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Feb 17

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LLFC 1st XI 1-1 UCL Academicals 1st XI

Courtesy of George Bazinas.cropped-LLFC-Logo.png

“Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give… it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa

13 February 2016 London Lawyers -v- UCL Academicals
Laden with four back-to-back defeats and a heavy start to 2016, London Lawyers’ I faced a critical match that would undoubtedly define how the team fared for the rest of the season. Up against a side that had tested in them at their previous encounter, the match served not only as a chance to shake off the demons of the matches passed but a unique opportunity to build momentum for the matches remaining.

As the day descended and the moment for kick-off neared, the omens positively seemed to be stacked in the Lawyers’ favour. The skies now looking overcast, the pitch having been graced overnight with terrestrial rainfall, beckoning to our native Spartans who arrived to the grounds with high spirits and Big Jack Horsley setting the tone with upbeat war euphonies – the stage was set for a memorable stand at fortress Turney road.

Running through the steps that would lead them to the Promised Land, mighty Horrocks and O’Halloran, set the foolishness aside in the changing room, and started coaxing the crew into fighting spirit, setting the scene for the charge.
Following a few pre-game warm-up antics in the mud, the Lawyers were cast into the fray, the match was underway. It was not long before the Lawyers faced the first challenge of the match: an inconspicuous throw-in for the accies that would lead to the first goal of the match arriving in unexpected fashion: 0-1.

For the next 20’, the Lawyers battled to gain the upper hand and show that their spirit had not been broken from yet another false start of a match. The first substantive reaction came mid-way through the half with Marcus leading the counter-attack and getting it through to big man James who darted it to finesse-man Denis who, leaving the right-back in his tracks, scurried through to the end-line and made the anticipated pass across the keeper to a raving Bazinas who unluckily got the ball on his off-foot and streamed it straight over the cross-bar.

Speaking to Baz after the match, he said “I might have well just let it pass …the ball was well behind me, only an acrobat could have converted it to a goal”.

The chance gave the stigma for the remaining 15’ of the first half which was heavily dominated by the Lawyers, who put pressure on the accies and started forcing them into errors. The Lawyers were starting to look the better side, and if it weren’t for the half-time whistle they would have surely had their equaliser.

A few words were all that were needed at half-time from reigning crewmen O’Halloran and Horsely, and the Lawyers were back on the pitch for the second half.

O’Halloran coming on as a sub made an immediate impact. Undeterred by the strict confines of his position, he began to assume control of the entire right side of the park. Fellow teammate Horsely is said to have stated after the match, “…at one moment you saw O’Halloran scaling the attack and the next moment, having only turned your back for a few seconds, he seemed to reappear on the other side of the pitch defending”. Some onlookers say they are almost certain they saw him spit out a lung on the side-line, though this is still unconfirmed.

Returning with autocracy to the match, but for one moment at the start of the half that required a vital save from keeper-extraordinaire Hadzic, the Lawyers dominated from top to bottom. The back four doing a tremendous job pre-emptively blocking any and all attempted attacks while the midfield showcasing splendid fervour and creative vision.

The Lawyers came close to the equaliser around minute 68’ on a counter-attack with whom else but O’Halloran who like a demon drove down the middle and sent a wonderfully crafted ball to the feet of anticipating solo-striker Bazinas. With plenty of time Bazinas squared the ball with two neat touches before him, setting himself for the impending strike. His team-players behind him anticipating what was a sure goal were already in celebration. Alas as fate would have it, Bazinas would not the send the ball into the nets but onto the cross-bar. A huge dampener to the mood of the lawyer camp with fellow-man Fitzgerland-Morgan falling to the ground and cursing the football gods.

Mighty Zeus however would not let the Lawyers down and with a few moments only passed, main-man Thomas swooped in for a thunderous header all the way from the gorges of Mount Olympus, and from the feet of nifty Busby, sending the Lawyers to seventh heaven: 1-1.

Hoping to capitalise on the lion’s share of possession, the Lawyers bombarded the other side and edged close to a second. But it was not to be. The ref blew the final whistle: 1-1 final score, a missed three-pointer for the Lawyers but a performance they could be proud of.
MOM: Marcus
DOD: Bazinas
With momentum now on their side, the Lawyers can positively build on this performance and, with plenty of matches left, convert the season to a success. Time can only tell if they will achieve this feat, but they should feel assured, it now lies in their hands.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.londonlawyersfc.org/llfc-1st-xi-1-1-ucl-academicals-1st-xi/