Saturday 15th December 2018 at HKFA Training Centre, Tsueng Kwan O, Pitch 5 with a 16:30 KO
Squad: Ricky (GK), Will, Ben, Matt O, Christian (Captain), Jamie, Matt H, Alex, Marco, Sabian, Kafi, Darius, Morse and Jordon.
Side-line supporters: David, Gazza, Scotty H, Pascal, Robbie and Ashley.
Scorers: OG, Matt O, Jordon and Christian.
This was the last league game before the Xmas break and many of our regular players were away holidaying, but fortunately a number of DBFC players of the past were visiting HK in their holidays from overseas universities (Ben, Matt O and Sabian).
So the squad for this game sounded a bit like a DBFC fantasy football team.
The game was to be played at HKFA’s new Training Centre in Tsueng Kwan O and getting to the pitch proved to be an expedition, so players arrived late and some after kick-off. However, a wise man called Morse had the foresight to hire a coach to take us home after the game.
The late arrivals and a disjointed warm-up were to prove a detriment to DBFC’s start to this game. Spartans had turned up with a very good squad determined to put one over on top of the table DBFC and it was Spartans that showed early desire in closing down quickly and running after every ball. DBFC’s unfamiliar defence struggled, was caught in possession too often, was persistent in launching long balls forward and missed out the DBFC midfield. It was Spartans that scored first when Matt O got caught in possession and lost the ball to the Spartans striker who proceeded to charge into the DBFC box. Will and Christian came across to challenge but the strikers’ shot was only half blocked by Christian to spin up off his shin and curl into the top corner of the DBFC net, giving poor Ricky no chance. If gifting one goal wasn’t enough another gift soon followed: Christian’s attempted long pass down the right side only went 20 yards to the Spartans winger who went to round Christian into the DBFC box. Christian recovered to get goal side and push the winger towards the by-line and instead of standing firm to block a cross / shot went diving into a tackle and the winger went down too easily. The referee didn’t hesitate to blow the whistle for a penalty, which was converted confidently, giving Ricky no chance at a save. With DBFC down 2-0, Morse went on at CB and Matt O moved into midfield with Alex and Matt H to make the DBFC set-u: effectively a 4-3-3. This formation seemed to be a little more comfortable and DBFC pressed the Spartans goal. A DBFC goal did come but in questionable circumstances: A Spartans’ attack was broken down and the DBFC defence played quickly to Kafi just inside the Spartans’ half. Kafi turned to play a great pass through the Spartans’ recovering back line for Darius to run onto. Speedy Darrius had the beating of the Spartans’ defender and was going to be ahead of the Spartans’ out coming keeper, so the defender unceremoniously barged Darius to the ground to allow the Spartans’ keeper to get to the ball first and clear. However, two things happened instantaneously: The keeper’s fluffed grass-cutter clearance shot at speed towards his own recovering midfielder, who reacted with a kick to clear towards his own goal; and the referee blows his whistle for a foul on Darius. The referee then watched the Spartan midfielder’s clearance riffle passed his keeper into the bottom corner of the Spartans’ net. The referee decided to award the goal rather than a free kick, which seemed strange and the only explanation some could find was that the referee didn’t want to red card the Spartans’ defender for a last man foul on Darius. Whatever the referee’s reason, DBFC counted themselves very fortunate to be in at half time only 2-1 down, although unfortunate that Jamie had to be carried off the field after 30 minutes with a twisted knee.
The second half started brighter for DBFC with a lot more possession and Matt H being played more in the game and taking control of the midfield. However, it was Spartans to score their third from another DBFC defensive shambles. The speedy Spartans’ winger stormed past Will at left back but Christian covered and made the tackle at the edge of the DBFC box. The winger went down very easily and although the referee had not blown for a foul, a couple of DBFC players were focused on shouting in his ear about diving. The ball came across the 18 yard box for Morse to pick up on the right of the DBFC goal and he inexplicitly tried to pass back across the face of the goal, only to see the ball hit Ben (right back inside the CB?) and fall invitingly for the Spartans’ Centre-Forward with only Ricky to beat, which he did. On the plus side for DBFC was the introduction of Jordon Brown for the last 30 minutes and he supplied positive energy to the team. DBFC dug deep and continued playing football through the midfield and continually pressed the Spartans’ goal. A corner taken by Jordon was met by Matt O charging in and he expertly volleyed the ball into the Spartans’ net to make it 3-2 with 20 minutes to go. DBFC continued to press and with 10 minutes left Matt H wins a free kick 20 yards out and Jordon curls a fantastic shot over the wall and into the top corner to make it 3-3. DBFC pressed for the winner but it was Spartans with the chance to snatch it when with 5 minutes left they had a break away that Kafi chased down and fouled the speedy Spartans’ winger just outside the DBFC box. Kafi was shown his second yellow card and came off the pitch to leave DBFC with 10 men. Spartans missed their free kick and DBFC came straight back on the break with Matt H rounding the Spartans’ defender and sending in a low cross 2 yards from the by-line for Jordon to meet and pop in. The goal was inexplicitly ruled offside by the assistant referee (lineswoman) when clearly Jordon ran in from behind the line of play. Disappointed but determined to right the wrong DBFC went at it again and with one minute left to play won a corner that Jordon Brown curled towards the back post for Christian to rise high and head into the corner. Immediately after the restart the referee blew for full time and DBFC had an extraordinary journey to a match win 4-3. The crowd went wild.
The well planned trip back to the DB Ferry Pier Bar was very loud and jubilant. Morse organised the coach and David the beers for the journey back. However, the beers ran out fairly quickly as many were drank at the sideline (mostly by David).
MOM: Jordon arriving for the last 30 minutes of this game certainly changed the attitude, flow and luck of the team. However, the honour again goes to Matt H who worked tirelessly in the middle of the pitch and endured a frustrating first half watching the defence bypass the midfield for the long ball. In the second half the tactics changed and Matt H got a lot more possession allowing him to take control of the middle and set up a great DBFC comeback.
DOD: Christian had a nightmare of a first half; deflecting a Spartans’ shot into the top corner past Ricky and giving away a penalty. However, he made up a long way for this with the winning goal in the last minute of play. So this week’s dick is Morse, for is still unexplained reason for blasting the ball up the butt of the DBFC right back (Ben) to set up the Spartans’ CF for an easy goal