Champions League Cup

DBFC Vets 4 – 3 USRC 1911

Kings Park Pitch 3, Friday 21 April 2017, Kick-off 7:30 pm

Scorers: Scott Holmes, Nick Dunn, Rafael Lopes and Kieran McKnight.

Assists: Kieran for Scott, Scott for Rafa and Rafa for Nick. Kieran’s goal was all on his own.

On Thursday Dirk named a 17 strong squad for this match but as usual there were last minute drop-outs, so by Friday evening we were down to a squad of 14.

Gazza named the starting team: Alessio (GK) Riggers and Matija (CB) Morse (LB) Kieran McK (RB) Rafa (RM) Crommy and Paul Beltrame (CM) Scott (LM) Nick (CF) and Warren (10). This left Amin, Steve and Gazza on the bench; although Gazza got so wrapped up in managing the team and drawing out a squad list for the referee that he didn’t get changed.

Gazza made everyone aware that USRC needed to win by three clear goals to qualify and if they did so we would be out of the cup on goal difference. So a good work rate and discipline was needed to maintain a strong defensive shape and the team was set up to do those. New boy (old man) Paul Beltrame was introduced and his role as defensive midfield was explained.

The game kicked off and the ball laid back to Kieran who passed it into Scotty just inside USRC half who turned and unleashed a right foot shot that went over the USRC keeper and dipped into their goal. Our number 11 scored the opening goal in about 11 seconds after kick-off! This was a great goal and a great start.

DBFC worked hard closing down the USRC attacks and then setting off on counter attacks. Generally, DBFC were taking control of the game with some nice passing. Scott Holmes was causing the USRC defence all sorts of problems with his direct running and the USRC right back wished he never turned up. It was from this left side the next goal came when Morse collected the ball from our CBs and passed it down the line to Scott, who instantly flicked it forward through the legs of the USRC right back to collect and run onto the USRC byline to whip in a cross that Rafa met square on goal at full speed. Another great goal to put DBFC 2-0 up.

DBFC eased off a bit and were content to pass the ball around from CB to CM and to the flanks and back again. The two Paul’s in CM were controlling and new boy Beltrame making an impressive debt in DBFC colours. It was this over confidence that led to a goal for USRC out of nothing. The ball played around the back line came to Matija whose first touch was a bit heavy but instead of clearing he tried to dribble to keep possession. The ball was robbed from him and the USRC players got lucky with a couple of passes bobbling off DBFC defenders to fall nicely through to the feet of the USRC striker to bang passed Alessio. Totally against the run of play the score was now 2-1 to DBFC.

The DBFC players picked themselves back up and got into stride again. Scotty played a driven pass from his left flank to the right flank (Gazza can’t even kick it that far) that Rafa got his head to and then again as it was headed straight back to him by the USRC defender. Rafa’s second header went towards Nick, just inside the USRC box, where the marking USRC defender misjudged his jump and the ball fell to Nick clear on goal to slot home. DBFC were now 3-1 and the first half finished at that score.

Half time Gazza was still drawing up the team list for the referee but had time to tell the boys he wanted more of the same and keep a tight shape and not get carried away going forward for glory. Nick came off for Amin and Matija came off for Steve. Riggers was instructed to make sure a goal wasn’t conceded in the 20 minutes to his substitute time.

Straight from kick-off DBFC took control and passed the ball around nicely. Passing across the back, the ball came to Kieran at RB and he powered forward into the space looking for the DBFC runs in front of him. He took the ball 10 yards into the USRC half and hit a very firm pass into the space where Rafa was running into from the right flank. The ball missed Rafa and also the incoming DBFC defender and obviously left the USRC keeper unsighted because the ball shot through to the far post and crept in over the line. DBFC were now 4-1 and cruising.

USRC, some ten minutes later, won a corner and this was cleared but the referee blew his whistle and pointed at the penalty spot. Everyone in both sides looked around in confusion, having no idea what the penalty was for, until the referee waved a yellow card at Crommy and gestured with his elbow in the air. USRC scored to make it 4-2 and Riggers was sure Crommy did it on purpose so that he didn’t keep the second half clean sheet Gazza had asked for. Matija came back on for Riggers and Nick came on for Scott, at CF with Amin moving to LM.

DBFC started again and chance after chance was presenting itself for another DBFC goal. There were some absolute humdinger misses that defied impossibility (more on that at DOD). DBFC were tiring as they seemed to abandon Gazza’s plans and his shouts from the side to keep compact. At times DBFC had 6 forwards in the USRC 18 yard box and 4 DBFC defenders just outside their own 18 yard box.  Riggers came back on for Paul Beltrame with 10 minutes left and Scott back on for Warren with 5 minutes left.  However, DBFC continued to push forward leaving a lot of space in front of their defence for the USRC forwards to exploit and USRC nicked another goal. Not long after, the game ended at 4-3 to DBFC.

Eight of the lads took up the USRC offer for drinks and a curry back at their place (Steve missing from the photo) and good banter was to be had. Gazza was asked to explain why he was running up and down the sideline in a state of half undress; his shirt unbuttoned and loose exposing his undervest, reminiscent of Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movies. He explained that he intended to change to his football kit but never got that far because of managing and drawing the team sheet. When asked how he got into such a predicament he replied “I’m just an ordinary guy that was on his way home”.

MOM: All DBFC players put in a good shift for this game. New guy Paul Beltrame was solid, composed and worked hard in the middle of the park; Crommy, as usual was always involved; Rafa was always threatening down the right wing and Kieran adapted admirably at right back and played an excellent second half after listening to Gazza’s instructions. However, reporter’s pick for this match is Scott Holmes for putting in a shift and a half, scoring a great goal in the first 11 seconds and setting up one and being involved in the others.

DOD: This has to be Armin, who missed 3 great chances. Two were “dead-certs” and one of those two misses bordered on comical. Rafa got down the wing to the bar line and whipped in a great cross to meet Amin at 2 yards out. The cross was low and hard so Amin stooped to head it, tried to adjust as he realized it was only 3 feet high, fell to his knees and his dive to head the ball went under the ball. If he stood up he could have knocked it in with his manhood. It is times like these that I wish I had a video camera on the game. Of course the biggest laugh was coming from Amin himself but I’m sure he’d have liked a goal to redeem himself.

Reported by Gazza