The Barbarians A Team kicked off the IFFC Premier League 2011-2012 season by taking all three points from Sexy FC. It wasn't a pretty game, but the result was the most important factor. Sexy have always provided some tough competition, and this game was no different. The Barbars lineup was similar to the Cup game against Russians, with the exception of Keith having to play goalkeeper in the absence of Carlos M. This in turn meant that Andrew and Laurence were paired in the centre back positions, and Phil came back in left back. We also welcomed back Kenny Baines to right back.
The Barbarians showed once again that this defence is comfortable playing football out of the back and in parts looked good again. Overall the first half was a scrappy affair, with the midfield finding it tough going to connect the forwards. This was largely due to the confusion created by the Sexy front line, which switched from 2 to 3 forward constantly.
Stewart, Giambattista, and Nathan collectively did a great job breaking up anything down the middle. The first half was most notable for the efforts of Keith "The Badger" in goal. He sprang into action to flick a couple of shots over the bar and later made a fantastic leap and pushed a strong shot onto the post with the hairs on his wrist. Amazing!
Kevin's remarkable run of form continues, as the striker notched another goal from Henry Manuel's corner. A real up-and-under cross found its way to Kevin's head, and Kev finished well. 1-0 Barbarians. Just before the end of the first half, Kevin dazzled everybody again, this time with an amazing cross... across his own goal! These things can't be coached and can only be found in the Kevin Plume locker of tricks.
The second half had a little more spice as some of the new lads began to understand how much it means to the Club to beat Sexy FC. In particular we enjoyed the tousle between Dale Wong and Sexy FC player (and former Barbar) Dave Vaughn. Dale needed no encouragement to continually boot and pull Dave around the pitch in response to Vaughn's handbag tactics. Dale definitely got in his head, and it was enjoyable to see Mr. Vaughn boot the litter bin in frustration as he came off!
Sexy did pile on the pressure in the later moments, but the Barbarians defense and GK held up well. This time it was a team effort, starting up front with Dirk's constant harassment of the Sexy defense as it tried to bring the ball forward. A solid start has to be said for Henry at right back as well.
Man of the Match went to Kev for his game-winning header, with Keith getting a good number of votes for his bravery in goal! Quality stuff.
Next up: Africa. Enough said.