Discovery Bay FC 3 : 0 Hong Kong Scottish Eagles

Venue: Happy Valley Pitch No.1

Date: 9 June 2022

Kick Off: 13:00

Squad: Ricky, Darius, Tita, Nik, Sean, Makito, Danny, Nick B, Steve L, Awal, Pierre, James, Kieran, Ryan

Scorers: Awal, Ryan, Pierre

For the second game running, DBFC drew the short straw and the lunchtime kick-off at Happy Valley. Unlike for the victory over HK Krauts, this would require Gazza to carefully manage a much smaller bench with half the squad already on their sun loungers overseas.

Gazza expected the Scottish Eagles to be much improved from the side we faced earlier in the season and they looked composed in possession early on. However, DBFC found our rhythm with good wing play from Sean & Nick down the left and Darius & Awal on the right. The opener came from Darius’s cross which bounced through to Awal, the only composed man in the box, to side-foot home. This gave DBFC more confidence and we went close through Danny Loup and a flying header from Pierre.

The Eagles became less effective when they hit longer to their unit of a target man, however, his long throws proved a danger. Unfortunately, the danger was mostly to Tita, who, when winning his usual near-post header, received an accidental clash to the head. Credit to his strength, as even with his lights out, the closest handful of concerned teammates and opposition couldn’t keep him down to recover. The ambulance fortunately arrived quickly for our captain as the two teams agreed to call an early half-time.

This allowed for Gazza to make the necessary adjustments. Awal stepped in at the back, so he could add a clean sheet to his goalscoring stats, but more importantly, this allowed dangerman Ryan Lei to move into the vacated right-wing position. It was Ryan who got the second with a smartly taken finish from Makito’s near-post corner, before striking the post with a powerful drive and being unfortunate to be called offside when he ran onto fellow sub, Kieran’s diagonal ball leaving him with a straightforward finish.

Makito claimed another assist soon after, breaking up playing in midfield as usual, finding space out wide before whipping in a delicious, De Bruyne-esque ball which Pierre acrobatically volleyed home. From that point on, as Eagles chased the game, we looked increasingly in control with our rotating central midfielders, but particularly James finding lots of space to advance and Steve almost being gifted an open goal when the keeper slipped before quickly recovering. On another day, the result could have been closer, with Eagles playing very good football, but we took our chances clinically and Ricky pulled off a brilliant top-corner save late on to confirm the three-nil win.

MOM – Everybody had to step up in the second half and did so brilliantly without our talisman, Tita but Awal should get the nod. The goal to set us on our way and lots of driving runs on the wing, before breaking up play well as a replacement CB for Tita and mostly for trolling Gazza’s guidance to ‘keep it simple’ by going on mazy 60 yard runs bringing the ball out from the back. We might need him there again without our usual centre-back partnership on Monday against Soho Spartans…