Kopites FC (Brighton)
Kopites FC holds small-sided friendly footy sessions on Hove Lawns most Saturday mornings, except during our extened winter break.
HISTORY OF KOPITES FC
In October 2014 The Brighton Kop expanded in to the playing side by holding its first ever footy session on Hove Lawns. Approximately twelve players turned up for a classic 'jumpers for goals' session and so Kopites FC was born!
Kopites FC played their first competitive football in the Football v Homophobia 6-a-side tournament at University of Sussex on 7th February 2015 and walked off with the silverware!!! Since then they have played numerous 11-a-side friendlies and taken part in 6-a-side tournaments and leagues.
LATEST MATCH REPORTs:
KOPITES FC v BLAGSS FC | Falmer Sports Centre | 27.08.19
Wriiten by Benny Punk
On a balmy evening at Falmer Sports Complex, Kopites FC (Brighton) were in action for only their second 11-a-side match in nearly two years, decked out in they all red strip (sponsored by SO | Legal Solicitors) they were up against BLAGSS FC (Brighton LGBT Sports Society) Men’s Team from The Gay Football Supporters Network National League.
Gaffers Benny ‘Bill’ Punk and James ‘Bob’ Hatwell’ injected some much needed youth into the squad with debuts for three of the U23s squad, Calum McWilliam, George Broster and Paddy Barnes, and a return to action for 15-year olds Charlie Williams and Taylor Barnes, who were playing only several hundred metres from their school. To balance this youthfulness, and bring the squads average age up significantly, the trustworthy veterans Robbie Semple, Phil Prosser and Mark ‘Brucey’ Graham were tasked with shepherding this youthful flock from defence and goal.
The opening twenty-five minutes saw a tight tactical battle as the teams found their way into the match, with the Kopites slightly edging things. Then a breakthrough goal came for Kopites FC as Craig Theaker, who is currently on loan from HM Royal Navy in Portsmouth, slotted home the opener with what can only be described as having something of the ‘touch of God’ about it. Springing the BLAGGS offside trap he glided the ball beneath the advancing keeper with a Robbie Fowlereque finish.
Kopites FC took this slim but precious lead into half time and then protected it throughout a significant part of the second half, with several opportunities to extend their lead being either squandered or denied by the BLAGGS FC keeper. Once such denied opportunity came via a fine save in response to a rasping 40-yard free kick from big Niall Barry. Had Andy Gray, the former Sky Sports co-commentator, been covering the match we doubtless would have heard a passionate cry of “what a hit son, what a hit!”.
However, as legs tiered, or joints audibly creaked in the cases of Semple, Prosser and Graham, BLAGSS FC found their way back into the match and began mounting a spirited comeback, with several great opportunities to level only denied by the feline dexterity and athletic prowess of Kopites FC’s veteran keeper, Mark ‘Brucey’ Graham.
BLAGSS FC finally got the breakthrough they longed for as a resolute defence was breached with ten minutes remaining. This took the tie straight to penalties, as nobody had fifty pence for the electricity meter to keep the floodlights lit for a period of extra time.
With Niall Barry’s opening penalty being denied by another fine save, the Kopites were under immediate pressure in this shootout. BLAGSS slotted home their opening 3 penalties and so the pressure was ratchetted up. Then in a somewhat unconventional move Kopites Keeper, Mark ‘Brucey’ Graham stepped up to take their fourth, calmly slotting it past his opposite number.
This alone may have singled him out as a man with nerves of steel, but after BLAGGS netted their fourth and Kopites their fifth the shootout stood at 4-4 with BLAGGS still having their potential final penalty to seal victory- could Graham’s nerves hold? Cometh the hour, cometh the Brucey as Graham committed to a full length dive to his left and made a solid connection with the incoming penalty to deny BLAGGS and send the shootout to sudden death.
High pressure indeed faced the next Kopites penalty taker, and up stepped Robbie Semple, who had the demeanour of a man without a care the world; it is of course entirely plausible at his age he had no idea where or who he was, what he was doing or the magnitude of the moment that faced him, but nonchalantly he slotted home the penalty and in so doing suddenly turned the pressure fully onto BLAGSS’ next spot-kicker.
As the BLAGGS player prepared to take the kick, across the tension-laden and silent arena could be heard the immortal words bellowed from the loud mouth of Benny ‘Bill’ Punk “Do the fuc#ing Spaghetti Legs, Son!” Graham duly obliged with the iconic Grobbelaar distraction tactic of Rome 84 fame. It worked! He saved the penalty and victory belonged to Kopites FC.
On a night that was all about The Yoof it was two old-timers that finally won the day!
For more about Kopites FC Brighton sponsor, SO | Legal Socitors, who offer 10% discount on legal fees for members of The Brighton Kop: https://www.solegal.co.uk/
For more information about BLAGGS FC: https://www.blagss.org/football