The first Boca v Brittannia clash in 2013/2014 ended in devastating disappointment as the Brittanials ran out 4-1 winners. The game seemed to be over as a contest within the first half as they raced to a 3-0 lead sometimes making it seem as if our defence wasn’t even playing in the game. The 2nd half was a marked improvement on the first as Boca seemed more in the game and we quickly got a goal back through Nyall but a 4th ‘nail in the coffin’ from them, late on in the 2nd half rounded off a disappointing evening’s work and consigned Boca to their 1st defeat of the season.
A Bear special was the early news from the changing rooms, he had forgotten his shorts at home and either had to dash home and get them or borrow someone else’s, I think he did the latter as he was too caught. (the guy can’t stay away from the headlines, Boca’s own non-violent Joey Barton). But anyways….Boca started off with Eliy in goal due to Pippo being away on his graduation, Sam, Cortez on his debut partnered Crofo with Nyall on the left. Bear and Sean were the central midfielders with Sene, Rick and Mo in front of them and Seb up top. As the teams were lined up for their pre-match handshake, the fans could hear murmurs from the players voicing their displeasure at the amount of fans (they were about 6 at kick off). On the bright side though, the fans had B15L’s drum which was also making its debut to use to try and increase the atmosphere in the stands.
The game kicked off and the numbers of fans was slowly increasing, good signs for Boca off the pitch, on the pitch though, it was a totally different story. I don’t even think I’d sipped a ¼ of my pint or smoked a full backy before Britannia had already taken the lead. It was a well worked goal and a shot from outside the box flew into the top corner with Eliy well beaten. Before my 2nd backy was even lit, the game drifted ever further away from Boca as Brits scored their 2nd thanks to some very average defending. The ball was worked down the left flank and played into a central area, and with our defence nowhere to be seen, the ball was fired into the net.
Boca’s confidence had taken a huge knock and nobody on the pitch seemed switched on. Brits kept dominating the game and Sene and Mo even switched flanks to try and regain control. The ref was having a bit of a laugh by the looks of it and booked Karlos for dissent, yet another yellow for dissent may I say, yet kicking the ball away and stopping a quick free kick being taken are rarely punished in this league. An unnecessary comment of ‘wanking makes you blind’ was also heard in the stands, displaying the clear discontent against the ref from the fans.
Boca’s first genuine attempt at goal was thanks to some great work by Rick who played a great ball to Mo who swivelled but shot wide of the target, Boca were finally showing some signs of life much to the crowd’s (and drums) joy. Our best effort of the half came as Seb had a surging run forward but got smothered by the keeper, the ball ricocheted out to Rick and as the fans in the stand rose to cheer, their keeps made a miraculous save to keep it at 2-0. Not long after that thought, the game was, as Andy Gray stated in Istanbul 2005, ‘well and truly over’. Their much talked about midfielder who has dominated previous games against other teams played a neat 1-2 with their front man, ghosted into the box and easily finished past Eliy. Again the defence was not to be seen and the Brits fans (who invaded our section of the stands…wankers) were certain that the game was all over. A nervy Boca thanked the heavens that the half time whistle blew.
Kow was kitted off straight after half time and came on to replace the debutant who had a tough game at the back, Bear went into partnering Crofo with Kow to right mid and Karlos to the David Silva role. Boca looked the much brighter team in this half with more control over the ball and more confidence. Seb had a silky run, and while he twisted and turned in the area, he shot straight at the keeper. Trevor was then brought on for Mo who had run his heart out for cause, the white Carlton Cole just ran out of steam. Yet another yellow was given to Rick for dissent, I reiterate my point above. Sene was enjoying himself in his trequartista role and cut in from the left side of the box only to slice wide with his weaker foot. Rick also had a good effort which he put wide. It’s becoming abundantly clear on this performance, our shooting desperately needs sorting out or we’re not going to challenge for the vital positions.
The biggest cheer of the game so far was heard as soon as the crowd saw B15l warming up; he replaced Sean for his long-awaited first appearance of the season. Superb build up play then coincided with B15l coming on and Sene was fouled (their twitter claimed it was random, I claim it was a stone wall penalty, they’re wrong, I’m right) just inside the box. Peeeeeeeeeeeeen to Boca! Our top scorer stepped up and dispatched the penalty without any fuss. Our very own Roberto Soldado now has 3 goals and leads the goalscoring charts. The fans went mental, the drum was banged and ‘we’re gonna win it 4-3 was the cry from the optimistic crowd’.
That joy was short-lived though as they went up the other end by ripping open the defence again, and despite Crofo’s best attempts at an interception, Martin Lobb coolly slotted his side’s 4th to silence the crowd for one final time. The final whistle quickly followed and a first defeat of the season was confirmed. Pep was condemned to his first defeat of his Boca managerial career too. The journalists who were writing the headlines such as ‘unbeaten in 4 games’ and ‘the best start to a season ever’ have now changed their voice to ‘no wins in 3’ and ‘lack of shooting prowess costs Boca again’.
Boca Man of the match sponsored by Twix, went to Stuart Crawford who had a very solid game despite the 4 goals conceded. He managed to play with 2 different defensive partners and also playing like he did; it ensured the scoreline stayed at 4. Without his vital tackles and interceptions, the score could so easily have been more.
A demoralising defeat for the lads who now haven’t won in 3, I’m not gonna beat around the bush, we were generally outplayed, but with some key players missing and an improved 2nd half performance, I think there is a lot to be positive about. Players are proud to wear the shirt, players are getting annoyed if they’re not winning or playing, and this is exactly what we need. It’s not the same old Boca; this is a different Boca who will hopefully continue to deliver positive results for the Boca family. Onto the next game!