Bute FC 1 - 2 Sports Friends
I hoped this day would never come. The day where I will have to describe a loss.
To set the seen, a late kick off, in the dark, under lights paired with heavy rain foreshadowed a hallowed evening. Our numbers came out in force. 21 souls braving wind and rain to give themselves to a valiant cause. The final bits of new kit were distributed, and a picture followed. This day was marked, but for the wrong reasons.
The game set off to a fast pace. Both teams pressing high and closing down quickly, the ball pin-balling between defences. 20 minutes passed with a clear opportunity for neither team, but us firmly positioned in the middle third pressing into their half. We posed a threat on the ball, but found ourselves stopped on the edge of the box each time. During the later stages of the half, we started to assert some dominance on the game. Breaking quickly from the back each time their midfield ventured forward, quelling attacks without threat on goal. We deserved to lead. We didn’t deserve to concede.
A cross down their right flank was blocked, leading to a corner. The delivery was good, their best of the match so far, dropping just outside the six yard box to a on rushing scrum of attackers. They rose high and made contact, heading the ball down, causing problems for the goalkeeper who may be disappointed not to have done better. That was the last action of the half. No chance for a swift reply. Frustration filled the air at half time. We had much left on the bench, and felt we should be ahead. Losing is not a sensation we are, nor will become accustomed to. To a man, we had been excellent. Never have I seen so many strong tackles from both sides but we had an edge. Their midfield had been outplayed.
The second half resumed and more of the same continued. Back and forth between the edge of their box and the half way line. Eventually the pressure gave, and we were awarded a penalty following a long kick from the goalkeeper into the opposition box. Up stepped Kieran, to extend his goal tally further, slotting the ball calmly into the right hand side netting. We were back in the game. We knew we could win this. In the words of Michael Owen, if we score another goal and the opposition don’t we would probably win.
Unfortunately it was not to be. A cruel twist of fate lay ahead. As if to dig the knife deeper, it afflicted the match’s standout performer so far Ben. An unnecessary foul on the right edge of our box gave them a set piece in dangerous position. A 3 man wall protected the near post, the ball was drilled past them into the corridor of uncertainty. Ben was across quickly, a fraction ahead of their striker. The ball skidded of the artificial turf, striking Ben’s standing leg and ricocheting off the inside of the post into the bottom corner. Stunned to silence. We again were a goal behind, this time with 15 minutes of the game left.
We pushed forward, higher and higher. The pressure building. Chances falling to our feet, and unfortunately Miles to the ground. Clutching his limp shoulder, he was taken from the pitch. His contribution to the game was immense, and his presence missed in the remaining 10 minutes of the match.
We had a stone wall penalty denied by the referee, who seemed to have trouble locating his whistle at times during the game. Kieran faced goal inside the box having beaten the defence for pace only to be fouled (or deemed not to have been) from behind as he prepared to shoot. Alas, it was not to be. For all our efforts , the streak was ended. An unbeaten 10 months came to an end (last loss in April). A harrowing evening for us all, but to truly know the sweetness of victory you must taste the bitterness of defeat. Our season is not over. This league is not done. It is ours to be taken.
“A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you *stand, Men of Bute FC!”
MOTM: Lochlan - Honestly, he could have been named my MOTM in virtually every game he has played this season. Impressively consistent throughout the season and crucial to our defensive record. Unfortunately we didn’t win, but without Lochlan it could have been many more. Everyone was excellent today, and I could write about each and every performance in glowing terms.
Dick of the Day: Omer Hamour - Apparently he has friends. Apparently they had a birthday. I say the loss was totally his fault. Objections? No? Did’t think so.