Friday 9th February 2018 at Kings Park Pitch 3 with 21:00 kick-off

Squad: Alessio(GK), David and Thierry(CBs), Morse(LB), Christian(RB), Kieran(captain and CM), Pascal(CM), Darius(RM), Jordon(LM), Matt H(#10) and Matt Z(CF). Subs: Jamie, Steve, Mac and Steve L.

Scorers: Matt Hoare (assist: Morse) and Jordon Brown (assist: Mac).

This was a bad day at the office for the DBFC teams. DBFC Legal League team had earlier watched the DBFC Vets team lose to a USRC Vets team in a Cup game and were determined not to let the same happen to them. However, this did not transpire all because of a 10 minute spell of total loss of concentration and organisational disarray.

The boys arrived at the pitch early and the mood was buoyant and full of confidence knowing DBFC were to field a very good squad of players. 3 players were to play the second half for the Vets team and the first half for the Legal League team (Pascal, Thierry and Morse). Christian led a warm up routine and Gazza named the starting line-up and warned his players that USRC would be right up for this game, big time and that we needed to match the effort and commitment for the full match duration. Forward FC were not playing this weekend so a win would put us top of the league tables for at least over the CNY holidays.

The game started and immediately DBFC were on the back foot by USRC pressure and although the DBFC defence coped with the first 10 minutes of a slow team start there were a couple of scares from 2 corners. USRC had a corner routine that was to prove their main threat for scoring a goal. The ball was floated into the centre of the goal at 6 yards out for the USRC big men standing on the 18 yard box to charge in and attack the ball. The first corner was won by USRC head and dropped at the far post where a USRC player fortunately couldn’t find his feet and Alessio smothered the ball. The second corner the USRC player got his head on the ball to put the ball just over the bar. After this first 10 minutes DBFC settled and seized control of the rest of the first half and created lots of chances. The DBFC defence coped with USRC attacks without problem and the only other threat came from their free kick at about 30 yards out that was floated towards the DBFC back post for big men to attack. Luckily DBFC got a head to it but this was far from convincing defending. The DBFC goal came after 15 minutes when Morse, who had been working tirelessly pressing up the left side won a throw near the USRC left corner flag. Christian and Thierry had pushed up and dragged USRC defenders outside the near post eyeing a Morse long throw to head on. However, Morse made a super throw that went over all of them and bounced in the USRC 6 yard box level with the near post and it was Matt Hoare quick to react that got his foot high to smash it in the net. DBFC continued to push and make chances. A DBFC free kick outside the USRC 18 yard box was taken by Matt Z whose quick thinking played a low hard ball to the near post for Matt H to get too first and put his first time shot just wide. Darius got into the action and a swivel and turn shot was put just wide. Matt H again in the midst of some slick passing let loose a low drive from 20 yards to see his shot cannon straight back off the post. So DBFC went into the half time break 1-0 up , thinking it should have been one more.

Half time team talk Gaffer Gaz praised the players for their work rate and highlighted that although we were on top the only threat from USRC was their set pieces and our defenders and keeper had to be switched on to win the heads in the box. Steve came on for Pascal, Jamie came on for Darius, Mac came on for Morse.

The second half started well with DBFC starting off in the same spirit as we finished the first half. We weren’t creating as many chances but Jamie Bone in particular (good to see him back) was getting tons of space down the right. Although we continued to generally control the game we started to cheaply lose possession in the midfield and from bad decisions with throw ins, allowing USRC to launch the long ball forward. It was from one of these long balls that USRC got a chance on goal when some miscommunication between David and Mac allowed a USRC attacker to get a shot off, bringing a fantastic save from Alessio for a corner. And so started our ten minutes of madness, from which the less is said the better. USRC equalized from this first corner and then won two more corners in the space of 10 minutes from which they scored from both by carbon copy corner and header routines. Suddenly DBFC were 3-1 down in the blink of an eye. A slap to the face, with each of USRC’s goals being the same old story of people not picking up their man and jumping to obstruct the free header. This was hard to swallow as USRC didn’t look threatening in open play but credit to there well worked corner routine that should have worked one time only at the most!

Nevertheless, DBFC dusted themselves down and got back into the business of playing attacking football to rescue the situation. Straight away DBFC nearly (should have) got a goal back when a through ball from Matt H battled the ball through three USRC defenders to the right of their 18 yard box and drove in a low cross that was met by Zoeller just 3 yards out at the back post. The crowd were thinking this was a CERTAIN GOAL but Zol somehow skewed his shot past the left post. It looked like a push to his back putting him off, but nonetheless a great moment to quickly get back into the game had passed.

Halder came on for the inert Zoeller for the final 20 minutes and soon more chances started to come. A fine ball down the right wing was taken on by Jamie to get past the USRC defender and turn his cross into the feet of Halder, whose first time shot dipped over the USRC keeper but hit the crossbar. The USRC keeper was kept busy and pulled off a few very good saves Despite all this pressure, we only were able to score towards the end of the game from a fortuitous penalty given for hand ball when Mac’s attempted cross stuck the USRC defenders arm that seemed to be down straight tight to his body. Jordon stepped up and confidently blasted his penalty beyond the diving keeper.

In the end a disappointing result on a disappointing evening. Perhaps if the referee did his job and sent off one of the legal leagues most famous thugs (his off the ball exploits are well known) for an off the ball slam dunk on an unsuspecting Matt H, when DBFC were 1-0 up, it would have been a different story.

Either way – we all had a good time at the Pier Bar afterwards celebrating Jordon’s birthday.

MOM – Matt H for another busy performance.

DOD – Kieran R for thinking that after we score the goal, we get the kick off!