Thursday 11th May 2017 1pm
Birkbeck 3-0 C&R2
Match reporter: Chris Baker
Birkbeck earned a long overdue and well deserved win at Coram’s Fields on a gloriously sunny Thursday afternoon.
It was a thoroughly professional display from start to finish from the boys in blue, who can be extremely satisfied with their solid performance.
Mark Bailey, making his debut for BBK FC, slotted into the backline alongside skipper Andi Schmidt and in truth they were rarely troubled by a disjointed and at times disorganised C&R2 side.
Birkbeck where on the front foot from the off and pressurised their opponents into several errors early on.
The high press continued to be effective in the opening exchanges. With Steven Jefferies, Matt Boyd & Sam Keenan looking dangerous. Jefferies had the first notable effort on goal which was well saved by the C&R2 ‘keeper.
Eventually the pressure told and Jefferies put Birkbeck in front with a well struck shot that went in via the goalkeeper’s fingertips and the inside of the post.
It was the least BBK FC deserved after their bright start and they looked far the more likely side to add to their lead. Matt B smashed a shot over the bar before Chris B stung the palms of the ‘keeper with a curling left footed effort.
C&R2 slowly settled into the game and grew into the contest as the first half progress. Controversy struck when (some) of the C&R2 players thought they had equalised with a rasping shot. The goal was (in the end) rightly chalked off after their had been a foul in the build-up. The vast majority of players on both sides had stopped so justice was done in the end.
Birkbeck survived another scare right at the end of the first half when Jack Cain made an excellent reflex save at point blank rank to preserve the 1-0 half-time lead.
Into the second half and Birkbeck quickly got back into their stride and the pattern of the first half continued with the boys in blue dominating possession and looking the more threatening in attack.
BBK FC got a slice of luck that has deserted them in recent matches. Matt B’s in-swinging corner from the right caused chaos in the box. Steven Jefferies capitalised by turning the ball towards the near post and it ricocheted into the back of the net. 2-0 was a fair reflection on the balance of play even if it did come in fortuitous circumstances.
C&R2 heads dropped a little after going two behind and they got a little bit ragged in and out of possession. Resorting to rather hopeful long balls.
Two soon became three to give Birkbeck the sort of cushion they could relax on. Chris B was played in down the right after neat work between Keenan & Jefferies. Baker then fired in a low cross that was turned home close range by Boyd. The ensuing celebrations were a mixture of relief as much as joy as the BBK boys could see that victory was within touching distance.
The Blues looked the more likely to add to their lead as the second half wore on with C&R2 becoming more and more desperate to get on the scoresheet. Jack Cain was relatively untroubled in goal, which made a pleasant change after being overworked in recent matches.
Man of the match Chris E worked tirelessly in midfield. Never giving the opposition time to think or settle. His recent warm weather training in Malaysia certainly seems to have paid dividends on this evidence.
Birkbeck could and perhaps should’ve added to their lead as the match began to peter out. They were always a threat on the counter attack but their decision making let them down a tad at times.
There was still time for Baker to force the C&R2 goalkeeper into a fine save before the game reached its conclusion. It was a frankly outrageous effort that looked destined to nestle in the top corner before the shot was nonchalantly tipped over the bar.
On a very warm day with no subs The Blue Fury can be absolutely delighted with their efforts that were fully rewarded on this organisation. It was a highly professional performance from start to finish. Birkbeck showed a togetherness, organisation and game intelligence that has been absent from recent defeats.
BBK FC finish their league campaign with a match against Bentham Academicals on Tuesday 23rd May 2017. If they can play in the same fashion as they did today then they’ll have every chance of notching up another victory.
Birkbeck FC: Cain (GK); Schmidt (c), Bailey; Keenan, Boyd, Emmerson, Jefferies; Baker.