DBFC 2 – 0 Goodfellas

Saturday 23rd February 2019 at Jockey Club HKFA Football Training Centre, Pitch 4, Tsueng Kwan O, with an 18:00 KO

Squad: Ricky, Will, Matija, Christian (Captain), Alex, Ade, Danny H, Marco, Enzo, robbie, Kafi, Matt H, Long Tim, Kai and Charlie

Scorers: Kafi and Danny H

This was the first of two Saturdays to play against the main rivals to this year’s first division league title. A strong DBFC team was called for and a very strong squad is what we had.  Morse / Scotty picked a squad of 15 to do battle but unfortunately many from the 22 that declared availability missed out.

The match was schedule at a late KO time of 6 o’clock in the back of beyond pitch at the HKFA Football training centre in Tseung Kwan O and to make matters worse the weather was crap; turning cold with rain and blowing a gale. Miraculously, the rain stopped just before kick-off and didn’t return until 10 minutes from the end of the match. However, the strong wind persisted, which made playing conditions tricky.

DBFC lost the toss for kick-off and started playing into a strong wind. This gave the advantage to Goodfellas and their long ball and pressing from their forwards kept the DBFC defence very busy; Alex, Will, Christian and Matija worked hard to protect Ricky’s goal. However, DBFC concentrated on playing football and Ade was controlling the middle of the park, allowing Danny H to be more attacking minded from the midfield. Marco and particularly Enso on the flanks were causing all sorts of problems for the Goodfellas defence with Robbie and Kafi pressing through on Goal. A number of decent moves failed on the final pass before DBFC finally got the goal. Some good passing started from Ade to be played down the left and through the channel for Robbie to collect and go around the Goodfellas right back to send in a pin point accurate cross for Kafi to run in the Goodfellas goal from 4 yards out. This goal came with 10 minutes of the first half left and another was so close to making the half time score very comfortable when Enso ran on to a Kafi corner, outside the near post, to flick on a header past the Goodfellas keeper that frustratingly span away from the corner of the net, skimming the outside of the Goodfellas goal post. The half time score was 1-0 to DBFC and Morse pointed out that this was a very decent result given the disadvantage of the wind against and the continuous pressing by Goodfellas.

The half time talk had highlighted that the second half should be easier, playing with the wind and maybe this contributed to what happen in the first 10 minutes of that half. We switched to a 4-3-3 formation: Marco came off and Matt H went into the middle, joining Ade and Danny H, Kafi came over to the left wing. DBFC pressed but Goodfellas seemed to be getting hold of the ball and stringing some good passing together. They pressed forward, and a couple of corners meant DBFC were scrambling to clear their lines. Ricky wasn’t threatened but the football at the back looked a bit uncomfortable. Then bad luck and some poor refereeing struck against DBFC when a Goodfellas corner was headed on by Matija to relative safety at the back of the DBFC 18 yard box, where Matt H was ready to collect. However, the ball skidded off the wet surface and up onto Matt’s arm, which was firmly at his side, for the referee to award a dubious penalty. Ricky set up, growling at the Goodfellas penalty taker and then dives a little early causing the penalty taker to try changing his shot direction. The shot struck the outside of the post and out to safety. This bad luck to good luck situation that got DBFC off the hook, spurred them into all-out attack and they battered the Goodfellas defence and goal. Many chances failed, either through good goal keeping by the Goodfellas number one or a miscued DBFC final pass. Ade came off after 15 minutes of 2nd half, after taking a kick to the ankle and Long Tim came on as attacking midfield, with Matt H dropping to defensive mid. New man Kai also came on at this point to replace Alex at right back.  It was after 20 minutes of the second half that the break-through came and it was Long Tim, pushing up through the middle with tick-tack passing, to deliver a clinical pass through the Goodfellas back line for his fellow attacking midfielder Danny H to burst through to collect, round the keeper and blast into the top of the net. DBFC were comfortable at 2-0 and the remaining 20 minutes saw DBFC take complete control. Charlie came on at the left side for Kafi and put in a good show, as did Kai. A number of very good chances went begging: Christian was free to head a corner at the far post but his downward header hit the floor and bounced over the bar; Good passing resulted in Charlie running through and Robbie laying it off for Charlie to miss-cue his shot straight at the keeper; Enso put through into the box on the right to scream a shot towards the roof of the Goodfellas net only to see lightening reaction save by the Goodfellas keeper; Danny H running through into the box to meet a cross from the right with his head to see the ball go just wide of the far post. Unlucky not to get more goals but all in all DBFC were happy with this vital win in some bad weather conditions.

A good crowd got back to the Pier bar for well-deserved beers and Christian held court to dish out the Tequila fines.

DOD: It was decided that there was no clear contenders for this award and rather than scrape up some innocuous incident when generally everyone played great in awful weather conditions.

MOM: Again everyone on the field had a great game full of commitment and desire. Matija was very sharp with some vital challenges and clearances, Ade bossed the centre of the park and sprayed out some great passes, Robbie was strong upfront, making clever runs, linking play well and put in a great cross for Kafi goal and Danny H was ubiquitous, getting involved in everything attacking, particularly in the second half and got a very nice goal. So MOM was shared by Danny H and Robbie.