Sportspy Reports – Sunday February 13th 2011

Action from the Division 2 & 3 Cup this morning.  Division 3 leaders Boars Head FC remained unbeaten in the league but they faced a sterner task in the Cup today against higher league opposition in the shape of Bloomfield Hotel FC.  The Bloomfield were fourth in the Division 2 table and enjoying a good season.  Stanley Park was the venue, who would go on to reach the last eight?

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Last season in the old Division 2B, the Boars Head FC had an indifferent and inconsistent campaign when finishing in seventh spot.  They managed to win ten, draw four and lose ten of their twenty-four league matches.  This season, and now playing in Division three, it's been a different story for Mick Hughes' team.  This morning's league table had them proudly sat at the top, still unbeaten, after having won sixteen and drawing one of their seventeen games. Only  Mere Park FC had managed to take any points off them so far this season.  They're currently six points ahead of their nearest rivals, Blackpool Lane Ends FC, who have also played a game more.  The sides meet next week.  A win in that one for the Boars Head FC and it's likely that the town's bookmakers will stop taking any more bets on the destiny of the Division 3 title. The club managed to reach round 3 of the Gledhill Cup where they were knocked out by Division 1 side, Bloomfield Vets FC.  They reached round 2 of today's Division 2 & 3 Cup by beating Number Four Rangers FC 5-2 of Division 2 in the opening round.

 Today's opponents were the Bloomfield Hotel FC of Division 2. Manager Chris Dixon's side are having a good season and this morning they were in fourth spot in what is turning out to be close and exciting Division 2 of the BFSFA.  Only three points currently separate the top five clubs.  The Bloomfield Hotel FC are two points behind leaders Nothern Care Colts FC with a game in hand.  The team are in good form after having taken thirteen points from the last fifteen available.  It is fair to say that the Bloomfield's true title aspirations will become a lot clearer after they've faced both the Real Burlington and Norhern Care Colts who they're still to play.  In the Gledhill, they to reached round 3 before being beaten comprehensively by Premier Division side FC Eden.  A good win over strugglers Travel Village FC had propelled them into this morning's second round fixture.

After a good day yesterday, the wind and rain had returned overnight making the Stanley Park surface very heavy.  Referees' secretary Dave Connor was today's official and he ruled the surface playable.  Game on.  The match kicked off at 10:55am with the Bloomfield in the orange kicking into the stiff breeze.

Boars Head FC 2010/11

Bloomfield Hotel FC 2010/11

The Bloomfield kick off

A good tussle for the ball (Robbie Slater in the centre)

A near miss by the Bloomfield

Daniel McDonald (left)

Boars Head keeper Nathan Gourlay clears under pressure from Craig Harding

Barry Davenport

Referee Dave Connor (Right)

A bad miss by Baz Davenport (7).  He tried to break the net with his volley but just making contact would have done the job.

Well taken by Bloomfield Hotel goal keeper Carl Dixon

A near miss for the Boars Head

Another near miss, this time for the Bloomfield.  The defenders on the left think it's gone in as do the Bloomfield forwards but keeper Gourlay just about managed to stop it from crossing the line.

Boars Head FC manager Mick Hughes (Foreground) with his assistant Alan Cox watching on

Jordan Yates

A nasty knock to the upper arm.  We reached the break at 0-0 with the Bloomfield having created more possession and chances in and around the opposition box although the dangerous Lee O'Neill was causing a few problems up the other end.

Half time score:  Boars Head FC 0 – 0 Bloomfield Hotel FC

Half time breather

Boars Head FC supporter, James Hughes

Every vantage point taken for this one

The Boars Head FC get the second half underway

A bloody nose

A Bloomfield player is tripped in the box on 49 minutes

The guilty party is given a yellow card

Baz Davenport despatches the kick sending Gourlay the wrong way. 0-1

There were some feisty challenges between the rival teams in this encounter.  An example of which is pictured above (Flying in with both feet off the ground).  The lenient Mr Connor let it go with just a free kick

Much to the annoyance of the injured Boars Head FC player.

It looked far easier to score but the number 15 stood on the ball and the chance was gone.

On 68 minutes Boars Head lost possession upfield.  Davenport broke away at pace, bustled his way through and hit a deflected shot that dipped over the head of the keeper 0-2.

Davenport celebrates with the Bloomfield faithful

Boars Head defenders have a spat with each other as Yates (right) steps in as peacemaker

On 72 minutes, the Boars were handed a lifeline.  A player was pulled back in the box.  Prolific goal scorer Lee O-Neill made no mistake from the penalty spot.  1-2

Three minutes later and after a swift break upfield, the Boars Head scored an equaliser.  Craig Harding (9) forced it home at the second attempt.  Good work from David Ireland in the build up.  2-2

Major celebrations from the Boars Head FC bench but straight from the kick off, Bloomfield went straight up the other end and regained the lead through Tony Buxton.  2-3

Two minutes later and the impressive Danny McDonald raced away down the left leaving the defender in his wake, drew the keeper and slotted it home.  2-4

On 84 minutes McDonald headed home a great cross from the right from Jamie Silver.  2-5

A minute later and the Boars Head were crumbling as Daz Hall pounced to head another cross over the head of Gourlay. 2-6

Big Joe Wareham comes on as a late sub

and almost immediately scores the best goal of the game as his long range effort sailed over the head of Gourlay into the top corner.  2-7


Jesus!  The shirt's off in celebration – what a body!

It's all over and the fierce rivals shake hands

The victors

and the vanquished

Final score: Boars Head FC 2 – 7 Bloomfield Hotel FC 

In summary this was a bizarre encounter.  With the score at 0-0 at the break, the pundits on the line were predicting that one goal would be enough to win it.  Bloomfield were the better team in the opening 45 minutes and on 68 minutes when they went 2-0 up I saw no way back for Boars Head but two quick goals brought them back into it.  If they'd have kept it level for five minutes or so then maybe they would have had the momentum but they conceded a third almost immediately before capitulating and letting in five more in the last fourteen minutes as the entire team went missing.

I was very impressed with the Bloomfield Hotel this morning.  They're a hard working physical side but in players like Davenport, McDonald and Hall they have personnel who are both skilful, strong and pacey.  They might be physical but the team are yet to receive a card of any colour this season.  After having seen both Real Burlington and Northern Care Colts in recent weeksI can assure both of them that they're in for two really difficult games against the Bloomfield who certainly have the capabilities to win the Division 2 title.

As for the Boars Head FC this was a morning to forget.  They can have few complaints about being beaten by the better team on the day.  Even at 2-2 the scoreline flattered them although the final score of 7-2 was perhaps a little harsh on them.  You don't win sixteen and draw one of your opening seventeen league games and suddenly become a bad team.  They'll have to put this defeat behind them quickly before next week's top of the table clash against Blackpool Lane Ends.  Today's game provided them with a foretaste of what life is like at the upper end of Division 2 and if they are to gain promotion this season and if they are to put in a decent challenge next season then they're going to have to pull together better when the going gets tough as there was far too much inter team niggling going on out there this morning.  Best of luck to both teams for the rest of the season.  Very well officiated by Mr Connor.

Sportspy 2010/11

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