Promoted Birckbeck Os leave division as champs

Paul (“Tintin”) Pether files on his team’s latest triumph: becoming champions of the 4th division. Onward to the 3rd!


Birkbeck Orient 6, Eastway Olympia 1, Hackney Marshes ,19 May 2013

LAST WEEK Birkbeck Orient earned promotion with a win over Maynell, and this week just one more point was needed to take the Division 4 title. It was done – decisively.
The Os quickly took control of the match, winning the greater share of possession and playing some neat football through the midfield. Birky got the breakthrough around the 20-minute mark when a cleared corner was delivered back into the area by Chris and Ryan headed home. Early celebrations were very short-lived, however, as Eastway Olympia knocked the ball long soon after the restart and their striker profited from a mistake at the back to calmly finish past Rich. 
The Os weren’t in the mood to let their opportunity slip, though, and went on to score twice in quick succession. The first goal came as Harry played a superb through-ball to Miles, who found the net with a delightful lob. Less than a minute later, Dan glided past three Eastway players down the right and teed up Miles for another clinical finish. There was more to come from Birky before half time – again Dan was the provider, supplying a cross for Harry to guide the ball home for a 4-1 lead.
Only a major defensive collapse in the second 45 could deny Birky now. In truth the game became a scrappy affair as Eastway toiled in midfield and the Os sat on their lead and attack on the break. In the final 15 minutes of the game, Birky added two more goals which they could afford to celebrate wildly. A corner from Chris found Dave unmarked at the back post and the Os midfielder nodded past the keeper to register his first ever goal for the club. And the final say went to Dan, who had caused problems for Eastway’s defence throughout the game.  After being subjected to a couple of rough tackles, he dusted himself off, picked up the ball, skipped away from a cynical hack and steered the ball into the bottom corner with his left foot.
So, after a long hard season the Birky Os can finally call themselves champions of Division 4.  Well done to everyone involved with the club – it’s been a fantastic season.
Squad: Rich Critchlow, Martin Durant, Mark Pether, Sam Steele, Kiel Mellor, Dave Corck-Adelman, Harry Raymond, Chris Agathangelou, Miles Creevy, Dan Mpasi, Ryan Gray,  Darren Trippick, Pete Ranger, Jonny Millard, Charlie Hopkinson
BOFC Man of the Match: Miles Creevy.
Last game of the season:  v Bow Badgers 26 May 2013 South Marsh, Hackney Marshes  
The Os go up in the football world

All reports are by Paul Pether unless otherwise stated


A HISTORIC day for Birkbeck Orient, as Birky sealed their first promotion with a hard-fought win over Maynell.

Before kick-off, the Os knew that a point would be enough to ensure promotion. But Maynell started strongly and scored a simple goal after only a few minutes. Their lively right winger set up the attack, which culminated in a clinical finish from a striker who was given too much space in the box.

The movement of Maynell’s right winger continued to cause problems for Birky, while wingers Miles and Dan were proving to be the best outlet for the Os in the opening stages. It didn’t take too long for the Os to get back on level terms — Miles fed the ball into Ryan and, after driving into the box, he beat the keeper with an excellent finish into the top corner.

Birky were still struggling to retain possession in midfield, however, and it was Maynell who posed the greater attacking threat in the first half. They retook the lead before the interval — once again a couple of attackers were able to exchange passes under little pressure and tee up a teammate for a straightforward finish.

Down 2-1 at half time, the Os knew that they had an extra couple of gears to find. Ben made a couple of tactical switches and Birky immediately went on the offensive. Dan was increasingly causing problems down Maynell’s right side, and a pivotal point arrived when he was bundled over just inside the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Sam had a long time to wait while Maynell’s players protested against the decision, but he kept his composure and produced an unstoppable penalty to level the scores again.

More pictures from Birkbeck Orient 3, Wojak Sunday 3
Pictures from Birkbeck Orient 3, Wojak Sunday 3

Birky had the momentum now, winning more 50/50s and showing more quality on the ball. The Os took the lead for the first time in the game around the hour mark, and this time it came from a corner — Chris’s in-swinging cross looked destined to fly straight into the net until ex-BOFC player Bevis deflected it home.

The 3-2 soon became 4-2 when Kiel (who had earlier suffered the most heinous body malfunction in BOFC history) retrieved a semi-clearance, fizzed the ball back into the 6-yard box and Ryan was in the right spot to poach his second goal of the game. It wasn’t quite celebration time yet. though, as Maynell pulled a goal back with 15 minutes to go – more lax defending left Rich exposed and a Maynell player tucked the ball into the corner effortlessly.

There were an uneasy few minutes as both teams threw everything at each other. But it was Miles who had the final say, hitting a potshot from the corner of the box that somehow evaded the Maynell keeper and found the far corner.  This goal effectively killed off the game, and the final whistle signalled promotionand the opportunity for an almighty booze-up at the Birkbeck Tavern.

Well done to everyone involved with the club. We now need one more point from our last two games to be certain of taking the Division 4 title.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Martin Durant, Sam Steele, Kiel Mellor, Mark Pether, Dave Corck-Adelman, Harry Raymond, Chris Agathangelou, Dan Mpasi, Miles Creevy, Ryan Gray, Pete Ranger, Frankie Fitzpatrick, Darren Trippick, Evan Guppy.

BOFC Man of the Match: Ryan Gray

Next fixture: v Eastway Olympia on South Marsh, Hackney Marshes, 19 May 2013

Pictures from Birkbeck Orient 3, Wojak Sunday 3
On the campaign trail: an earlier game, 28 April 2013. Report below this one



Birkbeck hold a draw against good opposition


Birkbeck Orient FC 3, Wojak Sunday FC 3, Hackney Marshes, 28 April 2013

BIRKBECK ORIENT FC scored two excellent goals to fight back from 1-3, although the equaliser was an own goal.

Full match report to come and  here are some pictures from the first half.

Wojak Sunday goalie keeps Birkbeck Orient at bay
Hearts in mouth as Wojak Sunday goalie holds off a good attack by Birkbeck Orient



Birkbeck Orient on way up as season nears its end 

LOVING DALSTON’S football reporter Paul (“Tintin”) Pether has been unable to file from the last two matches, so here is a summary of Birkbeck Orient’s stunning progress towards from the 3rd division:

Sun 21 April 2013, league: East London 0, Birkbeck Orient 4 (Charlie Hopkinson 3, Christopher Agathangelou1)

Sun 7 April 2013, league: Inter Nations 1, Birkbeck Orient 7 (Charlie Hopkinson 3, Christopher Agathangelou 1, Kiel Mellor 1, Miles Creevy 1, Pete Ranger 1)

Next match: Sun 28 April 2013 10.30am, v Wojak Sunday, Hackney Marshes



Match reports by PAUL PETHER, unless otherwise stated

Birkbeck Orient’s unbeaten run is all Rover

Birkbeck Orient 0, Woodford Rovers 1, Hackney Marshes, 31 March 2013

BIRKBECK Orient’s unbeaten league run came to an end this week when they lost narrowly to promotion rivals Woodford Rovers.

As was to be expected, the first half was a tight affair that featured few chances at either end. Woodford shaded the half in terms of territory, but the closest they came was an inswinging corner that skimmed off Birky’s crossbar and out of play.  The Os had real trouble working the ball through midfield, and mustered only one shot – Chris blazing over from inside the box. The only other incident of note was the Rovers striker getting himself substituted after a display of petulance.

Birky showed better discipline and ball retention early in the second half, but still couldn’t find a way past Woodford’s stout defence.  Meanwhile, Rovers showed plenty of pace up front and constantly kept Birky’s back four busy.  Yet, as the half wore on, neither team could fashion a clear cut chance.

Going into the final 10 minutes, it was very difficult to tell if either team would snatch a precious three points.  Unfortunately for Birky, it was Woodford who grabbed a vital winner on the counter-attack. After working the ball forward, the left-winger latched on to an incisive through ball and slotted home after rounding the keeper.

Birky couldn’t muster up an equaliser in the dying minutes: Woodford has closed the gap in what is shaping up to be a three-horse race for the Division 4 title. The Os will have to pick themselves up and get back into their winning habit next Sunday.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Martin Durant, Mack Page, Kiel Mellor, Mark Pether, Sam Steele, Miles Creevy, Chris Agathangelou, Harry Raymond, Sam Dutton, Jonny Millard, Sam Browne, Frankie Fitzpatrick, Pete Ranger, Dave Corck-Adelman

BOFC Man of the Match: Sam Steele

Next  game: v Inter Nations, 7 April 2013, Hackney Marshes

Emboldened and underlined words are hyperlinked. The picture above is from another day.



Double-header yields 4 points for table leaders

AS THEIR promotion rivals slipped up elsewhere, Birky could be satisfied to emerge from this hard-fought double-header with four points.

Game 1

Hungry to make up for mediocre performances in their last two outings, Birky went on the front foot from the first minute of the first game.  Despite winning plenty of tackles in midfield and moving the ball forward effectively, they again struggled to get any quality shots away. Miles had the best chance of the first 20 minutes, floating the ball over the keeper but wide of the post after a defensive mix-up by Maddigans.

Sam’s inswinging corners were causing consternation in the Maddigans back line, and another good delivery ultimately led to a penalty for the Os just before half time — a scramble in the area resulted in a Maddigans defender handling a shot on goal. Unfortunately for the Os, Sam S cleared the crossbar with his spot kick.

Maddigans had barely threatened Birky’s goal, but they were proving resolute at the back. Chris and Sam Browne (starting his second spell at the club) entered the fray as Birky tried to find a way past the stubborn defence. The Os looked increasingly ragged as they scrambled to find a winning goal. Mercifully, with just five minutes to go, they snatched a winner. Left back Joe made a surging run to the byline and pulled the ball back for Miles to scuff home at the back post. The goal gave Birky three points from the first game.

Game 2

With a large squad, the Os were able to make changes for the second game of the day.  In came Darren, Sam B, Chris and Frankie as the gaffer looked to freshen things up. With the wind at their backs once more, Birky controlled the play in the first half to take the lead early on. Charlie’s long throw was inadvertently flicked on by a Maddigans defender and Frankie was on hand to tap the ball in from a few metres out.

The second half of Game 2 was full of blood, guts and drama, as the pitch deteriorated rapidly in the rain. Despite having no substitutes, Maddigans were committed in the tackle and began to find better quality in their link-up play. Their efforts were rewarded with an equaliser midway through the half. There had seemed to be no danger as Birky knocked the ball around at the back, but a poor clearance resulted in a Maddigans forward collecting a pass and lashing the ball into the bottom corner.

It was “heart in mouth” time soon after when a Maddigans midfielder went down in the box under a challenge from Chris and the referee pointed to the spot.  Fortunately for the Os, keeper Rich made a great save with his legs to keep the score at 1-1.  And the importance of that save was soon emphasised when Dan collected the ball on the right wing, skipped past his marker and squared for Sam D to turn past the keeper.

The goal sparked celebrations on the Os sideline, and with only ten minutes to go, the team players perhaps felt they had done enough. Maddigans responded by throwing players forward in a counter-attack, and as Birky appeared to be increasingly panicky in defence, Maddigans won another penalty with just five minutes to play – this time their striker was felled by a slide tackle from Mack. They made no mistake from the spot, setting up a tense finish.

Maddigans looked likelier to grab a winner in the dying minutes, but Birky cleared their lines well and the second game of the day ended 2-2.  And since promotion contenders Wojack Sunday and Woodford Rovers had dropped points, Birky could be content with their four-point haul for the day.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Martin Durant, Darren Trippick, Joe Latimer, Sam Steele, Kiel Mellor, Mack Page, Dave Corck-Adelman, Charlie Hopkinson, Chris Agathangelou, Harry Raymond, Pete Ranger, Frankie Fitzpatrick, Dan Mpasi, Sam Dutton, Miles Creevy, Sam Browne

BOFC man of the match: game 1, Joe Latimer; game 2, Rich Critchlow

Next game: v Wojack Sunday, 24 March 2013, Hackney Marshes, South Marsh

Emboldened and underlined words are hyperlinked. The picture above is from another day.


Birkbeck leave nomads wondering out east


Birkbeck Orient 1, Haggerston Nomads 0, 10 March 2013

BIRKBECK ORIENT spurned several good chances in this game, but a single goal was enough to register their 11th league win of the season.

Haggerston Nomads seemed to have reinforced their defence since the two sides last met. After a fairly even opening quarter, Birky began to string some passes together and create chances, largely thanks to Dan and Miles who were regularly finding a way past the Nomads’ full backs.

Though the final ball was lacking at times, the Os had some very presentable opportunities to take the lead. Harry ballooned a great chance wide, Dan spooned the ball over, and the Nomads keeper then made two fantastic reaction saves to keep the score at 0-0 at half time.

Birky had gone a game and a half without a goal, but any growing nerves were eased early in the second half when Sam arrowed a corner to the near post and Charlie’s header deflected off a Nomads player and into the net. FC Haggerston’s defence was wobbling in the aftermath of the goal. Birky pushed forward but could not find a way past the keeper again. A few potshots flew wide, and the keeper made another excellent save after a great cross from Dan.

As the time ran out, Nomads rallied and tried to get the ball to their tricky strikers as often as they could. One of them beat Rich to the ball out on the wing, but his cross-cum-shot was cleared from the goalmouth by Mack. And the other striker had a penalty appeal rejected near the end, after being denied a shot on goal by Pete’s challenge.

In the end, Birkbeck Orient did just enough to take the three points against a side it had beaten 5-1 earlier this year (see  13 Jan 2013 report below).

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Mark Pether, Joe Latimer, Sam Steele, Mack Page, Dave Corck-Adelman, Charlie Hopkinson, Harry Raymond, Dan Mpasi, Miles Creevy, Ryan Gray, Martin Durant, Pete Ranger, Sam Dutton.

BOFC Man of the Match: Sam Steele.

Next fixture: double-header v Maddigans FC 17 March 2013 Hackney Marshes South Marsh

Emboldened and underlined words are hyperlinked.


Birky’s perfect record broken by a stalemate

Birkbeck Orient 0, Maynell FC 0 Hackney Marshes 3 March 2013

BIRKBECK ORIENT’S 100% league record was stopped this week by a hard-working Maynell side.

Despite going into the game with a depleted squad, the Os were aiming for their 11th straight league win. But the plan to play neat and tidy football was never realised. Maynell were strong and direct in their play, and though Birky’s defence was fairly untroubled in the first half, the midfield could not get their passing game going. There were very few chances in the first half — former BOFC midfielder Ant had one dangerous shot from range for Maynell, and Ryan saw his header and a shot sail just wide near the end of the half.

The second half followed the same pattern as Maynell put the Os back four under pressure whilst Birky threatened on the break from time to time. In truth, the quality of football from both sides was mostly poor. The Os had a strong spell midway through the half, culminating in several wayward assaults on goal. Sam D was in the thick of the action, putting two close-range efforts just over, then seeing a third shot clawed over the bar by the Maynell keeper.  At the other end, Maynell came within a whisker of taking the lead — a midfielder curled a beautiful free kick on to the inside of Birky’s post and the ball was cleared to safety.

Every time Birky got the ball forward, they let themselves down with a bad pass or an over-ambitious shot. Maynell were on the front foot in the final few minutes, but the Os held firm and the game ended scoreless.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Chris Agathangelou, Jonny Millard, Sam Steele, Kiel Mellor, Dave Corck-Adelman, Charlie Hopkinson, Harry Raymond, Dan Mpasi, Frankie Fitzpatrick, Ryan Gray, Sam Dutton, Evan Guppy.

BOFC Man of the Match: Chris Agathangelou

Next fixture: to be announced.


Birky fitness and skill roll over the Rovers 

Birkbeck Orient 6, Woodford Rovers 1, Hackney Marshes (South) 17 February 2013

A HUGELY important game for Birkbeck Orient FC, blowing away nearest rivals Woodford Rovers in the second half to make it ten wins from ten league games.

The Os started the game eager to prove their promotion credentials, but it was a young Rovers side who had the better of the opening 15 minutes.  They nearly took the lead when a long throw into Birky’s box squirmed through a sea of legs , and the ball trickled on to the far post before being cleared. Birky started to get to grips with their opponents — until Rovers took the lead from a corner with 20 minutes gone. The ball swung into the Os’ 6m box, skimmed off a head and was turned in on the line by a Woodford player.

Rovers were jubilant, but the Os weren’t fazed and they set about imposing themselves on the game. Miles was seeing a lot of the ball on the right and Birky forced Rovers into a number of hurried clearances and, in the difficult wintry conditions, Charlie’s long throws emerged as Birky’s most potent weapon. Woodford survived a number of launches into the box, but before too long the pressure told — another big throw sailed towards the Rovers goalmouth and their captain, facing his own goal, planted a header into his own net from point-blank range. Birky edged the rest of the first half, but the teams went into the interval at 1-1.

The Os came out fired up for the second half, and they went in front in under a minute: Miles skinned his man down the right wing and put in a dangerous low cross, which a Rovers defender inadvertently turned past his own keeper. Rovers were becoming disorganised, and Birky scored again within a few minutes.  This time, Harry nodded Rich’s long kick into the path of Jonny, who dashed into the penalty area and beat the keeper at his near post for his first goal for BOFC.

After such an explosive start to the half, the Os sat back a little and the Rovers forwards showed some neat touches and link-up play. They fashioned one clear chance, but Rich, who had been a spectator for most of the game, showed excellent concentration to beat away a snapshot.

As has become their trademark this season, Birky’s fitness and ball retention came to the fore in the final quarter of the game. Their fourth goal came from a set-piece — Jonny doubled his personal tally by latching on to a long free kick from Sam and nodding the ball past the keeper, as the Rovers defence appealed in vain for offside.

With a three-goal lead established, Harry decided to embark on a one-man mission to score. After clipping the crossbar and blazing over, he eventually got his rewards: Ryan managed to force a poor clearance by a Rovers defender, and the ball fell into the path of the Os midfielder, who lashed it into the bottom corner for his first goal of 2013.

Rovers’ forwards continued to try to unpick the Os’ defence, but the back four didn’t allow them any sight of goal. Birky continued to create chances in open play, but in the end the sixth goal came from another Charlie long throw — and it was substitute Dan who rounded off the scoring with the simplest of tap-ins at the back post.

* Squad: Rich Critchlow, Martin Durant, Sam Steele, Mack Page, Mark Pether, Dave Corck-Adelman, Miles Creevy, Charlie Hopkinson, Harry Raymond, Sam Dutton, Jonny Millard, Chris Agathangelou, Dan Mpasi, Ryan Gray, Joe Latimer, Frankie Fitzpatrick, Pete Ranger.

* BOFC Man of the Match: Harry Raymond

* Next: v Maynelll FC 3 March 2013 Hackney Marshes (South)



Birky go to the top in best possible Manor

Birkbeck Orient 4, Leyton Manor 0 and Birkbeck Orient 6, Leyton Manor 0 Hackney Marshes 10 February 2013

SIX points and ten goals in the bag for Birky this week enable the team to move into top spot in Division 4.

The challenge was to win maximum points in back-to-back 60-minute games against Leyton Manor.  n the first game, Birky were on top from the word “go”, pressing forward and threatening from a number of long throws by Charlie. Manor seemed content to clear their lines and barely got the ball forward. Their keeper came to the rescue several times, and made one fantastic save from Charlie’s long-range blaster.  The first half seemed set to end in a frustrating stalemate, but Birky’s pressure eventually led to an opener. From the umpteenth long throw into Manor’s 6m box, the ball dropped invitingly to Kiel and he showed good composure to lash the ball into the near corner.

It was one-way traffic in the second half, too, as Birky’s midfield dominated possession and set up attacks from all angles.  The Os extended their lead when Charlie broke into space and teed up Sam D for a classic poacher’s goal.  Birky made use of their ample squad, bringing on three subs as Manor became increasingly ragged.  Ryan’s impact from the bench was immediate, smashing the ball in from close range after a deep cross from Miles and knock-down by left back Mark. Ryan struck again near the end of the game to reach double figures for the season, capping off a comfortable win in the first game of the day.

Birky were determined to do the business again in the second match, and asserted their dominance from the kick off.  In a carbon copy of the first game, it took some time for the Os to grab the opening goal but, sure enough, one came midway through the first half. And it was a great goal from Frankie, who span cleverly in the penalty area and produced a delightful curler into the top corner.  Manor’s heads quickly went down, and Birky scored again within a minute – this time Jonny teased the Manor defence and teed up Mark, who confidently found the bottom corner from 15m out.

Charlie had been dominating centre midfield throughout the two games, and eventually he got the goal his efforts deserved, smacking a precise low shot into the corner from the edge of the box after a flowing Birky move.  Manor looked utterly defeated by the time the second half got under way, and Birky made the most of the space they were given, knocking the ball around gleefully and fashioning more chances on goal. Sam D and Ryan continued their duel for leading scorer – Sam bagged his seventh and eighth of the season, but Ryan notched another late in the game to take his tally to 11.  Plenty of headlines for the forward players, but a word for the defensive personnel who remained focussed and disciplined to achieve consecutive clean sheets.

So, two comprehensive wins that shot BOFC to the top of the league. Well done, lads. Another big Sunday is coming up, though: a double-header against a team of newcomers.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Martin Durant, Sam Steele, Kiel Mellor, Mark Pether, Dave Corck-Adelman, Charlie Hopkinson, Harry Raymond, Jonny Millard, Sam Dutton, Miles Creevy, Evan Guppy, Ben Boatman, Ryan Gray, Pete Ranger, Frankie Fitzpatrick

BOFC man of the match: Game 1: Charlie Hopkinson; game 2: Mark Pether

Next game: double-header v Maddigans 17 February 2013 Hackney Marshes South Marsh

Birkbeck Orient defeating Haggerston. See 13 January report below
Birkbeck Orient defeating Haggerston. See 13 January report further below


Os thwack Wojack to make it sevenski in a row

Birkbeck Orient 3, Wojack Sunday, Hackney Marshes Sun 3 Feb 2013

A BOGGY PITCH and blustery conditions ensured that this was no game for the neutral, but Birky took the spoils to make it seven wins from seven in the league.

Wojack Sunday were an unknown quantity, but it quickly became clear that they relied on a fairly direct style, their left back setting up most of the play. It was a low-quality start to the game, but the Os took the lead with their first meaningful attack – Ryan collected Rich’s long kick, got to the byline and squared to Sam D, who nicked the ball out of the keeper’s hand and sidefooted home.

Wojack were somewhat aggrieved that no foul was called, but a few minutes later they were given the chance to equalise from the penalty spot after the referee gave a soft decision against Darren. A Wojack player made no mistake to level things up.

However, Birky were adapting to the tricky conditions a little better and threatened with a couple of excellent in-swinging corners from Sam S.  And it was he who quickly restored the Os lead. Birky were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box and, after Wojack had set up a positionally questionable wall, the Os centre-back found the bottom corner with an accurate strike.

Neither team was distinguishing itself on the muddy surface, but Birky managed to edge further ahead on the half-hour – this time, the ball dropped to Harry on the edge of the box and his low shot was helped home by Sam S from close range. Birky’s back four were very solid for the rest of the first half and at the interval it remained 3-1.

The second half was an unremarkable affair, with Wojack huffing and puffing without threatening the Os goal and Birky working hard to contain and counter-attack. Wojack got one good shot away from a mis-hit corner, but Rich made a smart reaction save to preserve the two-goal lead.  Meanwhile, Dan nearly scored a great solo goal but was pulled up for handball after escaping three tackles.

Wojack also found the crossbar with an overhit free kick, but for the most part Birky’s defence and midfield held firm in the final stages and the Os were denied a couple of clear runs on goal only by marginal offside decisions.

An ugly win, but another three points for Birkbeck Orient.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Darren Trippick, Martin Durant, Sam Steele, Mark Pether, Dave Corck-Adelman, Charlie Hopkinson, Harry Raymond, Dan Mpasi, Ryan Gray, Sam Dutton, Pete Ranger, Miles Creevy, Paul Pether

BOFC man of the match: Sam Steele

Next game: TBA. At Hackney Marshes South Marsh


Birkbeck bag the points as the Hagg flag

Birkbeck Orient 5, FC Haggerston 1, Hackney Marshes 13 Jan 2013


BIRKBECK ORIENT kept up their impressive scoring record in the league, scoring five times to record another handsome win.

Haggerston had already scored 25 and conceded 25 in the league before this contest, so an open game was in the offing.  The Os got off to the best possible start, taking the lead within two minutes — Dan played a nicely weighted pass down the right channel and Martin marauded forward to slide-tackle the ball past the keeper and get  his second goal for the club.

Haggerston were determined to get the ball forward to their tricky right winger as often as possible, and had one penalty claim turned down early on.  However, it was Birky who fashioned all the clearest chances in the early stages, and the Os doubled their lead with a goal of real quality: after being awarded a free kick on the right side, Chris delivered a superb cross and Ryan headed powerfully past the keeper for his seventh of the season.birk130113f

Despite their dominance, Birky conceded a sloppy goal midway through the half — a Haggerston long throw was flicked to the back post and Harry’s clearance cannoned off an opposition player and straight into Birky’s net.  However, there was no momentum shift, and the Os quickly restored a two-goal lead through sheer persistence, Mark charging down an attempted clearance by Haggerston’s right back, before advancing into the box and coolly slotting ball into the near corner.

Though both teams laboured somewhat on the muddy pitch in the second half, the Os continued to dictate most of the play — Dan and substitute Jonny constantly tested the Haggy defence. But Rich played his part, making a couple of smart saves when Haggerston occasionally got the ball forward.

When Birky did string some passes together, they looked dangerous. In the end, they made the game safe from another set-piece. Chris put in a great corner and Kiel rose highest to nod the ball into the top corner.  And 4-1 became 5-1 about ten minutes from the end. This time substitute Pete put the ball into the mixer and Ryan showed great striking instincts to control and blast home from 8 metres out.

BIRKBECK ORIENT jubilant after another 5-goal orgy, this time against Haggerston FC, who were allowed only 1.
Birkbeck Orient after the 5-1 defeat of Haggerston

Another tricky test passed, and next week the Os look to maintain their unbeaten record against  newcomers Wojack Sunday.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Martin Durant, Kiel Mellor, Mack Page, Joe Latimer, Dave Corckk-Adelman, Harry Raymond, Chris Agathangelou, Mark Pether, Dan Mpasi, Ryan Gray, Darren Trippick, Pete Ranger, Jonny Millard, Sam Steele, Charlie Hopkinson

BOFC man of the match:  Martin Durant

Next game: 20 Jan  2013 Wojack Sunday at South Marsh Hackney Marshes















Birky running hot — rising to Oympian heights 

Birkbeck Orient 5, Eastway Olympia 0, Hackney Marshes 6 Jan 2013

IT TOOK the Os a while to find their shooting boots on returning from the Christmas break, but a second-half salvo eventually saw off Eastway.

Birky started strongly, knocking the ball around confidently at the back while Eastway opted to defend deep and to counter-attack.  As the half wore on, Birky’s movement and neat passing began to lead to goal chances, but shots from several players were either saved or flashed past Eastway’s right-hand post.

Eastway occasionally got the ball forward and forced some corners, but Rich made a couple of excellent claims to relieve the pressure.  Meanwhile, Jonny was causing all sorts of problems for Eastway with his pace and deft touches.

Thirty minutes in, Birky thought they’d taken the lead when Dan tucked away a rebounded shot, but the ref ruled it offside.  Confusion then turned to frustration when Dan appeared to be tripped in the box and the referee waved away the Os’ penalty claims.  Just as it seemed the first half would end in a stalemate, however, Birky won a spotkick.  This time Ryan was bumped over by Eastway’s left back, and the Os striker picked himself up to stroke the penalty into the top corner.

Martin set the tone for the second half with a fierce tackle, which elicited a yellow card.  Suddenly Birky were flying into tackles and showing a competitive side that has at times been lacking.  Eastway plugged away and caused a couple of scrambles in Birky’s box, so it was something of a relief when the Os grabbed a cheap second goal — an Eastway player got his head to a long throw from Joe, but he succeeded only in flicking the ball backwards past his own keeper.

Eastway were having their best spell, though, and had a golden chance to reduce the deficit: a forward found himself clear through on goal, but Rich showed excellent agility to get down and save his low shot. The importance of that save was underlined when Birky got the next goal of the game – after great work by Sam D, the ball fell to Dan on the edge of the box and he managed to get a shot away under pressure which the Eastway keeper fluffed into the net.

Birky’s ball retention was good throughout, and as Eastway was tiring in the last 10 minutes, the Os added two more goals.  First, the impressive Jonny dinked a clever pass through to Dan, who beat the keeper to the ball and steered it home.  Then substitute Pete capped the game with a memorable first league goal for the club – collecting a loose pass in midfield, he carried the ball forward, shimmied past a defender and belted the ball into the top corner from 25m.  A stunning strike which brought wild celebrations!

Strong performances from everyone involved this week.  This win elevated Birky to third in the table, still with games in hand over their rivals.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Martin Durant, Kiel Mellor, Mack Page, Joe Latimer, Dave Corck-Adelman, Chris Agathangelou, Harry Raymond, Dan Mpasi, Jonny Millard, Ryan Gray, Mark Pether, Pete Ranger, Sam Dutton, Evan Guppy, Darren Trippick

BOFC man of the match: Jonny Millard

Next game: 13 Jan 2013 FC Haggerston Nomads at South Marsh Hackney Marshes

Picture above shows a moment from the Birkbeck Orient 5, Inter Nations 3. Revisit the triumph.



Birkbeck Orient 1, Mile End FC 3, Mabley Green16 December 2012

IN THEIR last match of 2012, Birkbeck Orient exited the Jack Walpole Cupin rather tame fashion, going down 3-1 to Premier Division strugglers Mile End.

After giving Black Meteors a run for their money last week, the Os should have gone into this game confident of an upset. And they were given an early boost when Mile End managed to field only nine players for the kick-off. However, rather than take advantage, the Os were unduly relaxed in the opening exchanges, allowing Mile End too much space to knock the ball around.

Mile End eventually reached a full complement of players and their pacy link-up play led to a few half-chances, which they spurned. Birky began to compete more effectively after switching to a 4-4-2 formation, but they barely had a sight of goal during the first half. The Os’ best effort came from Mark, who stung the fingertips of the Mile End keeper with a vicious volley from the edge of the box. The first half ended goalless.

The second began in much the same way, the two teams mostly cancelling each other out. However, Birky were guilty of any number of misplaced passes, and eventually conceded a poor goal — a defensive free kick from Rich landed straight to a Mile End player, who simply returned the ball over the Os’ keeper’s head and into the empty net.

Mile End, in control of the game now, increased their lead from the penalty spot. Their right winger took a tumble over Darren’s outstretched leg, then tucked away the resultant spot kick with a minimum of fuss.

Birky substitute Dan then sparked some life into the game with a couple of fierce challenges and dangerous runs down the right wing. The referee was kept busy as tackles started flying in from both sides. Slightly against the run of play, Birky pulled a goal back — Dan and Martin combined down the right to present Ryan with a simple finish past the keeper, creating the prospect of a comeback.

Still the Os still couldn’t get their passing game going, and Mile End killed off the tie with a slightly controversial third goal. Confusion reigned as Mile End’s keeper picked up a free kick passed back to him, and from the next phase of play a striker found the roof of Birky’s net with a deft shot from 25m.

The Os continued to match Mile End’s physicality but their passing remained sloppy through to the final whistle.  BOFC now go into the New Year completely focused on their league campaign.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Pete Ranger, Kiel Mellor, Mac Page, Darren Trippick, Dave Corck-Adelman, Jon Millard, Mark Pether, Harry Raymond, Frankie Fitzpatrick, Martin Durant, Evan Guppy, Dan Mpasi

BOFC man of the match: Kiel Mellor

Next game: 6 Jan 2013 – opposition TBA – Hackney Marshes (South Marsh)



Birkbeck Orient 0, Black Meteors 2, Hackney Marshes, 9 Dec 2012


BIRKBECK ORIENT emerged from this cup defeat with credit, having matched Premier Division champions Black Meteors for long spells.

Meteors came into the game apparently expecting an easy ride, but Birky were more than a match in the opening 30 minutes. The Birky Os were highly disciplined in defence and won lots of tackles in midfield, although they struggled to get the ball to lone striker Ryan.

Meteors were restricted to some wild long shots for most of the half, but took the lead thanks to a snapshot from the edge of the box which gave Rich no chance. The Os continued to threaten occasionally down the wings, and nearly equalised before the break: a great cross from Harry landed at the feet of Ryan, but the keeper somehow blocked his shot at point-blank range and the ball flipped over the bar.

In the second half the Os had the wind at their backs. However, Meteors became increasingly fluid in their passing and won most of the possession. Birky worked overtime to keep the Meteors at bay, but after they spurned a one-on-one chance Meteors doubled their lead. It was a soft goal to concede – a striker turned in the box and poked a shot which somehow squirmed into the net.

Birky kept plugging away, bravely trying to stifle Meteors’ confident passing, but couldn’t find a goal to reward their efforts. The best chance again fell to Ryan, who got on the end of a volleyed cross from Charlie but couldn’t steer his header past the Meteors keeper.

This was a very encouraging effort against a team playing four divisions higher. Birkbeck Orient have another chance at a cupset next week, when they take on Premier Division Mile End in Round 2 of the Jack Walpole Cup.

Squad: Rich Crichlow, Mark Pether, Sam Steele, Kiel Mellor, Joe Latimer, Charlie Hopkinson, Chris Agathangelou, Harry Raymond, Jonny Millard, Ryan Gray, Frankie Fitzpatrick, Pete Ranger, Darren Trippick

BOFC Man of the Match: Jonny Millard

Next game: v Mile End FC at Mabley Green on 16 December 2012

Note: underscored words indicatxe available hyperlinks



Birkbeck  Orient 5, FC Bow Prince 1, at Hackney Marshes, 2 December 2012

BIRKBECK ORIENT demonstrated their promotion credentials by putting five goals past table-toppers FC Bow Prince in a game that showed Birky’s improvement this season.

The Os, determined to start the game better than in previous weeks, caught Bow cold in the first quarter of the game. It didn’t take long for the opening goal to come, and it was from Harry, who scored with a trademark effort, collecting the ball around the edge of the box and lashing it into the bottom corner.

The lead was doubled soon after when Dan laid on a low cross to Ryan, who took a touch and slid the ball home. Birky were in command, and went 3-0 up midway through the first half. This time Mark found Ryan in acres of space and the Os striker bagged his fourth of the season with an expert finish over the onrushing keeper.

Bow steadied and had the better of the next 15 minutes, fashioning a couple of chances which were put wide of Rich’s goal. The Os had a three-goal lead at the break.

Possibly as a result of the comfortable lead, Birky were guilty of some sloppy play during the second half and the game became scrappy. There was a 20-minute period in which neither team kept the ball particularly well and neither keeper was called into action. However, around the 70-minute mark, the Os grabbed a fourth goal to make the game safe. After Bow cleared a corner, Mark hit a speculative 25m shot, which deflected towards goal. Bow’s keeper parried the shot, but the ball dropped straight to substitute Frankie for a simple tap-in.

Bow pulled a goal back soon after — they were awarded a kick 20m out and a player found the top corner with a fine shot. This was a cue for Bow to commit players forward, and they very nearly reduced the deficit further with a snapshot but Rich tipped it on to the crossbar superbly. Birky weathered the brief storm, and grabbed a comical fifth goal right at the end when Bow’s keeper hesitated over a back pass, and Sam D blocked his attempted clearance straight back into the net. Not a classic, but they all count.

This win elevated BOFC to second place in the league standings, with games in hand.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Martin Durant, Sam Steele, Kiel Mellor, Mark Pether, Dave Corck-Adelman, Dan Mpasi, Chris Agathangelou, Harry Raymond, Jonny Millard, Ryan Gray, Darren Trippick, Charlie Hopkinson, Frankie Fitzpatrick, Sam Dutton

BOFC Man of the Match: Kiel Mellor

Next game: Dickie Davies Cup Round 2 v Black Meteors at South Marsh, Hackney Marshes, on Sunday 9 December 2012


Birkbeck  Orient 3, Bristow City, at Hackney Marshes, Sunday18 November 2012


IN  A near carbon copy of last week’s match, the Birky Os dumped a higher-division  team out of a cup with a 3-1 win in round 1 of the Jack Walpole Cup.

Birky  appeared  to be more “up for it” than their high-flying 2nd division opponents,  seizing possession and going on the attack straight from the kick-off.The Os  threatened from a couple of corners, but not for the first time this season they  managed to go a goal down while in the ascendancy

About 15  minutes into the match, Bristow created an overlap down the right and their  winger had space to finish clinically past Rich.

The  Os continued to enjoy the greater share of possession but couldn’t find any  quality in the final third, and a number of attempted crosses sailed over the  bar. Sam  hit a couple of decent free kicks on target, but City’s stand-in keeper managed  to stop them.In the end, it was Harry who got Birky back on level terms when he nicked  a loose ball past the keeper and walked it into the  net.

Birky’s  forwards were becoming increasingly influential. Dan, in particular,was a  constant problem for Bristow and the Os went 2-1 up before the break when  Jonny got the ball into the box, exchanged passes with Frankie and laid the  ball on for an onrushing Harry to rifle past the keeper.

Bristow started the second half at a high tempo, and  Birky were guilty of a few sloppy clearances.However, the energy and commitment  levels remained excellent, typified by a beast of a tackle by Dave from which  the opposing player could not recover and had to go  off.

The  pace of Frankie and Dan continued to cause City’s defence problems, and they  combined for Birky’s third goal.Just as last week, Frankie played in Dan  with a neat through ball and the youngster confidently tucked the ball into the  corner as Bristow appealed in vain for offside.

Birky  reverted to a slightly more cautious style in the final 15 minutes and saw out  the game with relative ease to advance to round 2 of the Jack Walpole Cup.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Mark Pether, Sam Steele, Mac Page, Darren Trippick, Dave  Corck-Adelman, Pete Ranger, Harry Raymond, Dan Mpasi, Frankie Fitzpatrick, Jonny  Millard, Chris Agathangelou, Paul Pether, Martin  Durant.

Man  of the Match: ave  Corck-Adelman

Next  match: Haggerston Nomads at Hackney  Marshes 25 November 2012



Birkbeck Orient 3, Wounded Knee 1 at Hackney Marshes (South) on 11 November 2012\

BIRKY pulled off a “cupset” this week, wearing down Division 1 side Wounded Knee and running out 3-1 winners in the first round of the Dickie Davies Cup.

The Os looked nervy on the ball in the early stages of the game, and Knee threatened from a number of corners and free kicks. Knee took the lead in the opening 15 mins – from a half-cleared corner, a Knee midfielder crossed to the back post and a player was left unmarked to steer the ball home.

Birky then got into their stride, as Charlie and Harry became increasingly influential in centre midfield. Dan and Frankie swapped wings and the switch paid off, as Frankie had the beating of Knee’s right back and made a couple of excellent runs. On the second marauding run, he got to the byline and squared to Charlie, who unfortunately shot at the keeper when the goal was gaping. Ryan also had a good penalty shout turned down after battling hard to steal the ball from the Knee defence.

Birky’s cause was helped when the Knee keeper had to withdraw with a shoulder injury.  A nervous-looking substitute replaced him, and the Os capitalised just before half time. The substitute keeper flapped at Sam’s long free kick and Ryan somehow managed to divert it over the line from close range.

The second half was an entertaining affair, as both teams tried to get the ball down and play. Birky looked increasingly confident and committed in the tackle, and just after the hour mark they took the lead – Frankie played a neat through ball to Dan, who showed tenacity to resist a tackle and poke the ball past the onrushing keeper.

Knee tried to mount a comeback, throwing their big centre-back up front, but Birky’s back four was strong and organised and Rich didn’t have a save to make.  Tensions were high as both teams recognised the significance of the next goal.  Thankfully, with 5 minutes to go, the Sams combined to put the game to bed – Sam S delivered a corner which substitute Sam D met with a bullet header for 3-1.
Against a team that plays three divisions above, this wasan impressive victory for Birkbeck Orient.

Squad: Rich Critchlow, Martin Durant, Mark Pether, Mac Page, Sam Steele, Dave Corck-Adelman, Harry Raymond, Charlie Hopkinson, Frankie Fitzpatrick, Dan Mpasi, Ryan Gray, Jonny Millard, Sam Dutton, Ben Boatman, Darren Trippick, Evan Guppy.

Man of the Match: Charlie Hopkinson

Next fixture:  TBA


FC Cortez 3, Birkbeck Orient 0, at Firhill Sports Ground, Bellingham

BIRKBECK ORIENT bowed out of the London Sunday Junior Cup this week, paying a high price for a sluggish start in deepest Southeast London.

Injuries and absences forced Ben to make seven changes from last week’s starting XI, and the Os found themselves a goal down before the new-look side had settled – an FC Cortez striker raced through and confidently lifted the ball past Rich with just a few minutes on the clock.

Cortez showed plenty of pace and tenacity in the opening stages, while Birky looked nervous in possession.

Some more hesitant defending allowed a Cortez player to seize on a loose ball in the box and steer it into the bottom corner – and then it was 2-0.

The Os eventually started to test the Cortez defence by pressing them high up the pitch.  “Spooky” Sam had a clear sight of goal, but clipped the top of the bar with his effort.  But just as Birky began to shade the possession stats, Cortez struck again.  From a free kick, a midfielder got to the ball before Rich and flicked it home with his head.  Injury was added to insult too, as both Pete and Darren had to withdraw with injuries by half time.

The Os regrouped and put in a much more solid effort after the interval.  Most of Birky’s best play came through Joe and Jon on the left flank, leading to a number of long throws which Cortez cleared under pressure.  Cortez remained a genuine threat on the counter attack, and would have scored again but for a couple of good saves from Rich and a terrible miss at the far post.  Mark had Birky’s best effort, flashing a left-footed shot just past the stanchion.

Unfortunately Birky couldn’t get the goal they needed to initiate a comeback, so it’s FC Cortez who march on to round 3

Squad:  Rich Critchlow, Darren Trippick, Kiel Mellor, Evan Guppy, Joe Latimer, Mark Pether, Pete Ranger, Harry Raymond, Sam Steele, Jonny Millard, Sam Dutton, Paul Pether, Ben Boatman.

BOFC Man of the Match: Joe Latimer

Next fixture:  Dicky Davies Cup 1st round v Wounded Knee on 4 November 2012

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