BCS XI came to this game with second place and promotion locked up. There was no possibility of moving up or down in the standings, but we still came dedicated to finishing this season strongly. Nearly all of our squad had arrived an hour early for pre-game warm-ups. Unfortunately, the same could not have been said about our opponent TopStarTickets, who were possibly mired by the certainty of finishing in the bottom half of the bracket and did not even have seven players ready to play until 10 minutes past the scheduled start of the match.
The match began with BCS XI fielding 11 against TopStar's 7, but started out at a somewhat casual pace. However, the intensity gradually picked up and some quick passing from Joe and Armand found Chika open on the far post for an early goal. It was the only goal that we scored before TopStar came up to full strength with players trickling in throughout the first 20 minutes of the game. Our second goal came from an incredible strike, driven hard from 25 yards out and off the right post by Andy Vesper.
We ended the shortened half at 2-nil. Both halves were reduced to 35 minutes due to the late start and the tightly booked referees refusing to let us play longer.
The second half scoring began with a free kick that Logan took quickly right over to Darren who chipped the defender back to Logan who made a spectacular effort by keeping the play alive in the box, and finding the space to lob a very tight angle shot almost over the keeper, who could only palm the ball down into the feet of Stu who finished on the far post. Chika nearly had a second goal on the day, but his effort struck the post and the ball rolled down the line, toward Logan only to be disastrously mis-cleared by a TopStar defender, who rebounded it off his teammate and straight back into the net. Matt capped off the scoring by netting the fifth and final goal with a left-footed, amazing half volley .
We firmly controlled this match, with Darren and Vesper dominating in the midfield. We put up a solid defense, anchored by Nathan and Ian at center back, with support from James, Hoot and Ye out wide. Our keeper Dave remarked that it was one of the easiest clean sheets that he has kept, but he certainly put in his work today by grabbing up loose balls and even taking a couple of collisions from a TopStar striker that didn't seem to know when to stop. This is the eighth clean sheet out of the 18 matches this year. There's no doubt that Dave made a great contribution this season in making that possible.
Well done, BCS XI. It was a great team display. Let's extend this great momentum through the last two games of the season and into Division 3!