DBFC 5 – 0 Spartans

Venue: Kowloon Tsai Park Pitch 2 on 19 March 2016 kick-off at 6:30 pm

Squad: Travis, David, Zin, Morse, Ben, Pascal, Steve, Sam, Jordon, Matt O, Kieran K, Alessio, Michel and Tom.

Scorers: Jordon x 2, Sam, Kieran and Matt O.

Again the response for availability went down to the wire but with Matt O back this week from his life in the sunshine state of California and Steve and Jordon stepping up to help, by Friday there wash eleven players and when the 3 “maybe” confirmed on Friday night and Saturday morning DBFC had 14 players and a very good squad.  Also another plus was that the injured Matt Zoeller took up the challenge of team manager for this game.

It was a hot and humid evening in Kowloon with the team coming from all directions for this exciting Saturday test against the mighty Spartans team. DB’s finest athletes arrived with plenty of time to warm up (20 min) and even managed an extra 5 minutes warm-up as Spartans had only 7 players at 6:30 pm and the kick-off was delayed for 10 minutes for one more player to have the minimum number required for a game to proceed. DBFC were missing Tom who had messaged to say he was stuck in traffic although rumour from the players in the know suggests Tom was sleeping.

After Gazza endeavoured to speak to individual players about ‘don’t let the fact they only have 8 players change your game’, Coach Matt Z offered his own words of wisdom before kick-off and reminded everyone that there will be a number of substitutions made throughout the game to give all players a fair run-out. DBFC made for a shaky start against only 8 Spartans players and for 10 minutes were trying too many long balls, Hollywood pass attempts and poor movement off the ball, which resulted in a pretty boring start! Luckily for everyone, with the score at 0 – 0 after 10 minutes, the Spartans team bus arrived with 4 of their Nepalese friends (last minute signings) from a respected Wanchai establishment to make up a full team of 11 players and one substitute. This seemed to wake-up DBFC and finally the lads decided to start playing the ball better (well just about). Slowly, DBFC put more pressure on the Spartans defence with Jordan being released down the left, nipping inside the area and stumbling under a challenge that didn’t get a penalty, even though Gazza thought it deserved one! Steve started to win headers; Matt O and Pascal got hold of the ball better and used it more effectively with the defence also holding firm and playing more calmly out from the back.

Eventually a goal came after DBFC earned a corner that was swung in and first headed onto a defender by Sam before he poked in the fortuitous rebound and then reeled away for the quietest celebration ever seen, by all of his teammates anyway! It was a half-hearted one armed Shearer punch and a shout of “Yes!” by Sam that was the highlight of the first half hour with DBFC at 1- 0 up. Not to be undone by this rather scrappy first goal, Kieran K conceived to score an even scrappier goal. The ball was pumped long by Zin over the Spartans defence with Kieran hopefully chasing down to get in the way of the Spartans keeper and see him flap wildly at the bouncing ball. This resulted in the ball bouncing off Kieran’s shoulder and into his path towards an open goal that the grateful Irishman tapped in to score DBFC’s second goal! A couple of substitutions were made with 15 minutes of the half remaining.

Half time and a quick turn-around to make up for the delayed kick-off AND to get finished for beers were requested by Gazza. Coach Matt Z gave more wise words, ‘it wasn’t poor but it wasn’t great’, and the lads were ready to impose themselves on the game much more! A couple of substitutions were made.

Tom Halder had eventually arrived after his lie-in (for a 6:30pm kick off) and went to his usual number 10 position, just behind the DBFC striker. He made an immediate impact connecting with JB for a swift and accurate one-two pass that JB neatly finishing off to make it 3-0 at the start of the second half. It was pretty much more of the same from an attacking perspective with Matt Orr bossing the left hand side and everyone keen to get forward for a goal. Defensively, there was nothing of concern except David’s “Fred Flintstone” like twinkle toes before each pass and Ben’s ‘swing and miss’ or just plain ‘I’ll just watch it go out, oh $hit they got it before it went out’ moments. Jordan bagged his second with a nearly carbon copy of his first goal (running onto a Halder pass through to get behind the Spartans defence and coolly slotting the ball into the far corner). Jordon was bussing and causing Spartans problems with his little dribbles. Finally a Spartans player let his frustration with Jordon get the better and took him down from behind (as in tackled). JB got up to take the free kick in an attempt to get his hat-trick but put it just one and a half inches wide of the top left corner. Ben had worked hard down the right side from full back position and had made a number of crosses and long throws that DBFC players nearly got on the end of. However, it was his trade mark long bullet throw that got goal number 5 when the other the other half of “WHAM” Matt O met Ben’s throw on the Spartans penalty spot to glance a header into the far corner. The players all turned to the two young heroes with warm embrace that brought a tear to Gazza’s eyes.

Finally the game ended with DBFC comfortable 5 – 0 winners and I picked up my camp bed from on the goal line and turned my thoughts to the huge possibilities for Dick of the Day (DOD)!

MOM was easy; JB for his continuous running and a brace of well taken goals and for “chicken chesting” up to the biggest Spartans player for taking him (down) from behind.

Nominations for DOD include: Halder for the aforementioned lie-in, Sam for his wimpy celebration, David for the worse chat ever in the pier bar ‘so with your membership could you book me some lawn bowls time’ AND ‘oh yeah the spinach and kale diet is going really well’, Kieran Donnelly’s brief appearance at the pier bar with his H&M, Zara etc. expat shopping bags and bottle threats to fellow teammates, Gazza’s idea of a team day out playing skittles! So many possibilities!! Also, Steve is in the running. After leaving duvet at 12:30, Steve managed to get himself to the bus after abusing everyone in his path and once home bounced off his buildings hallway walls  (needing his missus to open the door) and fall flat on his face on the sofa for a number of hours!! But without doubt my pick for this week’s Dick of the Day has to go to Ben! His ‘swing and a miss’ was world class, his confidence about Everton ‘smashing’ Arsenal was so misplaced, his fat-lip moment when a little Frenchman shouted at him and for not going to the Pier Bar to Laugh it all off with a beer or two. The lads all love you Ben!

 

Reported by Travis