After ringing the opening bell at the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in New York, Daniel Levy was in a punchy mood during a Q
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).
Charles Richards / @spurs_report I have written extensively about the new Spurs stadium and finance issues on this blog for the past two years. I get a steady stream of questions from Spurs fans keen to know more about the stadium, and the club’s financial health. In particular, the jump in construction costs to £800m […]
By Charles Richards / @spurs_report The Premier League is a show that never ends, and with the 2016/17 campaign done and dusted, attention moves immediately to 2017/18. While players enjoy a well-earned summer holiday (after the dreaded post-season tour), planning for the next campaign will intensify: the transfer market waits for no-one. For Spurs, after […]
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.
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
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.