Burn FC mounted a strong challenge but fell short again in the shadow of Old Joe on Friday lunchtime, with their opponents SIUUUU running out 5-0 winners in the end.
A much better performance from Burn FC saw them go in at halftime just 1-0 down, a counter attacking goal from SIUUUU as Burn committed players forward for a corner. Two strong passes saw the singular defence of Joe Camp stretched and a near post finish beat myself, Aidan Clarke, to give the opponents the lead.
But Burn fought hard and won so many tackles, particularly through their star presser Ella Kipling, and putting their bodies on the line to stop shots on goal and frustrate the opposition. Going the other way, Alex Fletcher started up top and fired in a few efforts on goal which didn’t trouble the goalkeeper too much but gave hope to Burn of a 6th goal in campus league history. A few relatively comfortable saves from myself with the feet was all that was afforded to SIUUUU, with the defence of Camp and captain Seth Nobes holding firm for large parts of a strong first half performance.
A rousing half time team talk from the captain gave Burn hope of a comeback in the second half but an incisive early attack from their opponents turned the momentum, with a wonderful top corner finish from a cut back doubling the lead. This left Burn chasing the game and open at the back, with more and more chances opening up in the game.
Vice captain Dylan Clarke fired in two powerful episodes after coming off the bench but a solid block stopped one of them, and Oli Shaw found himself with a late chance to grab Burn a goal but the ball across was slightly behind him. Bella Shepherd-Evans also brought energy and pressing on the right hand side and started counter attacks for Burn, whilst Katie Hill’s effort up top in the second half was invaluable in challenging from the front.
Unfortunately, it was SIUUUU who took advantage of Burn chasing the game and found space through their defence, with a third goal just finding its way into the back of the net after a strong hand from myself in goal couldn’t tip it over the bar. A fourth goal was added soon after, curled into the bottom corner, before the game was ended completely by a fifth goal on the rebound from a strong save.
The effort and desire was still evident from every member of the Burn team, with some magnificent tackles and blocks particularly from Adam Gilbert in the second half, and a lot of strong saves again from myself kept Burn in the game for as long as possible.
All in all, a much stronger performance from Burn and a very unified effort, displaying how important the training sessions and time playing together have been in unifying this team for the games to come. Whilst a disappointing defeat, this will not demoralise this Burn team, as always we’ll look to build on each result, and the development and improvement is there for everyone to see. We go again next Friday!
Starting lineup: Aidan Clarke (GK), Seth Nobes (C), Joe Camp, Ella Kipling, Oli Shaw, Alex Fletcher.
Substitutes: Dylan Clarke (VC), Katie Hill, Bella Shepherd-Evans, Adam Gilbert.