The Club's Results

Lent Term 2007

BPBC 1st XI

FaT v BPBC Football Challenge (Football XI)

Lost 2-1 entirely controversially
am i playing? my diary doesnt accept emails (Tom C)
Presumably we can now surmise that 35% of you believe that 'doing an Ingers' means scoring a glorious equaliser in the last minute only to be cruelly denied.

Having never scored a goal in a real match in my entire life, a 90th minute equaliser from a left foot volley would have been something of a dream start! Was I offside? I honestly have no idea, but surely friendly matches should end in draws and unnecessary penalty shootouts... (Ingers)
Old boys, on a real pitch, goalposts for goalposts? A qualified referee? Single-figure scores? As Mike Goodson said, everything happened just like a real game, but without the skill. 24% of the electorate correctly predicted FaT to win narrowly but the 16% who expected a penalty shootout must be tearing up their betting slips in anger. This game had everything, including a last-minute drama not seen since the days of Roy of the Rovers. Actually the game didn't have everything - there no major injuries (predicted by 54%), no cards or fights (92%), no penalties (68%), own goals (54%) or streakers (48%) - but it was still a gripping contest and a worthy start to the series.

With the Black Prince contingent not numbering XI until just before kick-off, it was disconcerting to learn that FaT had myriad substitutes, a clandestine training session under their belts and a high-quality ringer at centre-back. Equally disconcerting was the colour of BPBC's kit (a garish red, and sponsored by that famous establishment 'The College Arms' of Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire). Nonetheless, BPBC's pre-match routine went swimmingly: an almost professional squad warm-up, a slapstick Subbuteo-style alignment to decide on positions and formation (4-4-2, naturally) and some excellent penalty practice, at least until the second one taken flew over the perimeter fencing.

The toss was won by FaT captain Bryn Garrod, who elected not to change ends, influenced by the fresh northerly breeze. FaT started the match very strongly, with striker Seb Rummenigge-Pancratz making some good breaks and testing the BPBC defence with his pace. Despite this early pressure, however, the end product was lacking, with only a couple of shots testing James Scott in the Black Prince goal. The main threat came from set pieces; Sam Lings won a free kick on the corner of the 18-yard box, from which Scott saved well from Rummenigge-Pancratz, while Jimmy Glass did his wall duties superbly, blocking a 20 yard effort from Tim ("yeah, he's rowed loads") Jarvis with his left arse-cheek. After about 10 minutes BPBC began to find their feet, with Mike Goodson's long throw proving a useful weapon down the right flank and centre-forward Andy Somers holding the ball up well.

The game was now proving very even but the breakthrough came half-way through the first half. BPBC had pushed up to the half-way line but lost the ball in the midfield and were outdone by a classic route one punt. Rummenigge-Pancratz outsprinted Glass and ran on to hit a vicious right-footed shot low to the left of the 'keeper. It was an excellent finish but a sucker punch to BPBC who had otherwise held a good defensive line and played the offside trap well.

Those who had forecast a FaT rout once again felt the wind in their sails, but they had reckoned without the old boys' strength of character. Not for a moment did heads go down, and indeed now came BPBC's best spell of the game. Dan 'Salvador' Darley released BPBC captain Neil Talbott down the right wing and Somers and Clive Ponsonby-Allen only narrowly failed to connect with his cross. Next a goalmouth scramble fell kindly for left winger Alex Summerbee, whose curling shot was bound for the bottom corner until it was blocked by a last-ditch lunge from a FaT defender. Then Des Walker ran onto a loose ball 25 yards out, and seeing the FaT goalkeeper Lorry Carr off his line (daydreaming, some might say) attempted an exquisite lob which only narrowly floated over. Finally the equaliser came just a few minutes before half-time, and a fine one it was. The ball broke on the half-way line, Talbott hit a left-foot ball up to Somers who superbly chested it into Walker's path. The finish, under the body of Carr, was clinical and no more than BPBC deserved.

1-1 after 45 minutes was certainly a fair reflection of a strongly contested but even first half. Despite the clash with the WEHoRR, the gate for the match was encouraging - about 15 spectators were present, including about 10 WGFaDs (wives, girlfriends, friends and daughters) who royally entertained at half-time with a dazzling display of skills. Sadly they hadn't brought any half-time oranges, but it was great to have some support - thanks for coming to watch, hope you enjoyed it!

With the wind at their backs for the second half and the momentum behind them from the equalising goal, BPBC's confidence was high. On the other hand, FaT's array of substitutes meant that their legs were fresher, and they started the second half the sharper. It was barely 10 minutes old when Swedish import James Strawsson ran onto a ball into the penalty area, shadowed by Glass. The angle seemed impossible, but Strawsson did well to hook his left foot around it. And then time seemed to stand still, as agonisingly the ball looped into the air, over Scott (who did well to get a hand to it) and in off the far post. Did he mean it? Who knows... Strawsson will no doubt claim the strike was a mirror of Van Basten's stunning winner for Holland in the final of the 1988 European Championships, but for the alumni, flashbacks to Ronaldinho's goal against England in the 2002 World Cup were instant and unbearable.

As in the first half, BPBC refused to lie down, and were strengthened by the arrival of a 12th player, John Byrne, which allowed 5-minute breathers for most of the side in rotation. Defences continued to dominate, with Tim ("well, he rowed loads in his first year") Jarvis, Will Dean and Pedro Ljungberg-Cunha proving immovable in the FaT rearguard, while Black Prince's back four of Goodson, Glass, Talbott and Din Holland (outstanding in his first ever football match) resisted the new opposition strike force of Tom Coker, Dan Jane and James Tanner, ably assisted by Chris Ingram in the Makelele role.

Inevitably, the match became more open as legs began to tire. Scott was called upon to make some excellent saves, notably from Adam Blacklay whose darting runs into the penalty area were a constant threat. At the other end, Somers hooked a shot just wide of the post, Talbott chased a lost cause into the corner and put in a cross which Tim ("ok, he used to row a bit") Jarvis cleared well, and a couple of corners just failed to fall kindly.

As the seconds ticked away, Black Prince threw caution to the wind and came so close to an equaliser. Goodson's throws from the right caused havoc and a number of goalmouth scrambles ensued, but on each occasion FaT somehow managed to hack the ball away. And then, in injury time, the fairytale ending. Another throw from the right, another flick on and a brilliant volley with his left foot from Ingram which escapes Carr's clawing hand and nestles into the far corner of the goal. Cue unbridled ecstasy: for fully 30 seconds, BPBC are in dreamland. Forget Wolfgang Weber's last-gasp leveller for Germany in 1966; forget Michael Thomas title-clincher for Arsenal in 1989 and Steven Gerrard's wonder strike for Liverpool in last year's FA Cup Final. This is truly Boy's Own Stuff... until... no! It cannot be! Simultaneously rapture turns to anguish and for FaT, despair to relief, as the referee's raised arm signals that Ingram was offside.

Devastation. Heartbreak. Numbness. Protests were barely mounted as speechlessness overcame the valiant Black Prince players. The penalty shoot-out they so merited by their display of guts and passion had been snatched from their grasp. There was time for one more attack but it came to nothing, and the final whistle sounded. FaT, in the most controversial of circumstances, had won by two goals to one. Barry P. Davies's video evidence came in a series of stills, and while inconclusive certainly suggested that the decision was questionable. It's not over until the FaT lady sings, but it is when the FaT-sourced ref whistles...

And now onto the pools news. Injuries were no more than minor; a twisted ankle for Phil "ginger winger" Horler, a studded calf for Chris Dunleavy and cramps and blisters in abundance. Will Laffan won two headers; Tom Coker was sober; James Strawsson didn't turn up on the wrong day (but I wish he had). Graham wasn't present to "do a Graham", but I'd interested to know what the 27% of people who thought he would think "doing a Graham" is. Man-of-the-match candidates from BPBC were James Scott & Mike Goodson, but the award went to Tim ("look, he's been in a boat once, honestly") Jarvis, with Will Laffan downing his dirty pint in absentia. And as for the post-match social, which took place in Wetherspoons and involved watching England capitulate to Wales and France steal the Six Nations with a highly controversial last-minute try - Ireland, truly we feel your pain.

Finally, I'd like to offer my thanks to Bryn for having organised the pitch, equipment and referee; to Bryn's friend for refereeing; to the RAF for having provided BPBC with kit; and to all who played and supported, especially those on the BPBC team who had travelled from far and wide to make the game. I for one am already looking forward to next year's re-match when surely the boys in red deserve the rub of the green. (Neil T)
Friendly match?? (Dan)
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