BFC 2 – 0 San Pellegrinos

25th November 2017 at Happy Valley Pitch 2 with 16:30 kick-off

Squad: Yanou(GK) Thierry(CB and Captain) David(CB) Morse(LB) Rodders(RB) Kieran(CM) Steve(CM) Che(LM) Ryan(RM) Matt Z(10) Syd(CF) subs: Harwood, Matt H, Nathan, Christian, Jamie and Simon.

Scorers: Steve Lang (assist Che) and Matt Z (assist Che)

We had a great response to availability for this match for what was billed as Dan Lye’s testimonial match. However in the end Dan was a spectator along with Pascal (both having poor excuses why not to play). The starting line-up picked itself because lots of players got stuck in traffic jams through Causeway Bay consequence of the Ghay Pride Parade. So we Started with only one on the bench. The other 5 players turned up at various points through-out the first half and kissed and got ready.

The first half started brightly and our new midfield maestro Kieran Robinson worked well with Steve in the middle of the park. Che was getting lots of joy down the left side and when the ball came over to the right side Ryan showed some great talent with the ball at his feet. The back 4 were kept busy especially Thierry and David coping with the San P tactic of long ball to their big physical players. Syd in an unfamiliar Centre Forward role (after telling manager Gazza he was lethal there) was struggling to get his pace and touch and ex-Captain Zol played well at the number 10 spot. Che continued creating havoc down the left and DBFC’s first chance came from there when Kieran was played into the By-line and pulled it back to incoming Steve on the edge of the 18 yard box to mess his shot and see the ball go wide of the post. However, Steve was to make up for this miss about 10 minutes later when Che got to the same by-line and again pulled it back to the edge of the 18 yard box for Steve to rifle the ball into the corner of the San Pellegrinos net to put DBFC 1-0 up.

Another 10 minutes after that Che again got down the left and played the ball inside to Matt Z who executed a low drive from outside the SP box into their goal, just out of the reach of the diving keeper. This put DBFC at a comfortable 2-0 up. In this first half SP continue to look to break on the counter and won a number of corners and free kicks that they floated in to the DBFC box looking for their tall and bulky player to muscle in the headers. The DBFC stood strong and Yanou came out a number of times to punch the ball clear (no fear and leaping like a salmon). However the boys kept it together and looked the better footballing side and saw out the first half at 2-0.

Half time talk focused on keeping better possession when we win back the ball and to be aware of getting stretch searching for another goal. Generally, Gaffer Gaz wanted more of the same. Subs were made; Christian for Rodders, Harward for Ryan, Jamie for Che, Nathan for David, Matt H for Matt Z. Simon for Morse after 10 minutes of second half.

It was obvious that San Pell had changed formation for this second half using 5 at the back and relying on long balls over the top for 2 big forwards. So possession and shape would be key aim for DBFC but many times found themselves with 5 or 6 forward as DBFC midfield blasted forward unopposed leaving a big hole in midfield. The large number of changes at half time may have contributed to the passing and movement not gelling but whatever it was it didn’t look tidy and DBFC found themselves under pressure at the back more in the second half. San Pellegrinos won a number of free kicks at around 30 yards out as their players drew fouls on the counter-attack and also won a number of corners, which were all launched into the DBFC box for the San Pell big guys. The defence done well to head clear and on a number of occasions Yanou met the ball with a giant leap and punched clear. Yanou was tested and came good in this second half. On a couple of occasions the ball bounced in the box from balls in and San Pellegrinos could have easily scored with a bit of luck. At the other end DBFC did have a number of clear chances to put this game well out of reach especially, Steve and Harwood and if Syd had a little more composure he could have got one or two. Nevertheless, DBFC hung on at the back to see out the game 2-0 and collect the 3 points.

MOM: Some decent performances from a number of players but this week the award goes to new signing Kieran Robinson who settled into the centre-midfield role with Del-boy Stevie L and bossed the middle with high energy and skill. He had a great debut game and proved a great replacement for the departing Dan Lye.

DOD: This was clearly Syd. During the warm ups he was doing his own stretches and took the push-ups position to arch his back. He suddenly started to cough and splutter as he complained of swallowing a fly. He wasn’t the same for the rest of the day and didn’t fly around the pitch as expected, even with his inside help.

Pascal and Dan were both supporters for this match and both made it down to the pier bar with a good crowd to have a couple of beers to celebrate our win and say farewell to Mr. Lye.