Season 1 Match Reports Edit
10/13 9 -1 L Sangre Aztecas Edit
MATCH REPORT: Beercelona 1- Sangre Azteca 9.
Man of the Match - Jason Sims
TEAM: J Sims, G Webber, F BarraganT Squibbs, S Squibbs, L Elliott, R Buczman, P Hannah
Beercelona's inaugural game was one of two halves, both full of equal parts harsh lessons and promise for the future. A six nil half time scoreline didn't curb moral as it could have and the boys came back to only concede three in the second half and score one themselves despite some heavy legs. Footy in Florida saps the energy, even at 7;30pm, and the lack of fitness in the conditions was the main contributor to the defeat. Nevertheless, for the first time meeting each other the team was much more solid and kept a better shape in the second half and gave a far better account of themselves as the game went on. Between the posts Jason Sims put in a man of the match performance and managed to keep the score to single digits with some fine saves against a rampant Azteca attack. Up at the other end Ryan Buczman managed a classy finish to cooly open his account for the new season. It was a humbling result but a performance that left none in any doubt that with a bit of work and a better fitness, results like this will be reversed in the not too distant future. One thing is for sure, when Beercelona host Aztecas for the return fixture on November 18th they've got enough quality to get a result, it just depends on how quickly they can get their fitness levels up and learn to play together.
Scorer(s) – R Buczman
10/21 6-2 L Red Bulls Edit
Man of the Match - L Elliot
TEAM: J Sims, G Webber, S Squibbs, T Squibbs, R Buczman, Leon Elliot, P Hannah
The fans called for improvement after last weeks match and they certainly got it. A much more resolute and dogged performance from Beercelona saw them playing like a real team this week, holding their shape and communicating much better, and all this with one less sub that last time around. Switching to a three man defense and two pronged attacking formation allowed the guys to stretch the opposition, whilst maintaining a goal threat of their own. Ryan Buczman made it two goals in as many games to keep up his 100% scoring record. At this rate it will be interesting to see if Beercelona can keep hold of their prolific goal machine. Stephen Squibbs bagged a classy second for Beercelona to make the score 3-2 just after half time but the lads were unable to capitalize on some strong attacking play and after a contentious penalty made the score 4-2 to the Red Bulls it was always going to be uphill. Jason Sims, who conceded the penalty, almost turned hero up at the other end, latching onto a fine passing move, but his calm finish was deemed inside the area and was ruled out. 6-2 certainly flattered the Red Bulls who provided a much more physical challenge than last weeks opponents. Welsh Warhorse Gavin Webber and the Squibbs brothers found themselves embroiled in some tough individual battles and will have the scars this morning to prove it. Webber particularly was lucky to remain on the field after absolutely smashing the shit out of Red Bulls' biggest player. In the middle of the park Leon Elliot put in a manful, man-of-the match display, covering his defense, breaking up play and starting attacks. In truth there were many candidates for man of the match though, as everyone put in a positively herculean effort. It was a dogged affair at times, and sure when the team lost their shape they were punished swiftly, but when they held their positions the Celebration Red Bulls found it hard to play their natural game. Next week calls for better positioning again and heightened concentration in holding shape at the back and picking passes. Releasing the ball earlier and getting shots away also has to be a priority at the business end.
For two weeks into their existence the signs are promising. If last week the lads couldn't wait for the whistle this week was a totally different story. The lads left the field feeing that on another day they could of gotten something out of this fixture. Indeed with less than a third of the game to go there was one goal in it and they had the chances to square things up. It was just not to be. This season was always going to be about learning and growing as a team, if Beerclona keep on this path to improvement, the results will take care of themselves soon enough.
Scorer – R Buczman, Steven Squibbs
10/29 3-2 L Juventus Old Boys Edit
MATCH REPORT: Beercelona 2 Juventus Old Boys 3.
Man of the Match: Gavin Webber
TEAM: T Squibbs, S Squibbs, G Webber, P Hannah, L Elliot, R Buczman, J Thiry, A Butt, J Sims
Tonight was the night Beercelona stopped making up the numbers and became a real side. If last week they felt they could have gotten something out of the game, this week they will feel like they should of.
The manager rang in the changes, seeing a new first choice keeper in Tony Squibbs put in a big shift and welcoming new signing Justin Thiry into the fold in the wake of departing Fernando Barragan. Another Rose and Crown Academy graduate, Andrew Butt, was also handed a first-team run out. One which the young midfielder seized with both hands.
Tight, compact and with more than a modicum of flamboyance to their play the boys kept Juventus Old boys at bay for the first quarter of the game, limiting them to long range efforts and half chances. Buczman and Sims had a few chances to break the deadlock but were unable to capitalize. When finally the deadlock was broken in the 13th minute Beercelona would have counted themselves very unlucky. Nevertheless, a one-nil half time scoreline would have suited the lads. Alas, it was not to be as they conceded a sucker-punch second with moments of the first half remaining.
The second half saw Beercelona offer more of a threat. They switched to a three pronged attack, resorting to a revolving sweeper at the back and getting men forward. Buczman, Sims and Elliot all saw efforts miss by a hair whilst Hannah saw his header from a Sims corner beat the keeper but cannon wide off the post. When Juventus Old Boys finished off a counter with a neat finish to make it three nil it all seemed over. Barcelona lost Sims for the remainder of the half and squibbs and Hannah picked up knocks adding injury to insult. And then something happened. Elliot latched onto a clever pass from new boy Andy Butt and found the back of the net with a finish as crisp and smooth as a pint of Beamish. Belief restored the boys went for it.
Webber and Squibbs were Beckenbaueresque at the back, first to every ball and bringing the ball out with cultured aplomb. Shots rained against the Juventus Old Boy's goal, their defense out of ideas for how to deal with Beercelona's youthful insouciance. With 9 minutes left, after some neat interchange from Elliot and Butt, it was that man again, Ryan Buczman, making it 3 goals in as many games, nutmegging the keeper and sticking the ball in the onion bag to set up a grandstand finish.
The bit firmly between their teeth Beercelona committed men forward in a bid to find the elusive equalizer. It was all Juventus could do to clear their lines at every opportunity, offering Beercelona a chance to send in wave after waves of shots. A cultured one-two between Hannah and the impressive Webber led to a great chance and then with seconds left another corner floated to the back fell to classy debutant Andy Bell who saw his effort go just wide.
Juventus Old Boys, who cruised to victory the week earlier, looked glad for the final whistle, lucky to escape with the victory that they couldn't say they earned.
Beerclona gave a great account of themselves. Every man putting in a shift and leaving everything on the field after 40 minutes. Seldom has a performance such as theirs not resulted in victory. Next weeks visit to Aztecas promises to be a mouthwatering affair now, and one in which a similar performance could see an overdue and deserved win fall their way. Though defeat's steely barb leaves a lingering pain in the heart of all who feel it, perhaps Beercelona can take heart from Coleridge's eternal words: "Our own heart, and not other men's opinion, forms our true honor." This week, Beercelona had the hearts of lions, and with more bite in front of goal, victory will be theirs.
Scorer – L Elliott, R Buczman
11/4 ?? ?? Edit
Players – Connor Hall, S Squibbs, A Butt, L Elliott, G Webber, J Thiry, P Hannah
Mom - ??
Scorer - ??
11/11 3-2 L No New Players Needed Edit
MATCH REPORT: Beercelona 2 - No New Players Needed 3
Man Of The Match: Ryan Buczman
TEAM: Squibbs, Webber, Hannah, Hall, Butt, Elliot, Sergison, Buczman
After a bump in the road the week before Beercelona continued their search for a first win in ernest. At the back they were tighter than an Italian waiter's pants, with tough tackles and no nonsense clearances wearing down the opposition and almost moving them to tears on more than one occasion. Then, midway through the half, it was that man Ryan Buczman, lacking match fitness after a week on the sidelines but sharp as Oscar Wilde's wit in front of goal, who latched onto a Pepe Reina-esque throw from deputy keeper Stephen Squibbs to make it one nil. Good value for their lead, Beercelona limited No New Players Needed to half chances and for the first time all season, led a match at the half way point.
A sucker punch two goals conceded in the second half saw the pendulum swing back the way of NNPN, but Beercelona are quickly becoming known as a team that doesn't know when to quit, and after some neat link up play with Butt, Buczman became the first man in Beercelona history to score a brace, dancing past his marker with a grace befitting of famed Russian ballerina Mikhail Baryshnikov and slotting home from six yards.
It seemed like Beercelona were heading for their first point of the season, but fate had prepared a cruel twist. After Hannah pushed his man out wide, seemingly neutralizing the threat of conceding, a one in a million strike from the onrushing wing-half somehow squeezed it's way into the top corner.
With time running out, Buczman went from scorer to provider, setting free Irish bad-boy Leon Elliot, but he saw his cultured side footed effort ricochet across the cross bar and out of danger. Not for the first time in his esteemed career, Leon Elliot was left ruing what might have been if a few more inches were on his side.
With the clock ticking down Andrew Butt made space for himself and sent a fizzing drive towards goal, only to see it batted away by the keeper.
Beercelona started to find their attacking groove once more when the ref controversially blew for full time in what felt like a very premature move. The Beercelona boardroom are yet to decide whether to take further action as the referee also missed a blatant hand ball by NNPN prior to their third goal and also stopped the game after a perfectly valid Beercelona challenge and gave the ball back to their opponents.
It was a tough defeat to swallow, especially in a game where Beercelona led for large portions. They defended doggedly and limited their opponents to meagre chances. Indeed the defense has been the success story of Beercelona, who after leaking sixteen goals in their first game have only conceded just over half as many in the subsequent fixtures. It's in front of goal where they lack bite, failing to score more than two goals in a game at five times of asking. It will be up to the fellas to create more in front of goal, with midfielders needing to provide more thrust and for the front men to improve their off the ball movement, holding up the ball and provide goalscoring opportunities to those around them.
With the inaugural season at its half way stage Beercelona are getting close to solidifying a squad of players that should be competitive for the rest of the season. Wunderkind Conor Hall looks a solid youthful partner to the aged Hannah and evergreen Webber and if Elliot, Sergison and Butt can pitch in with some goals to help out Buczman then the future looks as bright as one of Disney's Magical Star Cocktails.
AD. After the match Buczman openly confessed that he was looking forward to the Christmas break, leading to speculation that he might look for pastures new in the new year if Beercelona's fortunes don't improve. His return of 5 goals in 4 appearances would suggest he wouldn't be short of suitors, with the Bernabeau or San Siro being the most likely destinations.
Scorer – R Buczman (2)
11/18 4-0 L Sangre Aztecas Edit
Players - T.Squibbs, G.Webber P.Hannah C.Hall L elliot D.Sergison, R.Buczman J.Sims
MATCH REPORT beercelona 0 Sangre Aztecas 4
Man Of The Match - C Hall
Beercelona knew what to expect this week. They suffered a crushing 9-1 loss to Sangre Aztecas in the first game of the season. They knew the strengths of the team and how they would set up and play. It was always going to be tough for the boys to match the league leaders for pace and fitness, so the decision was taken to lock up and play three at the back and two up top. For the first quarter of the game it worked a treat, with aztecas constantly pushed wide and not registering any chances on goal. Two horribly conceded goals in quick succession essentially gave the lads a mountain they couldnt climb though. They huffed and puffed without reply but in truth the forwards were always in for a tough night, feeding on scraps with no midfield to assist them.
Sangre aztecas are the best side in the league and it was always going to be a big ask to get a win, but Hannah fancied the boys to get a point. Essentially a lack of discipline and some lacklustre positioning cost beercelona what would of been a really tough fought draw, albeit one they looked more than capable of getting with 15 minutes gone. The saving grace was the character the boys showed to keep going, even after the set-backs. 4-0 in truth is a very, very flattering scorline, but we seem to say that quite often about the boys. They just need to keep working on positioning and concentration to prevent conceding soft goals.
The mood is sour in the camp after the game tonight, but next week is another game against a team who they've already played. celebration red bulls are a team that Beercelona will feel they can match in all departments so if the boys can come up with a game plan and stick to it then who knows.
11/25 ?? Edit
Players - T SQUIBBS, DFs S.SQUIBBS, G WEBBER(c), C HALL, MFs A BUTT, L ELLIOT, C MURCOCH. FW D. SERGISON
Mom - ?
Scorer - ?
12/2 5-3 L Juventus Old Boys Edit
MATCH REPORT- Beercelona 3 Juventus Old Boys 5
Team; Squibbs, Hall, Hannah, Webber, Murdoch, Butt, Buczman, Sergison,
Man of the match: Andy Butt
Beercelona started like a house on fire. Peppering the opposition goal for the first 20 minutes. L goals from Murdoch and Buczmman sent them two goals clear. It was looking like their first victory was in the bag after some near misses and false starts. Then the ref was shit, they conceded two snide goals, pete got injured, leon's hangover got the better of him (though he still bagged the third goal), the opposition team turned into nobs and somehow the game ended 5-3...which when all said and done, was fucking horrible.
Scorer – Murdoch, Buczman, Elliott
12/10 1-1 D Aztecas FIRST POINT! Edit
MATCH REPORT: BEERCELONA 1 AZTECAS 1
TEAM: Stephen Squibbs , Ryan Buczman , Connor Halll, Leon Elliott, Andrew Butt, Gavin Webber, Ben Unyolo
Man of the Match - Andy Butt
Beercelona have been unlucky this season. They’ve been the better side in many of their matches and have gone into games confident of results against teams they’ve known they could get a result against. Last night however, wasn’t one of those nights. Last time around they were on the receiving end of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of a quick Aztecas side, and to add insult to injury the squad were looking heavily depleted, with Tony Squibbs, Peter Hannah, Conor Murdoch, David Sergison and Jason Sims unable to make the game. Aztecs by comparison were on a two game unbeaten run after beating the side second in the league and following that up with a draw against the current leaders. In a deviation from their usual game plan, the boys set up with Webber and Hall at the back, with Andy Butt shielding them from a deep lying midfield position. Leon Elliot was ahead of him in the trequarista role, looking to feed Ryan Buczman as the lone number 9. It was obvious before a ball was kicked that to get anything out of this one, Beercelona were going to have to be tactically rigid, and play the game at their own pace rather than chasing the ball, feats that had proved their downfall in the preceding weeks. In the early exchanges they kept the ball well, breaking up the Aztecas attacks before they became any real threat, forcing them wide and controlling the pace of the game with some assured passing to feet. When Butt burst down the right and opened the scoring mid way through the first half it was more than deserved. At the same time the equalizer five minutes later was a bitter pill to swallow. The back four of goalkeeper Squibbs, defenders Hall and Webber and midfielder Andy butt were the epitome of discipline. Webber and Hall carried the ball forward with aplomb and Butt would drop into the gaps to plug up the Aztecas attacks. Likewise up top Leon Elliot and Ryan Buczman ran themselves into the ground, pressing high up the pitch, harrying their defenders and chasing down all the seemingly lost causes and half chances that came their way to allow the defense a respite and time to resume their shape. Not one man played anything other than out-of-their skin, everyone running hard from the first to final whistle, hitting their passes, making themselves available and covering his teammate throughout. Butt, however, was especially impressive, the water carrier and engine room for the team, breaking up the plays in his own half and providing the lynch-pin tying defense to attack. Inevitably, with such a thin bench the boys began to tire in the second half, but still they pressed forward and Leon Elliot hit the woodwork for the umpteenth time this year. The defense was dogged and Webber and Hall took no prisoners at the back at all, with some hard tackles and no-nonsense clearances. Squibbs also popped up with some acrobatic stops from close quarters to save the team. With the injury of Buczman, Unyolo came on and ran his socks off as a lone front man, trying to take the pressure off the rest of the guys, who were doing all they could to lock-up, stay compact and clear their lines after a grueling match. At the final whistle the boys swelled with pride, as well they might. This is a match that they would have almost certainly lost not two or three weeks ago. To come here without a win, depleted in numbers and play an in-form, quicker side than them took every ounce of discipline, intelligence and teamwork every one of them had. Essentially whilst in the technical department Aztecas might have fancied themselves, there was one area of Beercelona that they had underestimated, and that proved their undoing; Heart! The duck has been broken, the only surprise really is that it’s taken so long. But football isn’t fair and results don’t always go the way they should. Beercelona had been slipping towards not picking up a single point all season, with this tie, they’ve provided their doubters wrong and have a platform to build on heading into the final week!
As a personal, overly-rhapsodic, aside; it becomes evident as one gets older that the body won’t recover quite as quickly as it used to or allow you to do what you could in your younger days. I’ve never been injured before, but face time on the sidelines for a few weeks now and it makes me all the more aware of the passage of time and the fact that I’m no longer the 19 year old boy playing footy four times a week and twice on the weekend as I once was. For those of us able to play this game, it is really a gift, especially when it’s with your mates. But it’s one that doesn’t last forever. For many who have worn the Beercelona shirt so far, and for those who will adorn it in the future, your time will be brief, just a few short seasons and then it will be over. All that anyone can ask is that you leave everything on the field and enjoy the chance to do it while you can. Last night every single man on that pitch was a lion! Even from the sidelines it was absolutely infectious to watch and impossible to not feel every challenge and share in the highs and lows. The Beercelona boys really did everyone proud, not least themselves.
Scorer – A Butt
12/17 3-0 L No New Players Needed Edit
Players – S Squibbs, C Hall, A Butt, L Elliott, D Sergison, R Buczman, G Webber
BEERCELONA 0 - NO NEW PLAYERS NEEDED 3
Man of the Match - G Webber
And so the inaugural season of Beercelona came to a close last night. The boys ran their socks off but came out second best and fell to a 3-0 defeat against a team Hannah claimed were “the best we’d played all season in terms of fitness, speed and technical ability.” It was a game of few chances, with Beercelona chasing the ball for much of the affair without being in too much danger if truth be told. A few clinical finishes put them to the sword and they had no reply on this occasion.
It’s been a tough and gruelling season, but a rewarding one and one that has seen a band of boys from 4 different nations who barely knew each other come together and become a team of men. Throughout the season Beercelona won many fans with their honest brand of grass roots football and commitment to playing the game the right way. In truth the league table does them a great injustice, they deserved more points on the board and over the course of the pre-season more work will be done on fitness and finishing games off at the business end of the pitch as that’s the area in which they’ve struggled this term.
End of Season Review Edit
FIRST TEAM SQUAD REPORTS:
Ryan Buczman - A breakout season for Englishman Ryan Buczman saw him score an impressive 6 goals in 8 matches, a haul that ended up being nearly 50% of Beercelona’s total tally for the season. Though ravaged by injury, the war-horse played through the pain to make up the numbers for his team and ensure they always carried a goal threat. The side struggled to score in his absence all year and this will have to be worked on next time round.
Andrew Butt - Drafted in from the academy after the first few games, Butt seized his opportunity and put in some assured performances in the heart of the midfield. His passing and tough tackling in the engine-room was pivotal in everything Beercelona did well this term. As the season progressed he became more and more instrumental to the side and his man of the match performance against Aztecas capped off a fine first term.
Leon Elliot - Irish rogue Leon Elliot came to Beercelona with a checkered past and questions abounding over his off-field discipline. He swiftly silenced those critics by being a model performer on the pitch and leader both on and off of it. No one feels the lows or the highs as much as Elliot who has been a bastion of guile and heart all over the pitch this season. The man the teams legions of female fans have affectional christened; “he of the golden wand” came back from Vegas not once, but twice in as many weeks to ensure he made the games, whatever his condition. A slurry of assists and two great goals make him an important part of the side.
Conor Hall - Another Rose and Crown academy graduate who impressed with a sturdy string of assured performances this season was Conor Hall. Steadfast and powerful Hall formed a solid partnership with Webber as the season drew on, making Beercelona tough to break down. His careening forays forward into the opposition half were rewarded with a goal and his pace and toughness in the challenge got Beercelona out of trouble more than once.
Peter Hannah - Hannah endured a frustrating season, missing the business end through injury just as he was getting going. With a thorough pre-season he’ll hope to be back next term to add depth to a squad that was, at times, short of numbers.
Conor Murdoch - Another promising talent, Conor Murdoch emerged mid-way through the season and put in some scintillating performances that saw him score two goals in as many games. Bad luck forced him to miss the final games, but Murdoch promises to be one to watch next season.
David Sergison - Scouser David Sergison grew in form and fitness as the season went on, but was unable to cap his efforts with a goal. Full of heart and technical prowess for sure, one hopes that with a full pre-season behind him he can provide the foil to Buczman that the team lacked this season.
Stephen Squibbs - Mr. Versatility, Stephen Squibbs played more positions than anyone this season. Starting out as a holding midfielder and dropping into defense Squibbs also popped up in the forward line and scored in the 3-2 loss to Juventus Old boys in the first half of the season. With the injury to his brother Tony he played the second half of the season in goal where his cat-like reflexes and tinder exploits earned him the name “pussyman.”
Tony Squibbs - Barcelona’s first choice keeper was playing some great stuff until a finger injury curtailed his season. A man of the match display against Aztecas seemed to be a sign that more was to come from the experienced stopper but alas, this was not to be a lucky season for Beercelona on the injury front and he was forced to watch from the sidelines.
Gavin Webber - The only player aside from Leon Elliot who played every game this season, Webber’s dedication to making the games was matched only by his dedication IN them. An ever-present in the heart of defense his performances grew more and more assured and cultured as the season went on and he added sashaying runs and an impressive pass completion ration to his ability to read the game from the back. Chris Coleman has sad that’s he’d love to make Webber (who is also eligible for England through his parents) a part of his Euro 2016 squad should he reverse his decision to retire from international football.
All that remains are the end of season awards which take place at Casa Squibbs on Wednesday 23rd. Suit’s will be mandatory as the networks will be on the red carpet. Limos will arrive at 6:30.