The biggest game of the season so far saw the Raiders travel to Curly hoping to "do them over" (Nate DG). A decent crowd was watching eagerly to see if the favourites Curl Curl or the fancied underdogs BTH would take the spoils. BTH made a slow start and probably gave Curly too much respect to begin with, allowing their 4 danger players up top to link up and create a couple of early chances. The home team went ahead through a great dipping half volley that stemmed from a simple long ball forward. However, BTH refused to panic and worked their way back into the game. It only took around 10 minutes for them to level - a quick long throw by Zak Brown found its way to Jason Lal who turned the defender inside out and dipped their keeper superbly to make it 1-1. The lads then started to get on top in the game, being very unlucky not to go in front through a dubious offside call (great finish by Haydos). The tide turned once again when Curly were awarded a penalty after a goal line scramble - Massey was judged to have man handled their centre forward, which didn't impress the referee or his on-looking girlfriend. The Curly CAM dragged his pen which missed by some distance, leading to mass calls of "they've bottled it!" from the BTH players and supporters. The lads went in at HT at 1-1 with plenty of positives to take and started the 2nd half as they ended the 1st - comfortable in defence and creating chances going forward. A series of referee decisions frustrated BTH throughout the 2nd half - the Curly CM was fortunate to escape a second yellow as neither the ref or linesman saw the late challenge on Goldy. The biggest talking point however was the 2nd Curly penalty awarded for handball against Dabinett at the back post. Up stepped a new taker, who did what his team-mate failed to do earlier and stuck the ball into the centre of the goal. BTH then stepped up the pressure and created a host of chances. Georgey, Haydos, Joey and Goldy all came close to scoring but it wasn't to be as Curly held on for a well fought victory. Plenty of positives to take from the game with the back four taking many plaudits for their solid defending throughout and the team creating so many chances against the league's heavy favourites. Goldy and Lal also adding to the cause with great individual performances. The result is hugely disappointing but the lads will be 100% ready for redemption when we meet them at Fortress Wyatt later in the season.
BTH Ressies travelled to Curl Curl to take on one of the most talked about Clubs on the beaches.
The state of the pitch left little to be desired, so much so that upon winning the toss Skipper Chilli Gueudinot decided to run down hill and quickly disperse the livestock that were grazing around the goal box.
The tone of the match was set in opening exchanges with rugby style challenges put on by both sides, We knew we were in for a physical contest. The crowd could be forgiven for thinking they were watching bit of greco roman at times.
Thanks to some spirited defending from Man of the Match Nathan Heath and Jack Collins (who was returning following a terrible outbreak of swine flu) BTH were able to dominate the majority of the possession and provide quality service to the midfield.
Special mention to Scotty McIlroy who did a fantastic job containing that giant 6ft 5 Curl Curl Striker, who out of interest has a formidable record on the Hungarian Pie Eating Tour (655 bouts 0 losses). The small field size put big pressure on our passing game to work well in the tight spaces. Blake Gaffney and Chilli put in another excellent performance in the middle of the park, combining well with wingers Savage and Gonzalez with some one touch sumba.
After a sustained period of possession and a number of close chances the long ball game finally produced our opening goal. Nikola Cucak latched onto big clearance from Keeper Ed Shaw and found himself one on one. Just as the BTH defenders were preparing for another 30 yard pass back he slotted nicely, sending the Curly keeper the wrong way.
Curl Curl were limited to hitting Belrose on the counter attack but were able to find some space in behind the midfield. Had it not been for a brilliant one hand save by keeper (and bday boy) Ed Shaw the scores could've been level.
A change in the second half brought Scottsman Chris "William Wallace" Leckie into the midfield. The opposition gave him plenty of space on the ball given he was wearing blue war paint and riding a horse. With a cry of FREEEDOOOMM he delivered a menacing cross into the box. Jason Sorbara leaped over 2 defenders and nodded home our second goal midway through the second half.
The final 20 mins of the game was very scrappy as fatigue and the thought of celebratory Coronas set in. Keeper, Shaw put in his best performance of the season with a number of quality saves and his first clean sheet. A polished first half and a tight defensive second half set up a well earned 2-0 win for BTH who now have 3 solid wins on the trot.