The Bees headed to London to face Bloomsbury Futsal in their opening match of the 2021/22 National Futsal Series season, however the drama started long before the match started as our Chairman, Chris Horton went in search of some diesel for our minibus! With none to be found after visiting several petrol stations we feared the worse, but thankfully Chris' perseverance paid off just in time and he headed to pick up the players with a full tank!!
Once the game began it didn't take long for the drama to unfold on the court as after just one minute experienced Bees keeper José Lima was forced off with a head injury to be replaced by Chay Jakes, but it was Cambridge, resplendent in their all white away kit, who struck first after 4 minutes when Harry Horton and Angel Martinez's pressing high up the court paid off winning the ball and Horton found Martinez who scored the Bees first of the new campaign. A minute later the lead was almost doubled as José Ruiz saw his effort pushed onto the bar and the Bees came close again when Ruiz set Natxo Zarauza who saw his shot hit the post. Cambridge were going to rue those chances passing by despite, Jonny Tofts and keeper Jakes both clearing off of the line the resulting corner lead to the Bloomsbury equaliser midway through the first half. However, the Bees reply didn't take long, within 2 minutes Vitalii Burnus pounced on a parry from the home keeper to restore the visitors advantage. It was now the home team looking for a response and they found it from a direct free kick hammered home, 2-2 and time running out in the first half. But there was time for a great chance for Cambridge to retake the lead when Horton was taken down in the area, Martinez stepped up and clinically finished with a low, hard penalty. The home team called for a time out and for the final minutes of the half forced 2 excellent saves from Jakes meaning the Bees took a slender 3-2 lead into half time.
Cambridge started the second half strongly with Zarauza cursing his luck as he hit the woodwork again with a thumping effort. This seemed to spur the home team on, but they found the Bees young keeper in inspired form making several great saves to preserve the visitors lead. In fact, it was the visitors who came closest to scoring when Zoli Molnar-Saska brilliantly found Horton, but again the woodwork came to the home team's rescue. The game was now stretched and a fast counter from Bloomsbury paid off with a calm finish between Jakes' legs 3-3, 6 minutes left.
The clock was now ticking down and both sides were looking to take the 3 points. With just 1 minute on the clock Molnar-Saska received the ball on the edge of the area, turned and smashed the ball home to give the Bees the lead for the fourth time! Could they hold on? Jakes was called into action again and with 0.1 second on the clock the home team won a free kick in a dangerous position, but the shot flew wide and Cambridge hung on for a dramatic victory in the capital.
Full Time Bloomsbury Futsal Dev 3-4 Cambridge Futsal
Back row left to right: Mendonca (Head coach), Jakes, Martinez, Molnar-Saska, Griffith, Ruiz, Lima.
Front row left to right: Horton, Tofts, Burnus, Zarauza.