Helllo people!!!! After what proved to be a very positive start to the season, with promotion hopes high for everyone associated with the club – from the players, to the Champions barstaff, to the Boca-rones in the stands – this past month has been somewhat draining for both players and fans. Without a win since the 6th of April, the lads have gone on a win-less run which has effectively condemned us to yet another season in the 2nd tier of Gibraltarian football. Seeing as our blog writer has also been required to actually do some work when he’s been in work lately, the Boca Gibraltar crew have been very quiet on all fronts from on the pitch to social media.
But fear not, we’re backkkk ladies and gentlemen!!!!! After threats from some players who hinted they may be boycotting the ‘Fan Of The Year’ vote due to the lack of reading material that has been published in recent weeks, and after some very careful consideration, we at BocaHQ have decided to write you a blog for our past 4 games due to the fact that nobody looks back on them too fondly. We started off with a game against Mons Calpe with spirits very high in the camp as our last game against them provided us a magnificent 5-1 win in the 2nd Division Cup. This game however, couldn’t be any more different to the last one. With the Calpe line-up featuring 2 ex Boca pros in Cumbo and Kuka. They and their team-mates coasted to a 3-0 win with the pick of their goals being a sumptuous volley from their influential central midfielder for their 2nd goal. We looked flat and didnt particularly offer a lot. Crofo was voted in as Man of the Match with special mentions saved for Sols who despite getting booked, had a very good game. Eliy who with Crofo in the centre of defence had a solid game, and Mo who chased every ball down and worked hard. Mons Calpe had the last laugh though as they increased their gap at the top of the Division 2 table that day.
3 days later, Boca were in action again, in our brand spanking new kit, this time facing up to our ”bogey team” in Cannons. Having not beaten them in our 3 last games, this was our chance to right those wrongs and put ourselves back in the fray for promotion. Unfortunately the curse of the ‘bogey team’ struck again as 2 huge mistakes from Phil and Crofo were punished and we were 2-0 down within 25 minutes. The first half provided us with no positives whatsoever but this literally became a game of 2 halves. Paul managed to pull a goal back early in the 2nd with a very scrappy goal to make it 2-1, but in our desperation to get the equaliser, we were caught on the counter and fell 3-1 behind. Mo, Sam and Paul were involved in one of the best goals of our season though. Mo released Sam down the right who crossed beautifully for Paul, who tucked it past the keeper for what only turned out to be a consolation as Cannons – who also had a man sent off late on – hung on for a big win and remained unbeaten in 4 games against us.
Easter came and went and our next game dubbed the ‘Ocean Village Clasico’ was on the horizon. After our 5-0 demolition of Brunos earlier in the season, confidence was high amongst the players who were adamant they were refreshed after Easter and confident that they could repeat the drubbing they handed out to the Magpies that December evening. Unfortunately for the Boca faithful, the performances from our previous 2 games were being repeated once again as Brunos looked the better team in the gorgeous April sunshine. Eliy in goal was called into action numerous times and his defences were finally breached after some average defending from a shot that rebounded off the crossbar. A shocking goal to concede and yet again, we were behind. Karlo continued the Boca nightmares after showing up in our new kit when it was previously agreed, we’d be playing the game in our older kit, he had to leave and get changed while the game was in progress. A half time team talk and hairdryer later, Boca came out with intent and looked the brighter side in the 2nd half. We finally got ourselves on the scoresheet after a nice weaving run and Thierry Henry-esque finish by Hamza, who scored his 4th goal against the Magpies in 2 games. Bill – who came on to try and change things late on – also had a shot saved, but the main talking point was to come. Paul was fouled inside the area and Seb stepped up to take the penalty with 3 minutes of added time left on the clock. He skied it, thats all I’ll say and the match ended 1-1.
After 3 games in a row without a win, the fans were expressing their discontent by staging a protest outside Champions and delaying their arrival in the stands for the Hound Dogs game. Nyall had a shot thunder against the crossbar in a very quiet half, which also saw a Dogs opportunity spurned from close range. The 2nd half provided more of the same boring football till Bear was brought on. He made an instant impact and the Boca tempo was finally lifted. Our best chance (or should I say chance that wasn’t really a chance) came from Rick and Bear combining down the left with Bear crossing for Paul, who passed to Mo, who passed to Rick who didnt have a shot and the ball was cleared. Sighs were heard all around the stands as the Boca refusal to shoot cost us. Phil was called into action and made a great save to keep the scores level. Boca’s best opportunity came from Seb passing to Rick who had Mo running free into the penalty area on his left, however Rick decided to shift to his right and blazed his shot over, more sighs were heard as that opportunity could have been the one! Crofo had a header in the 88th minute saved by their keeper and that was to be last action of that game. Mo was voted in as Man of the Match for that game after he worked his socks off yet again, but sadly it wasn’t enough to get us a positive result.
So anyways, it wasn’t the best of months for all concerned with Boca, a month where we realised we have to improve if we want to be up there with the big boys challenging for promotion. Still, this should not devalue the hard work done by the lads earlier on in the season. There were a few shining lights from this month that we cannot ignore and have given us some cause for hope. Sam, Eliy and Crofo have been solid in the past month as well as Sols who enjoyed a full 90 minutes in one of the games and put in some good performances in the others, Mo too, has worked tirelessly every time he has been called upon. Crofo and Sam rightfully head the Boca Player of the Year betting with BocaBet (full prices will be up very soon). So fear not guys, there are always positives to look forward to, every team has a lull in performances, ours just came at the wrong time when the promotion battle heated up. We’ve got a few games to come this season, lets all enjoy them in the Boca way which is quite clearly the best way.