Result: DBFC 4 – 0 Tropicana

Date: 31 January 2015

Squad: Alessio, Christian, Jamie W, David, Jordon, Jonny (JP 45), Matt, Pascal, Scotty (Morse 35), Robbie (Sam 55), Oli (Captain).

Venue: Kowloon Tsai Park Stadium ———– KO: 4:30 pm.

This was our second top of the table clash in recent weeks and the first time we have played Club Tropicana this season. We knew that they would be fielding a strong side so made every effort to do likewise. Unfortunately, there was not the number of availabilities as have been in recent weeks but enough of our core players to set a strong team. A few worries we initially had, worked themselves out; Gianluca got stuck in Bombay but fortunately Alessio rearranged his day to make himself available to cover between the posts and Jamie W’s ankle injury passed a late fitness test. DBFC now had the numbers and were good to go.

The match kicked off on the bumpy Kowloon Tsai grass pitch and immediately DBFC were on top. The defence and midfield were playing a slightly longer passing game into Oli, with Robbie running in behind and this resulted in a territorial advantage, forcing a succession of corners to pile the pressure on Tropicana. Robbie scuffed a long range effort and shortly after, good pressing down the left flank allowed Scotty to exploit the space behind the Tropicana defence. He got on the end of a through pass to round Tropicana’s keeper, who came off his line (20 yards), only to see his shot at the open goal headed off the line by the covering defender. Robbie was then blatantly tripped in the box but a penalty was not given. David and Jamie were dealing well with the long balls by Tropicana and other than a couple dangerous breaks were untroubled. Good work up front saw Scotty released however, after initially not receiving the ball he was in a huff and missed the subsequent through ball. Robbie then scuffed a free kick (2nd time after a naff kick in the revolution game) into the wall, after a mix up with Jordan over the plan. Fortune favoured Tropicana with the half-time score at 0-0.

The half-time talk could only be a positive recap of the half, although there was a word of caution to be wary of the Tropicana counter attacks and a reminder to hit the channels with our passing. Scotty ‘the shits’ Holmes was replaced by Morse, allowing us to push Jordon (started left back) into midfield.

The second half kicked off much the same as the first with DBFC pressure. A long ball over the top just didn’t fall for Robbie and the chance escaped him. A minute later Jonny made a surging run down the right crossing excellently for Oli to head/shoulder (special haircut and Brylcreem still working) at the far post into the net for a 1-0 lead. Jonny (in need of oxygen) was replaced immediately after that goal; JP into centre midfield for Matt to move forward and Robbie to the right midfield. Soon after some pressure by Tropicana resulted in a clearance header that Robbie challenged for the second phase header by jumping blindly (swimming goggles not made for this) in to a Tropicana player. The soft free-kick at about 20 yards was taken by Tropicana’s Chris Davies but his weak effort was comfortably saved by Alessio. Robbie and Jordon were threatening down the flanks and it was a Jordon run to beat his man and cross for Oli to rifle in off the underside of the bar from a couple yards out that gave DBFC a 2-0 lead. Sam came on for Robbie to give some refreshed energy on the right of midfield. Tropicana were now trying to force the game and Alessio came off his line a couple of times to claim crosses but this was now opening up play to DBFC’s advantage.  The continual hard graft by Pascal (excellent as in every game) and the fresh JP had the midfield battle won and DBFC were dangerous on the break. Oli was narrowly offside twice before he was released with a well-timed run to control and slot home his third goal (second hat-trick in two weeks!) for a DBFC 3-0 lead. Further breaks saw Jordon doing well down the left only to see his shot whistle past the post and then again from the right after being released by Sam. DBFC top scorer Matt was not to be outdone by an on-form Oli and took advantage of his reposition to his favoured no. 10 role by collecting the ball on the right hand edge of the box and curling a superb effort into the bottom corner. His joyous celebration of lifting his shirt over his head for 2 seconds was seen by the referee who cruelly booked him with only a couple of minutes of play left — ridiculous!  4-0 and that was that, job done.

Man of the match – a good day at the office for DBFC and everyone battled hard but three players will get a special mention this week. The first is Jamie W, who together with David was excellent dealing with a dangerous Tropicana front line. The second is Captain fantastic and hat-trick hero Oli, his three goals and leading the line well would usually take the cake but this week it goes to Pascal for an immense battling performance in midfield that epitomised the display and set the platform for the win.

Dick of the day – seems a shame after such a good result but contenders are; Robbie for being ten minutes late for the taxis, Oli for corrupting the youth players (Jordon) into smoking after matches, Matt for flashing his abs only to be booked with only 2 minutes left and Stu for turning up at the Pier Bar incredibly merry while his lovely wife was absolutely fine and telling all that he had “sobered up” from earlier. However this week it must go to “Mr. Shits” himself (Scotty) for 4 reasons: 1. having to be substituted because he couldn’t hold his cheeks together any longer, 2. his strop when a through ball didn’t come directly to him but was played through in the triangle that would have put him straight on to goal, 3. his miss on open goal after rounding the keeper,  4. his leaving the pier bar early in an “unwell state” to go on a Tinder date that would involve curry dinner (as if his arse wasn’t suffering enough!).

Robbie / Gazza