Gaffer’s technical master class leads B’s to well deserved draw!

by Mark Wilkes

A change of formation late in the game by Co-gaffer Chris Laslett led the B team to a very late equaliser in a game the B’s will be disappointed to only come away with a draw.

Following last weeks 3-3 draw away to Long Ashton A, the B team welcomed Long Ashton to the Jubilee Centre this Saturday.

Co-gaffers Chris Laslett and Mark Wilkes, along with the whole team, were extremely disappointed to only come away with a point last weekend and were confident they could set the record straight this weekend. With an attacking line up selected and a good atmosphere prior to kickoff, aided by The Best of Starship on the stereo, the B’s would have been hoping for a good start, however this was far from what happened.

The B’s set up with a new back four of Jordan Burn, Darren Williams, Mark Wilkes and Adam Campbell, supported by Matt Burch in the midfield holding role, midfield attacking four of Paul Zambrzycki, Daniel Corrick, Dan Baker and Charles Moore, with top scorer Mo Mortazavi the lone striker. Within 60 seconds this new look team where 1-0 down. A bright start by Long Ashton caught the B’s asleep and when the ball wasn’t cleared in the penalty box the Long Ashton winger slammed home the opener with a good finish. This was certainly not the start the B’s wanted.

The game continued in the same manner with the B’s failing to get their passing going and Long Ashton looking dangerous on the break, thankfully the defensive 4 woke up and dealt with what was thrown at them.

On 19 minutes thankfully the game changed. The ball fell to Paul Zambrzycki on the edge of the Long Ashton box, his shot was only half saved by the keeper leaving Mo Mortazavi in a race with the defender, a race that was won by Mortazavi who slid the ball over the line, 1-1.

Long Ashton pushed forward and were awarded a free kick deep in the B’s half. This initial cross was cleared but the ball ended up with the Long Ashton winger who swung in a further cross, this flew into the B’s net from a diving bullet header from captain Wilkes who was clearly upset that there was no call of no danger behind him, a brave effort to clear the ball but a soft goal to concede. 2-1 to Long Ashton.

This changed the whole game and the B’s suddenly realised what they could do. Moments of pure class followed, in particular a flowing move started by Wilkes at the back who calmly broke up play in his own box and played a good ball to Dan Baker. Baker exchanged passes with Charles Moore and zig zagged his way up the field. A further interchange with Mo Mortazavi left Baker in the penalty box but the shot was blocked for a corner, wonderful wonderful football and watched by first team manager Rich Sears who was clearly taking notes for the first team game Tuesday night. The B’s pushed forward looking for an equaliser, an equaliser they would have got but for some debateable offside calls, very similar to last weekend!

It was Long Ashton who stretched their lead on 38 mintues. The Long Ashton midfield player pushed forwarded into the corner of the penalty box and the ball was easily cleared by three B’s players, Baker, Moore and Campbell. The Long Ashton player jumped, yes jumped, between all three and threw himself to the floor. The ref’s whistle went with the B’s thinking he was going to be booked for diving however the ref pointed to the penalty spot. Captain Wilkes led the protests to a young ref who made a very dodgy call. The B’s were outraged and felt very unlucky, especially when the subsequent spot kick was converted. 3-1 to Long Ashton.

With the B’s looking for an equaliser, a trademark Mark Wilkes long range free kick evaded everyone in the box and clipped the crossbar. Moments later things got worse for the B’s just before halftime when Daniel Corrick got booked for calling the ref a joke, a comment that was very similar to a Long Ashton players moments before.

The halftime whistle blew and the B’s were understandably upset with the score line and also the contribution of the officials. With a few chose words by the gaffers and the clear message of heads up and get back to passing the ball, the B’s were egger to get back on with the second half however this was delayed due to the referee warning co-gaffer Chris Laslett about his conduct towards the visiting linesman who had threatened to walk off should the abuse continue.

The second half started and things were back to normal for the B’s. Fluent passing and movement, sensational football led to a whole host of chances which unfortunately weren’t converted. Mortazavi, Zambrzycki and Moore all went close and maybe all need new shooting boots for next season! Midfield dynamo Matt Burch went close with a wonderful header from another Wilkes free kick and it was starting to feel like another one of those days for the B’s. Jordan Burn went close with a header from a corner when again it looked easier to score! The strange little left back, who was clearly struggling due to alcohol abuse the previous evening, had not only let himself down but also the whole team.

Step forward co-gaffer Chris Laslett who took the bull by the horns and showed what a wonderful football brain he has. Two quick substitutions, Harry Isaacs for Corrick and Roger Smith for Matt Burch, led to a change of formation to 3-5-2. This caused Long Ashton even more problems and thankfully on 82 minutes their pressure paid off. The lively Mo Mortazavi, who is sorely missed when not playing, went on another mazy run to the goal line and cut back a beautiful ball for the on-rushing Charles Moore to coolly side foot into the net for his first goal for the B’s, not before time either! 3-2 and the game was one way traffic.

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When Long Ashton did attack on the odd occasion it was comfortably dealt with by the outstanding now back three of Williams, Wilkes and Campbell.

With the game heading towards injury time it was Roger Smith who came to the B teams rescue. A Mo Mortazavi corner found Smith on the edge of the 6 yard box who headed past the keeper and made the score 3-3 and nothing less than the B’s deserved.

With that the referee blew for full time however this time the B’s were relieved to get a point. Two games against the same opponents and two games that the B’s have dominated.

Both gaffers were impressed by the never die spirit of the team in order to salvage a point. Good performances from Adam Campbell, Dan Baker, Mo Mortazavi, however the whole team did their part.

Man of the match went to Charles Moore for scoring his first goal for the B’s and being a consistent threat going forward. His reward was to wash the kit, something he hasn’t done all season.

This Saturday the B’s are home to Iron Acton in their last game of the season, the B’s will be wanting to end the season on a high and take all 3 points.


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Other Division 1 Results

AFC Hartcliffe Reserves 1 3 Wessex Wanderers 'A'
Broad Plain 'A' 0 0 Sea Mills 'A'
Bradley Stoke Town 'B' 3 3 Long Ashton 'A'


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