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).