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Strong start to 2020

Bristol & West Men’s 2ndXI vs Cardiff & Met C

B&W were in good spirits after a well-earned Christmas break as they met for the first league game of 2020 away at Cardiff & Mett C. Despite the miserable Welsh weather, and the magical mystery tour the team were taken on by Dan as he searched for an available changing room, we arrived pitch-side, raring to go and put last season’s shock defeat against the same team at the same venue behind us.

The Mighty 2s started quickly by pressing high, giving no time for the opposition to settle and were rewarded with a short corner. The usual well-worked routine of going across the D and then firing it to the back post took a little detour and Pakchum “Poacher Varney stand-in” Tse popped up to slot it home, 1-0.

B&W penetrated the opposition D time after time with beautiful combinations from the front 3 and were rewarded when Dan slotted in his first goal of the game, 2-0.

The opposition found some composure and started to absorb the B&W attacking moves and push back, but the ever-present Kris “The Punisher” Knowlson made sure that they knew they would have to produce something special to get through by mopping everything up and crushing (literally) anyone that came his way.

With B&W pushing higher and higher up the pitch, the opposition manged to get a long ball to slip through and broke to score their one and only goal. 2-1.

Cardiff & Met were jubilant but they had forgotten who they were playing against……the team who had won 9 of their last 11 games, the team who had the highest goal difference in the league, the team who had crushed them at the Ridings in the first half of the season. Cardiff & Met went into half time under false pretences.

The usual half time oranges were consumed and after an up-beat team talk, B&W got back to the job in hand.

Almost immediately, B&W won a short corner but the normal routine of passing the ball left and firing it across the D to the back post didn’t come off, with the normally reliable Joe “Geronimo” John deflecting wide. This ended up being a feature of the B&W short corners, they kept being won, the gaps kept appearing but for some reason we just couldn’t slot it in - even Curtis “Lightning” Silcox didn’t get the rub of the green. Obviously, the well-worked routine was broken up with the Dan “dead-eye” Lusmore drag flick, but with one very good save off the line by the post man and another hitting the post, even that wasn’t doing the trick.

The constant pressure and high work rate finally paid off when Dan was put through to score his second of the game, 3-1.

Cardiff continued to push forward but the back four consisting of Rob “Rowdy” Hazelwood, Josh “Bambi” De Witt, Charlie “Reach” Blandy, Ross “Little Ross” Osbourne and Matt “no idea of anything to put in the quote marks” Hastings - along with Goal Keeper Duncan “Wall” Elliott - continued to absorb and repel the opposition’s advances.

With this solid foundation, B&W drove forward and scored 2 more goals, the first coming from Phil “Silent Assassin” Brown for a Browner special, in which he side- stepped a defender near the top of the D and hit the sweet spot, firing it into the goal. The second came from a beautiful break down B&W’s righthand side by Joe, who hit it to the top of the D for a sprinting Patch to close his eyes, dive (/fall) and sweep the ball into the goal, completely flummoxing the goalkeeper.

At the final whistle, the score line finished 5-1 - all in all a good trip away from home.

MOM: Phil Brown

DOD: Simon Barrett

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