By Freddie Keighley, Online Sport Editor and third year History student
On the opening day of the Western 1A season, Bristol 1s outclassed Bournemouth 2s to an 11-5 victory.
Following a dramatic 5-5 draw for the 2s versus Cardiff Met 1s in which Bristol equalised with a last-gasp penalty, the 1s took on a Bournemouth side who also finished mid-table in the 17/18 season.
Bristol Futsal 2s earned a draw with the final kick of the game in a back and forth fixture versus Cardiff Met 1s. FT: 5-5 pic.twitter.com/7KMNw1z8lk— Epigram Sport (@EpigramSport) October 21, 2018
The first chance of the game saw captain Sonny Stewart rattle the woodwork after bringing the ball down, turning and letting loose following a precise throw from goalkeeper Guillermo Tijbosch.
Despite great flair from Matt Crane and Olmo Gordon, it was the visitors that took an early lead courtesy of a neat finish at the near post.
However, Sam Mills equalised soon after, showing stunning technique to receive Crane’s pinpoint pass and flick the ball over both the onrushing Bournemouth keeper and defender to poke home into the empty net.
Bristol began to press to take the lead, and the Bournemouth keeper was fortunate not to be penalised for appearing to handle the ball outside of his area. Shortly afterwards, Coltrane Morley-Williams hit the bar during a period where Kasey Cummings and Gordon were creating many chances; a rabona cross being the highlight.
Bristol earned the lead and Mills his second goal with a well-placed free kick that deceived the keeper. The Bournemouth player that had hacked Mills down to concede the set piece also received a yellow card for his troubles.
However, Bristol were unable to build on this lead, with Bournemouth the more alert of the teams during a corner and equalising from the set piece.
Stewart saw his header fly narrowly wide after receiving another throw from the keeper well, but was also penalised for a push on a Bournemouth man in the process.
At the half-time whistle, the score remained 2-2. Bristol were the more physical of the sides and seemed to be more fired up for the game generally, but were yet to convert this desire into a lead.
It was the second period of twenty minutes which saw far more goals and Bristol assert their finessed style of play on the game. Straight from the whistle, the home side increased their press and began to test the keeper more.
Bristol regained the lead courtesy of a poacher’s finish from Gordon following good work from Mills and a scramble with the keeper. The lead was almost doubled soon after, but Nathaniel Harrison’s powerful long-range effort was parried well.
The home side continued to defend well, with Stewart blocking a powerful effort from a free kick after Tijbosch fouled a Bournemouth attacker just outside the area.
The fourth Bristol goal was similarly scrappy to the third, seeing Cummings’ long ball evading its target, Stewart, but ending up trickling in the right side of the post.
Indeed, it was the sending off of the Bournemouth keeper for handling Mills’ shot - destined for the back of the net - outside of his area that opened the floodgates and allowed for Bristol to turn on the panache. Mills squared to Stewart from the set piece, but the skipper fired his effort narrowly over the bar.
The lead was increased to 5-2 with Crane and Mills linking up well, and the latter finishing at the near post.
Following the next kick off, Gordon was booked for a foul on the touchline, but bounced back with a fantastic goal, rolling the ball past a defender and rifling the ball over the keeper to hit Bristol’s sixth. Morley-Williams stung the palms of the replacement keeper shortly after.
A now end-to-end game saw Bournemouth hit the post before Bristol added a seventh goal after Gordon finished following the keeper parried Stewart’s shot into his path.
An eight goal was added by Gordon, who received Mills’ diagonal ball and finished well. However, Bournemouth pulled one back courtesy of a penalty after Bristol committed a sixth foul - each offence after the fifth foul granting the opposition a penalty.
Unfazed, Stewart brought the ball down well again and showed great strength to hold up the play before finding Mills, who added yet another to his tally by beating a man and finishing to the bottom corner.
Stewart continued his quest to get on the scoresheet, hitting the woodwork after opening his body to strike the ball on the half-volley.
Harrison released another piledriver from the halfway line which was directed into the back of the net by Cummings, to ensure it was going the right side of the post and bring up double digits for Bristol; 10-4.
Bournemouth added their fourth goal with Tijbosch beaten at the near post by a skilful snap shot.
Stewart, ever the showman and routinely entertaining the spectators in Bristol Grammar School Sports Hall, added the cherry on top of the performance with an incredible driven shot after calling for the knock down. Tijbosch made a fantastic save in the build up after a seventh foul was conceded.
The final action of the game saw Bournemouth take a fifth goal well, with a visiting player finishing to the far post on the turn.
Overall, Bristol thoroughly deserved the three points, and will carry a great deal of confidence into their next fixture, an away match versus Winchester 1s on Sunday 28 October.
Featured image: Epigram / Freddie Keighley
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