BAA-Boulevard match to decide second promotion spot
BAA and Boulevard will battle tonight for the second promotion spot in a winner-goes-up scenario at Goose Gosling Field in a contest that the division’s leading goalscorer, Boulevard’s Ian Coke, is looking forward to.
BAA who have two more points than their opponents, will go into the match with the slight edge and can achieve their goal of returning to the top flight with just a draw.
They put themselves in that position when, after Boulevard thrashed a weakened Ireland Rangers side 10-0 last Saturday, BAA edged Young Men’s Social Club 1-0 the next day with a last-minute goal from Vishan Patton.
“I actually watched that match,” said Coke, the Boulevard captain.
“As soon as the goal went in, I said, yeah this makes for an interesting finish. Sometimes football in Bermuda can become so boring, teams being so predictable at times.
“This year, with a three-way race for second place and then that being cut down to two between us and BAA after Social Club put themselves out of it, it is definitely something for the fans to look forward to. This is what is going to bring out those diehard fans, it’s almost like a final.”
Coke, who returned to Boulevard this season from X-Roads, reached the 20-goal mark for the season with his hat-trick in the lopsided victory over Ireland Rangers. Now he is hoping the team can go all the way and secure promotion after being relegated in 2019-2020.
“The team is definitely looking forward to it, this is what we play for,” the striker said.
“We would have loved for an easier road but sometimes this is what good teams are made of. We would have loved to go into the match with them having to get the victory, but now it is us having to win.
“We’ll be coming out ready to go, we’re not going to sit back, we’re going to go and play football, take it to them. They can sit back and absorb our pressure and see the game out like the Italians do, but with coach Andrew’s [Bascome] philosophy I doubt that they’ll do that anyway.
“As a team we need to dominate the midfield in order for us to make a stake in that game, because Drew always has a good midfield.”
Boulevard have the experience while BAA have some promising youngsters who have handled themselves well this season. They are the only team to take points off unbeaten Hamilton Parish this season with a 2-2 draw.
“Everyone knows Boulevard can play, it’s just how we show up on the day,” Coke added.
“We always implode more than anything, so it will be a testament of our mental capacity more than our physical. The fans are rallying behind us, everywhere we go people are talking about this last game of the season and what it means to the fans.
“I’m sure the players are reminded of what’s at stake for the community.”
BAA dropped out of the league when still a Premier Division side at the end of the 2018-19 season after a mass exodus of players depleted their ranks. Now they are just a draw away from returning to the top flight.
Meanwhile, Boulevard are also still in with a chance to add a trophy to their season as they are in the semi-finals of the Shield and will play Social Club next Thursday at Devonshire Rec. Hamilton Parish meet Wolves in the first semi-final on Wednesday at Goose Gosling Field.