DBFC 2 – 2 Goodfellas
Venue: Kowloon Tsai Park Pitch 2 — 30 January 2016 3:00 pm KO
Squad: Gianluca, David, Zin, Morse, Cristian, Scott H, Pascal, Alessandro, Rafa, Tom, Matt Z and Dirk
Scorers: Cristian and Matt Z
This was the last game before a 3 week break over Chinese New Year and Gaffer Gaz thought that would lead to good availability of players wanting to get in a last game before a long layoff. How wrong this thought was with players advising “not available” in their droves due to injuries, work and other commitments (including the concert in Sienna Park). Gaz had a torrid time trying to pull a squad together for this game but eventually got there with 3 new signings (although one dropped out on Saturday morning) and with Dirk and Rafa coming to the rescue at last minute.
Gazza announced the 4 – 4 – 2 starting line-up as Gianluca in goal, David and Zin CB, Morse LB, Cristian RB, Pascal and Alessandro CM, Scotty LM, Rafa RM, Matt Z and Tom up front. Dirk on the bench. The instruction was to work hard and support the two new guys settle into their roles. Captain Matt Z reminded all that we had a completely changed side this week so not to think we were going to romp this game with an easy win. DBFC were to stay tight and disciplined, work hard for each other and give lots of talk to each other.
DBFC started the game slowly and were not communicating well but still managed to create a few half chances with crosses from wide areas. The Goodfellas defence was pushing very high up but we couldn’t capitalise with balls into the space behind them. Goodfellas began to take control of the game and when DBFC gained possession Goodfellas closed down quickly and pressed us all over the pitch. Goodfellas broke through on the DBFC goal a few times but were foiled. The Goodfellas opening goal came when Zin collected the ball on the right and pushed from defence looking up for a long pass over the top of the Goodfellas defence but his delay in executing that pass allowed the Goodfellas forward to steal the ball and play a quick pass to his striker. The pass split the remaining DBFC defenders and the Goodfellas striker ran into the DBFC box, one on one with Gianluca, to make a cool finish. This goal put a bit more urgency into DBFC and they pressed the Goodfellas goal but nothing seemed to work with a number of half chances missed. During this time DBFC were leaving themselves vulnerable to counter-attacks and were lucky not to concede a second goal. The first half finished with Goodfellas leading 1 – 0.
The half-time talk highlighted the lack of communication particularly at the back and this was exampled by Zin not getting a shout for “man on” and the result costing us a goal. Generally, DBFC had to lift the tempo of the game and not lose possession so easily. Better and longer periods of keeping the ball were needed and the trying to find the gaps in the Goodfellas defence for controlled / weighted through balls (the first half saw some good opportunities missed because of heavy final pass). Gazza suggested the balance of the side wasn’t quite right so put Rafa in centre mid and Alessandro at right mid. we would try this arrangement and if still not balanced would be changing around at 10 or 15 minutes into the second half.
DBFC started the second half much better but with pushing at Goodfellas goal the back four also pushed high and for the second time in the match got caught with a ball over the top. This came from our own throw-in well inside the Goodfellas half that was intercepted and a long ball played down their left wing, over Zin who was trying to cover for the advanced right back (Cristian). Gianluca had seen this and came right out of the 18 yard box on his right but missed the interception and the Goodfellas winger rounded him and slotted well on his weak foot from a very tight angle. This was a low blow for DBFC to put Goodfellas 2 – 0 up. Gazza called for substitutes and took of Alessandro who had run off his socks but obviously not as fit as he would have liked for 11 a side football. Rafa went back on the Right of midfield, Dirk came on at left back, Morse moved to CB with David and Zin into centre mid-field with Pascal. The goal and the changes seemed to spur DBFC into overdrive and dominate the remaining 30 minutes of the match. The centre midfield started to take control and get on top, finding better passes through the Goodfellas defence. Rafa was taken down a couple of yards out from the Goodfellas box and up stepped Matt Z to take a beautifully weighted free-kick that was curling in to the top far corner of the Goodfellas goal. Somehow the Goodfellas keeper flung himself in the air in the general direction of his left top corner and got fingers on the ball to turn it around the post. Tom Halder took possession on the DBFC left and jinked inside two Goodfellas defenders to go into the box, through on goal but just as he loaded to shoot he was brought down from behind by three of their players for what seemed to be a stonewall penalty. However, the ref didn’t give it and tried to explain that Tom had taken the shot, which because of the interference had ballooned softly over the bar. DBFC didn’t waste much time arguing but got on with the task at hand. A few minutes later Rafa released Matt Z on the left wing to skip past a Goodfellas defender and cut inside to the Goodfellas 18 yard box. Matt Z was challenged by the covering defender and got the slightest of touches to lose some balance but didn’t go down. The referee immediate blow and pointed to the spot for a penalty, which seemed soft but reckon the referee was accounting for his earlier wrong decision for a Tom penalty. Matt Z took the penalty, which was not so well placed and the keeper got a hand to it but not enough to stop it trickling over the line to bring DBFC to 2 – 1 behind. DBFC desperately pressed for an equaliser and both Scotty and Matt Z were guilty of missing clear cut chances to level. In the final few mins Zin hit a free-kick from range which swerved and hit the cross bar. Matt Z, following in, rose like a salmon but ended like an old kipper when the bounce took the ball. Nevertheless, Matt’s eel like flexibility allowed him to acrobatically turn and knock the ball towards the centre of goal where Cristian had arrived (from right back) to duly smash the ball into the back of the Goodfellas net for his debut goal and to put DBFC level at 2 – 2. Christian immediately turned away in celebration with a yell and a duly passionate Italian fist pump, spurring on the DBFC troops. DBFC were flying and continued to press for a winner, as Goodfellas desperately held on, but alas it wasn’t to be. The last 30 minutes of this game showed great fighting spirit from DBFC but on reflection shouldn’t have been in that position; DBFC need to start these games much stronger and focused.
MOM – Dirk came on and was solid at left back focusing on his job and doing things simple; his experience a lesson for the younger lads. However, there was a welcome return for Rafa, who has been missed this year. He played very well throughout the game and edges MOM this for game.
DOD(s) – The Picnic in the Parkers (Sadly, too many to mention)
Reported by Matt Z and edited by Gazza