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Burnside Bulls (football team)

On Monday 10th February 2020, the Burnside Bulls (football team) hosted Belmont Park in a friendly game on a very wet and windy afternoon. The match was played at our home pitch in Chingford and although this gave our team a lift we were aware that on the previous three attempts we had failed to beat Belmont who always field a very strong team. There was an exciting buzz around the ground this time around and as team manager Ash gave his final team talk the boys seemed to be listening intently, taking in the instructions whilst shoulder to shoulder in a huddle. With a scream of Burnside the boys took their position on the pitch.

The whistle blew and Burnside kicked off playing in their crisp, white and blue strip. The early part of the game was played at a ferocious pace with the ball moving through the field, end to end. Both keepers were called upon to make saves early on and big Leon in the Burnside nets pulled off an incredible save to keep the score at 0-0. After 15 minutes there was a breakthrough as Michael beat two men and netted into the bottom corner to put the home team in the lead, what a goal. This however did not last very long and although Alex, Said and Denzel were playing out of their skins at the back Belmont’s attack was not only rapid but accurate. Belmont scored three times in succession.  Manager Ash made a few bold changes to the field and the inclusion of Omar had an instant impact. A passage of play that included 5 players ended up in the net off the boot of Jude and the bulls were back in the game. As the rain came down once again a slip at the back gave Belmont a 4-2 lead at half time.

You could tell that the boys were disappointed with the score at half time and as always in a situation such as this the team were looking for leaders to pull them back into the game. These leaders came in the form of the two midfield dynamos, Rio and Michael. As the second half kicked off this awesome duo seemed to be everywhere on the pitch working like Trojans. The bulls began to play at their best once again and with Jude and Hamim up top putting the ball in the net, Burnside managed to take the lead 5-4. Belmont worked hard to get back in the game and if it wasn’t for a magical goalkeeping performance from Leon they probably would have done. As the final whistle blew Burnside bulls had managed to finally beat Belmont at the fourth time of asking.

The game ended 7-4 but the final score was not the triumph that came out of this closely contested game of football. Although the tempo was high and the tackles were strong both sets of players, played the game in the manner that it was meant to be played. Three cheers were called as the boys shook hands and Jason, part of the coaching team summed up the game by saying “All of the players were an absolute credit to their Schools”.

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