Goals: James Morris, Patricio De Matteis
Man of the Match: Neil Johnson
Match Report: James Morris
A new year and optimism was high as we assembled to take on a motley crew of athletes all with apparent Welsh ancestry (Louis?? - Lodger is there something we need to know!!). A few familiar faces lined up against us and a few very good players including their dynamo in midfield and a colossus of a keeper who was in fact very good, although Kieran was certainly a match (youth and agility - they were the days) and made a couple of equally good saves at the other end. We set up with Kieran, Grant, Clive, Andy P, Jon Ray across the back, Darren and Harry in the middle supported by Mark B and Jim Rowan on the flanks with the two young lads Rob and Mike spearheading the front line. A talented bench of Heiko, Mark Billington, Patricio, Neil Johnson, Billy M and James looked on as the team looked to take the early initiative in the searing heat.
Playing on the usual 2nd team pitch (don't ask!!) the game came to life early on with their large centre forwards putting pressure on our back four, but with Andy winning everything in the air and letting them know he was there, Clive mopping up the loose ball and Grant (at times slightly flustered!!) and Jon forcing their wide players down the flanks the attacks did not cause us too many problems. It was BC that came the closest with Mark B looking sharp out on the far side with good support play from Mike, Darren and Harry. Rob somewhat a lone figure up front was battling hard, with Louis and James Harvey playing well for the Welsh making it an interesting tussle in the last third. Best chance for BC fell to Mike when Harry threaded a delightful ball through and having made a good run Mike forced an excellent one handed save by the fully stretched 6ft 5" keeper low to his left. Mark B unfortunately wasted good possession when we were 4 on 3 and the keeper did well clearing the danger several times as Rob and then Patricio tried to find a way through. The surface and windy conditions made it tough to get the ball on the deck and play the free flowing football that is a trait of BC....! To be fair we did well and whilst there were a fair share of high balls we tried our best to keep possession. At the other end, the Welsh forced several corners and wasted a great chance when the ball fell to their striker in space just outside the box. Kieran reacted sharply to palm over a ferocious shot from 18 yards (that was 6 yards outside the 18 yard box - mmh work that one out!) and James was kept busy retrieving the ball from the storm drain!! As we came off at HT we remained confident of getting the all important breakthrough and to go on and win was was turning into a good spirited and well contested friendly.
BC dominated much of the second half. Neil Johnson, Bill, Jon Ray, Darren and Harry all found time on the ball as we looked to knock it about and keep possession. The sight of Mark Billington striding forward with purpose was a joy to be beheld and it was a searching cross from Mark that almost brought up the break through but two of our forwards had strayed slightly offside. Grant then showed us his finest showboating making the spectators dizzy on the sidelines - Nick Groth must have thought the nice cool beers he was supping had a special ingredient!! A drop of the shoulder, a gasp for air, a stumble to the left and a skip forward saw Grant bamboozle two Welsh players, he then stood on the ball doing a Pires (esque) roll over before almost doing the same again. Ten yards gained, still in plenty of space and a neat ball down the flank to Neil - well I think that was a day's work done for Grant - truly a golden moment!! Neil continued to make his mark with good control and intelligent passes to Bill and Jon and it was one such move that saw the ball worked down the left that lead to the all important breakthrough. The ball broke kindly to James just inside the box who hit a well timed shot past their keeper who was maybe slightly wrong footed. A nice goal - 1-0. BC then made life hard for themselves conceding a series of needless free kicks on the edge of the box, but Kieran stood firm as the Welsh went in search of the equaliser. With 7 minutes to go Patricio came back on and within seconds it was 2-0. A goal kick from Kieran, nodded on by James fell nicely for Patricio who instinctively lobbed their keeper from 20 yards - lovely goal Pat despite being somewhat route 1 stuff...so there it was FT 2 - 0. Well done the Welsh - they would probably have felt slightly aggrieved not have got a goal but we had just a bit too much for them in the second half. They do have the makings of a good team though!!
MoM goes to Neil Johnson for a really good performance at left midfield and this was a great start to 2012. League action next week so let's get a few big wins to get us into the top half of the table - there is no reason why we cannot push hard for a top three finish this year (who knows the title is still in reach - just!!).....
Goals: Rob Allen, Antony Fortnum
Man of the Match: Rob Allen
Match Report: Harry Puncher
-Rob collecting Heiko’s through ball and chipping their keeper from 25 yards, great finish.
-Clive’s neat one two on the edge of the box, inch perfect for the striker to not even have to adjust his stride. Clive discussing the incident at half time, “the grass was a little longer than I’m used to otherwise it would have been a perfect back pass”.
-Pete losing a 20 yard race with a 10 yard head start for their 4th goal and being unceremoniously removed shortly after at half time. To be fair their wingers were considerably faster than most of us and were always a threat from the ball over the top.
-Anthony bludgeoning through two defenders and blasting past the keeper for our second goal.
-Grants calm words at the start and during the first half to not berate the ref then blowing a gasket in a second half rage at probably the tenth poor decision by the man in black, the Newstarz really didn’t need his constant assistance, one of their players even mentioned this to him towards the end of the first half…
-Mike using the force and playing blind…
-An hour long second half to help the fitness of those who survived… was it only the floodlights starting to go out which prompted the ref to end the game/pain?
We were outplayed by a very good and athletic side who’s movement and one touch passing was excellent, well played the Newstarz, a class above anyone we will play in our leagues.
MOTM- Rob who worked hard throughout with very little service and scored a great goal.
Man of the Match: Clive Griffin
Match Report: Darren Whatmore
The conditions were all set, a scorching day with the sun beating down on the enormous Kallang practice pitch. This was the warm welcome back to the first league game of the year where all fifteen squad players would be needed.
BC set up a 4 - 5 -1 formation and began steadily in the early exchanges. As minutes went by, BC played with increasing composure showing good distribution of the ball in the middle and releasing the pacy wingers of Sam and Justin who both positively looked to take on the TTFC fullbacks. Openings began to appear, with James working hard upfront and the midfield supporting. Just as BC were looking likely to score, TTFC for the first time broke away and the striker misplaced his shot, which he should have done better. This was a warning to BC, that we needed to increase the tempo and keep the shape. BC quickly restored the upper hand, always looking to play the ball positively out from the back and keep possession. BC won a few corners and each time we managed to connect and win the headers from Harry, James and Clive but each attempt went narrowly over the bar. A free kick was also dangerously placed in the box but again the outcome would be just wide of the TTFC goal. Midway through the half, changes were made with the fresh legs of Rob, Mark, Alan and Jim coming on in exchange for James, Bill, Harry and John. BC continued to play the same way, looking dangerous from the wings and supporting play from the midfield. For all the possession though, BC were not able to get to make the final ball or shot count. Halftime then, 0 v 0 leaving a feeling we should be at least one nil in front.
BC started the second half where we left the first, pressing the TTFC half and earning a few corners. Fullback Jim and Jon Ray supported, with Mark and Sam threatening on the wings. Clive and Heiko shoring up any threat, and quickly releasing BC back into the TTFC half. With the huge pitch, BC made regular substitutions to keep the tempo. Rob turned well and struck a good shot from the edge of the box which the keeper saved. Each opening was thwarted, whether from a corner or wing play, or a run through the middle. TTFC did have some breaks and a couple of corners but never really threatened our back line. With ten minutes to go, BC made all efforts to get the elusive goal with James coming close to converting a cross, yet TTFC rode their luck by somehow diverting the ball for a corner. The last three minutes resulted with further pressure from BC, but the final whistle blew.
Final score, 0 v 0.
All in all, BC played a very good game with the right formation. On another day, we probably would have won by two clear goals. Whilst it wasn't to be, BC can be pleased with the team performance and spirit, always showing an attempt to play good football and using the wings.
Man of the Match. Everyone played well, with some notable performances from Jim and Jon Ray, and the three wingers on the day Mark, Justin and Sam. Yet the Man of the Match goes to Clive, who played a composed and tidy game at the back, with some fine distribution when coming forward.
Man of the Match: Everyone!?
Match Report: Darryl Smith
A strong BC 11 were present at the Kallang Practice Track, flood lit with pitch looking in a very playable condition. Westminster looked nothing like the name suggested. Not an expat in sight but a very fit looking young local team. The game started very strongly for BC with a few minutes of slick passing and 100% possession. The first 10 mins saw 2-3 good crosses into the oppo box. Some good pressure and a good strike from Paul D just over the bar after winning a corner. Of note was Aaron winning a header in midfield but some frustration as most of the play was coming down the left hand side. On 15 min Heiko wins the ball strongly in defence passes to Rob who delivers a great ball down the left for Mark Burn to pick up and after running a third of the pitch, taking on a couple of defenders (should have been a pass) then cooly slots in the for the first of many goals to come. Good possession and BC in control of the game. On 20m a ball across the goal mouth from Rob finds Patricio to slot home. Looked like offside but no more than BC deserved for their possession. The next 10 mins saw Westminster getting into the game but still BC had some chances with Mark Burn (was it a cross or a shot) shooting just over and then a nice cross from Kieron just over Rob's head. At 30 mins a floated cross from James into the box with Rob forcing the ball over the line for BC to go 3-0 up and in control. A full set of substitutions followed which changed the pattern of the the game a little with Westminster themselves bringing on some strong players. However, on 35 mins the match reporter with the ball on the left side of the oppos penalty area unselfishly laid the ball back to Alan T who launched a big ball in which ended up in the net off the bar, great finish. Unfortunately as half time approached some good battling from Westminster in midfield with their striker taking the ball on and providing a good finish to leave the BC 4:1 up at half time.
The match report in the 2nd half gets a little vague in places with your match reported on for the full half. What he didn't miss was the fact that the BC started poorly and in some cases the defending was non-existent. Your reported frustrated that his good tackle in the penalty area still led to a Westminster goal unchallenged. Minutes later and a rash push on their attacker (believe that was Alan making up for his earlier strike!) in the box gives Westminster a penalty. Good strike and Westminster pulling the game back to 4:3. At this point it really looked the the wheels could fall off but in true BC spirit this seemed more like a wake up call and with BC raising their game created a sack full/hat full of missed opportunities. How many misses???? Who???? but James did manage to finish one of those. Score 5:3. To be fair at least one was a header off the bar. So BC could have scored a few more and really put the game to bed but Westminster also had their chances in the second half. Some good tracking back from midfield managed to put the Westminster attackers off as well as Keiren putting in some good stops in goal. With only mins remaining unfortunately Grant was left on the ground following a stamping incident (was that Balotelli on the pitch - well we certainly saw the bruised ankle after the game) and a lost cause chase after the Westminster attacker who was able to score their fourth followed by the final whistle 5:4 to BC.
In summary, a great game on a nice surface with a good bunch of oppo players (accept the one who was dressed exactly like the ref and refused to change his shirt) and in the end a balanced game in terms of the result. A game which the BC should have been in no doubt of losing. Your reporter has thought long and hard about MOM and everyone played their part on a large pitch where it was great to get good time on the ball, so MOM goes to everyone (is that the first time ever awarded?).
Goals: Rob Allen, O.G.
Man of the Match: Rob Allen
Match Report: James Morris
This was an excellent team performance and a thoroughly well deserved victory against one of the better sides in the EFL Premier League. On arrival at Dempsey we received the news that Justin had slipped and gashed his shin and so we would have a 14 man squad to take on a full Strollers squad with a suspicion of a few stragglers from the early Cosmo game….Fortunately, it was not a blazing hot afternoon and we lined up with Kieran in goal, a back four of Clive, Heiko, John N, Mike T, across the middle Darren Whatmore, Alan Turnbull, Mark Burningham, Patricio De Matteis, with Sam and James up top. Rob, Aaron and Kieron Harlowe made up the 14. We expected that it would be a tight game but after two clean sheets on the bounce we were confident that we could handle what the Strollers could throw at us and it would just need a few clinical moments in front of goal to give us the win we needed to get up the table, particularly after scoring a blank against TTFC last time out.
Both sides started brightly but it was BC who started to get a grip of the game. We began to find plenty of space out wide with probing runs from Burners and Patricio. Sam and James were getting themselves in amongst the back four and a good ball in from John Nolan to Sam saw the ball fall to James, whose shot on the turn from went narrowly wide. Burners then went on a great run and sent a first time cross into the danger area only for their defender to get a leg in with a white shirt poised to strike. Darren went close next having received a pull back at the edge of the box before smacking the cross bar with John Leonard well beaten (yes our very own John, back in Singapore for 4 weeks – it was good to see you mate). Searching for the all important opener we forced several corners without managing to get the telling touch. At the other end their lively centre midfielder caused a few problems but surprisingly it was the pitch that gave Kieran the biggest scare when a routine shot took a wicked bounce – solid keeping though kept the Strollers at bay. On the 25 minute mark Mike T and James needed a break and Aaron and Rob Allen came on. Rob was full of energy from the start and we started to have more pace in our attacks with Mark B coming more into the match. It was a good move down the right with John Nolan playing the ball into Alan T, who found Rob in space that led to the opening goal on 36 minutes. Rob laid an inch perfect, albeit opportunist ball into space (well a 15 yard pass to himself), followed after it while everyone else stood still, got to the corner and flashed a beauty of a cross toward Sam who was charging into the 6 yard box. Their keeper and centre back under pressure from Sam got in each other’s way and the ball ended up in the back of the net – tremendous play from Rob and a deserved lead.
BC kept the pressure on as we went searching for a second. With 5 minutes to go to HT a goal bound shot from 25 yards was blocked by a Strollers arm in the box which amazingly the referee deemed to be ball to hand and waved play on. Clive, Heiko, John and Mike/ Aaron were superb in the first 45 minutes and despite having to be neat and tidy Kieran had little to do – a testament to a strong first half showing. HT 1-0.
As expected the Strollers came out at us strong from the outset of the 2nd half. A few changes on their right flank and in the middle of the park with their best player moving up front gave them a much more attacking look. They started to stretch us but Patricio and Aaron worked hard to get back and help out John and Mike; Rob and James were working hard to close down their back four; Alan and Kieron were battling to stifle and breakdown the Strollers and Kieran with his two stalwarts at the back looking steady. At the other end we looked threatening going forward, albeit on the break and John had a few scares between the sticks, notably from a speculative effort from Mike and an audacious shot from Alan both of which flew just over the bar. On about 20 minutes, they worked the ball well into the box and Kieran somehow clawed away a belting strike – it was met with applause all round the pitch – to be fair their striker must have looked on in disbelief! Again Kieran needed to be on his A game when he plucked a tantalizing cross out of the air and he made a hatrick of quality saves getting down well to his right to smother a shot from the edge of the box.
Whilst we soaked up the pressure it was by no means one way traffic. Alan T twice showed fancy footwork in the box which on another day would have led to more goals (good defending to be fair) and when we broke we looked menacing but just could not find the killer ball. With 25 minutes to go we went five across the middle which gave our centre three more time on the ball. The second goal came from another great bit of defending with the ball being moved quickly up to Darren who released Rob, who sprung the offside trap brilliantly. 40 yards out and just the keeper to beat, he showed great composure and passed the ball home from just outside the box. A tremendous cheer from the watching support from BC (thanks to Barry, Justin and son, Rob’s boss, Paul T with young Josh (poor boy dressed in light blue…) and a few knackered subs showed how much the result meant. Moments earlier we had been let off as there was controversy over whether a shot had made it over Kieran’s line. The linesman said no, the Strollers were disgruntled and it had to go down as another top save. So there it was 2-0 and a well deserved victory. SCC were gracious in defeat – well sort of ….quotes such as “that was a great result for you” being a bit of a backhanded compliment. It was indeed a great result though but we need to get consistency and continue to build on this as we face Vipers and Gaelic twice in the coming weeks. If we win those there is every chance we can still be in the championship shake up come the end of the season…
MoM - Too many good performances to mention but for his goal and creating the first the real match winner for me was Robbie Allen.
Cosmo Cup next week so bring on the French…..
Goals: Justin Hale, Aaron Reader
Man of the Match: Sam Woolhead
Match Report: Patricio Matteis
Another BIG pitch at Singapore Poly - the blazing sun greeted the players as the hot muggy conditions would favour the younger opposition who was there early and ready for a battle. The Vipers, came into the game on the back of six consecutive league wins against very strong opposition which has cemented their second place at top of the league.
BC came into the game with a re-energized team which has shown in the last 3 games that it can compete against the top sides.
Our formation was 4:4:2 which has worked so well. In goal was Kieran, Defense; Mike on the left, John on the right with Harry and Heiko in the center; in the Midfield; was Kieron and Darren whilst Burners and I on either wing; Sam and James provided the firepower – a solid bench of: Darren, Alan, Justin, Aaron and Andy were all itching for their chance.
From the start we took the game to the young side and held the majority of possession. We defended high and it was great to see that we were not going to let the pitch and heat get the better of us. James and Sam worked their socks off and Kieron and Alan just closed everything on sight. The Vipers struggled to move the ball around and their attempts at playing the long angled balls were dominated by John and Mike. Harry and Heiko showed that although they are amazing at the back their real talent is the quick distribution to the wings which created the majority of our chances.
On minute 30 after the first wave of changes, Keiron played the ball back to Burners who fed it to Alan who took a sublime touch and lofted a 20yd pass to Sam who without breaking his stride slotted past the oncoming keeper - Justin bursting down the middle passed TWO defenders to slide the ball into the net…1-0? Not to be as, BC celebrations are cut short as the myopic lineman had raised his flag for Justin…WE WERE ROBBED! We did not have to wait long for justice or Justin to prevail as Burners shot/come pass was deflected into Justin who coolly slotted home from 8 yards. 2-0…sorry myopic typo 1-0.
5 minutes of MADNESS
With FIVE minutes to go…the shout from the players in the stands was to hold on to our deserved lead…but BC started to defend lower down the field, giving the opposition cheap fouls and corner kicks…From a cheap corner kick came a very speculative ball that should have been easily handled by our defense and with Kieran diving to protect his line an onrushing defender had a simple header. 1-1. Kieran had two solid saves after their first goal but could do nothing to stop their amazing #10 who pressured Darren off the ball and weaved 20 yds and with 30 secs to go slotted a cracker into the top left corner.
Heads came down as halftime came and I forgive Andy Petyt for thinking he had just joined a wake…James tried to keep it positive but we all knew we had a momentary lapse of sanity.
Dominance Part II
No one really likes a sequel, but on this occasion it was a joy to watch as the players really gave an amazing performance, pushing the Vipers back and back…killing any momentum they had gained in those 5minutes! The whole back line was amazing and Mike in his new found role started feeding great balls to Justin and Sam, who did not stop running. In the middle Darren and Kieron were outstanding and Darren created two amazing chances to score only for their nervous goalkeeper to parry the goal bound shots. Sam was driving their defenders crazy and created the play of the day as he took a ball from Burners and weaved the ball over 50 yds attracting 3 defenders and coolly slotting a pass across the goal line for Aaron to slot with the simplest of tap ins…2-2. We continued to surge but with no luck and on a different day we would have taken all three points. Can’t wait for the return leg at Bukit Timah!
This was truly another TEAM performance and Sam just shaves it for his never say die attitude and for creating the majority of our chances and goals!
Goals: James Morris, Rob Allen
Man of the Match: Paul Richardson
Match Report: Mike Thornton
[Only remembered 60mins in I was supposed to write this week’s report so details are hazy!]
Let’s start with the consensus after the game…..3 points dropped. Whether or not the mid-week game had left people with tired legs or whether the size of the pitch, the length of the grass, the heat of the 3pm sun or whatever other excuse we could muster…it was not a good performance.
We actually started rather positively, knocking the ball to feet and spreading it wide allowing for the wingers to make some good runs down the wings. The midfield pair of Alan Turnbull and Darran Whatmore worked hard in securing the ball and the momentum going forward was initially positive. Hibs responded to the initial pressure exerted on them by working balls down both flanks causing the full backs to have to work hard to cover the Hibs danger man [No.2] up front who was in good form throughout the match.
The breakthrough came around the 20minute mark…no idea what happened in the buildup but I believe it was through a good bit of work down the right flank by James Morris who crossed the ball straight on the head of an inform Robbie Allen who comfortably headed the ball into the back of the net. 1-0 and looking good!
Hibs responded quickly…a good run through the middle of the pitch by one of the hibs players who was allowed to keep pushing all the way to the edge of the box took his opportunity to smash the ball into back of the net to make it 1-1…a soft goal to give away and something we have to stop doing…same thing happened against the Vipers!
The second goal for Hibs was extremely unfortunate on our part. Kieran made an excellent attempt to come out and claim the corner however a push by a Hibs player on Clive sent him into the back of a leaping Kieran…the ball was then flicked into the net by Hibs No.2. Should have been our free kick but Tony..who did not have one of his better games stated that he saw nothing….seems to be a recurring theme against us at the moment…
With half time it was clear that everyone needed a pick up as the mood was not exactly positive…I myself had managed to work myself up into a fit of anger and was not exactly helping the cause so apologies on my part. However once again we started brightly…moving the ball around well…the forwards worked hard up front to pressure their back four whom to be honest were terrible. Hibs were extremely fortunate to have their own Van der Sar in goal who made some outrageous saves to keep the game in their favour. But once again we started to take our foot of the pressure allowing Hibs back into the game and once again we were punished for not defending our box…another corner made it 3-1 to Hibs and a long way back if we were going to salvage anything.
James decided to change the formation from a 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3 and that change really started to show in the amount of chances we had in the last 30 minutes of the match. We began to press much harder up front supported by good through balls from the midfield and some excellent defending at the back from Andy, Clive, Paul and John.
At around the 70minute mark the ball Alan played a good ball through to Mike’s feet who flicked it past the defender allowing James to make a dart through on goal…a calm collected finish resulted in us pulling a goal back to make it 3-2.
The final 20 minutes saw a barrage of chances for the club however we did not take advantage of these and the game ended in a very disappointing defeat having comfortably beaten Hibs 4-0 earlier in the season.
M.O.M – Must go to Paul Richardson – Had a fantastic performance in the defense bringing stability and control to the game for us. Made a big difference when he came on the field and allowed us a platform to build on from the back.
Goals: James Morris, Justin Hales (2)
Man of the Match: Justin Hales
Match Report: James Morris
Another match against by far the best team of youngsters in the EFL. We always have a tough game against Vipers, who arrived with a strong looking side and were definitely up for it, needing a win to get their title challenge back on track. Hopes were high in the BC camp, despite no league win since our 2-0 victory against the Strollers back in January. BC assembled sporting a strong starting XI and a bench of Darren, Patricio, Heiko and James. John Nolan took the captaincy and despite the heavy afternoon rain the TTS pitch was looking good and it was game on.
BC took the initiative from the start working their back four hard with searching balls out to Mark B and Sam on the flanks and Kieran's goal kicks were causing mayhem especially with Rob and Justin looking menacing. The speed of the ball on the pitch made for a good passing game but neither side really managed to get the ball down mainly due to plenty of pressure and closing down from both sides. Alan T was the key man reveling in the conditions and with Matt next to him in the middle their dangerous no.8 was unable to get a sniff, despite one surging run with his shot flying over the bar (Kieran had it covered of course!). BC took a deserved lead after good work from Alan who flick a ball over the top for Justin who skinned his man and headed the ball over the advancing keeper. The ball hit the bar and despite their skipper's best efforts to clear Justin kept going and thumped the ball home from 1 yard. With their keeper having a tough time getting used to the pitch BC started to put him under pressure and on a couple of occasions we were unlucky not to double our lead. At the other end despite some good work down their wings Harry and Paul (in the centre) with John N and Mike T (slightly the worse for wear!) in the full back positions were playing well and Kieran was mopping up any lose ball. On 30 minutes we made some changes and immediately from the restart Matt Mason intercepted a Vipers move, played the ball to James who received it back before attempting a deep cross. The end result as a tad fortuitous as the ball drifted into the top corner with their keeper stranded. HT 2-0.
The second half followed the pattern of the first with Justin playing a blinder up front. Every time he got the ball we were looking dangerous. First James found himself in space just inside the area and instead of taking a touch he blasted just wide. Then Burners missed an equally good chance (well in fact a sitter!!) after Sam had waltzed passed several players and played an inch perfect ball to our flying winger. Darren found himself in space and floated a delightful goal bound chip/ shot which just cleared the bar before Mark made amends after a great run to the bye line, his first time cross finding Justin who clinically turned and smashed in his second of the day. At 3-0 we moved to a 5 man midfield as the Vipers went in search of a immediate response. Their no 7 (Vipers all time top scorer John Yeong) showed his class with a tight turn and low finish, but was flagged off side (I am sure Kieran was aware) and everything else they could muster was dealt with by Kieran or snuffed out by Harry and Paul. In fact, Harry even had time for a surging run of his own but alas he ran out of support and needed a lung bursting run to get back - he will think twice about that again!! FT 3-0.
A result that proved we should be higher in the league and that we are still one of the better sides in this league. In fact, we have every reason to be confident we can beat anyone on our day. Great performances all round but the level of commitment, closing down and encouragement was particularly pleasing. Big performances from Harry and Paul, tireless running from Sam, Patricio and Robbie Allen and a welcomed return to form from Mark B are worthy of note. Alan T and Matt Mason were colossal in the middle (we shall miss Matt until the summer) but MoM has to go to the two goal Justin who not only worked as hard as anyone but finished both goals really well.
TTFC up next - lets get 3 more points and make TTS a fortress!!
After the mesmerizing display against the Vespas the week prior, therewas an air of expectation. Could we do it again or would we fail andhear the manager tell the media, "two Saturdays in a row is far too much to ask of any player, the league needs to review its fixures".
"Make sure you warm up properly lads" remarks the gaffer. So we all heedthe advice (I say we, but in reality I was still in the car goingthrough my final mental preparations listening to the great ShaquilleO'Neill, 'I know I got Skillz..') and head out onto the pitch. Somepractice high kicks and star jumps, some throw their arms around, and the remainder run a couple of meters back and forth before realizing that the other bunch kicking the ball about are having a lot more fun so join them.
"Right lads, gather in... Same as last week... Neat triangles, one-twos, keep it tight, hustle hustle, if in doubt launch it... Whatever happens, Justin will get it".
No sooner as the whistle goes and we're 1-0 down. From the sidelines it was a little surreal, as if time stood still. I think Harry was still trying to tell Alan how much of a legend he is... John was preoccupied with the thought of Everton facing Utd the following day (Come on you
Blues!), Mike had left his legs on the sidelines and Clive was admiring the paint job on the posts. The winger floated past Mike, swung in a cross and their player was amazed at the time he had to pick his spot with a neat header.
If you thought that was a mad moment then the second was even more comical. Seeing Clive suddenly perform what can only be described as some kind of Irish dancing whilst trying to chase their forward was a moment to cherish... Safe to say he got turned inside out, outside in, and the forward eventually ran on to make it 2-0.
Oh dear... "Stay calm" shouts James from the sidelines. Such wise, tactical words must have come out of the FIFA coaching manual as we turned the gears and got a goal back. Darren delivers a perfect corner for Harry to head in.
Some neat one-twos, tidy triangles, a lot of hustle hustle and we were getting on top of them. Justin was running them ragged, and at one point delivered a telling cross which Ant was unlucky to get on the end of... Mark B had a moment of brilliance, bursting down the flank, leaving players in his wake, BUT to his misfortune ran into the fence some 40 yards past the goal. Still, it had them worried...
Time for Morris, Heiko and myself (I know I got Skillz). Nolan throws to Richardson, Richardson back to Nolan, Nolan cross to Morris and wallop, Morris buries the ball into the back of the net. 2-2 and game on. James peels away to take the applause from the crowd and suddenly realizes he dropped his left b*ll*ck in the 6 yard box. Off he limps... "I don't understand", he says, "surely getting into and out of the car before the match would have stretched the groin, and I ran at least 10 meters during the warm up".
Second half was full of the spectacular. A moment of greatness. Alan Legend' receives the ball, takes on 72 players and sets up Justin who, Van Persie'esque, curls one into the top corner. 3-2... Patricio wasn't to be outdone... He smacks one from so far away I needed my binoculars to pick him out. 4-2!!! He turns to the opponents bench and removes his shirt in celebration. That did it. There was no coming back for the opposition now. They sheepishly felt their bellies and realized there was no way they could compete with his abs.
Another moment of brilliance as 'I know I got Skillz' races down the left, cuts back and delivers THE best cross-field pass the World has ever seen, ever, ever... Right into the path of the onrushing Justin. He dances past one defender and slings it back into the mixer, and there was I ready to bury it... Just like the commentator said during the Utd vs Everton (Come on you Blues!) match, "Rooney just loves to come onto anything"... That was me, BUT knowing that I would have to remove my shirt if I scored, which would certainly give the oppo some confidence, I purposefully put it just wide. Tactical!
The oppo then gets an opportunity but Keiran pulls off a cracking save... Back to the other end and another great delivery into the box. Harry again, this time with his nose, knocks down for Patricio to bravely slide in - you wouldn't do that on Bukit Timah!!! 5-2. There was no coming back from here...
Plenty of one-twos and neat triangles, and not to forget some back-heels, flicks and winks from me (I know I got Skillz) and we eventually see out the match. A great come-back. Justin was excellent all afternoon, Clive was awful for the first 20 mins, Harry made great use of his nose, Alan was a Legend, Keiran pulled off some great saves, Morris contributed about 1 min 32 secs but still manages to score, I know I got Skillz, Heiko bossed the middle and lots more... MOM goes to Patricio for his match winning abs, I mean goals.
Goals: James Morris, Justin Hales, Harry Puncher, Sam Woolhead, O.G.
Man of the Match: Harry PuncherMatch Report: Paul Richardson
A WIN IS A WIN IS A WIN?
Although the newspaper headlines read: RAMPANT BC MAULS TITANS – the sentiment from the bench after the game was we should have done more!
We arrived to our favorite hunting ground at an unfamiliar timeslot, but brewing with confidence after consecutive wins. Could we keep our momentum going against a very physical Titans side?
The team looked solid on paper and we started with the same team that left the field the week prior. On the bench we had an amazing quartet of players: Keiron, Rob, Sam and James – who although officially injured had his boots – “just in Case”.
The heat was unrelenting and no form of life was visible except for Heiko warming up on the pitch as we all cowered on the stands praying for a shower to come…it never came and so did 3 of the Titans players.
We started on time against 8 Titans who all sat back in defense knowing they had a prayer in hell in those tough conditions. The first 10min were quite lively and we had three clear chances to score. The left wing was supplying the majority of our attack as we tried to stretch them from their central positions. Powered by Mike & Mark who provided a continuous line of crosses into the box for Justin and “I Know I got Skillz”…the latter was having an off day at the front as he kept shanking his 37degree wedge over the top of the goal, first with his head and secondly with his instep as he had only the keeper to beat…
15min in and another great cross from the left saw Justin and “I Know I got Skillz” attack their backline and in the chaos the ball ricocheted off a defender and over the keeper – 1nil BC. Titans now had 10 players and the game became scrappy as we were eager to score whilst they were still down a player, but our passes in the final third were letting us down.
In came fresh players which energized our resolve. We had some good dominant passes from Alan and Keiron to our new forward line of Robbie and James, but the Titans were up to our continuous attacks. In one of their forays into our half a cross into the box was controlled by Mark Fortnum who ran 80mts and sent a defense splitting pass to James who coolly finished past their on-rushing keeper…2nil BC and James’s second cameo as an injured sub…this time it took him 8min to score!
We started the second half the same way we ended with a continuous wave of attacks, “ I know I got Skillz” was covering at right back and his crosses into the box were fantastic, but our forward line was not putting them away. I intercepted a ball on the half way line and played it to Justin who attacked their backs before playing a neat triangle only to see Robbie (who was nursing a bad hang over – of 30 G&Ts) shank the ball over the goal. Would we end up paying for our 10 glaring misses? Bingo…In went a kick from their goalie which bounced to their forward who turned and shot over Kieran, who was out of his line…2-1
The goal energized us like it did last weekend, and we maintained the onslaught, which saw Justin breaking their line and playing it over the goalie and then running around him to slot it back in net. 3-1. Harry was not out done by Justin and scored his second goal in two games with a shot from 3mts. 4-1 and the pearl of the day was Mike’s foray into the attacking third only two have 2 titans corral him in the left corner, then turning them inside/out and coolly passing to Sam for a tap in…5-1.
Overall a strong performance in the last 20min as the Titans were no match to our attacks, as they melted in the searing heat.
MOM goes to Harry for another solid performance in center of defense and two goals in two weeks…may the trend continue!
Goals: Justin Hales x2 (20', 35'), Robbie Allen (65'), Paul Richardson (85')
Man of the Match:Kieran ReidMatch Report:
The British Club moved to within touching distance of 3rd and 4th Place, as Justine Hales scored twice to secure a crucial victory over SCC Stollers. Justin first beat the SCCs very own Steve Ogrizovic look-a-like with a low curling shot with 20 minutes on the clock. He then added a second, again from close range, ten minutes later The British Club now know that a good run of results in their final 4 games of the season, could see them leapfrog both Hibs and the Vipers in to 3rd spot in the league – impressive given the difficult start to the campaign. This was a dominant display by BCFC, inspired by sterling defensive generalship, prodigious work in midfield, stellar finishing upfront and a work rate and ambition that glowed throughout the team.
First Half The British Club started brightly and took the game to a somewhat stronger SCC side early doors, starting with 4-4-2, allowing the wingers and forwards to exploit the space left by SCC’s ageing fullbacks on the large Dempsey pitch. Good work in defence, saw Robbie Allen released down the right, who then slid the ball across the pitch for Justin to beat the keeper with a low range effort. British Club 1-0 up and flying. An almost identical goal came ten minutes later, when this time Paul Richardson released Robbie down the right in acres of space, who then slotted the ball across for Justin to tap home. 2-0.
BC defended well for the remainder of the first half and looked solid in midfield with a combination of Alan Turnbull, Kieron Harlowe and Paul Richardson comfortably mopping up the SCC attacks and distributing the ball to Sam, Patricio and Mark down the wings, who often found themselves in lots of space.
Second Half The British Club again started brightly and looked to play some neat passing football across the park. A couple of rash challenges from both sides saw things get a bit heated on the sidelines, with the opposition threatening to knock James’ teeth in, a threat which was met with the ever so macho response ‘OOOOOOOOO’……….. I know who I’d want on my side in a fight! Mike T then picked up the ball in the opposition half and whipped an excellent ball diagonally across field in behind the SCC defence and it was slotted home on the volley, only for it to be disallowed for offside, probably fairly, but BC still on top and probing. Soon after, excellent work by Burners, Mike and Sammy Woolhead down the left, saw the ball crossed in low to Robbie Allen, who almost fell over his own feet before turning and chipping the ball in to the top corner, out of Ogrizovic’s reach to make it 3-0. BC in front and dizzy.
The British Club then switched off briefly and struggled to deal with a combination of an expertly whipped in corner and playing against opposition taller than 4ft 9 for once. 3-1 and with it came the SCC onslaught. Kieron, who was largely untroubled throughout the first half then pulled off a string of excellent saves, low down to his left and right and then one with his head which skimmed and bobbled off the field at pace. Shortly after, a somewhat dubious decision awarded SCC a penalty for handball. The SCC man stepped up but Kieron was equal to it pulling off an excellent save down to his right and then quickly back up for the follow up. The SCC then pressed for the remainder of the half but each foray forward was met by one, often two and sometimes 3 BC players who defended brilliantly and played the ball up field to buy some time until the final whistle.
During one of these balls up field, Alan sprayed the ball to Robbie on the left, who walked the ball towards the corner, before picking out Paul Richardson in the box, who rolled his defender like Thierry Henry and slotted past Oggo to seal the victory. I have to say that was one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played for the club with everyone giving 110% and playing some neat football along the way. So many contenders for man of the match. The whole defence was magnificent, even Clive…, but particularly Mark Fortnum who was energetic throughout. The midfield was strong – Alan was rock solid as usual and the wingers were excellent outlets – Sam made the right back crap himself everytime he ran at him.
Upfront we were clinical, Justin bagged two and the ginger Dion Dublin scored one and set 3 up, but I have to give the Man of the Match to Kieron, not for the fact he made some excellent saves and saved a penalty at the most crucial time in the match, especially while his coach from SCC looked on (...love it...) but for the fact that he was willing to subject himself to 90 minutes of torture the night before in his school play (and it was god awful…I went) and still have a blinder the next day. Well done lad!
Goals: Harry Puncher
Man of the Match: Justin HaleMatch Report:Mark Burningham
We came into this game knowing a win over Pulau Ubin just below us would put us into 3rd spot in the league.
This was going to be another stern test of our solid defence, where the opposition had been banging in goals in the games previous to this big encounter.
But so what, with 4 wins in a row in the league, confidence was high amongst the BC squad and we started the match with more purpose than the opposition.
The first chance fell to Justin inside 5 minutes when he made a great diagonal run into the box and hit a powerful shot just over the bar. This set the momentum for the 1st half, where we spent most of the time in their half with numerous chances to score. Occasionally, their midfielders and attackers had a few forays into our final third, but was abruptly stopped by our superb defence. Kieran did not have much to do in goal and when he was called into action, played some sublime long balls to the wingers to run onto and attack the oppos defence who played dangerously high up the field - love it!
On the 20 minute mark, John was fouled wide on the right wing. The resulting free-kick glided over into the box for Harry to superbly head in from a very acute angle, 1-0 to BC and looking good for the flood gates to open, which they did, but not with goals, but with near misses. One such notable chance, fell to myself, where Patricio played in a long ball from the right, where with the on rushing keeper, I expertly hit the right hand post for a rebound which the keeper happily retrieved.
5 minutes later, Alan sprayed a beauty of a pass to myself down the left, where I took on and passed 2 midfielders & 3 defenders (twice) to send a high cross into the box, where the keeper palmed the ball down for Ant to connect with a great shot which somehow was deflected by a defender over the crossbar from 3 feet!!
The movement across all areas of the pitch was good, where our build-up play was excellent on occasions starting in defence with Mike, John, Clive and Harry who always looked composed on the ball providing peaches of passes to the midfielders. There were some big, but fair tackles made across the pitch by the oppo too, but we stood our ground and finished the 1st half with confidence.
The feeling at half time, was we should have been 3-0 up, and with the score at 1-0, could there be a cruel twist to the game, after all, our earlier games on the TTS pitch had seen teams beat or draw against us in the last minute of the match! And there was a near twist – more later on this point (Harry, it’s coming).
So the 2nd half started with a few changes with Mark on the right side of defence and Sam on the left of midfield.
As in the 1st half, we always seemed more likely to score with fluid passing and running all over the pitch. Heiko and Alan were chasing everything down, making big tackles, retrieving the ball and starting some of our most penetrating attacks. Alan played a ball into the final 3rd between yet another 3 defenders & 2 midfielders for myself to run onto and cut back to Ant, who shot low for their keeper to mop up. More of the same followed from the wingers putting in some lovely balls for Robbie & Justin to latch onto, only to be denied by the post, last gasp tackles by defenders and a few close misses.
In response, the oppo started pressing harder and harder for an equaliser, but they came across a determined BC defence who didn’t give them any chances…or did they Harry!!!
With 15 mins to play, Harry played a lovely little squeaky bum 10 ft back pass to Kieron who was not expecting it – err…obviously Harry. Fortunately, recognizing the danger, Kieron shot off his line, dived at the feet of the on rushing striker, where the ball bounced up for the striker to take another bite at the cherry, but Kieron made another great save….a close shave to say the least.
From thereon, BC closed up shop and kept good possession to see out the game.
A great win against a quality, hard battling Pulau Ubin making it 5 straight wins and putting us 3rd in the table.
A superb team performance where everyone worked hard for each other. The team is playing really well, has a good balance, confidence is high and we will finish the league strong I am sure. If only we had started 2012 like this – we would of been challenging for the title.
Very difficult to pick anyone as mom, as such a great team performance. If we had a position of the match award, then our defence deserve it for sure, as the oppo said after the match that they had been scoring loads of goals, but our defence was the best they have come across all season – respect to John, Clive, Mike, Harry and Mark. So, very close call, but Justin gets MOM for yet another high octane display of power, speed and positional play….I think I was a close 2nd….notJ
Goals: Jamie Thullier (2), Justin Hales (2), Matt Mason, Alan Turnbull, James Morris
Man of the Match: Jamie Thullier
Match Report: James Morris
A revitalised Rampant Lions were next up as skipper James tinkered with his first team squad ahead of the new EFL PD season. It was very much the same side that 7 days before had dismantled a strong French side with Robbie replacing Jan who was showing his trickery and skills down at Balestier Sec School. So would the Lions be Rampant or would BC be up to the challenge? As we lined up, besides seeing a few familiar faces, the Lions team was mainly full of teenagers with a blend of a couple older stalwarts. A few dads and sons which is always a joy to see - well not so much for the older ones amongst us!!
Straight from the KO BC played the ball around well and started to build some good moves as the Lions took a bit of time to get used to the pitch. The lions keeper was quickly into action turning Justin's shot round the post and retrieving a wayward James header after a great cross from Justin!! It was to be our youngest and newest addition to the team who was stamped his mark on the game. Jamie playing on the left found himself in a central position and after good work by Paul Summers, Alan and Matt he smashed the loose ball from 25 yards plus over the keeper and into the roof of the net. Before the Rampant Lions had time to settle, again after an excellent move Jamie fired in from 18 yards - tidy finish!
The oppo were not deterred and driven on by some of the older cooler heads they were awarded a free kick just outside the box. A bit of confusion over wall set up and who should be marking led to a close range header giving Kieran no chance. It was a great cross and BC were lucky not to concede again with an identical delivery. In fact, the quality of all their corners and free kicks were a lesson to us!!
It was BC who struck again with Jamie going on a mazy run before laying the ball back to James whose low drive was parried to the Matt who made no mistake having previously had a goal disallowed finishing off what would arguably have been the move and goal of the game - being ruled off side - harsh decision Tony!!
A few changes were made with Sam coming on down the left, Kieran slotting into the centre and Robbie chomping at the bit to get in the goal action. It was Justin though who notched a quick brace in as many minutes as BC surged into a 5-1 lead. Was it going to be a rout? Well the Lions had other ideas and continued to impress going close a couple of times before being fortunate to reduce the deficit getting in behind Heiko with their centre forward making no mistake one on one despite Kieran getting a touch. 5-2 HT.
The second half was a much closer game with the Rampant Lions putting our back line under pressure. Kieran made one outstanding save pushing a firm header onto the post and they also hit the post when well placed. BC had their chances too and could have got into double figures but for a combination of good goalkeeping and not being as clinical as we were in the first half in front of goal. It was left to our very own Alan "Rampant" Turnbull to nonchalantly slot one past their advancing keeper (nice work Mr. Thornton for a great early ball out of defence setting up the move) and James to bring the scoring to an end slicing a low cross from Justin into the top corner (could have been embarrassing).
All in all a good result and an impressive result. Hibs up next and then the league starts.
MoM - tough to call but Jamie Thuillier did great just shading Justin.
“You can’t win anything with kids” Hansen 1995.
Taking the lead from Sir Alex’s 1995/96 league & cup winning side, Captain Morris decided not to spend in the transfer market over the summer and put his trust in the BC youth policy, naming five players under 24 (& 3 of those are under 20) for the 2nd week, in a 14 man squad. And two games in to the season the signs are positive. BC looked strong on paper and were looking to build on a good opening day result.
In keeping with tradition, young Sam turned-up with just a few minutes to spare before kick-off. At first we thought it was just tardiness but on reflection it appears to be a rather cute ploy to miss both the warm-up and the captains pre-match speech. The boy is wise beyond his years.
And the late Mr Woolhead did not disappoint. Coming on as sub, young Sam scored with what I believe was his first touch and went on to complete a hat-trick. Well done young man, that’s an extra smiley face on your rewards chart!
With the previous two meetings ending 0-2 and 1-0, BC expected a tough match against a physically strong and well organized opposition. Ubin started well, matching BC physically and knocking the ball around with some good movement but never really threatened in the final third of the pitch.
However, as the match progressed. BC started to take control. The defence was comfortable taking the ball from young Matt W, who is looking more impressive as the weeks pass, with Mike and John always available as outlets for Mark & Harry. Kieron was as commanding as ever in the centre of the pitch, dealing with the physical threat of all of the opposition (although as their centre midfielder pointed out, Kieron is a real gent – he will kick your bollocks off then help you look for them after the match).
With young Jamie & young Matt M playing out wide, there was plenty of energy going forward and also in defence. James was joined up-front by Justin, their physical presence and pace complementing each other and always a threat to their defence. James was looking sharper after extra training sessions at The Cage, where he set a new personal best in the 100m. & just in case you don’t know, it’s 50m.
The first goal was straight out the Joe Jordan / Derek Johnstone / Andy Carrol copybook. Fantastic delivery from young Jamie’s corner and a bullet of a header from James. 1-0 BC!
The subs were made and BC were rewarded after some great work from Kieron and young Jamie down the left wing and a cut back found young Sam to knock in with his first touch. 2-0.
Although both sides had chances there was no further scoring, leaving BC 2-0 up as the ref blew for half-time. BC headed over to the sideline to quench their thirst and take a well earned rest. Young Jamie had a rather tempting looking packed-lunch, (easy peel Satsuma, a cheese string and a juice box), and time for a quick nap on the mat before the 2nd half kicked-off.
Although they were trailing and tiring, Ubins heads did not go down. In fact they were more threatening throughout the second half and unlucky not to score at least one goal.
- a penalty was fired high and wide;
- young Matt W made two great saves and dealt comfortably with some great crosses
- on the one occasion young Matt was beaten, the crossbar came to the rescue.
- Fortnum Snr made a last gasp rescue as their winger was bearing down on goal. Reminiscent of these young bucks up in OT on a Saturday night, Mark just opened up his legs and got his tackle in. Brilliant!
- there was also one moment of madness where the BC defence transformed from a solid, composed, controlled unit into Bingo, Fleegle, Drooper and Snorky and a goal looked a certainty. Fortunately Ubins forwards had no idea what was going on, or more likely were too busy pissing themselves laughing like everyone else not involved in the melee to take advantage. Fortunately Heiko took command after this and there were no more scares for the remainder of the match.
However, the BC were also creating chances. Some great work from Darren in the midfield linking well with the wide men was causing Ubins defence difficulty & their frustrations started to show in a number of rash challenges.
Then there was a moment of genius where young Sam took me back to being a 10yr old boy: June 11 1978, Scotland v Holland & Archie Gemmill. Great finish, no description necessary. In fact his 3rd was very similar.
James bagged a second, smashing home a rebound from their keeper and Justin finished the scoring with a few minutes to spare bringing the goal total to 10 for, 1 against in the opening two matches.
BC should have had one more, the 3 forwards in the box with only the goalkeeper to beat. But as many players discover when in these situations, young Sam found he had an eternity to play the ball but he took too long over it and the moment was gone.
There were moments when this free passing, free flowing football was getting Capt Morris very excited and he was seen pacing up and down the sideline not knowing which way to turn, resulting in one spectator comparing him to a “blind dyke in a fishmongers”!!
This excitement carried over into the post match interview where Capt Morris confused a BBC journalist by answering “yes, they are very fresh, minty and only 1 calorie per sweet” only for the journalist to clarify that he had actually asked about his tactics.
& when Sky asked him about the performance of the youngsters, Capt Morris almost blushed and looked coy as a smile started to break out. This was followed quickly by a trending #Boy Crush. OMG on Twitter. It was confirmed later that there is no evidence linking the two.
The interview then had to be cut short as euphoria took over & Capt Morris started to ramble” Am I the best coach in the world? Don’t know, but definitely in the top one” and then something about replacing the soon to be disposed Owen Coyle…..
MOM: You can’t score a quality hat-trick and not get MOM. It’s also cheaper than giving you the match ball. Well done young Sam.
So, another tough match in prospect this weekend against TTFC who have already beaten the Vipers and some of the BC squad are unavailable for selection. Harry is in Europe looking for a bigger club and I quote “I would like to play for an italian club like Barcelona”. Young Matt M has returned to his normal life as a docker in Liverpool (good luck mate, & take your football boots and give Rodgers a call – honestly you’ll get a game). And Fortnum Snr said something about going to see the poles (I don’t know if that means dancers or natives to Poland)
C’mon the whites!
BC Xi 1 - 1 TTFC
Matt Warburton (GK), John Nolan, Clive Griffin, Heiko, Louis Davis, Mike Thornton, Alan Turnbull, Kieron Harlowe, Darren Whatmore, Sam Woolhead, Jamie Thuillier, Justin Hales, James Morris (Capt), Mark Burningham, Paul Summers
After a good start to the season and two wins on bounce we were confident of a good result but this was by no means an easy game against a tough side who had also started this year’s campaign strongly. The team sheet looked good on paper with the welcome return of Clive, Mark, Louis and Paul bringing a mix of experience, speed and youth to the side. Conditions were pretty good, with slight breeze and overcast sky, about as good as it gets.
The team talk prior to kick off focused on a strong start and getting into the game early. This was certainly taken on board and we were quickly into the swing of things taking the opposition by surprise. Very good work in the middle and effective use of flanks had the opposition packing the defence with half chances for Justin, James and young Jamie going begging in the first 20 minutes. Sam was exceptional down the left wing and the defender marking him quickly adopted a man to man marking strategy supported by the tested and proven techniques of kicking, pushing, pulling and barging at every opportunity. Great work down the left led to a couple of good chances but their keeper was up to the challenge and made some good saves.
It was a similar story on right with Jamie running their left back in circles and making some great cross field balls. It was one such ball that presented the first one on one of the game with James bearing down full speed on the keeper. The keeper came out two footed and both seemed to meet the ball at the same time, the ball span loose for a tap into the bottom corner. Goal, well almost, disallowed for an ‘apparent’ foul on the goalie. This was one of a number of interesting decisions from the referee who seemed more intent on sending someone off for poor choice of language than doing something about serious foul play on the pitch. One atrocious challenge on Sam did bring a yellow card and even harsher words from Mr Turnball – quite justified.
Our midfield dynamos were strong and breaking up the opposition play nicely and for the first 30 mins TTFC didn’t get a look in. Our defence looked solid and we felt it was only a matter of time before we broke through to score a much deserved first goal. Many a frustrated word was exchanged between TTFC players, as a result and true to form, the ref threatened to send them off for foul language and then ignored the elbows and two footed challenge that quickly followed.
Just before the half hour TTFC put together some very neat passing in the middle and a good through ball put their right winger into the box to cross for tap in at the back post. This was their first real chance of the game so it was somewhat disappointing to be one down. The situation could have been much worse had Matt not made an excellent save down to his right to prevent a well struck shot from finding it’s way into the net. To the credit of the team heads did not drop and we kept pushing and won a rightly fully deserved penalty after a run from Jamie was abruptly ended by 3 defenders (and quite possibly one of our centre forwards). After the TTFC complaining subsided, Mr Turnball stepped up to the spot looking confident. The goalie tried his best to play mind games, but Alan calmly placed the ball and picked his place, perfect, bottom left corner, 1- 1.
The second half kicked off with BC carrying on from the first half and for 20 minutes it was pretty much one sided, some good runs down the left from Mark brought a couple of fine saves from their keeper. Jamie continued to look dangerous and Sam was a real handful. Pushing, pulling and the odd kick kept us off balance up front and made it difficult to capitalise on chances. The ref booked two more of their players and Heiko (I think) but I couldn’t tell you what for. TTFC also played with equal determination and had more chances in the second half, in the last 20 minutes it was fairly even with both sides continuing to create but failing to capitalise. Excellent defending from Louie, Heiko and Clive kept them at bay. Matt commanded his area and looked comfortable and even when beaten Clive was there calling on his experience, right place, right time and I think right cheek to deflect a goal bound shot wide.
Both sides kept pushing hard to the end but no further goals. The officials continued to make interesting decisions most notably when James was clattered by the goalie and then penalised. The centre forward was later heard asking the ref ‘would you have given a penalty if I’d of fallen over? Somehow I think not. We kept pushing to the end and Kieron was unlucky with a header from a corner that narrowly cleared the bar. With five minutes to go Mike was on the unfortunate end of another diabolical challenge, this was from the player that picked up a booking doing the same think to Sam in the first half. He may have changed his boots at half time but not his playing style. Hopefully Mike will make a speedy recovery.
The game finished a draw, three matches undefeated and much to be pleased with. Some very strong performances all over the pitch but for me Sam takes man of the match for his energy, running and looking dangerous all afternoon.
Goals Paul Tucker, Justin Hales, Kieran Harlowe
Man of the Match Kieran Harlowe
Match Report Jamie Thuillier
Four games into the season and without a loss, the British Club first team came into the game with great confidence and looked to build on their great start to the season.
The team that set foot onto the pitch to begin the game, without a doubt would have been feared by many. Turnbull Jnr/Nolan/Puncher/Clive and Thornton made up the back, with Thuillier/Harlowe/Turnbull Snr and Woolhead making up a very quick and physical midfield. It was to be the newest addition to the team, Paul Tucker, that would partner Hales up top, presenting us with a mix of class, youth, pace, physicality and spirit spread all over the pitch.
In traditional Singaporean ref style (although it was to be Tony reffing), they managed to turn up approximately 15 minutes late for kick-off. With the pitch slightly moist, due to the drizzle that had been and gone, the game got under way. BC started the much brighter of the two teams, having much of the possession and creating a few early chances through some lovely exchanges of play. It didn’t take long for the dominance to become apparent and soon enough the deadlock was broken. The ball was played into Justin, who then beat one player and offloaded a sublime back heel into the path of Paul, who was to then smash the ball home, giving the despaired keeper no chance at all. As f ing and blinding was the only thing to come out of the Pirates mouths at this point, the boys knew that we could capitalise.
However, as the game carried on, the Pirates didn’t let their heads drop and became increasingly involved in the match, beginning to create chances themselves. It wasn’t long until they drew level; a well worked move down the left flank resulted in a shot being fired, with Kieran making a great save, however only to see the ball ricochet off a confused Clive and at the feet of their striker, who then had an easy tap in. Half time. 1-1.
The second half began much like the end of the first, with both teams having equal possession of the ball and creating chances. However it was to be a stroke of class from Justin that separated the sides again. He picked the ball up just beyond the half-way line and then took off on a dazzling run, beating about 4 players on his way. As he edged himself wider and wider, I was there waiting eagerly for the cut back, but obviously he had other ideas, and he rifled the ball home past the keeper from the acutest angle. From this point on, the Pirates were kept pretty quiet and it was only a matter of time before we grabbed a third. Eventually the third did come, with Paul playing a delightful ball through to Harlowe, who found himself one on one with keeper and calmly slotted the ball home. Final score 3-1 to BC.
Overall, it was a dominant performance from the lads with Harry and Clive commanding the back, Harlowe and Alan battling in the midfield and the wingers/forwards using all their pace and trickery to open up opportunities. With some very strong performances all over the pitch, it is hard to call a man of the match, however for me I think that Mr Harlowe takes the award for bossing the centre and even getting his name on the score sheet!!
Goals: Justin Hales (2), James Morris (2)
Man of the Match: Justin Hales
After a full and successful pre-season the Firsts kicked off the new season confident of improving last season’s fourth place league position. Whisper it quietly – they are aiming for the EPL championship!
A much-changed team compared to 12 months ago was a result of some tough calls by the Captain, injury and absence; and representing the extraordinary strength in depth of the Football section. A back 5 of Matt Warburton in goal, Summers/Richardson/Fortnum and Thornton contained only one of 5 that started 2011/2. Similarly, only old men Morris and Turnbull remained from this time last year, Harlowe/Matt Woolhead/Jamie Thuillier making up the midfield 4, with Hales joining James in a very British 4-4-2. The bench gave further testament to the competition for places with Mason/Heiko/Whatmore and Nolan.
On a flaming hot afternoon that felt more like an early kick off than the 5pm start, the wisdom of so many changes to the team looked in doubt as we started very slowly. Neither the midfield nor the defense could get a foothold on the ball, and we were guilty of ball watching rather than closing down. On a pitch with invisible line markings both full backs particularly Paul S who blamed the linesman/referee/the watching mother and small child for failing to repaint them before kick-off, seemed to have difficulty getting their bearings markings and Fortnum senior appeared to be still p#ssed from Fortnum junior’s leaving party the night before. Only Paul Richardson was keeping things tight at the back.
Unfortunately that wasn’t enough and SBVS took an undeserved lead on 10 minutes when we again failed to close down their centre forward who took a speculative shot from18 yards which bobbled its way out of Matt’s reach. 1-0 down could easily have been 2 when a workmanlike but ordinary oppo came through the middle far too easily and shot from similar range to the goal, this time Matt had a better view and made a great save.
This was the wakeup call we needed, and we fought our way back into the game, some sobering up, others finding the missing fight, being hard into the tackle, first to the headers and quickest to react to the second ball. The patient passing game that had been a feature of the long run of fine form wasn’t quite there, but we were still creating chances, although the accuracy of the shot, timing of the final pass and coming up against a fine keeper all combined to keep us goalless. At the other end the defence was keeping their forward line quiet so it was just a matter of being patient.
We refreshed the team on the half hour mark with all four players coming on to ease some tired legs, and the team continued to press hard, finally getting our reward 5 minutes before half time when James made a fine finish to keep his good scoring run going.
The half time team-talk was all about the ‘need to win these sorts of games’; keeping our shape and form, looking for the easy pass. The team responded well and it was all BC for the first 10 minutes. Unfortunately several players thought they were on the rugby pitch and successful conversions were made by Turnbull and later by Harlowe , with the J-league of James/Justin and Jamie similarly finding space but unable to convert. We started to fear it was going to be another one of those games….
Finally Mr Morris got a lucky break when a potential Mug of the Season prize for slicing a shot from 2 yards somehow trickled inside the post to get us into the lead. He immediately subbed himself, no doubt to pick his Lotto numbers whilst the good fortune favored. BC continued to boss the game, with the midfield particularly comfortable against a tiring team. Another brace, this time from Justin was the minimum reward for our control. The first goal in particular deserved of mention in the move of the match as the defence switched the play from right to left flank, through Kieran/Matt in midfield finally a great cross from Jamie for Justin to slot home from 5 yards.
We had a nailed on penalty turned down, one of a number of strange refereeing decisions, and could probably have scored 6 or 7, but all in all a satisfactory start to the new season, particularly as we tired ourselves in the last 15. Difficult to pick a MoM, the firsts players seem to all play well or poorly at the same time and this game had more of the former than the latter. That said there was tireless work in midfield from Alan/Kieran, Paul R was man of the first half keeping the defence together, James of course deserves a mention for two goals. For me though Justin just shades it for his non-slicey brace and non-stop energy.