DBFC 5 – 0 Ruby Murrays.
Venue: Po Kong Village Road Park Pitch No. 1
Squad: Travis, Jonny, Phil, David, Ben, Sabian, Pascal, Matt H, Matt O, Tom H, Matt Z, Robbie, Scotty H, Sam.
DBFC arrived at the Po Kong village pitch 40 minutes early for the first match of 2016 and were changed and ready with 25 minutes to KO. So the starting line-up was announced before commencing a good warm-up routine that was participated by all players in high spirits. The vibe was relaxed and jovial.
DBFC kicked off. The first few minutes were scrappy from DBFC as they lost the ball several times by trying to force the game, while Ruby Murrays played some tidy football. Matt Z indicated that he’d probably need to come off with a groin strain but Robbie and Gazza conferred and decided he was being a bit of a Nancy boy so would leave him play on for a bit longer. This was to prove a top class management decision (reminiscent of Clough and Taylor in their prime) as it didn’t take long for DBFC to take control with Sabian surging down the right and putting in a teasing cross that just evaded Matt Z. The DBFC pressure continued down the right when Pascal put in a super cross that Matt Z rose to like a sponge cake in the oven to place a header to the left corner of the Rubies goal only to see their keeper dive and get a hand on it to turn it around the post. Pascal got the ball on the right again and drove to the by-line, pulling the ball back to Tom Halder who drilled his shot at the Rubies keeper to spill and Matt Z to tucked the ball home from all of one yard and give DBFC a well-deserved 1-0 lead. Rubies came back strongly down their right flank to force a corner that was taken quickly and flicked on at the DBFC near post to fall invitingly for the Rubies forward only to see his shot well blocked by a resolute DBFC defence. Matt Z again got on the score sheet with a simple one yard tap-in following good work by Matt H to put Sabian through on the right for him to square a simple ball across the box. DBFC 2-0 up and firing on all cylinders. Good work down the DBFC left saw Ben Roberts take a quick long throw and Matt O’s cross found Tom H who hit it first time on the volley and it flew ——- out of the ground. Simultaneously, Gazza flew out of his seat in search of his precious ball. The DBFC dominance continued with some real good passing / possession: Matt H being commanding in mid-field, Tom was ubiquitous in the number 10 position, dropping off the DBFC forward line to collect the ball outside the Rubies box then spreading the play to either Sabian or Matt O who were always available wide. It was Tom that started the move for the third goal, his quick feet making space to get it out to Matt O who interplayed with Ben supporting on the left, the ball played into Matt Z who had pulled off the Rubies defenders to the edge of the 18 yard box, he turned, stepped inside and lashed a shot towards goal. The ball went through a Rubies defender’s legs, as he lunged to block, and fizzed off the diving Rubies keeper’s hands onto the far post and into the goal. DBFC 3 – 0 up after 25 minutes of play and now cruising with confidence. A tactical switch was made; Tom H (concerned with fitness after a long holiday break) and Matt Z (groin problem and wanted Gazza to rub some cream on) came off for a direct switch at numbers 9 and 10 for Robbie and Scotty H. The sub boys slotted into the tempo of the game quickly. A DBFC corner was whipped in by Matt O that Robbie met well only to direct his header to the front post and comfortably into the Rubies keeper’s hands. DBFC continued to press the Rubies goal with a number of half chances being squandered. Rubies attempts at counter attack were rare and unthreatening; dealt with comfortably by the DBFC defence, which included Travis providing the passing link as a centre back more than having to use his gloves. So the first half finished 3 – 0 but could have been more.
Robbie took the half-time talk, emphasising that it was a good half of football for DBFC. A few points were made that the team needed to focus on in the second half: Improve the consistency of our passing game by looking to switch the play and recycle the ball as necessary and more importantly improve the communication and organisation throughout the team, especially from the back as it was mainly Travis that was the commanding voice of help in the first half. Jonny H was replaced at RB by Sam and Matt Z came back on at CF, Scotty H moving to left mid to replace Matt O who came off.
DBFC started the second half well, resuming their dominance of the game. Matt H switched the ball well to Ben on the left and he played a great one-two with Scotty H, driving into the box he crossed well for Matt Z who took two dodgy touches that fooled the Rubies right back, who lost sight of the ball under his legs, and the ball came back to Matt who scuffed a shot that trickled through the smothering Rubies keeper’s legs into the goal for a DBFC lead of 4-0. Soon after the restart DBFC won a corner, which was taken but cleared well by the Rubies defender only to be picked up by Pascal who put the ball back in the mixer. A Rubies defender headed the ball straight up in the air and the Rubies keeper came to collect but misjudged the bounce as Sabian and Matt Z buzzed around him. It was Matt Z who reacted quickest to this keeper error and tapped the ball home for his and DBFC’s goal number 5 on 20 minutes into the second half. Matt O came back on to replace Pascal in midfield and Tom came back on at number 10, Robbie dropping back into midfield for Matt H who came off. Credit to Rubies that they still battled to get into this game and were having more possession from a tiring DBFC. However, they could not find a way through the DBFC defence and the couple of occasions they did Travis was sharp and a couple of saves he made he held well (glue on his gloves). Nevertheless, DBFC still wanted more goals and pressed. Scotty and Halder recycled the ball well and Robbie picked out Matt Z in the box who jumped well (like a cork from a champagne bottle) but saw a decent effort float narrowly high and wide of the Rubies goal. Sabian continued to give the Rubies left back a torrid time and he surged past him again pulling the ball back for Matt Z to tap in but the assistant referee controversially flagged that the ball had crossed the by-line out of play. Jonny came back on for the last 15 minutes to replace Sabian. Some passing and interplay on the right result in Robbie receiving the ball back off Tom who burst through the Rubies defence as Robbie leaned back and used his sand wedge to return a one-two over the top of Rubies defenders into Tom’s feet. Tom hit the ball first time across the goal with his right foot just wide of the far post, where Scotty H was running in unsighted and narrowly missing the ball as it bounced over his outstretched leg. Sabian came back on for the last 10 minutes to replace a tiring Ben at left back. In the dying minutes DBFC won the ball well in midfield, Robbie released Matt Z through and he unselfishly squared to Tom who took a touch and fired a shot from 8 yards straight at the Rubies keeper with the rest of the goal vacant. The Rubies keeper grateful not to be picking the ball out of the back of the net for a sixth time. The game finished with a resounding 5 – 0 victory for DBFC. So shower, changed and back to the Pier bar for most of the team to celebrate with bottles of beer.
MOM – There were plenty of good performances. Travis communicated well and was quick to distribute short to enable us to play out from the back. Jonny Haines was impressive from right back starting numerous attacks. Sabian dominated his right side with his powerful runs and Matt H and Pascal controlled the midfield. The rest of the side were similarly solid on the day but man of the match goes to Matt Z for his five goals from an estimated 10 touches in the match.
Sam for tuning up as the match was kicking off is an obvious contender. Halder for 3 worthy episodes; making Gazza worry he’d lost one of his precious balls, for not scoring one of numerous chances he had in the match and then taking his chance at scoring outside the Pier Bar. Matt Z for tentatively holding his groin and asking to come off but as soon as he scored he couldn’t be shifted. However, the winner goes to … David Rollinson for talking a big game on the ferry home about coming to Hemingway’s and then bailing (not for the first time) because he had to deliver a McDonalds meal to his girlfriend ——- his whip marks were bright that night.
Reported Robbie / Gazza