Fixture: FA National Futsal Super League (Group C)
Date: Sunday 7 April 2013
Score: Team Bath 4 – 4 Middlesbrough Futsal Club
Venue: Founders Sports Hall, University of Bath
Brilliant fight back by the Romans prevent Boro going home with all three points
In the first Super League match of the new FA Futsal format Team Bath hosted Middlesbrough Futsal Club.
These two teams last met a year ago in the play offs where Boro came out on top 8-4 in a fascinating game. Much was expected of this battle with the away side bringing to Uruguayan debutants into the team.
In front of a bumper crowd of just under 100 the game got under way with Bath having most of the play.
Boro were quite happy to build their way into the game slowly playing a little deeper and looking to exploit space in behind.
Mid-way through the first half Bath were beginning to test the Boro Keeper with efforts from Gardiner, Ballinger and Bell all foiled. Then a well worked corner saw Bath take the lead as Gardiner and Khurana exchanged passes for the latter to square a pass across the box for captain Ingram to make it 1-0.
The lead did not last long as another set piece this time from the away side levelled the score at 1-1.
A quick cut back that Bath failed to close down saw a shot parried by Jones in the Bath goal with Taylor for Boro reacting quickest to toe poke the ball into the net. This gave Boro the confidence to open up a little more in attack and they began testing Jones in the Bath goal.
Boro then turned the game on its head with two quick goals in succession. The first they played out of pressure well finding De Leon with a longer pass who shot on a tight angle to score. The second was a quick counter attack as Bath failed to take a chance one end that allowed Bettson to pick up the ball, advance and find De Leon who scored his second to make it 3-1.
Bath were stunned and had to regroup. They finished the half strong with Boro defending deep. Several attempts were created but Boro blocked, scrapped and did all they could to prevent any Bath goals before half time.
Half time was a good opportunity for the home side to settle down and stick to their game plan that was working fairly well with good possession and many chances, yet a bad five minutes meant a well organised Boro side were in control.
The next goal was crucial and although the second half started well for the home side, probing away at the Boro goal with Ballinger and Parkes going close it was Boro almost out of the blue who got the next goal.
A wonderful finish saw skipper Mikey Roberts lose his runner and receive a pass from O’Brien and with a delicate touch he lifted the ball cutely over the onrushing Jones to make it 4-1 that looked like sealing the win for the visitors.
Bath had to keep on going and that is exactly what they did. They continued to have more of the possession and continued to create more opportunities without scoring. With seven minutes to go they decided to withdraw the goal keeper and play with a fly goal keeper.
After a long passage of passing Kitson found Jennings combined with a diagonal pass with Jennings playing a lovely back post ball where Ingram scored his second of the match to bring back Bath into the game.
This lifted the crowd who began pushing the home team on. Then at four minutes to go Jennings returned as the fly goal keeper and another Kitson and Jennings combination saw the latter control the ball and fire a low shot into the bottom corner to make it 4-3.
The atmosphere quickly changed as the crowd and the home team sensed a way back into this game.
Boro dropped deeper to defend and with two minutes to go Jennings found Parkes at the top of the D who swivelled in one motion and fired a quite brilliant strike into the top corner to bring the game back to level terms. The last minute saw Bath keep trying to gain the winner but the away side held firm and this drama packed game ended as we started a point each leaving Group C wide open.
Boro host London United on Sunday 14 April before Team Bath entertain London United at home on Sunday 21 April, 3pm Ko, Founders Hall, University of Bath.
Team: Jones (GK), Ingram (C), Kitson, Parkes, Ballinger; Dix (GK), Bell, Gardiner, Guttridge, Jennings, Khurana