|22 Jan 2020|
After a huge win against the Old Etonians, a tough Christmas period started under the lights in North London against the Old Alleynians. In a very even first half both teams created chances, however it was the Old Alleynians who found themselves 2-0 up following a penalty and an outrageous half way line goal, sailing over a helpless Lees in goal. Oldland pulled Bradfield back with a stunning strike into the top corner from outside the box to make it 2-1 at half time. Bradfield fought well in the second half, but eventually conceded a third from a corner. With minutes to go Shields finished off a well worked move to make it 3-2. A great spectacle for both fans, but an unfortunate result for Bradfield after a good run of form.
Onto the home of the champions, the Old Carthusians. As ever the Carthusians asserted their physical presence on the game, going into the second half 1-0 up after a set-piece goal. The second half started much like the first, an even game between two competitive teams, however another set-piece saw Bradfield go 2-0 down. If you’re thinking this small tale is coming to an end, then you’re severely mistaken and underestimate the mentality of an OB. And who else to get us back in the game than Captain fantastic himself, Mr Tom Martin. A great ball from Louis was finished with a lofted header from Martin. 2-1… HOPE rekindled. But an OB never rests of his laurels, Foordy epitomised this by winning a penalty minutes later. Up steps Shields, one of the old guard, Mr Composure. Scores, 2-2. They couldn’t, could they? They wouldn’t, would they? Well they have, a corner from Oldand slips through the keeper’s grasp with five minutes to go. 3-2. Injured Club President Harry Martin is on the pitch like Mourinho after beating Barcelona as Inter Milan manager, much to the referee’s bemusement. The game ends with a fantastic win for the Old Bradfieldians against an ever tough opponent.
Next week brought on another tough opponent - The Old Harrovians. The final league game before Christmas for the OBs was interesting game. Certainly the spectators got their money’s worth. The teams went into half time with the scores at 3-3 after some sloppy defending and good finishing from both teams. It was Harrow however who capitalised better in the second half, scoring goals on the breakaway and leaving them 6-4 winners of the tie. A disappointing result reflecting the difficulty of the Arthurian League.
The last game of 2019 for the OBs was their second round fixture in the Arthur Dunn Cup away at Forest. With some early slip ups putting the OBs on the outskirts of a league title challenge there is much focus from the club hierarchy to bring home the Cup, particularly after discovering that in the 117 years of its existence, Bradfield have never won the Arthur Dunn Cup. This was a tough second round fixture for the boys with Forest away spelling their demise in last year’s competition. After the long drive to Essex the game started well for Bradfield with a number of chances but no goal. Forest weren’t playing much football but looked dangerous on a small pitch. In a tight first half Rory ‘Kun’ Knibbs stepped up with a rascal left footed finish to put the OBs 1-0 up at the half. The second half continued on a similar vein with chances for both sides. A great move down the right on 60 mins saw Foord whip in a beauty that Cox snaffled at the far post to get that all important second goal. The game started to open up at this point as Forest had to go on the attack. Chances started to fall to Knibbs who doesn’t tend to miss and he bagged two in quick succession to put the game out of sight at 4-0. Foord put the icing on the cake with a fifth before the end of play. A resounding win for the OBs and great way to end the year as they moved into the quarter finals where they will play Old Rugbeians at Bradfield on 22nd February.
The first two league games of the New Year were both played at home against the Old Chigwellians and the Old Foresters. Chigwell were swept aside by a rejuvenated Bradfield team, eager to start the new year in the right way. A memorable 20 minute hatrick from Louis was the highlight in this 7-1 win for Bradfield. After a tough win in the cup against Forest, this league game saw Bradfield come out firing, Scoring 10 goals in the game. Four goals for star striker Knibbs, hat trick for Foordy and a nearly hat trick for fans favorite Myles Watts (an average-to-poor penalty denying him his third). A 10-3 win capped off a great start to 2020 for the OBs - onwards and upwards.
Bertie Gregory (G 6-11) has recently been interviewed for the BBC Radio 4 Front Row Programme about his time as one of D… More...