The hills of Nagasawa were alive with the sounds of bashed shins and cracked woodwork on Sunday evening as BFC and King George battled it out to a 1-1 draw fearturing a plethora of goal mouth action, end to end attacks, and four yellow cards.
BFC began the game in defensive mode with Hendrick in goal, Romen, Rowan, Tomoki and Saco at the back shielded by two defensive midfielders, Pabs and Duncan. Yasu played as an attacking midfielder, with Shunsuku providing width on the right, Alex offering craft on the left, and Emil plenty of presence up front. BFC had several chances in the first but just couldn’t get past the woodwork; Pabs crashed the post with a header, Ender hit the inside of the upright, and then, after Joel had taken a bicycle kick to the head, Alex stepped up to take the resulting penalty, and – you’ve guessed it – the blasted post got in the way again. It was hard luck on Alex who should have been awarded a penalty himself earlier in the half after a shin-splintering challenge in the box that reverberated around the ground. Despite these promising attacks, King George also looked dangerous at times, and BFC were thankful to the officials for disallowing a goal and sparing Saco a red card after he brought down an attacker with a classic ‘deep tackle’ while seeming to be ‘the last man’.
The second half brought plenty more action. Emil cracked the base of the post from a tight angle and Saco had a powering header desperately cleared off the line, before wing wizard Shunsuku finally broke the deadlock, beautifully intercepting a clearance with a lovely touch before firing low through a melee of desperate defenders and a diving keeper.
It certainly looked like the three points were in the bag until King George broke from a corner and finished off a swift counterattack with a low strike from outside the box. BFC pushed for a winner and Rowan almost provided it with a deceptively dangerous daisy cutter from distance which was making its way straight into the bottom corner until the keeper scampered across to push it away to safety.
Despite sharing the spoils, there were plenty of positives for BFC to take from the game. New boys Joel, Ender, Yasu and Hendrick deserve particular praise for their contributions; Ender and Yasu demonstrated composure and tidy footwork in the middle; Joel was a constant threat down the flank when he came on; Hendrick saved the team more times than this (every so slightly biased) match reporter would care to admit. All in all, a very enjoyable game and a positive start to the season.