16th September 2016

Hong Kong Football Club, Happy Valley

Kick-off 7:00 pm

Squad: Alessio, Martin R, Neil J, Gazza, Baz, Kieran Chan(KC), Paul C, Sam, Bo, Dan S, Fela and Nick D,

Scorer: Nick Dunn



DBFC showed up at HKFC with a few players short of the confirmed squad but those that did show were in good spirit. Oscar and Gianluca sat this one out due to injury while Fela, visibly sick, went above and beyond by showing up trying to run his flu off.

Alessio, patched up in multiple layers of tape, bands and various protections made another huge sacrifice and dragged his aching body into goal again.

HKFC Dynamics was out with a very strong team; Many of their players known to us and some we know to be mouthy and generally not particularly pleasant to play against … this was proven to be no different. However, most Dynamics are good quality players and decent guys looking for good football and that’s what we were in for, a good test of football.

DBFC initial line up was easy because we only had eleven players at kick-off:  Alessio (GK); Gazza (LB), Neil (CB), Riggers (CB), Baz (RB); Sam (LM), Bo (CM), Cromp (CM), KC (RM); Dan (CF), Fela (CF) —– subs: Pat D and Nick D (arrived for the 2nd half).

It was a very hot evening and proved very hard for the players with only one sub (eventually). Everybody was running their socks off containing Dynamics, who were mostly in our half for the initial period of the match. A disagreement on defensive tactics brought a bit a tension between the young and inexperienced manager and one of our senior defenders and poor KC was caught in the crossfire. Different instructions had KC running non-stop for 21 minutes without knowing where to and why. He almost passed out before asking to be subbed and so on came Pat D at right midfield. An old lesson to be revisited is for team discussion before the match and acceptance of the assigned manager’s decisions during the match. You can’t keep down the passion in football even when you’re probably too old to be playing it.

First goal was to Dynamics, taking advantage of being without linesmen to score a contentious goal from a player running back from an offside position (could have been no doubts if Gazza had been sharper getting in-line). Nevertheless, Dynamics did have generally more possession than DBFC and a goal for them was on the cards. DBFC did put up a good fight as usual and kept Dynamics on their toes particularly with a number of counter attacks.

Half time came and Bo was calling it a day after a first half in which he discovered parts of his body that he didn’t know could hurt but Gazza pulled rank for the “breather” seat and forced Bo to start the 2nd half; he did and kept going for a further 10 heroic minutes. Some words of encouragement from the manager, who pointed out that DBFC were having passages of good football and created a decent number of chances. Deep breaths and keep working hard was the main tactic to take in to the 2nd half. Dan Snell came off with an ankle injury at half time as Nick Dunn just arrived (great timing Nick).


The second half started with mostly the same story as the first half with Dynamics keeping possession and DBFC counter attacking. Alessio continued in fine form by keeping DBFC in the game with several more fine saves but eventually capitulated and Dynamics scored a second (that old DBer Tim Bredbury) through short sharp passing through from centre midfield —– classic Dynamics football. This did not stop DBFC and it was Dynamics that took the foot off the pedal and were starting to look tired. DBFC had a number of good chances through Fela and Nick. Good headers from Martin and Neil somehow not getting through to the goal. However, a great cross from Pat D on the right saw Nick Dunn rise like a tin of Salmon to brush a header into the far corner of Dynamics goal. DBFC now had their ears pricked and were looking for the equaliser, but many chances came and went. The best, that looked to be a certain equaliser, was when Cromp got the ball just outside Dynamics 18 yard box and weaved his way past 3 players to bend a low drive just inside the left post. The Gianluca was on the seats ready to sing Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma (the rest of the team “just one cornetto”) when the Dynamics keeper dived full length to get a hand on the ball at the line and turn it around the post. So close! So it ended 2-1 to Dynamics and upon reflection a philosophical Gianluca called it a good diplomatic loss as it ensures we get invited back for friendlies (we can’t keep beating them on their own patch).

Manager’s highlight: Gazza, now fresh and rested, came on for Bo after 10 minutes of the 2nd half and suddenly got possessed by Maldini. He started one of his runs from deep in his own half, down the left, looking like a young Paolo, but then became short of breath as he approached the Dynamics penalty box. At this stage he looked like an old Maldini at the end of his career and comically ended up on his arse in slow motion as he tried to shuffle the ball from his left to his right foot. Gazza stayed down, his pride hurting and no doubt pondering his future football career but suddenly jumped up and started running around again, determined to prove he had several more years left in him. The manager knew what was happening: Gazza had remembered the footie tours to Phuket and Bangkok and could not jeopardise his place on them.


For the curious Gianluca likens Gazza to Paolo as they both are, apparently, naturally right-footed but left-sided players —– and in Gazza’s case that’s not talent, it’s just confusion.


MOM: There were some great performances, fantastic work rate and enthusiastic endeavour all over the pitch but this week, for his sacrifice, wonderful athleticism and no nonsense play, the man of the match award goes to Alessio.

Report by Gianluca and edit by Sam and Gazza.