DBFC 2 – 1 Hong Kong Krauts

Venue: Po Kong Village Road, Pitch 2.

Date: 17 October 2015

Squad: Matt Z (Captain), Gianluca (Keeper), Alessio, David, Ben, Morse, Jonny, Thierry, Warren, Sam, Matt O, Dirk, Scott H and Kieran McK.

Once again we were looking short of available players for this game and in anticipation Robbie, Matt Z and David had put word out for signing new players. We signed up Warren Laker, who was available for Saturday’s game and Phil Collins (not the famous singer) who confirmed availability on Friday afternoon. The trumpet call was made for DBFC veterans, from which Alessio (as an outfield player) and Dirk made themselves available. Then on Friday afternoon two more confirmations; Thierry and Kieran. From only having 12 players at Friday lunch time we suddenly had decent numbers at 15 players – bloody marvelous.

Matt Z got the lads warmed-up and Gazza, after introducing the new guys, laid out his plan of 4-2-3-1. Gianluca in goal, David and Ben CB, Alessio RB and Morse LB, Warren and Thierry DM, Sam LM, Jonny RM, Matt O AM and Matt Z CF. Players were asked to reflect on last week’s second half performance and continue with passing the football on the deck. Build up from the back, wide guys were to show short and long to collect the ball and Matt O, Scotty and Jonny to support Matt Z when he receives the ball to feet up front.

The first half started slowly for DBFC with many players flat-footed and not keeping possession, but this soon settled and DBFC started to press. It was obvious that the Krauts’ tactic was to defend deep and play the long ball up to their two fast Chinese strikers. DBFC were constantly pressing with a number of goal attempts and were unlucky not to open the scoring. Matt O had a couple of good shots from outside the box that just went wide and he made a drive and cross from the right that went all the way to the left, only for Morse to strike firmly but straight at the Krauts’ keeper. Another DBFC attack down the left ended with the ball coming to the right of the box and Krauts’ defenders blocking Alessio’s attempted shot. Sam missed out on a volley attempt, Warren was through for his shot to be blocked and after some great passing football the ball found Matt Z in the box to slot the ball home, only for it to be flagged offside (ref got it wrong).

DBFC were continually on the front foot apart from a few Kraut break aways, but just as Gazza was smiling with confidence a mix up at the back after a ‘keeper’ shout resulted in a great assist for the Krauts’ striker off David’s back to give Krauts a 1-0 lead. Although this knocked the wind out of the DBFC sails the lads pressed on again and many half chances were made and many corners won. It was one of these corners that paid dividends when Matt O fired in a corner from the right and Thierry rose at the back post to firmly head in.

Half time talk pointed out that all had worked hard and played well and DBFC were unlucky not to have scored more so to continue to try pass the ball to feet. The Krauts’ goal came from nothing so heads up and press for the win. In the second half Scotty continued on the RM (after coming on for Jonny H halfway through the first half) and Kieran came on at LM for Sam, Dirk at RB for Alessio and Phil on for Ben at CB.

The pattern of the second half was soon shown to be the same as the first half with DBFC pressing for a goal and Krauts sitting deep looking for a counter-attack. DBFC continued to attack and looked the more likely to score through many promising attacks, which in some cases DBFC were unlucky not to convert. The DBFC work-rate started to tell and first to be replaced was Warren by Ben to CM with 20 mins left. At this point Matt Z dropped to AM, Matt O went out to LM and Kieran to CF. With 10 minutes to go Scotty’s petrol tank was empty and Jonny was back on at RM. This little bit of freshness urged DBFC to push more but in committing forward were vulnerable to the Krauts’ counter. There was some great rescue defending, especially from Morse who shortly after his 40th birthday was outpacing the Krauts’ attacker (half his age).

The goal came with 3 minutes to go. Jonny received the ball at RM and played it back to Dirk who pressed forward and returned the ball to Jonny for a one two down the line. Dirk got to the by-line and put in a lovely long cross to the far post that Kieran rose to above the Krauts’ defenders to head the ball firmly into the back of the Krauts’ net for a 2-1 lead. DBFC kept it firm and tight for the last few minutes and were overjoyed with the last minute win.

Man of the Match: Difficult to call as there was many hard-working performances from all players. So this week I’ve singled out the birthday boys to share this honour; Thierry for his work rate in mid-field and his headed goal and Morse for his 110% commitment and some telling tackles.

Dick of the Day: Goes to a combination of David and Gianluca for the mix up for the Krauts’ first goal. The ball was two feet off David’s head when the ‘Keeper’ shout went out. As Gianluca said – ‘shit happens’.

 

Report by Gazza on a beach in Thailand.