This weekend we played the last match in our group pool of the Legal League Champions League Cup at Kowloon Bay Park Football Pitch against Revolution of division 2 with a 13:00 kick-off.

The final score DBFC 1 – 0 Revolution and the squad was ; Alessio, Kieran (Baz 15), Andy P, Christian, Morse, Sam (Robbie 52), Pascal, Jamie H (Syd 42), Jordan, Scotty H, Oli (Captain).

DBFC never take the easy way forward but nonetheless make it to the Cup Quarter Finals, courtesy of Spartans who only managing a 4 – 1 win. We finished second in the group table behind J-Leaguers and ahead of Spartans on goal difference; 1 goal!

During the week we struggled to get a full balanced squad together but finally after persuading some and fortune with a couple of other guys coming free at last minute, we got together a good squad of 14 players. However, on game day fortune turned against us; Robbie and Jordon were in bed with a bad bout of Flu and Syd was nursing a hangover from a 5:30 am return.  Nevertheless, to the credit of these lads and testament to the spirit and commitment running through this season’s DBFC set up, these lads made it to the match. Gazza being sure that his story of “when I was your age and had typhoid, Ebola and a broken leg, I still managed to play and score a hat-trick” stirred them into action. Jordon was over-heard asking his dad if Gazza’s story was true. So we struggled through the match and although we were the better team, a 1 – 0 win was all we could find in a well below par performance. It was a reminder that teams of any level will not roll over and give us a win and that complacency with our league position is something to guard against. In this match we rode our luck (we are allowed some fortune during the season) and now it is a case of lesson learnt and getting our heads right for the remainder of the season.

DBFC arrived in Kowloon Bay relaxed on a glorious sunny day and never really got out of the relax mode. With Robbie feeling sickly he did not impose on the warm up and left it mainly to the players, consequently this was extremely leisurely, nothing like last week’s pre-match preparation. It was of no surprise when we had a very slow start to the game. Revolution started with the sun at their backs giving the DBFC defence problems with high balls out of the sun to Revolution’s taller forwards but DBFC coped in most cases although Alessio was needed to come off his line hastily to bail them out on a couple of occasions. Kieran was seeing a lot of action as right back and getting up and down the flank in support but he took a knock to his ankle and couldn’t resume, so on came Baz. The midfield (Sam, Jamie H, Pascal and Jordon) hustled and bustled well but on the slow gripping surface constantly misplaced short passes to impose with midfield inter-play and resorted to forcing play through the middle. As we settled down Jordan Brown, Oli and Scotty combined well to win several corners, which we failed to threaten on. Great combination down the left between Morse, Oli and Jamie H resulted in a great cross on to Scotty‘s head at 6 yards out but he couldn’t find the target. Sam did well to cut a ball back from the byline on the right to the edge of the 18 yard box for Scotty to strike a decent shot just over the bar.  Finally, Oli turned his man on the right side of the box drove to the byline to cross for Jordan to tap in. 1-0. Half time.

The team talk at half time was brief with the aim to find Oli and Scotty and to take much more care with our passes.

The half started poorly as both sides struggled to look after the ball and create space. Syd came on for Jamie H (due to the sole of his footy boot detaching). There was then a penalty box scramble as Scotty found space but couldn’t get his shot off, Oli had the ball and tried to feed Sam but he was crowded out. Robbie came on with just over 15 minutes remaining and won a free kick 25 yards out. He took the free kick himself and made a right pig’s ear of it. Then, from a big keeper kick up the field, Revolution had a great chance when hesitation by our CB allowed their CF to run through on goal but could only lift his shot high over the on-rushing Alessio and the bar. Pascal released Robbie down the left edge of the box but his cross escaped Oli running in. A similar move resulted in Sam being released to put in a cross that escaped Pascal. Final score 1-0 and DBFC knew their fate was in Spartans’ hands.

Man of the match: Very little football quality on this day but Christian and Andy did a decent job at the heart of the defence. Scotty and Oli’s movement in the first half was good (even though they were not often found by the through pass) and Jordan because he scored the goal and managed not to throw-up during the game. Sam, Jamie H & Pascal hustled well. However, MOM goes to Captain Oli for creating the goal and holding the ball up well (and because he has the best haircut).

Dick of the day: Morse had a five minute spell where management wondered whether he had changed sides to play for Revolution (although he soon remembered and put in some big challenges); Oli for a 5-10 minute spell where he just did not stay on-side. However, DOD goes to Syd, who only turned up at half time after his 5 am finish the night before (even considering his valiant effort to still make the match after missing the Taxis from DB).

Next week let’s get back to normal and start with a focused pre-match warm-up.

Robbie / Gazza