The UCFB students representing England showed their quality and ruthlessness by beating a Rest of World side in a pulsating and goal bonanza game, finishing 8-3. Both sides gave it their all in a competitive, entertaining and very high tempo match at the Regional Arena Stadium where money was raised for BBC’s charity Children in Need.
The game burst into life after just 3 minutes when England striker Matthew Garbett broke the deadlock with a neat left foot finish inside the box. They say you’re most vulnerable just after you’ve scored and that was exactly the case for an England side who couldn’t defend Rest of World striker Harry O’Brien’s 25 yard screamer a minute later.
A spectacular equaliser for Rest of World saw them gain momentum and after just 7 minutes, they took the lead through Brendan Lilley low effort that trickled under England keeper Matt Annis.
13 minutes gone and the ball was in the back of the net once more when attacking midfielder Connor Wells equalised for England with a placed shot into the bottom right corner; this coming after a fantastic defence-splitting pass which startled the Rest of World defence.
The game was far from slowing down as 4 minutes later England scored the fifth goal of the game to regain the lead through Matthew Garbett. Garbett got his brace fortunately after some calamitous defending from Rest of World who failed to clear the ball away from danger.
The goal galore period had finally eased as England looked to extend their lead through Connor Wells whose effort flew over the bar after successfully dribbling past 2 ROW players. Looking to find another equalizer in the game, Rest of World showed ambition going forward however winger Nathan Price was called offside to prevent a chance to finish off a brilliant team goal.
The remaining 5 minutes of the half became a key period and reason to the outcome of the game. After missing an early chance, it was Connor Wells whose neat finish meant he was on a hat-trick along with Matthew Garbett.
It went from bad to worse for Rest of World when Garbett secured his hat-trick on the stroke of half time, his low effort rolling under the legs of Rest of World keeper Mark West.
It was clear that England manager Ed Walker had no intention of ‘shutting up shop’ or ‘parking the bus’, with his players still maintain a high tempo and attacking threat. It took just 9 minutes for England to add to their deserved lead through wide man Riegan Thompson, who pounced and slotted home from close range after a scramble in the box from an England corner kick.
Rest of World never let their heads drop and it was Kyle Mowbray who rewarded their efforts with a lifeline to get back into the game after sensationally scoring directly from a corner in the 58th minute.
Minutes after witnessing one of the rarest moments in football, Rest of World followed it up with another, even more rare moment when goalkeeper Mark West took matters into his own hands by dribbling past the England side and making his way into the England box. After an inch perfect cross into the path of West, he wasn’t able to head home from 5 yards with the ball rattling off the crossbar and preventing him from claiming one of the best crazy individual goals of all time.
Rest of World had yet another key chance to themselves back into the game when clinical striker Ethan Mooney found a pocket of space in the England defence but smashed the ball high and wide. Mooney’s frustration was shared with the rest of his team-mates as he stated before the game about the importance of taking every chance they get.
Just shy of 70 minutes and after a period of Rest of World attacking pressure, England were able to counter attack and it was substitute striker Cameron Brahney giving England a 4 goal lead with a low effort finding the bottom left corner.
The ball was picked out of Rest of World’s net for an eight time with 10 minutes to play as Cameron Brahney doubled his goal tally with a simple finish as he found himself unmarked by an exhausted and frustrated Rest of World defence.
There was huge respect from spectators attending the game at the final whistle, who had been very entertained applauded both teams for their efforts and knowing that the money being raised from the game is going directly to a great cause.
PICTURED: A job well done as England players Jake Parr, Ben Moran and Matt Freestone leave Rest of World to figure out what went wrong out there
England Manager: Edward Walker
Rest of World:
Rest of World Manager: Alan Tonge