JC MSFL DIVISION FOUR
SPEC 3 BOCA JEWNIORS 1
The Lawrence brothers inspired SPEC to a second consecutive victory against a determined Boca side at 'The Cauldron of Noise'.
The Bananas started the brighter but were made to pay for some indecision at the back 10 minutes in.
Boca, enjoying their first attack of the half, fed a hopeful ball forward and after some confusion at the back (A Banana Split) their striker nipped in to round the keeper and slot in to an empty net.
However, it did not take long for SPEC to even things up. Ashley Burns crossed for the bearded JC Star Man Ricky Lawrence to chest down and volley home a cracker in what was to be a day for the Lawrence clan to remember.
The midfield engine room was quoted as saying "I knew it was in as soon as it hit the net. Innit"
Despite Ashley 'Captain Fantastic, Calves of Steel, B-Unit' Burns II limping off injured, SPEC rallied and will have his replacement Craig Cohen to thank for an injection of pace and energy after sprinting on from the bench.
Cohen was unlucky not to score straight away - smashing a delicious Ashley Lawrence back-heeled through ball against the woodwork.
And it was indeed the older Lawrence brother, Ashley, who put SPEC ahead on the stroke of half-time. A stinging Craig Cohen shot was twice fumbled by Boca's keeper, leaving the hitman to guide the ball home and send the Bananas into the interval with a slender lead.
The second half continued with SPEC applying the pressure. The ref did stop the match briefly to tell them that they wern't allowed to literally camp in Boca's half, but after a quick intervention from the Bananas resident Braveheart come Lawyer, Marc Hecht, who explained the current legislation about Squatters Rights, the game continued.
SPEC were almost in trouble again when the Boca right back accused his opponent Rob Murray of torture, but again Hecht used his knowledge of the English law to explain to the tormented defender that rampaging runs and sensational skill were neither illegal nor cause to complain.
On the other wing, Adam Lenz exploited the space ahead of him and put in a plethora of good crosses, crying out for a SPEC head.
Boca did cause a rare scare after a lightning counter-attack saw a left-footed shot flash narrowly past Nick Green's post, but in the end SPEC proved too much.
Hecht was a menace all game and Ricky Lawrence seemed to have discovered some of his early season form that saw him described as 'good at football' amongst numerous compliments.
Ricky Lawrence eventually made the match safe, crashing home a rasping drive from the edge of the box.
This of course, meant one thing, and one thing only - the departure of the beard which he had promised to grow until he scored for SPEC. Indeed, he ran over to the sidelines immediately upon scoring where a section of his beard was duly trimmed, and with that, SPEC saw out the finale to a hairy encounter and emerged victorious 3-1 winners.
SPEC manager Laurence Conway told JC Sport: “I was pleased with the performance, particularly in the second half, when we started playing some lovely stuff and it was a pleasure to watch.
"Also pleasing was how we responded after conceding a sloppy goal. Our heads didn’t drop, we were patient and got on with our football and I knew the goals would come.
"I still think we have to be more ruthless and clinical in front of goal, but we are a new team and are learning
and getting stronger with each and every match we play.
"On the downside, my Captain Ashley Burns limped off midway through the first half with an Achilles problem, and we are sending him off to Holland for specialist horse placenta treatment, to try and get him fit for the big cup clash next Sunday.”