5 min read

11:FC vs Monzo: Rumble in Rotherhithe

Laura Watkins

The wait was finally over.

Game day arrived. The Big One. 11:FS vs Monzo, in 11:FC’s first professional 11-a-side fixture.

Nerves were jangling in 11:FC HQ in the lead up the game. Captain Petrit Berisha led his men in extensive warm ups, team talks, tactics and formations all day, to get the team both mentally and physically ready for the challenge that awaited them.

Starting 11

The teams made their way to Rotherhithe for the big game, with a full contingent of 11:FC supporters in tow. Wearing pristine white jerseys, all emblazoned with the number 11 (to the confusion of the opposition and the referee) the 11:FC team lined up to face their opponents. Monzo’s starting 11 were a formidable lot, kitted out in dark blue, as if to channel the French national side, but we couldn’t help but be a little disappointed that there was no hot coral representation anywhere, not even on the goalie.

Kick off

Funding Options’ Ryan Edwards-Pritchard volunteered his time in the thankless task of referee, and after a stern word with both captains for a good clean game (that was mostly ignored) the handshakes and coin toss were performed and kick off got underway. First blood went to Monzo within the first ten minutes of the game. Undeterred, 11:FC fought on, encouraging each other as they went. Skipper Berisha won 11:FC a free kick which just skimmed the top of the net. Goal kick Monzo took the action to the other end of the pitch, resulting in the second goal for the opposition. The heat was on and 11:FC stepped up to the plate admirably. Pet Berisha was brought down in the box and was awarded a penalty. Jeff Tijssen put it away comfortably, 11:FC 1 - 2 Monzo.

Team talks

At half time the team rallied round, channelling the main man Gareth Southgate as they tried to raise morale and keep themselves hyped up for the second half. Subs were made, formations were changed and the second half got underway with a refreshed team looking to bring the fight to the opposition. Within the first 15 mins Monzo struck again, with a highly contentious goal that was fully offside. Players, spectators and Assistant Coach Boss Ross Methven were outraged and called for the referee to review, nothing given, goal stood. 3 - 1 Monzo.

They think it's all over...

Spurred on by the injustice of the last goal, following an excellent goal-kick from new recruit Pet’s Mate Alex, the team made an excellent run, deep into the Monzo half. Capt. Pet outfoxed their defence, threading it through all of them and hitting a clean strike into the back of the net. Beautiful finish. “It reminds me of Mbappé” said a tearful Vice-Captain Anthony Marion from the bench. In the last 15 minutes the game got dirty. Jeff Tijssen was fouled deep in the Monzo half, resulting in a free kick to 11:FC. Sadly it didn’t convert and Monzo got one last goal in the dying minutes. Full time: 4-2 to Monzo.

Post match analysis

A solid performance from 11:FC on their first pre-season Fintech League fixture. They will take a lot away from this and come back stronger. Notable mentions go to Michael Bailey, Tom Hards and Martin Borisov for fantastic runs and winning tackles; Karim “biscuit ankles” Benfaied for having surprisingly sturdy ankles on the right wing, contrary to his own predictions; and new signing James Safford for an amazing debut off the bench. Captain Pet Berisha had this to say in his post match interview: Honestly, when the lads will look back on this as a building block in our Fintech dynasty, they will be proud. We’ve never played together, biscuit ankles, blisters, 2 who joined within the last 3 weeks, a keeper who isn’t a keeper....if you take all that into account, plus their 2 offside goals and a lucky cross goal, we’re proud of the effort. Roll on Receipt Bank on the 27th September and potentially Funding Options.....then a rematch with Monzo (for our revenge). We’re the better team, so there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll receive a spanking. I’m actually confident we can go undefeated from here on in. That’s the faith I have in this squad. His statement was backed up by Vice Captain Anthony Marion: “I’m obviously disappointed with the result, but the lads gave it their all. We had a much better 2nd half, and the tactical changes at half time from the gaffer proved right. The 2 goals offside? It’s a hard job being referee, and I decline any comment to avoid sanctions from FTFA (Fintech Football Association). We’re still a young team, with some bright talent, a great season ahead and I genuinely believe captain Petrit Berisha will lead us to glory. I’m one to think we learn in our defeats more than in victories. The inspiration for next game has to be France losing the Euro Final 2 years ago, and becoming World Champions just last week.” Monzo captain Zander Brade also agreed to talk to our reporters: It was a closely fought game, a high pressure affair that required resilience and focus to a level we hadn’t felt before. We’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t the most beautiful football we’ve played, we struggled to find much rhythm in our passing, we relied too much on the long ball – we will need to patch these areas going forward – but a win is a win and we’re proud of the effort we put in. Shout outs for 11:FC for putting in a solid performance for their first game... but we were hoping the efforts you put into your online content would be reflected on the pitch. Maybe next time. I’m told this is only the pre-season friendlies… stay tuned for the real grudge matches as the battle to bring fintech home continues. Congratulations to Monzo on their victory. For now, fintech is not coming home… but we still believe. To keep up with all the 11:FC news follow us on Twitter @11Sportsball.

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 Laura Watkins
About the author

Laura Watkins

Laura is Head of Content Creation for 11:FS. At 11:FS she writes and produces the content for the Fintech Insider, Insurtech Insider and Blockchain Insider podcasts, as well as live events, video content and sponsored content for global clients including Microsoft, RBS and many more.

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