AFC Bluebirds is a five-a-side team made up
of players from across Westminster. The team are proudly sponsored by
Conservative Home. Follow them on Twitter.
After two wins last week, the Conservative Home-sponsored Bluebirds and Twobirds teams were looking to continue their fine form into this week. Twobirds won against decent opposition in the first, fiery game, whilst Bluebirds managed to sneak a late goal to guarantee a draw before the grudge match with Labour on Saturday.
The team quickly took the lead, 3-1 up after a few minutes following well worked Will McCann and Andy Johnson goals. Sadly, Twobirds let success go to their heads and conceded four cheap goals. Despite the heroics of stand in goalkeeper, Kevin Evans, and a brief rally late in the half, Twobirds trailed 6-7 at half time.
A half time team talk which drew upon memories of The Lions, Andy Murray and the '92 election campaign followed by plenty of badge kissing, "we can do this, lads" speeches and chest thumping pushed the team towards victory. Duly impassioned, Twobirds, and particularly Alex Lancaster, stepped up a gear, chasing lost causes, challenging for every ball and tracking every man.
Unfortunately, with only five minutes to go they were still 8-7 down, suffering from a harsh sin bin against captain, and fulcrum, Hudson Roe. It was late in the game by the time Joe Cawley, usually a goalkeeper, thumped a questionable equaliser and Andy 'raging bull' Johnson galloped through and in an emotional winner.
There was even time for some show-boating, with the final score reading 11-8 to Twobirds with man of the match going to Andy Johnson, the people’s choice.
Bluebirds could hardly fail to soak up the Twobirds passion and started brilliantly, before quickly falling 3-0 down, including a wonder own goal from "unsung hero" Chris Rees. Joe Cawley, now in goal, took a ball to the face and, despite being very bloodied, refused to leave his goal before the Bluebird substitutes nobly took him away to clear up. It wasn't until the reinforcement from the earlier game came on to turn the tide that the match came alive.
Firstly, Will McCann with a Francis "Fox in the box" Jeffers style goal and then Andy Johnson with another pushy determined finish to bring the deficit to one goal. The opposition was strong, carrying the ball well and at times Bluebirds were run ragged but they kept their collective heads and superior fitness bore fruit. Jack 'no matter how tightly marked he will play the flair pass' Withrington, Bhabha and Tom Waters proving particularly effective and reliable during this crucial stage.
With Joe Cawley patched up and back between the sticks, Kevin Evans, who had deputised, made it 3-3 before some questionable marking allowed the opposition to grab two cheap set piece goals. Never downhearted, Bluebirds took it to the opposition turning the game into a fast moving war of attrition, the game moving end to end, destroying both teams.
However, the determination that saw victory for Twobirds shone through and, with the score now 4-5 to the opposition and the clock ticking down, Chris Rees, who had picked himself up from a sickening block with the unmentionables, shanked a screamer (was it a clearance?) into the top corner to draw the game. Heady scenes and handshakes all round. Man of the match went to the gutsy Joe Cawley, who will have a pretty black and blue face this week for his efforts!
Great games, great attitude, great effort ahead of the important match this weekend.
Twobirds 11 – 8 Crowecw
FC Bluebirds 5 – 5 FC AKA
Bluebirds are playing on July 13 against Labour's Demon Eyes to mark 118 years to the day since the first election in which Labour candidates contested seats against Conservatives (not one Labour candidate won a seat). The match kicks off at 2pm at Market Road football pitches in Islington. All are welcome, please come and say hello and support us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if you are popping along.