DBFC: 6 – 0 Team Shotgun (TSG).

Venue: Po Kong Village Road Park Pitch No. 1 — 23 January 2016 KO at 17:30

Squad: Travis, Alessio, Phil, David, Josh, Jordon, Pascal, Steve, Yoon, Halder, Matt Z, Warren and Scotty H.

Scorers: Matt Z x 3, Tom, Scott and Steve

An almighty struggle was had getting a team together for this match. After only having 8 players on Thursday, we managed to get 11 by Friday afternoon and by Saturday morning had a very strong 13 together  – a lot of thanks needs to go to those that changed plans, convinced wives, carried injuries, etc. to make this game. We have a DBFC squad deep enough that when the rally call goes out sufficient players recognise the need to step forward.

The DBFC team arrived at Po Kong Village Road Park Footy pitches, and it was freezing – absolutely horrible at what must be one of the most exposed football grounds in Hong Kong.  The temperature was said to be 5C but with the strong wind chill factor the writer reckoned it was close to 1C. Yoon, who should be familiar with the freezing cold temperatures of Korea, looked as though he was on the verge of hypothermia. However, most of the DBFC team were suitably attired in their thermal underwear and got into their stride with a warm-up, led by Captain for the day, Matt Z. The starting 11 was going to be announced prior to the warm up so that those starting could be more vigorous in their preparations but then someone pointed out that Halder and Jordon were missing. Gazza revealed he had a message saying they were stuck in traffic but as the game start time got close the dynamic duo were still not there. Just as the team was to be announced they appear. It has to be said, many of us had to do a double take – it’s not often you see Halder without his two faithful young apprentices, Matt O and Ben. Halder actually had to carry his own bag!

The team was announced – Travis in goal; a back four of Josh on the left, David and Phil at Centre-backs and Alessio on the right; the midfield consisted of Pascal and Steve in Centre-mid, Jordon on the left midfield and a frozen Yoon on the right; Halder in the hole and Matt Z upfront. Warren and Scott on the sidelines wrapped up as though on the north face of Everest. What was noticeable was that DBFC wrap-ups were nothing compared to the all Chinese TSG that went on the field of play fully clothed, their kit over the top of tracksuits or full base layers, Yoon was so jealous.

The game kicked off with DBFC largely in control, pinging the ball around for some good passing / possession. It became quickly evident that TSG were adopting long ball tactics to their fast wingers and at the start had some success that our defence had to cope with. However, after only 10 minutes of play the wind, which had been blowing across the pitch, changed direction to blow more in the direction of the DBFC goal. This played in DBFC favour as most the long balls by TSG were over hit and their fast wingers couldn’t keep up to control. On the other hand, the wind against helped DBFC with long, over the top balls holding up for Matt Z, Jordon and Yoon to get on to. DBFC were beginning to control the game, largely through Steve, Pascal and Halder pulling the strings in the middle and some great passing vision by Steve and Halder putting Matt Z and Jordon through in dangerous areas. Within the first ten minutes DBFC were ahead – Halder got the ball in the hole and put an excellent ball through to Matt Z on the right hand side of the TSG box. The outcome was inevitable – Matt Z did as Matt Z does and blasted it into the bottom left corner of the TSG goal. The rest of the half continued with total DBFC dominance – 8 or 9 clear cut chances fell DBFC’s way, mainly to Jordon and Matt Z,  but all were unfortunately squandered when normally you’d put your life savings on these two popping in a few. The first half finished with DBFC 1 – 0 up and TSG obviously counting their luck to still be in this game.

In the half time team talk Gazza urged everyone to keep playing the way we were and although we were missing a basket load of chances in the first half, the same chances would not be missed in the second. It was important that we keep focused, defend tightly and get the first goal so that TSG see no way back. Matt Z and Steve urged everyone to keep the ball on the deck due to the windy conditions and reiterated the point that the goals would come if we kept creating chances. Halder mentioned that as we were playing with the wind in this half – the defence should push high as the long balls from TSG wouldn’t be such a danger. Warren came on at right back for Alessio (groin problem) with Scotty H held for 5 minutes to see how Warren coped at right back. Jordon would swap sides with Yoon, LM to RM.

The second half begun extremely well – after a few squandered chances in the opening minutes, Jordan eventually got free on the right hand side and put in a great low shot – the TSG goalie saved but Matt Z was alert to poke in the rebound to put DBFC 2-0 up after 4 minutes. Two quickly became three when , after a mishap in the TSG defence, Matt Z found himself with an open goal to aim for – calmly slotting it away. So after 8 minutes DBFC were 3-0 up and Warren was comfortable at right back so Scott came on to replace Yoon at left-mid. DBFC continued their dominance throughout the second half, with Travis and the defence having precious little to keep themselves occupied and warm. The fourth goal arrived from a dangerous Scotty H cross which caught the wind and looped into the far top corner – should he be able to convince us that he actually meant to score, this goal could be a contender for goal of the season. Goals 5 and 6 quickly followed through nice pieces of play from Steve and Halder respectfully – both shooting from the edge of the box to score their goals.

As the second half came to a close, TSG had some prolonged pressure on the DBFC goal (looking for a consolation goal) but some good DBFC defending and an excellent block from Warren ensured that Travis maintains his clean sheet in the DBFC goal (he’s only been there 3 times).

All in all a good win and a good turnout at the Pier Bat for celebratory drinks —– that finished at duvet about 11:00 pm.

MOM – Steve and JB in with a shout for excellent work throughout the game. Jordon did particularly well, getting into a world record number of scoring chances (a world record for misses) and causing havoc for the TSG defence and continuing his good play even though Halder was trying to wind him up the whole game. However, MOM goes to Tom Halder for an excellent all round performance in controlling the game behind our attack, making some visionary passes and getting a good goal to cap things off.

DOD – Josh looked like a certainty to win this award after two foul throws in quick succession; Warren in the second half, playing an unfamiliar right back, went missing in action to be, on a number of occasions, our most advanced player and Halder having to ask “what you doing up there?”; Matt Z for managing to drunkenly get stuck in the toilets of the DB ferry. However, the clear winner would be Scotty Holmes but after he threatened the writer of this report with extreme violence, the full extent of his crimes cannot be revealed. Therefore, the DOD award is shared between Josh and that angry man Scotty Holmes.

Reported by David