six-pointer with AC Frio. The previous affair had a been a turgid but successfully ground out victory in the shadow of a weary hangover.
This time around, the Brits were determined to stamp their authority on the game from an early stage. They attacked with gusto and speed. Passing looked tight and the objectives were clear. It was of no surprise when Morris was on hand to launch the Brits into the lead. A wonderful fluid attack that saw Ferns dissect the defence and open up the opportunity for Morris to slot past the keeper.
The opposition demonstrated their ability to threaten in front of goal by pegging the score back with a quick counter attack that took a lucky deflection.
This spurred the Brits to another gear, with the lead being recovered quickly with the ever promising Wolfenden crossing beautifully for Morris to volley home. Before the opposition could regroup Morris was on hand to complete his hat trick to provide the Brits with a confidence cushion.
AC Frio once again had a hand of luck in pulling back a second as Wolfenden intercepted with a well won tackle only to guide the ball beyond Wells and Beattie. The AC Frio attack tended to bunch to one flank and with Wells and Rooney floating toward the respective flank and Ferns able to drop back to cover the gap, the defence looked fairly solid. As the half wore on the opposition started to react very quickly to sturdy challenges and started to irk the Brits as the game became a series of broken passages of play. Despite their exertions, it was they who gave away a penalty that Martin happily converted on the stroke of halftime.
The second half was a brutal war of attrition. The Brits showed some early promise with some fluid interchanges and showed some dangerous intentions seeking to put the game beyond reach but the lack of fresh legs to switch in clearly began to take its toll and the Exiles started to lose some of the pace from their game.
Wells and Rooney continued to marshal the back line with solid defiance but as the opposition sensed the flagging work rate of the Brits, they sent further men into the attack
The game gradually fell into a frustrating pattern of broken up play. The AC Frio players frequently falling to the floor eliciting free kicks and increasing frustration from the Brits. As the clock ticked away the Brits started to lose their control. For the first time the team came under strain and started barking at each other. Rooney, Ferns, Wells, Morris and Martin all felt aggrieved by the whistle happy reaction of the referee and the Spanish opposition poured water into the cracks resulting in some ugly reactions. Gilman squared up to an opposition player and Wells informed the referee in universal sign language just how poor his decision making was. Ferns eventually received a booking for his furious protestastions protestations.
The defensive line gradually came deeper and deeper as the players became increasingly nervous about any close contact. One such free kick provided AC Frio with a late life line, the man ghosting in at the far post not being tracked.
It still seemed unlikely that the Brits would not take the points but as the match breathed its last a speculative shot from the flank deflected wickedly off Rooney and curled agonisingly over Beattie in goal. The opposition celebrated with enthusiasm, and rightly so. They had clawed a match back from the defeat and had managed the second half exceptionally well. The Brits should learn from this painful lesson and come back stronger.
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