A scintillating display sees the Exiles overcome a stern test to move to third
Británicos (2) 6
Bates x4, Gilman, Shaw
El Metodo (2) 3
@Parque Deportivo de Ebro 21/11/21 18:00
"The Tiger and the Lion may be powerful, but the Wolf does not perform in the Circus"
An earlier kick off saw the Brits gather before the gloom of the night had begun. A hint of the warmth of the day like the glowing potential of a kindled fire. There is a belief building in this Británicos squad, a whisper in the breeze, a hushed, fanciful notion that there is a winning mentality in the air.
The opponents stood between the happy band and the happy outcome were no push over. El Metodo had registered two convincing victories before encountering the Brits and a clear array of talent and strength to call upon. This was to be a fascinating test of this fledgling spirit of belief in the Brit camp.
It started in astonishing fashion, a new Brits record being set for the quickest goal scored by the team, 15 seconds was all it took. As the opposition attempted to stroke the ball about the back from kick off, Bates put the players under pressure and leapt on a loose ball before slotting home with consummate ease. El Metodo were rocked and as they pushed to reply an unfortunate clash saw Rooney take a boot to the face. Dazed, he withdrew to recover and Wells was rotated on to the field at the back. El Metodo attempted to unlock the defence and the Brit defence stood firm. Atrian looked assured and dominant in his area and as the dark blue waves crashed onto the Brit harbour wall, white frigates began to launch parries back toward the Metodo goal. It was a tense and tightly contested affair.
Rooney made his return as Wolfenden and Shaw looked hungry on the wings. Lepore showed confidence in the centre and Bates was terrorizing the backline with his strength and speed. It was a piece of luck that saw the opposition equalize. Atrian made an impressive double save but it was a blue shirt that managed to get to the rebound first. Managing to hook the ball back off the line for a team mate to tap into the empty net from a matter of inches. The Brits felt aggrieved as they believed the ball had crossed the back line but the referee concluded the full ball had not gone out of play and the teams were on even terms again.
But only for a matter of moments as Lepore worked his magic drawing attention and then chipping Bates through one on one with the keeper to restore the lead. This was uncharacteristic of the Brits. That small flame of belief fanned a little more.
El Metodo began to resort to classic tactics, theatrics after every challenge, outrage from the sidelines, demands for cards, slurs and insults hurled liberally at the Brits with relentless intensity. The energy paid off as they pegged back the Brits once more. Again Atrian had done well to prevent a goal, with yet another astounding double save at close range only for the final rebound to fall to a blue jersey to prod it home from close range.
The teams were locked in a fascinating deadlock and as temperatures continued to rise in the passion of the crucible, Wolfenden tackled to break up a move on the left of the Brit defensive line. The tackle was solid, unquestionably, but the opposition player provided a performance to ensure the free kick. Wolfenden was annoyed by the reaction and kicked the ball away, earning himself a needless yellow card. The tireless winger then started to sail close to the wind, offering applause to the performing party still writhing on the floor, escalating the ire of the Spanish team. Things threatened to swirl out of hand and the Brits swapped him out to attempt to diffuse the situation.
Half time gave both teams a chance to appraise their position. It was a fascinating tactical encounter. The Brits had the skill, but lacked the depth to rotate the centre of the park, the opposition felt they had the firepower to breakdown the resolute defence of Rooney and Ferns, but the Birts had kept their shape and discipline with the wingers tirelessly running back to shore up the back line. Atrian would gratefully accept long distance pot shots all day.
The second half was to turn out to be one of the most intense football clashes the Brits have experienced. El Metodo attempted to take the lead for the first time but the Brits held firm. Not only that, but they started to exert authority over the match. Passing with style, turning the play over fast and effectively to transform defence into attack. The Exiles bombarded the opposition goal and the watching crowd were left mystified as to how the scores remained unchanged. Rooney had a rifling drive cleared off the line and away via the post, Shaw saw an effort come away off the same post, Bates prowled the last third like a lion, dismissing the chattering hyenas at his heels and then there was Gilman. It seemed to just not be his day. Chances were falling to him like gifts from the heavens and he could not quite find the trigger. a close range chance from a corner was scooped away, a shot fizzed past the post, he hit the side netting, the frustration was beginning to well up inside of him.
At the back Rooney had become a tower of extraordinary resolve. Winning every aerial ball with ease despite the increasing swelling around his eye. Ferns continued to demonstrate such confidence in possession that he was turning attackers inside out, creating space to release the counter, using Lepore as an outlet. It was the astonishing Bates who forced the issue taking a rapid pass with his back to goal, turning the ball past a defender and lacing it home in the bottom corner from outside the area to once more restore the advantage. The hat trick goal was received with furious enthusiasm by the Brit bench.
The killer blow was to be served up by Gilman. An old Británico proverb states that no army can stop a Gilman goal when it is written. The winger finally got his reward for his tireless work, stepping onto a low ball across the box he pummelled the ball into the net and received the celebrations of his team mates. A fitting reward the man who was to become a Dad in the days after the match, and he was rightly rebuked for failing to do a babe in arms celebration.
El Metodo could see the points slipping away and their support seethed at the perceived injustice. On the bench Wolfenden assured the team he could keep his cool and he was desperate to return to the fray and prove his worth. He replaced debutant Lasierra who had harried the Metodo defence with enthusiasm and had showed some promising touches. Wolfenden however, was a revelation. Within moments of his arrival on the pitch he was called upon to make a decisive challenge in the area. It looked as if it would have been a carbon copy of his penalty foul last week, but he made a pin point challenge to prevent a goal scoring opportunity. He made a series of impressive challenges and showed tireless running, causing unease at the back of the opposition.
The game was escalated another notch when El Metodo produced a third goal. Iznardo completing his own hat trick, smashing the ball past Atrian at his near post to send an icy shiver of doubt up the spine of the Brit squad. The ghost of the first league game witnessing a collapse of a two goal lead haunting the team. The bench reshuffled the pack, bringing Lepore off for Atkinson to go up front and bring Bates back into midfield to use his strength to help shore up the defensive line. Atkinson was given instructions to make himself a nuisance and did so with aplomb before giving way to Lepore to lead the line. Wolfenden was rotated out for Gilman after having put in a mature and resolute performance in the second half. The game was teetering on the brink as it emerged into the final minutes, and then the circus rolled into town.
As the ball was heading out of play in front of the Brit bench, Wolfenden inexplicably kicked the ball away before it went into touch. The referee had no choice but to book the player a second time resulting in the most surreal shithousery double yellow sending off. Managing to get sent off while not even in the ring was an unexpected twist for the wolf!
Wells swapped in for Lasierra to attempt to shore up the defensive quality of the Brits in the final moments and then Shaw stepped up at the far post to slot home a low cross from point blank range to give the Brits some breathing room. This finally saw the opposition lose their resolve and they foolishly lost the ball from the kick off for Bates to round off his man of the match performance with an exquisite chip from outside the area that sailed wonderfully into the far corner of the net. As the players celebrated on the pitch, the side ring entertainment frothed over as Wolfenden celebrated on the sidelines. A member of the opposition bench spat in the winger's face and this was the curious last act of a quite extraordinary match and an absurd climatic 5 minutes.
The match had been a three ring circus with clowns, performing animals, acrobatics, melodrama and a riot of colour and energy. The Brits showed strength and tenacity and a sense of power. They had never been trailing in the game and had finally found the desire to put a game to bed, even if it was in the haltering last moments of the match. The squad had put in a uniform set of outstanding performances, only marred by the unfortunate side show. Wolfenden had played exceptionally well and will learn from his failure to keep his self control, he is rapidly becoming a vital part of the team.
The Brits are away to Red Bull Razor for the coming fixture. The Exiles are leading the chasing pack in third behind the 100% record of Dynamo de PA and Pajax de Amsterdam. Red Bull lost 4-2 to Pajax on the opening day and despite a 2-0 win over Casa Serra they then succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Union Decadentes. The Brits must be confident that if they produce a display of the standard delivered so far, there is no reason they should not be optimistic of taking three points on the 28th of November.
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