DBFC 5 – 0 Ruby Murrays
Venue: Kowloon Bay Park Pitch —– 21 March 2015 —- 4:30 pm KO
Squad: Oli (Captain), Kieran, David, Will, Scott H, Jamie H, Morse, Gianluca, Travis, Matt, Steve, Sam, Syd, Adrian, Zin
What looked like being a desperate situation for squad numbers during the week turned out by Friday to be very good for numbers and quality, thanks to a couple of signings (Adrian and Zin) and a Pilot earlier missing in Paris (Kieran). So with Gazza’s mid-week worries put aside and Robbie (non-playing manager today) glowing red (sun-burn) in an outrageous wife-beater vest after a morning at the Beach 5s, everyone made it to Kowloon Bay on time. The team came out changed and ready promptly with the day’s task in mind and robbie laid out his strategy; we were changing our usual formation to a 3-4-2-1 and gave a quick run-down of everyone’s individual roles in the system. The squad was definitely focused for this one and Matt took them for the warm up.
The match kicked off and DBFC immediately found plenty of time and space on the ball across the back three and in midfield. An early through ball almost caught Rubies out but Oli was flagged marginally off-side (a recurring theme in the first half). Steve then drove forward into the space down the left and put in a cross from deep for Oli at the back post but it was to straight and too high and looped over the 6ft 4 Rubies keeper into the top corner to Steve his first ever DBFC goal to put us 1-0 up. More DBFC pressure brought about several more marginal off-side calls and many corners. One corner kick by Syd was headed clear by Rubies but straight back to his feet and his subsequent cross found Matt free at the back post to head the ball straight at the keeper from 5 yards out. Travis, Zin and Dave were coping comfortably as DBFC defence (Rubies Langston being their lone striker) and Steve and David put a number of long balls into the left channel for Oli to run on to and collect well only to have fortuitous last ditch tackles by Rubies defenders deny him several goal scoring opportunities. Syd released Adrian down the right and his cross was well intercepted by the keeper as Steve came in free at the back stick of Rubies goal. Langston kept trying his pace but the defence mostly kept tight to him, however, on a couple of occasions he managed to find space to turn. One time he turned and run down our left and put in a good cross that a Rubies play got to for a strong header that went over the bar but this was a rare foray by Rubies. Sam (back from belly button surgery) came on for Will in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Oli then found space on left hand side of their box and after giving the keeper the “dodgy eyes” slotted home emphatically at the near post to give us 2-0 lead at half time.
The half time team talk was very positive. Robbie had a few minor pointers for focus; encouraging the centre-backs to carry the ball forward into the spaces and to continue pressing Langston so he does not turn, emphasising the need for Oli to stay on-side, and for the midfield to hold their positions and find the pockets of space to receive the ball. Rubies had been completely nullified in all departments so it was a case back for more of the same. Kieran came on for Adrian.
The second half kicked off and DBFC continued exerting the dominance of the first half. Matt took a pre-planned short corner from the left with Steve playing it back to him at the edge of the area and instead of shooting he confused everyone In the stadium with a high and deep cross (to the invisible man) —- obviously an Irish tactic as while everyone was still in confusion Matt was put through by a lovely ball from Zin and finished emphatically to put DBFC out of reach at 3-0. Off another corner, the ball broke free in the box and Kieran pounced to poke the ball home and give us a 4-0 lead. The comfort for DBFC slacked to loss of concentration and Rubies had a break resulting in a snap shot from the edge of the box that was well saved by Gianluca. Morse came on at LCB for Dave with just over 20 to go to help settle the ship with his fresh legs and experience (well Gazza thinks he’s got very nice fresh legs). Will came back on for Sam and did well down the right only to see his cross cut out to end a very promising move. The DBFC pressure was telling and Matt was released through the middle to confidently slot the ball past the keeper to give us a 5-0 lead. Oli came back on was immediately released down the right and his pin point cross found Scotty who poked the ball inches wide of the far post (if roles were reversed Oli was heard muttering while Scotty blamed a bad bounce).
Man of the match – a very accomplished performance by the whole squad. Everyone coped well with the tactical change of formation. Zin making his DBFC legal league debut (this season) did very well at RCB. Travis back in an outfield role was emphatic at the heart of defence. Matt notched two goals and Syd was incredibly solid shielding the back four and retaining possession as our midfield commander. Man of the match however goes to Steve. Putting in a strong shift down the left hand side, he opened his DBFC goal scoring account, his early long throws and through balls were a constant threat to the Ruby Murray defence. It was good to get Sam and Scotty some good minutes as they make their way back after their respective injuries.
Dick of the Day – Everyone on time and a very good performance leaves slim pickings. Robbie had a shocking wife-beater T-shirt that exposed a cherry red(questionable tan); Scotty Holmes was seen ignoring his DBFC teammates at HKFC later in the night, but the award goes to Oli ‘5 am ferry’ Rendall (apparently a wife approved night out) for spending the majority of the first half off-side!
Everyone got good game time in a match that was enjoyable to play in and to watch. This was a really good TEAM performance.
Gazza / Robbie