The Baltic Exchange shot to the top of the table after making seven points in three games in an impressive performance against HSBC. With the match against Danish Shipbrokers rapidly approaching, Captain Cook (GFI) set out the team with a clear directive to control the game through calm possession to wear down the opposition, which worked to a tee. The Baltic dominated from the off with a calm centre-back pairing of Jim McSkimming (V Ships) and Michael Potter (Clarksons) choosing short quick passing to set attacking moves from the back and allowing the Baltic’s creative players to use their ability further up the pitch.
It wasn’t long before the Baltic’s dominance paid off with Cook marauding down the right with all the grace of a rhino on steroids, picking out Guy Bartleet (Clarkons) at the back post in a salmon-esque finish. Many more chances came but it wasn’t until the second half when the Baltic doubled its lead. Tom Pitt (ACB) playing in a holding midfield role picked out Shibu (Maruebeni) with a beautiful through ball, which the Japanese international latched onto, out-muscled the defender and went slow into the bottom right corner of the net from just inside the box in what was a stunning finish and goal.
The Baltic’s passing style noticeably took its toll on the opposition; gaps appeared and both Jack Deal (Vogt) and Ben Cooke (Synecap) went very close to scoring. The game was rounded up towards the end with Shibu turning provider, putting Chris Martin (Pacific Basin) through to calmly round the keeper and slot the ball into the net from a tight angle.
Man of the match goes to the ultimate team player Guy Bartleet. Not only did he take the kits to wash, but in recent weeks he has played in every position on the pitch. Yesterday he got his shot at playing up top and bagged himself a goal that his recent performances deserve.
There will be no game next week.
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