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.

My Euro’s – Part 2 by Dunstan Bentley

Which games did you go to?

France vs Romania in the opening game.

Fan Park for the Saturday Games (Albania 0 Switzerland 1, Wales 2 Slovakia 1 England 1 Russia 1)

Where did you stay?
Hotel in Montmartre – near the Moulin Rouge so quite lively. No trouble to be seen anywhere
Best players you saw on the day?
Dimitri Payet by a mile in the opening gamer – . His finish for the winner was nothing short of top class.
Kante was industrious and Pogba played some lovely balls through the midfield.
Romania were not there to make up the numbers- impressive at times and targeted Patrick Evra and often got behind him. Their crossing however was appalling but they were a tough team to break down.

Matchday/fanzone/stadium experience?
Heavy security presence but easy enough to get in. It was well run
We were in Corp Hosp which was outstanding – decent food and beer. Well organised and we all got a football to take home with us!
Fanzone was excellent and again well patrolled – Huge screen with Eiffel Tower in background. Lots of different groups mingling together – The Swedes Irish and Croats were having a rare old time together. English were decent by and large. A couple of dickheads fronted up having had two much beer but that was it. Great natured and a great place to watch Football
Overall thoughts and memories on your trip/tournament as a whole?

The tournament will be mainly known for the exploits of the minnows. Wales and Iceland won the hearts of fans everywhere. Albania getting their first win.
By and large the tournament was disappointing and this was typified by Portugal winning the whole tournament having only won one game in 90 minutes

Dunstan Bentley

My Euro’s – Part 1 by Dan Nash

So the dust has settled on what was a dramatic if not high quality tournament in France. Euro 2016 will live long in my memory as it was the first international competition I have been lucky enough to attend – something to tick off the bucket list!

I was based in Lille for five days and took in Italy vs Ireland as well as Germany vs Slovakia; and thought it would be nice to share my thoughts and experiences of my trip to France. However, I was not alone in my travels to Europe – far from it and I’ve enlisted the help of my friends who also went to Euro 2016 to help me paint a picture of what it was like for four glorious weeks of football…

I stayed in Cardinal Lemoine, central Paris, not far from Notre Dame. Four friends and I stayed in an apartment there, for what was part stag do, part football tourism!

We went to one game, Italy v Spain at the Stade de France. We lucked out getting that fixture, simply getting tickets in the ballot for that particular second round game, and that’s who we ended up seeing, after Spain surprisingly allowed Croatia to beat them to first place in their group. The game itself was excellent, Italy embodied the spirit of Antonio Conte and really tore into Spain, who were fortunate to have David De Gea in inspired form, otherwise the game would have finished 5-0 or more!

Italy beat him twice however, and the Italian fans beneath us (we were down their end) went mental as their team did them proud and won 2-0. The atmosphere at the ground was strange, you have 3,000 fans of each side at each end, positioned to make it seem on TV like they’re the majority. Really, there are more than 70,000 other fans in the ground who are simply there to be entertained, and from all nations. I guess the majority must have been French, and they were mostly supporting Italy – probably because they feared meeting Spain later in the tournament more. There was no trouble in the stadium whatsoever, partly thanks to the masses of security you have to get through just to get to the ground, and also thanks to the virtual alcohol ban – you could spend 7 euros on a 0.5% lager shandy if you wanted, but I can’t really fathom why!


I saw a number of top class players at this game, it was a joy to watch. Iniesta is a magical talent, defeated on the day but he just glides around the pitch and finds space wherever he goes. His first touch is always perfect. The two goalkeepers on show were two of the three best in the game, I already mentioned De Gea who made at least three incredible saves, but down the other end, Buffon was also superb, pulling off a couple of good saves himself and generally exuding absolute assurance among his defence. And that defence in front of him, Chiellini, Barzagli and Bonucci, were a brick wall. All were really strong and their concentration levels were immense, especially in the second half when Spain pressed for an equaliser. Other players who stood out were De Rossi, a warrior as ever; Busquets had his usual unsung, tidy presence; Morata caused problems despite being up against three giants in the Italian defence; and Pelle, believe it or not, played intelligently and pulled Pique and Ramos all over the park – and took his chance when it fell to him superbly.

That game was my highlight of the trip, but I also spent two brilliant days in the Eiffel Tower fan park, plus one not so brilliant evening, straight after the Italy v Spain game, when England plumbed new depths against Iceland. On the first day I saw Poland beat Switzerland on penalties among some very happy Polish fans, before suddenly the whole place was taken over by the Welsh, who delighted in their victory over Northern Ireland. In the evening we watched Portugal sucker punch Croatia, but not before taking part in a drunken game of… erm… lets say “free for all football”, basically where about 100 lads tried to welly a ball as far as they could, or head/volley it on the way down. Great fun, a few spilled beers, but no harm done! The following day, we were back at the fan park and this time it was full on rammed as the French piled in to watch their side eventually prevail over the plucky Irish. This park is huge by the way, but you could barely move a muscle, there must have been hundreds of thousands in there that afternoon. I can only imagine how much cash was made from selling beer and hot dogs in that place. It was such a fun place though, a brilliant experience and part of a brilliant trip overall.

I think overall, this wasn’t a great tournament because too many games were defensive or highly tactical, although a number of late goals did provide drama. I’ll remember it fondly however, because of being there to experience it for real, as opposed to entirely from my living room.

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.

Premier League Predictions 2015-2016

Is it that time of year again already? But before embarking on my latest predictions I wanted to see how I did last time out.

My prediction How they finished
1.       Chelsea 1.       Chelsea
2.       Man City 2.       Man City
3.       Arsenal 3.       Arsenal
4.       Liverpool (-2) 4.       Man Utd
5.       Man Utd (+1) 5.       Spurs
6.       Spurs (+1) 6.       Liverpool
7.       Everton (-5) 7.       Southampton
8.       Newcastle (-7) 8.       Swansea
9.       Stoke 9.       Stoke
10.   Southampton (+3) 10.   Palace
11.   Swansea (+3) 11.   Everton
12.   Palace (+2) 12.   West Ham
13.   Hull (-5) 13.   WBA
14.   West Ham (+2) 14.   Leicester
15.   QPR (-5) 15.   Newcastle
16.   Villa (-1) 16.   Sunderland
17.   Sunderland (+1) 17.   Villa
18.   WBA (+5) 18.   Hull
19.   Leicester (+5) 19.   Burnley
20.   Burnley (-1) 20.   QPR

So only 4 correct out of 20 which doesn’t seem great. I will take partial credit for Burnley as they did still get relegated. The top 3 seemed pretty predictable to me and getting Stoke’s placing right was pleasing. I’m also very happy to see that my beloved Tottenham Hotspur exceeded my expectations (it’s a rare occurrence). Even if in reality it didn’t make much real difference it’s still nice to finish above Liverpool and I’m sure Pochettino was glad to finish two clear of his former club Southampton. I suppose all these predictions illustrate is beyond the top 6 clubs how tight and therefore unpredictable the rest of the division is and I’m sure this campaign will be no different.

Anywho let’s move on to 2015-2016…

  1. Chelsea
  2. Man City
  3. Man Utd
  4. Arsenal
  5. Liverpool
  6. Spurs
  7. Southampton
  8. Everton
  9. Stoke
  10. Palace
  11. Swansea
  12. West Ham
  13. Newcastle
  14. WBA
  15. Sunderland
  16. Villa
  17. Leicester
  18. Bournemouth
  19. Watford
  20. Norwich