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Branch football team secure hard-fought 2-1 win against previously unbeaten Hackney Tropics

Raising a few Madris to toast another win

After back-to-back five-star five goal wins, the Branch football team were brought back to Earth with a 3-0 defeat last week to top of the league ROOPS (admittedly with only one out and out defender available). We faced a tough challenge to bounce back last night against Championship new boys Hackney Tropics FC, who were unbeaten in their five games since joining the league to replace the now defunct Gentleman FC. The reasons for the latter’s withdrawal from the league are unclear; perhaps they were appalled that the lack of gentlemanly conduct in modern football has even permeated the 8-a-side game.

Anyway, the Lads were forced into a more direct style against our relentless opponents, whose high press stopped us from playing our usual possession-based game. Their main threat came from their centre forward, who resembled a slightly better-groomed Marc Cucurella, and whose physicality and technical ability gave our defenders a real battle throughout. He was backed up by the Tropics’ star player, a six foot plus handsome French bloke with impeccable technique, pace and power, who for some reason was sporting Newcastle United shorts. A sure-fire way to get the SAFC lads fired up.

The first half was an even affair; midfielder Jonny Winship gave Sunderland the lead after a well-worked move, before Hackney Tropics equalised through the aforementioned curly-haired striker. The author of this piece may or may not have ballooned two woeful long-distance shots out of the complex itself; probably a good argument for sticking to his own half from now on.

In the second half the Tropics piled on the pressure with a string of corners, forcing Sunderland keeper Andy Jordan into a Montgomery-esque double save. Despite being under the cosh for periods the Lads were always a threat on the counter, and top scorer Alistair Wilson gave us the lead with about five minutes remaining. Hackney never really threatened an equaliser in the closing stages, and the Branch team held on to secure one of the most impressive results since our revival last year.

The latest league table with five games to go

Anyone interested in joining the Branch football team should register their interest on the Branch website at, or by contacting Ben Littledyke on 07501 076 770 or

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