BEFC finally got the challenge they wanted against the TML's number 1, and most successful team Hibernian. To become the best you have to play against the best, get out of the comfort zone and discover new targets that can raise your own game to the higher level. As expected it was a tough match made harder by an unfortunate injury early on to center back James Pounder. Hibernian remained compact and strong defensively while unleashing fast and powerful attacking waves from wide and off the shoulders of the middle.
Despite the final scoreline (0 - 3) only the first was scored from open play from which BEFC could take heart. The higher speed and pressure making the match more of a mental game as well as physical. However it is far to say it could have been more were it not for the fine performance between the posts by Akito Shimizu. While one might say --- 'That's why he's our goalkeeper', Shimizu was consistently solid stopping powerful efforts and steadily cutting out crosses and delivered balls into the box. However it was later in the game when BEFC went chasing a goal, and slipped into pressing high that Shimizu won special praise from his teammates. Hibernian boast very fast strikers and the BEFC high line gifted them with the space to engage in direct foot-races with the defence. Shimizu was able to shut-down an almost one on one as the striker had got ahead of the covering defender, and then a fantastic one handed reaction save from the side of the box.
For a strong all round keeping display in a match where BEFC spent most of the time resisting Hibernian attacks and two key saves, Akito Shimizu receive widespread plaudits and becomes the Adecco BEFC Most Valuable Players against TML D1 Champions Hibernian FC.