Quite frankly this was the weekend of heroics with a BEFC Club Hat Trick of win against a domino effect of adversity. BEFC looked to get back into promotion contention by sealing a win against the Real Celts, who had managed a lucky draw against BEFC in the first encounter. BEFC were feeling confident of taking the three points until the match squad became decessimated by lack of players, with former Captain on haiatus Ben Palmer making an emergency appearance as a stand-in goalie. However leading up to the match the squad still looked decent until it was hit by last minute injuries, leaving only 12 players and one being a call up from BEFC Lions, Jeremy Joyce.
Jeremy had hoped to cover BEFC as Lions had a fixture directly afterwards, except when there was no-show he got drafted into the starting 11, of a BEFC line up without subs. By contrast Celts had turned up with a decent sized squad, although one largely unrecognisable from the previous fixture.
BEFC started brightly we nice movement and good build up play from the back. A little risky at time, but composed enough to bamboozle the Celts press and release the midfield who transitioned well into attack -- Sakk and Maki combining well to form the link between, as well as play in rampaging fullbacks, Simon and Katase. The opening play looked dominant against a Celts who regularly got opened up, and largely countered with direct hopeful balls. It wasn't long before after a nicely worked move Sakk slammed the ball into the back of the net and BEFC took the upperhand. It was also then however the disaster struck as Joyce, pulled up with a hamstring strain, ironically at about the exact 20 minute he was only hoping to play for! With the outcome of the game in balance Joyce valiantly stayed on the pitch swapping positions up top with Witvliet to keep the man to man balance, even if that only meant occupying the Celts center backs, and attacking space in the opposition box. Even injured his sacrifice and determination to stay on the pitch was a crucial factor to the final result.
Essentially playing with 10 men and no subs, BEFC had to be smart and conserve their energy and manage the game smartly. And while they did, it also didn't stop their verve in attacking and playing through the Celts when in possession. One player standing out in all of this was the early goal scorer Sakk who not only put in a huge shift tracking down the Celts in possession and putting in challenge after challenge, but equally linking up strongly with his teammates for the transition and then getting into the dangerous areas for attack. While at the beginning their was some concern for Sakk's attacking instinct to find him out of position, this didn't happen as he chose his moment to attack and defend incredibly well.
While BEFC continued to have chances on goal, the lack of an extra man made converting them difficult without overcommiting. And credit to BEFC, who where previously being naive, recognised their lead and maintained a steady pressure firmed up superbly by the defensive line of Simon, Humphreys, Yoshida, Katase and Kirihara. Keeping composed and disciplined, with good marshalling from Simon and Humphreys BEFC saw out the match, while still dominating it with good football.
The MVP nominations were very difficult. Largely because the entire team deserved it for the effort and circumstances. Special honours went to Joyce for sticking out the match despite not being able to run, Simon for his overall peformance and organisation of the defence, and Alonso who after 5 months out and not known for his stamina but in an immense shift as an attacker who tracked back to make some important challenges through-out the game.However for a complete performance in attack, link-up, defence, discipline and work-rate the final plaudits go to Alo Sakk, the Adecco MVP for BEFC vs Real Celts.
And while BEFC achieved a well earn win the story didn't stop their with Yoshida, Sakk, Witvliet,Katase and Alonso all playing to make the numbers for BEFC Lions in the following match. In which after a grueling full match, they achieved another 3 - 2 win over King George with both Witvliet and Sakk on the score sheet. And again a special mention to Alonso, who not know for his stamina, and totally wrecked after the first match left, only to summon up the inner strength and return to ensure BEFC Lions had 11 on the field. AND... Jeremy Joyce who increased his hero status by playing another entire match injured as goal keeper for Lions.
A truly epic tale. But it doesn't stop there as the saga continues and should be told here. The following Sunday BEFC were taking part in the MIFA Futsal Cup and also very tight on players. In that squad were Witvliet, Pandya and Humphreys.
However, after the Lions game both Witvliet and Pandya picked up injuries from clashes during the match and were unable to play the next day leaving futsal Captains Seth and Mark with four players!!! Witvliet followed through on the theme of injured goalies and stepped up, to step in as goalie despite his injury and last minute Masaki Suzuki who played the Lions match joined the squad to make the numbers. BEFC somehow again managed to put a team together and impressively went on the win the entire MIFA Competition!!
A thus that is the tale of the BEFC Club Hatrick! Well done to everyone involved!