Cameron Gaffney
It was a bitterly cold afternoon at the Brunel University Sports Park, with both Brunel and Portsmouth men ready for a crunch game the umpires signal and blow for push back.
The game was a frosty affair for the first ten to fifteen minutes, with both teams looking to get the first goal. Brunel began to dominate the possession; looking the more threatening side, they had the patients to just hold the ball and wait for a gap to open.
This method seemed to pay off as, before you knew it, the unit of Philip Boobbyer made a superb tackle in the middle of the pitch, got his eyes up and slipped pacey attacker Sam Goodwin in for a one-on-one with the Portsmouth goal keeper, who coolly slipped under the keepers sliding body.
Scoring the first goal put Brunel in control of the game with attack after attack; they won a long corner, Cameron Gaffney took the corner himself driving towards the Portsmouth ‘D’, beating one flat footed Portsmouth player to slip the ball back to Sam who hit it first time, with the initial shot deflecting off the keepers pads into the middle of the ‘D’ all to fall for the boisterous Brunel right back Alessandro to power into the back of the goal.
Brunel were now well in control of the game, winning most of the battles in the middle. However, they did not cover the wide areas of the pitch very much, allowing the Portsmouth men to drive down the wings and doing this led to the player getting behind the Brunel defence, who had been so resilient up to this point and slip the ball back away from the closing presence of Brunel keeper Mikey and slotting the ball into an empty Brunel goal.
With the teams going into half time at 2-1, it was all for Brunel to lose. However with a motivated team talk from the coach, the Brunel men came out firing again winning an early short corner from the restart. Alessandro slung the ball towards the top of the ‘D’ for the readily prepared Ross to stop the ball for Boobbyer who calmly slammed the ball low and hard into the left corner of the Portsmouth goal.
However, the Portsmouth men quickly responded to this goal, scoring one back through an attack down the left which led to a ball being fired across and slipped into the back of the Brunel goal. Brunel were now 3-2 up they took control again and began to build momentum in the game, moving the ball from left to right to create space to attack the Portsmouth goal, with doing so managed to mount a dangerous attack towards the goal.
After some scrappy and dangerous defending the umpire awarded a penalty stroke to Brunel. The responsibility for this was placed to Louis who had played fantastically thus far.
Both player and keeper ready the umpire signalled for the flick to be taken, at which point Louis sweetly tucked the ball into the top left corner, but some confusion between the umpires caused for the penalty flick to be retaken, which resulted in Louis going to the same spot but the keeper guessing correctly and saving it.
Brunel continued to attack and control the game and with the ball moved out to the right to Russ who passed one player to then unleash a shot towards goal, the shot being slowed in the process the ever needed presence of Grech was on hand to gently push the ball into the goal.
Now 4-2 up the Brunel men were well on their way to win the game, all playing so well for one another, not a chance of letting this game get away from them. Yet the Portsmouth men were not quiet finished in this game and with every chance they had carried on hamming towards the Brunel defence, with the defence again doing a superb job in holding out the pressure.
Soon, it became too much and the Portsmouth men managed to fire a shot at Mikey who made a couple of superb saves all for the final result being a goal awarded to Portsmouth, making the score 4-3 with just a few minutes left to play. The final whistle goes and the Brunel men had successfully seen off the competition of Portsmouth to take all three points.