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Green shoots in a hard frost

F..C Británicos (0) 2

Morris, Kilduff

Real Zaragollas (2) 5

@CMF Pablo Iglesias 17:15 04/12/22

Another relatively early kick off in the increasingly bitter cold and the Brits are clearly struggling this season. With difficulties in getting a regular starting line up and a decent bench have left them losing out as fatigue has taken a toll. This outing was no different. With key players out injured or even out of the country it was nothing short of a miracle that the Brits could field a competitive team, although without subs.

You wouldn't know it from the energy and enthusiasm from the players though, as they got underway there was an underlying confidence that they could get a result today. That was dented fast, with an unexpected long distance goal from the opposition within two minutes of the kick off. Wells looked slow to get down to it and it cost him dearly. The Exiles looked determined but got a little sloppy at the back as the opposition sought to double their lead. Wells managed to get down to another effort to push it wide for a corner, calmer heads would be needed to keep the Brits in the hunt.

And a Wells goal kick was not the calmness the Brits needed. Literally handing the ball to the opposition he then recovered his dignity by pushing the effort over the bar. But from the corner the Brits sprang to life, Kilduff breaking free and playing Morris in on goal only for the striker to be put off his shot by the defender shouting in his ear. Morris protested to the referee who showed no interest in his complaint.

Gilman then sold his marker with a cheeky back heel and the Brits were showing some flair. Then Kilduff won a throw that he took quickly to Gilman who almost converted a chance at the near post and Real Zaragallos were starting to feel uneasy.

That uneasiness continued as Kilduff stole the ball in the final third only to see his pile driver repelled by a keeper who would probably be complaining about sore hands for the rest of the week. The Brits had their tails up despite trailing. Real Zaragallos attempted to reverse the trend and with a well worked move got behind the defence but the keeper was on hand to smother the shot. Once more the corner was snatched on by Kilduff who showed his astonishing energy levels to launch a counter. His ball a carbon copy to Morris, but agonisingly the striker, carrying an injury did not have the legs to finish the chance.

Then shortly before half time, against the run of play two moments of clever skill undid all the Brits hard work. a shimmy down the wing was cut inside and although Flynn had ushered the player to a difficult angle he sold both Flynn and Wells and hit the ball first time at the near post and doubled the lead. With their tails up now and the Brits tiring, they tried to capitalise and an impressive long shot was this time blocked by Wells who then collected the attempted clearance from Shaw. It had not been a bad half of football, but the score line told a different story.

The second half started with a degree of panic and uncertainty and Zaragallos did inflict further damage. A good long ball was dropped invitingly into the path of a running attacker who blazed the ball into the net. It looked like that would settle the affair. From the kick off, Kilduff and Gilman combined to try and carve out a quick response and as that broke down Zaragallos tried to lob the keeper and the Brits were lucky to not be four down. Something needed to change, and fast. From a throw, Gilman was unable to get his head on it but it fell to Kilduff to smash it goalward. The keeper was able to block, but Carr latched onto the clearance and send a thundering drive just wide. The Exiles were not about to lie down. Kilduff was a terrier in midfield and the Zaragollas bench and support started to attempt to unsettle him. As he tried to take a throw they heckled the Irishman, even trying to trip him or not return the ball, his frustration and anger was starting to show.

Zaragallos turned the screw with another impressive long range effort that Wells tipped around the post. He then punched the corner clear but was fortunate that the striker who found the ball did not find the goal. Then Morris was caught on the ankle and things started to look bleak, but then it is always darkest before the dawn. It was his right ankle that had been clattered, there was nothing wrong with his left as a few moments later a neat pass from Carr gave Morris the chance to turn his man and lash the ball home. Kilduff's emotions erupted with a hoof of the ball onto the street. Losing Británcos another ball, which he will now dutifully have to replace!

The Brits burst into life, a ball forward from Flynn found Kilduff who rifled it home, only to be chalked off for offside. It was a marginal call, and they are difficult for refs with no linesmen, them the breaks at this level, but the Brits would rue the decision. From the restart Kilduff won back the ball and unlocked the defence with a pass to Morris but his shot was smothered. Then once again, a break, this time through Flynn who place a delightful ball into the path of Morris, but it hit his shin and drifted agonisingly over the bar. As the Zaragallos restarted they finally calmed their nerves. A long ball was taken first time on the half volley lobbing the oncoming keeper to find the net.

Despite the impossible task, the Brits did not lie down, in particular, Kilduff, who bulldozed his way through the Zaragollas defence to then smash home his third of the campaign. Then Gilman put a chance across the goal past the far post. As they pressed forward to try and pull back the game it was inevitable that a counter attack could occur, and one such counter with five players streaming forward along with two Brits saw the scoreline stretch the narrative somewhat. Wells did well to block the first shot, low to his left, but inevitably the rebound fell to an opponent who converted with ease.

The keeper was unfortunate not to get an assist as his long throw late in the game found Morris who narrowly put the ball wide of the post.

The score flatters the opponents, who showed some genuine moments of skill but if the Brits had had a little more luck and if Morris had not been carrying an injury perhaps this could have been a very different story. The Exiles must now prepare for a match against Atletico Iberus. They are very familiar with this outfit, having lost three competitive matches against them previously, twice in the league and once in the cup in 2018-19 season, but more recently a pre season friendly saw them triumph 4-2. Iberus are struggling just above the Brits in the league and a win would be a heart warming tonic indeed.

Thanks to our sponsor David Lloyd Clubs for your support.


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