Barnestoneworth underlined their determination to break into the top four this season with a performance at the House of Paine that combined craft and graft in equal measure.
Up against a Lions side who were perhaps expecting a win following a 3-1 victory earlier this season they floundered upon a newly resolute Reds line up.
Although the away side enjoyed the – ahem – lion’s share of possession in the opening stages it was the home team who came closest to opening the scoring, following the somewhat lenient award of a penalty. Bryn, confident scorer of a spot kick in the previous game, stepped up, and despite the kindergarten psychology applied by the keeper, confidently sent him the wrong way, only to see the ball rebound off the very inside of the very square post.
Shortly after things went from bad to worse for the rReds, as Niall was somehow dismissed from the field as he calmly attempted to engage the referee in a polite discussion regarding an alleged handball. However, rather than undermine their confidence the sending off added a steely resolve and an oft lacking never-say-die element to the home side’s play.
Chances came and went at either end. Brian saved well as their forward made space in the box, and a thumping header came back off the crossbar. However BUFC claimed the upper hand when Michael slipped his marker and finished coolly across the keeper into the bottom right corner.
Barnestoneworth continued to keep it tight and go up through the gears against a visibly tiring and increasingly tame set of Lions, and were good value for the second when it came. The ball was played out of defence to Bryn, who found Twinkle Toes Stu with his back to goal. He twisted one way then t’other before looking up and curling the ball into the top right corner from a good 25 yards. A goal of the season contender and game set and match Barnestoneworth.
In summary, probably the best performance of the season so far, against a team with top 4 aspirations, with 10 men.
Man of the Match: Twinkle Toes Stu