Seven goal thriller in National Futsal League.
Team Bath 3-4 Team United
The FA Futsal National League Midlands
Sunday 27 March 2011
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Top of the table Team United Birmingham travelled to Team Bath in the National Futsal League last weekend in what was a mouth-watering match. The previous meeting ended in a 1-1 draw and this game also looked like it was going to be a tight affair.
Both teams had strong squads and this made for a very high tempo and exciting game of Futsal. It was the home side who started the stronger applying deep pressure onto the Team United players to regain possession and attack quickly. Early on, Bath created good chances with Canham and Yilmaz going close at the back post, but neither could convert. However, after eight minutes captain Ian Parkes gave Bath the lead by winning possesion high up in the attacking half and beating the Team United Goal Keeper Chris Bloore down to his right. As a result, Team United tried to slow the pace of the game down forcing Bath defenders out of position and by doing so were creating good one on one opportunities particularly through Emmanual Gueyes down the right. It was through the lively Gueyes that Team United equalised, cutting in from the right and shooting low, initially a weak shot looked comfortable for the Bath defenders to deal with but the ball took a double deflection and ended up in the back of the net.
The goal rallied Team United who began having more ball possession in the Bath half. Nevertheless, Bath still looked dangerous on the break and from a kick-in played the ball forward early to Kitson who saw his shot parried and land at Parkes's feet who tucked the ball home to make it 2-1. Although ahead for the last five minutes of the half, Bath lost control of the game and allowed the game to become a counter attacking match.
This played into the hands of the Birmingham side who scored two quick goals to turn the game on its head. Firstly, Davood Maroofi beat his defender on the by-line and toe poked the ball home under Dix in the Bath goal to level things up. Then a minute before half time, Neham Haq won possession mid-court and finished off a 3v2 counter attacking move to make it 3-2 to Team United at the break.
Bath didn't seem too perturbed by the score as they were creating lots of chances throughout the first half and continued to do so in the second half. Bloore in the Team United goal was having a fantastic match keeping the score at 3-2. Bath's attacking rotations were finding them space and time and Mark Ingram took advantage of this, advancing forward and shooting from 12 yards, this time Bloore was beaten but the ball rebounded off the post.
Then Team United hit Bath with another sucker punch. Bath so close to scoring themselves were undone on the counter, a quick ball lofted to the back post allowed Flavien Chambaud to make it 4-2. Bath now had to react and once again out of nothing, Captain Parkes brought the hosts to within one goal of making it 3-4 with a turn and shot from the edge of the box. In the last five minutes, Team United continued to play on the break and got to five fouls. In return, Bath deployed the powerplay and again came close with Jennings almost scoring at the back post.
Time ran out for Bath and in what was a great advert for English Futsal Team United Birmingham took the spoils and cemented their place at the top of the Midlands League. Bath now will be fighting with Chippenham for that all important 2nd place and route to the National Play off Finals.