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Baller FC: 5 BCS XI: 1

This game was once again delayed because of the atrocious weather this Fall. When we couldn't play on Saturday the 14th we planned to play the next Saturday before the league awards ceremony. However, the league president informed us that we must play before Saturday because this game affected the teams at the top of the table and he needed time to order the proper trophies for the winners. So, we reluctantly agreed to play the next day, Sunday the 15th in Lancaster at 12pm. This came about after almost a full day of back and forth calling between us and them, and our own players to see if it would even be possible to field a team on such short notice. We decided to go for it.

We arrived knowing that we would have 9 players for the whole game. One of these players had barely kicked a ball for 3 months after being stuck in Turkey on military duty, and another had visa problems and was delayed coming back to the US from the UK and had arrived at 11pm the night before... tip top physical form after hopping the pond to play. We saw multiple players suffering from cramps even before the halftime whistle, and we knew with no subs and 2 men down battling one of the best teams in the league who had more than enough guys there, we would really have to work hard.

We did work hard. We went up 1-0 in the first 2 minutes of the game when Mark went screaming down the left flank, cut back inside and blasted one past the keeper at the far post. He gladly went sliding down the hill on his knees in his almost famous "Torres" slide.

We continued to fight for ever ball, and everyone on the team worked extra hard to keep us in it. After about 20 minutes we let in one goal, and quickly let in another. Both were a bit unlucky, and Sam nearly saved them. He played well in goal, and just couldn't manage to get the ball to stick to his hands as he fell on it.

This took some of the wind from our sails but we still felt like we weren't totally out of it. At the half we got as much rest as possible and had good positive conversation. We came out flying. The first 10 minutes we had them on the back foot and the ball practically didn't leave their half of the pitch. However, we just couldn't manage to get another one in the net, and our energy really started to wane as they overloaded one side of the attack or the other.

Our attackers tracked back and helped out and the backline made quite a few fearless tackles. In the end we just couldn't keep up with the 2 man advantage, especially with them bringing in fresh legs from substitutions and we began to ship goals until the scoreline was probably a bit flattering to them compared to how valiantly the 9 of us played.

The match couldn't end with out a few cards. We had a couple and they managed to get some, particularly their attackers, one of which continually complained about the off side calls, despite constantly being off side. Also, the biggest guy on the field clearly hacked and took down Erhan right after a kick off, and Houdlette in our own box earning him his second yellow, and his marching orders. He continued to mouth off to the ref and everyone on the field, including his whole team, as he had during the match.

We feel confident that things would have been dramatically different had we been able to play with our full squad, or even something more like it. However, we were a little let down by some of our own players, but even more so by the league who pressured us into this type of a rematch when we neither team was happy about the lack of time to set things up properly.


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