AFC Bluebirds is a five-a-side team made up of players from across Westminster. The team are proudly sponsored by Conservative Home.
By Ed Winfield
An assured performance saw AFC Bluebirds beat their rival’s Riverside United last Sunday. Perhaps buoyed by the return of Captain Hudson Roe, in truth Bluebirds never really needed to get out of first gear thanks to some solid defending and the brilliance of Will McCann, who bagged a hat trick.
The first half hour was a somewhat flat affair. A rare Riverside break had Blue hearts in mouths, but they earned a reprieve even as the net rippled, when the referee halted the play for offside. Perhaps the highlight of the opening was an unexpected foray by the United keeper, showing the panache of an Artur Boruc. Responding to shouts of “hit it!”, Chris Rees’ first time volley from forty yards from the eventual clearance showed the enterprise and aspiration for which a Conservative Home-sponsored team should aim. Rees’ aim at the goal, however, was regrettably more wayward.
McCann’s first strike sparked life in the Bluebirds. The league top scorer pounced on a defensive mix-up to bring the ball down and slot in at the near post. Riverside were left deflated, inasmuch as they were ever up for the game. A second chance was sure to follow and was duly taken as McCann cut inside from the left and once again finished neatly at the near post. A superb close-range save from goalie Joe Cawley and a threatening deep corner headed off the line by full back Ed Winfield ensured the Bluebirds went in 2-0 up at the break.
Not resting on their laurels, the Tory team were eager to put the game beyond doubt, particularly in remembrance of the two teams’ last meeting in which United struggled back to a 4-4 draw. Hugo Sutherland, back in the team for the first time in several weeks, was to provide the catalyst not long into the second half. His cutting through ball put McCann in the clear once more; the striker netted with a clean left-foot finish to claim the match ball.
Bluebirds could be forgiven for thinking the result was secure and were fortunate the scores stayed level when Tim Smith cleared off the line, stretching out a long leg. The clean sheet slipped from the team’s grasp when a late goal was well taken by Riverside’s right winger, but it was not to be followed up by concerted pressure as the no-nonsense approach of centre halves Chris Rees and Andy Johnson kept Bluebirds out of sight of the opposition.
A comfortable result draws the team to within two points of Hurricanes and the all-important second place promotion spot. Next week’s match pits them against HSFC, bottom of the league and with a solitary draw to their name, Bluebirds will be confident of continuing their winning run into the Christmas break.
Result: AFC Bluebirds 3 – 1 Riverside Utd
Bluebirds’ five-a-side team get first win of the season
By Hudson Roe
After a rough start to the season, Bluebirds’ 5-a-side team finally found the winning formula, against a team that were, up until this game, unbeaten. A dogged, determined performance from the team saw us win 4-2 against a capable and physical team.
The first half, despite stopping many opportunities, in the majority of cases by Cawley in goal, conceded twice. The second half was notable for the confidence with which Bluebirds played the game. Despite various instances of ‘roughhousing’, the team were not to be deterred and played some fantastic football in the second half to draw level and ultimately go two ahead of their opponents.
The win saw Bluebirds draw level on points with three teams ahead of them, and neatly placed to move away from the relegation zone.
Result: AFC Bluebirds 4 – 2 Boca Seniors
Twobirds on top as Webster hits 5
By Dan Hooper
Returning to the smallest pitch in 5-a-side history did not deter a resilient Twobirds in this particularly fraught encounter.
The game started quickly with both teams creating chances. As always Cawley was on top form in goal but following some slick moves Twobirds found themselves behind. Fresh from the Bluebirds game, Virgo and Brown caused problems but it was the presence of Webster that hit the opposition. Goals from Hooper, Brown and Webster put Twobirds on top going in to half time.
It was, however, the second half where Bluebirds dominated. A cracking goal from Bhabha, via the roof and the keeper, and the solid defensive display from Witherington kept Twobirds in front and the opposition at bay. This only served to rile them and as they got more annoyed and indeed more physical, Samarai Webster snuck in once more to bag a quick brace. Another goal from Hooper and a rattle of the post from Bhabha finished off Twobirds performance but not before Brown was the victim of unsportsmanlike behaviour as the opposition’s night got worse with a red card. Twobirds maintained their composure and saw the game out with a victory.
Result: AFC Twobirds 8 – 6 C.U.K. FC