Birkbeck sign off in style!

Tuesday 23rd May 2017 1pm

Birkbeck 6-0 Bentham Academicals

Match reporter: Chris Baker

The boys in blue continued their good late season form into their final match of the campaign and romped to victory in emphatic style, notching a 6-0 victory of Bentham Academicals at Coram’s Fields on Thursday afternoon.

BBK FC were pretty dominant from the off and were able to name (virtually) the same starting team as they had done in their previous encounter with C&R2 which is pretty much unheard of this year. The only change being Rob Carter, kindly volunteering to don the gloves and famous yellow jersey, deputising in goal for the absent Jack Cain and Matthew Jayes, who were both unavailable.

In truth, Carter was very rarely troubled, if at all throughout the game but a warning shots was sent across the bows about 20 seconds into the match when Bentham Academicals best player hitting a stinging shot from almost the halfway line, that flew just over the bar. This was not, however, a sign of things to come.

All the positive aspects of the C&R2 performance were in evidence early on as Andi & Mark’s burgeoning defensive partnership was developing nicely and giving the team a solid foundation to base itself upon. Sam Keenan was winning all of the bits and pieces in front of the defence and starting many of the Birkbeck attacks with his driving dribbles from deep. Chris E and Matt B were giving the team good width on the flanks while Jefferies and Baker dovetailed neatly in attack, with one coming short to receive the ball with the other making runs in behind the opposition.

Baker it must be said had a number of presentable opportunities in the first half and his finishes were consistent – high, wide and not very handsome. The one shot that bucked this trend was a low curling effort that beat the keeper but didn’t beat the outside of the post, as it clipped the woodwork.

A goal for the Blue Fury looked likely with the Bloomsbury boys fashioning a number of chances and putting pressure on with corners but the opening goal was not immediately forthcoming. However, when it did arrive it came in spectacular fashion with Paul Majewski volleying in from the edge of the area after teeing himself up.

Once the opening goal had gone in the shackles were well and truly off this rejuvenated Birkbeck side and it was therefore no surprise when Sam Keenan swept home from just inside the box after Majewski had played the ball into his path.

2-0 at half-time and BBK FC were set fair for the second period. The start of the second half was all about focus and concentration, as a two-goal lead can become a precarious one if Birkbeck had given their opponents any reasons for optimism.

Fortunately, the boys in blue were steadfast in their determination to get the job done and finish their season off in a positive fashion.

Matt Boyd was the man to score the all-important third goal of the game, as he did in the last fixture and it was another poacher’s effort.

Alex nearly scored what would have been the goal of the season down at Coram’s Fields but sadly his left-footed shot from a tight angle hit the side netting after a sumptuous and flowing attacking move in which every player touched the ball.

Steven Jefferies was the next player to get his name on the scoresheet and he had been threatening to grab a goal from the outset of the game. Jefferies seized upon some hesitancy in the Bentham defence to finish with the outside of his right boot from close range.

The floodgates were open now and all the Birkbeck players sensed they’d have a chance to get in on the act and add to the rout. Shots were flying in from all angles and distances, with mixed success.

Majewski added to his tally with a fine left-footed drive following a precise cross from the left from Boyd.

The goalmouth action wasn’t confined to the Bentham Academicals penalty area though, far from it. As Rob Carter was preparing himself to take a goal kick one of the Bentham players decided that the ball was back in play (he was very much alone in this assumption) and kicked the ball into the net. He protested furiously when the goal wasn’t given much to the embarrassment of his teammates and opponents alike. It was a disappointing moment that soured a game that had been played, by and large in the appropriate spirit when you don’t have a referee present.

After that farcical and rather amusing aside there was still time for Birkbeck and Majewski to grab another goal. The final goal of the contest being very much an individual effort from Paul, dancing his way past some rather tired and desperate challenges before lashing the ball into the net.

6-0 at full time and nothing less than BBK FC deserved. If they can maintain their personnel and organisational discipline next season the future looks very promising indeed. Two clean sheets in a row is surely unheard of?! A clean sheet on debut as well for Rob Carter well go down in the annals of Birkbeck FC history.

Special thanks to Richard Throup for organising things and for Stephen Parrott for his efforts and musings on a match day.

Have a great summer everyone!

BBK FC: Carter (GK), Bailey, Schmidt (c); Keenan (1); Emmerson, Boyd (1); Baker; Jefferies (1). Subs: Alex and Paul (3).


Victory at long last for Birkbeck FC!

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.

Groundhog Day for Birkbeck FC

Thursday 9th March 2017 1pm 

IPCC 3-1 Birkbeck 

Match reporter: Chris Baker

It was a case of Deja vu for BBK FC as they slipped to another agonising defeat at the Coram’s Fields.

It had all started so brightly for the Blue Fury in the first half. Setting about their opposition with vim and vigour in the early exchanges.

Birkbeck had created a plethora of early chances through their high pressing game and it was no surprise when they eventually went ahead. Paul Majewski latching onto Chris Baker’s flighted through ball before knocking the ball home with his left foot.

Further goals for BBK FC seemed an inevitable but the boys in blue were to come against a goalkeeper in inspired form; even if he was a little unsure of where his area was to begin.

The IPCC ‘keeper made a string of excellent saves as his goal was peppered with shots from all angles. The best two were spectacular reflex saves from Baker and Majewski respectively.

Birkbeck couldn’t find a second goal before half-time that would’ve reinforced their control and dominance over proceedings. So it was 0-1 at the interval.

The second half started in a similar fashion and the boys in blue were almost rewarded with a goal for their efforts. Baker pinged a ball out to the right wing to Rob Carter who delivered a teasing cross towards Majewski. The IPCC managed to just about bundle the ball clear but only as far as the waiting Matt Boyd who dragged his left shot just wide of the post. Nevermind, the Birkbeck lads must have thought.

They were, however, made to pay almost instantly for their prolificacy  in front of goal. The IPCC swept forward with a hopeful long punt up field which caught out the unfortunate Krish in defence and they made it 1-1.

A report of daylight robbery was almost filed with the IPCC after the equaliser but worse was to follow for the Blue Fury.

It’s fair to say that Birkbeck got pretty ragged after being pegged back and lost their shape but they could do very little about IPCC’s second goal which was one of genuine quality.

A simply outrageously good cross from the right wing, that totally dissected the BBK FC goalkeeper and defence was expertly turned in on the volley at the far post.

The lads in blue could scarcely believe what had happened but managed to regroup sufficiently to press for an equaliser with Sam Keenan making several lung busting marauding runs forward from deep. But whenever the IPCC back line was breached they couldn’t find a way past a goalkeeper that was surely having the game of his life. The ball seemed be magnetically drawn towards his gloves. Not even offering up any rebounds opportunities.

As Birkbeck pressed for an equaliser they left themselves exposed to the counter attack and but for an excellent save from Jack Cain IPCC could’ve found themselves well and truly out of sight.

As it was BBK FC huffed and puffed in vain in search of an equaliser but were then picked off on the break to end the match as a contest.

In the dying embers of the game Birkbeck continued to play in a positive fashion but couldn’t turn one of their numerous shots on target into a goal.

The Blue Fury will be deeply disappointed with how this very winnable game got away from them. If their results are to improve they must tighten up at the back and cut out the individual errors that are costly them so dearly at the moment. While becoming more ruthless and clinical in front of goal. The good news is they won’t have to play against the IPCC stopper every week.

If the boys in blue can sharpen up in both penalty areas then better results are surely just around the corner; as their play in the mid third of the pitch is decent and the lads always look comfortable in possession.

Next fixture: Birkbeck FC vs Warners

Thursday 30th March 1-2pm, Coram Fields. 

BBK FC: Cain (GK); Jayes (Krish), Keenan, Alex; Carter, Baker, Boyd (c); Majewski (1).

Birkbeck 4 – 5 The Children’s Society

Match Report

Birkbeck 4 – 5 The Children’s Society

Thursday 2 February 2017, 1-2pm

Reporter: Chris Baker

Two goals in the last five minutes from TCS condemned the boys in blue to a devastating defeat at Corams Fields on Thursday afternoon.

A mixture of very wasteful finishing and some sloppy defending was ultimately Birkbeck’s undoing.

BBK FC did, however, start the match in very positive fashion. Setting about their opposition early on with a high press that unsettled TCS. Steven Jefferies created two opportunities for himself through his tenacity but was unfortunately unable to convert either chance.

It came then as somewhat of a surprise that TCS got themselves in front with a goal of the simplest variety. Direct from what must have been their first corner of the match. 1-0 soon became 2-0 to the Children’s Society and their second goal was almost a carbon copy of their first.

Birkbeck were at sixes and sevens at the back and were left scratching their heads as they fell behind, lightening truly can strike twice. Despite these setbacks the boys in blue looked comfortable in possession and were always dangerous in attack. Paul Majewski soon reduced the arrears after firing low past the goalkeeper at his near post with his right foot. Game well and truly on.

Birkbeck continued to forward and were rewarded for their positive intent when Steven Jefferies turned home from close range. Chris Baker then spurned a golden chance to put BBK FC in front when he managed to side foot the ball an inch over the bar when a third goal looked inevitable. It was a real shame as it would’ve capped a flowing attacking move. Rob Carter did really well down the left wing and cut the ball back perfectly into the path of the onrushing Baker but he could not apply the necessary finish.

TCS were clearly rocked by this turnaround but it did stop them scoring their third goal from yet another corner. It was a decent cross into the box but their giant midfielder didn’t have to do much to get a free header and promptly buried his effort into the top corner. 2-3 at HT to TCS.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first. Birkbeck looking decent on the ball but TCS always posing a threat on the counter attack. It must be said that a makeshift back line of Matthew J, Alex & Chris E stuck manfully to their task & were a good unit from open play. Jack Cain also made a number of good saves as TCS looked to test him from distance. Krish also filled in well when called upon as our rolling sub.

At the other end it was a case of deja vu with Carter, Majewski, Baker & Boyd linking up nicely but the final ball/shot just wasn’t quite there. Paul hit the outside of the post on a couple of occasions. Matt B almost found the top corner with a curling left footed effort from the edge of the box. Baker again fired over when well placed and should’ve done better. While Jefferies and Carter were unfortunate not to get on the end of a couple of crosses.

You were beginning to wonder if it would be Birkbeck’s day but at the moment Mawjewski finally displayed the calmness and composure that had generally being lacking in front of goal. The striker shifted the ball onto his left foot and made no mistake 3-3! At this point there only looked to be one winner and the boys in blue thought they’d won it when Mawjewski & Baker combined with a neat one-two that set the latter through on goal. This time Chris made no mistake slotting the ball home off the inside of the post.

The celebrations were a mixture of joy and relief that finally they had taken one of their numerous and this time it would be decisive. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be as TCS’ star player produced a moment of individual magic. After hurdling a couple of challenges he let fly with his left foot and found the top corner. BBK FC will be disappointed that they allowed him to get a shot away with so little pressure on the ball. Take nothing away from the strike though it was a superb shot that gave Jack Cain absolutely no chance whatsoever 4-4.

If Birkbeck were crestfallen at having being pegged back so late in the game they would be left devastated at what was to follow. In the dying embers of the contest a hopeful low cross from the left wing evaded the grasp of Cain and fell into the lap of the TCS forward, who couldn’t believe his luck and he rolled the ball in. 4-5 FT.

This defeat will hurt for some time and the nature of the loss will sting but if they play like this more often they will win more than they lose from now until the end of the season.

Birkbeck 2 – 3 Athletico Pascals

Match Report

Birkbeck 2 – 3 Athletico Pascals

Thursday 13 October 2016, 1-2pm

Birkbeck fell to a narrow defeat in their second game of the season at Coram’s Fields on Thursday afternoon but it was a marked improvement on their display against ITV2.

BBK FC welcomed debutants Rob Carter and Paul Majewski into the fold while Alex performed admirably in an unfamiliar defensive position.

Athletico, wearing the same strip as their Madrid namesakes, began the match in confident fashion. Controlling the majority of the opening exchanges as the Blues struggled to settle and find their rhythm. Pascals were having plenty of joy down the left-hand side so it was no surprise that this was the source of their opening goal. Not for the first or last time in the game, the red and whites got an overload down their left before cutting the ball across the six yard box where their attacker was given the simple task of side footing the ball high into the net.

Matthew Jayes was being kept busy in the BBK goal and made several good stops to ensure that the score line remained at 1-0.

Paul Majewski was brought into the fray and started to cause the Athletico defence problems and give Birkbeck a focal point to their attack. Pascalls, however were determined to play the ball out from the back at every opportunity. Perhaps it was a mix of arrogance and complacency that led to the Birkbeck equaliser. Chris Baker seized upon some ponderous play from Athletico’s answer to Arda Turan; picking his pocket from a goal kick before finishing low into the ‘keeper’s near post.

This seemed to spark Birkbeck into life and shock their opponents at the same time. The Blues took advantage of this swing in momentum and one quickly became two. Paul M again winning the ball high up the pitch before playing in Rob Carter who produced a calm and neat finish to make it 1-2.

After this BBK were playing with a confidence and a swagger – dominating possession for longer periods of time than they had done previously. Pascals on the other hand were unsettled and Rob was as solid as a rock at the back for the boys in blue. Defending assertively and not afraid to carry the ball into midfield.

Athletico remained a threat on the counter attack, particularly in wide areas and they equalised on the stroke of half-time which was a real body blow for Birkbeck. Their second goal mirrored their first in many ways and BBK’s tired legs perhaps showed right at the end of a competitive first period. 2-2 at the break.

As you might expect things opened up in the second half and as such the contest became much more open and end-to-end. Birkbeck gave as good as they got but struggled to create clear cut chances while Pascals were robust (to say the least) defensively while also happy to leave men forward even without the ball.

Chris E, Jack and Matt B worked tirelessly in midfield while Rob, Chris B & Paul M continued to threaten in attack. Unfortunately, midway through the second half Athletico retook the lead and it is not a goal that BBK will look back on with any fondness. Having initially cleared a Pascals corner – somehow Rob was left horribly exposed in a two on one situation in defence. Matt J made a decent save at the first attempt but the rebound was not kind and the Birkbeck goalkeeper was out of position and could do nothing to stop it becoming 3-2.

Thereafter, the red and whites retreated and were happy to get men behind the ball – a what we have, we hold approach. Birkbeck were probing and patient in possession and with perhaps a little more luck might have found a deserved equaliser it was not to be. The Blues huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow the house down.

Athletico Pascals are a decent side so it is certainly no disgrace to lose to them, they will win plenty of games this season. BBK however should take great heart from the way they played, the effort they showed and how well competed from start to finish.

If Birkbeck can field this team or ones of similar quality and cohesion more often; then it is surely only a matter of time before they get their first win on the board. Definitely a step in the right direction.

Man of the match: Chris Baker for a record 12th game in a row! Rob – marshalled the defence excellently, showed great composure and lead the team by example.

Birkbeck FC Football Blog – Part 2

Match Report
Birkbeck 3-2 Goodenough
Wednesday 2 March 2016, 1-2pm

Your correspondent: Chris Baker

Three quick fire first-half goals were good enough for Birkbeck to see off their opponents at Coram’s Fields.

After a couple of disappointing results, the boys in blue were desperate to turn things around but knew they would face stiff opposition from a Goodenough team that came into the match sitting on top of the league.

It was to be a competitive contest from the outset. Before the teams had even gone out to get warmed up there was a heated discussion about the size of goals and rules that would be applied. The Goodenough captain/goalkeeper sounded on the brink of tears in the dressing room while pleading his case. Eventually a toss of a coin meant that Birkbeck FC would be playing with the usual goals and rules (as they have done for 10+ years).

Once the game finally got underway, Birkbeck were quick out of the blocks and started brightly. Keeping the ball nicely and creating chances, seemingly at will. Krish opened the scoring from close range after some neat interplay in the build-up.

One soon became two with Chris B notching another poacher’s effort from inside the penalty area after Gary B had miscued at the back post following Chris M’s surging run and cross from the left-hand side.

The third Birkbeck goal, midway through the first-half was probably the pick of the bunch with move starting from the back, being passed into midfield before the front two combined to present Diego with an excellent opportunity that he took full advantage of. Calmly slotting home a first time side-footed strike into the bottom corner to give the goalkeeper absolutely no chance.

At this stage BBK FC were looking rampant against a disorganised and disjointed Goodenough outfit.

But if the Birkbeck boys thought they were in for an easy game they were very much mistaken. Their opponents slowly grew into the game and started to dominate possession and territory as Birkbeck legs started to tire.

Goodenough fashioned a number of chances but found stand-in goalkeeper Rob in excellent form when called upon. They did however manage to pull a goal back before half-time when Goodenough’s eccentric striker (who goal hung for the entire game whilst wearing a bobble hat and mouthing off) scrambled the ball home.

The second half was very much a rear-guard action from Blues, with Birkbeck sitting back in numbers looking to use the pace and trickery of Tae on the counter attack when the opportunities arose.

Will and Gary stood firm at the back, dealing with everything that was thrown at them, included the threat of a jaw-breaking punch from one of the chunkier (albeit skilful) Goodenough players.

The game seemed to be petering out towards a hard fought 3-1 victory but unfortunately Goodenough pulled another goal back to make it 3-2 and ensure that there would be a tense and nervy conclusion to proceedings.

But the likes of Krish, Andi and Chris E worked tirelessly to ensure that the precious one goal lead was preserved.

And so it finished 3-2 to the boys in blue. A really gritty and determined display from everyone who should take great pride in a job well done. Onto the next one…

Birkbeck FC Football Blog

Birkbeck 7 – 1 C&R2

Match Report
Thursday 3 December 2015, 1-2pm

Match reporter: Chris Baker

Birkbeck FC continued their perfect start to the season with a thumping 7-1 victory against C&R2 at Coram Fields on Thursday afternoon.

The Blues dominated throughout and the score line could have been even wider but for some careless finishing. Midfield dynamo Ollie Bass was in a particularly relentless mood and capitalised on a poor kick from the C&R2’s goalkeeper before coolly slotting home.

Bass then doubled his and Birkbeck’s goal tally for the day by breaking clear of the opposition’s defensive lines and calmly rounding the goalkeeper to make it 2-0. Birkbeck by this stage were now totally rampant and creating chances at will and it was not surprise when Matt Boyd made it 3-0 with an excellent finish from a tight angle.

Before the end of the first half C&R2 did manage to notch what turned out to be a consolation strike and it a goal that their play barely merited, it was a well worked goal all the same. A good cross from the left was smartly turned in on the volley to make the halftime score line 3-1.

Into the second half and the pattern of the match was very much the same with Birkbeck FC dictating proceedings and it didn’t take long for the home side to restore their three goal advantage. Ollie Bass completing his hat-trick with a goal that was a carbon copy of his first.

The next goal then bordered on the outrageous (in this reporter’s extremely unbiased opinion), Chris Baker picked up the ball just inside the opposition’s half – he snaked past two challenges before approaching the edge of the area, he danced past another down the inside left channel before cutting inside onto his more reliable right foot before tucking his side footed shot past the helpless goalkeeper.

It was champagne football from here on out from Birkbeck FC. C&R2 on the other hand had totally fallen apart after going 5-1 down and were fighting amongst each other when they weren’t trying to hack down their opposite numbers. It was now time for Gary “Two Goals” Brannan to join the party and he did so after a sweeping team move, where he found himself in acres of space at the far post and rifled his shot high into the roof of the net. There was still time for Rob to get in on the act and give the score line the sort of gloss it deserved. The defender stormed forward and found himself on the end of an elongated one-two with Matt B and gave the goalkeeper absolutely no chance from close range.

It is thought that Nikos is still out on the pitch but hasn’t quite yet managed to score – it was one of those days for the maverick Greek forward!

This team seems to be going from strength to strength and a special mention must be given to the debutants on loan from the LSE – Pete and Charlie, who slotted in seamlessly during this emphatic victory.

Next up for Birkbeck FC is a match with Athletico Pascals on Thursday 17th December, in this type of form you wouldn’t bet against them continuing their 100% record.