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Top Star Tickets: 0 BCS XI: 7

This game was originally scheduled for June 12 at the same time as the US-England World Cup match and both teams were happy to not play that day so we could watch, however TST struggled a bit more with our rescheduled game.

The game kicked off about 10-15 minutes after 10AM, because our opponents were lacking numbers - only about 6 of them were present at 10. Despite the sweltering heat, we proceeded with kickoff and BCS XI got off to a flying start. We didn't have any subs, but we did not really suffer the effects of that as we were playing against 9 men. We had a couple of open chances early on with Joe Adu beating the offside trap but was unable to round the keeper on both occasions. He'll probably chalk those up to a little rustiness and the heat. Soon after, Darren got hold of the ball right around midfield and unleashed a low shot from about 25 yards out to the bottom-left corner of the goal. That one caught everyone by surprise, but shortly afterwards, Darren did it again. He intercepted a ball and lined up another well-driven shot to the very same location, beating the keeper on his weak side once again!

XI really dominated possession against our 9-man opponents and managed to create a few more chances that were missed. One came from some nice passing between Darren, Tim, Matt, and Ian, but Ian mis-timed his shot and the chance went dead. Another chance came from Nathan's well-taken corner that found Joe, but his rare header went well over the bar. Joe redeemed himself by running on to a bouncing ball on the break-away and lifting it beyond the onrushing keeper for his first of the game. Shortly after, center defender, Steve Houdlette ran onto a square pass and beat the keeper with a well-driven low shot to the right. The first half ended prematurely for Joe and Matt who suffered from light-headedness and a tweaked hamstring, respectively. The last 15 minutes of the half was played with 9 men on each side, but we still very much controlled the flow of the game with Darren coming close to a hat-trick when his seemingly goal-bound shot hit the post.

Given the heatwave and lack of a full squad for our opponents, we agreed with to shorten the second half to 35 minutes. The ref rightly showed Joe a yellow card upon returning onto the field for the second half, because Joe failed to inform any of the officials before going off the field to take shelter in the shade of the locker room. Unfortunately, Matt's hamstring injury prevented him from resuming his stellar performance in the game. Joe grabbed a quick goal to get things going in the second half after dispossessing the other team on the top-left corner of the box and curled a shot to the right corner of the goal. A few minutes later, the tireless Ian weaved his way through a few defenders and drove a shot to the left side of the goal. It was just reward for all his hard work. Another hardworking player who got a well-deserved goal in the game was our speedy winger, Andy Vesper, who scored with a long range shot to the right side of the goal. We had some more chances in the second half, with another well-taken corner from Nathan finding Joe's head, but the goal was ruled out, because Joe pushed his marker as he met the ball in the box. Another couple of chances saw Ian on the break-away, but was ruled offside.

Sam, who played his very last game in the BCS XI shirt, paired the very versatile Nathan in center mid during the second half and the two kept things very tidy in the middle. Darren swapped spots with Sam and kept goal, ensuring that we ended the game with a clean sheet, giving Sam a proper send-off. We used the last 15 minutes or so of the game to focus on our possession game with less emphasis on getting more goals. Our opponents outwardly expressed appreciation of this act of sportsmanship.

Special thanks to Joe for the match report. Well done Eleven.


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