DBFC Vets 2 – 0 HKFC

3rd October 2017 @ Hong Kong Football Club, Sports road, Happy Valley with 7:00pm kick-off

Squad: Gianluca, Pascal, Thierry, Dirk (Captain), Matija, Moti, Kieran McK, Zin, Crommy, Dom, Morse, Scotty, Snelly, Baz, Steve W and Ariel.

Scorers: Crommy (assist Matija) and Scotty (assist Snelly)

Everyone arrived at the Football Club early, changed ready for the warm-up, just as requested by the manager (Luca) except for Gazza who got there with 15 minutes to go before kick-off. Luca was waiting anxiously as the time ticked by but his worry wasn’t to do with Gazza being a vital ingredient in his plans for the starting line-up, it was because he was bringing the kits for Crommy and Ariel. Gazza’s still working on his comeback. All sorted with the kits and a little warm up for the old blokes by Baz, more to settle the nerves than raise the heart rate, Luca announced the starting line-up leaving Baz to make subs as necessary otherwise wait until halftime. HKFC had a big squad for this game and DBFC could see by the intensity of their warm-up that they were well up for this game but so was DBFC.

DBFC took control straight from the kick-off with Dom and Thierry working hard in midfield and using Crommy in front at number 10 and out to Moti and Pascal on the flanks. Kieran was running his socks off up front closing down the HKFC backs and rushing them to play. There were a number of half chances with Moti’s penetrating runs into the box and Crommy and Dom having shots on goal that didn’t have power or hit the target. The best chance was when the ball broke in midfield and Dom put a pass through for Kieran to run directly at the HKFC centre back, and then pushed the ball wide for an over-lapping Crommy to rifle a shot across the goal and back at the same angle off the post. However, the pressure did pay off when a deep corner was met by a rising Dom to direct a downward header at Matija’ s feet for him to first time flick on to Crommy in front of goal to tap in. DBFC Vets 1-0 up and well worth it.

Not long after this goal (20 minutes) Kieran came off for a break to let Scotty have a run up front and Snelly came on to give Moti a break. After about 30 minutes Dom came off with a tweak in his calf muscle, so Ariel went on at RM for Pascal to move back into his usual CM role. Whether it was these changes or DBFC taking their foot off the pedal but HKFC started to control the game with their usual passing round the back and through the middle for their front men dropping off our centre backs. Gianluca was called into action a number of times punching clear a powerful shot and a double save from a one on one when slick passing split the DBFC centre backs to allow the HKFC CF through. Nevertheless, DBFC Vets dropped deep and battled hard against this downturn to frustrate HKFC and see out the first half with a 1-0 score line.

Second half kick-off, with Baz on for Dirk, and HKFC resumed their pressure to try and get the elusive goal. DBFC Vets were working hard in defence and starting to sit deep, which played into HKFC hands.  Gianluca was having a stormer in goal, blocking a number of HKFC attempts before the games defining moment came about. A long cross from HKFC right to the far post of the DBFC goal saw Matija rise like a salmon only to raise both hands to the ball. Despite Baz claiming Matija was pushed in the back the referee was correct to give a penalty for this moment of defensive madness. It was Gianluca to the rescue by not only saving the penalty but also reacting quickly to block the follow-up shot. DBFC were let off the hook big time. This moment must have lifted DBFC and took the wind from HKFC as the game now became more balanced. DBFC defence still working hard but DBFC forwards were making many good chances on the break-away as HKFC had to push for the equaliser. It was at this point the ball was passed between Baz, Crommy and Snelly for Snelly to fire a lovely curling pass from just in his own half at the right touch line that evaded the HKFC tall CB for Scotty to burst through and collect at about 20 yards out. Scotty controlled the ball as he ran into the HKFC box but didn’t get his feet right to get the shot away as the CB had recovered to be all over the back of Scotty. Under pressure Scotty turned away from the advancing keeper and still didn’t go down under the pressure of the HKFC CB, who was wanting into Scotty’s shorts. Somehow, Scotty shielded the ball all the way over the goal line and got flattened into the post for his efforts. Scotty laid there for a while but recovered to continue once the referee confirmed there was no damage to the goal post. DBFC 2 – 0 up now and switched on to defend this lead.

The last 20 minutes of this game was a display of true grit and work rate from the boys in white. HKFC were throwing everything forward to get an equaliser but in doing so leaving themselves vulnerable to a DBFC counter attack. DBFC were tiring and a lot of subs were made. Kieran came on for Morse (hammy) at left back and was solid. Baz came off injured and Dirk back on. Matija came off and Steve W on. Zin off and Thierry dropped back to CB for Ariel to move in CM and Moti out on the left. Dom came back on and 5 minutes later came back off (can’t remember who for). However, DBFC worked for each other irrespective of the changes confusing some positioning and defended with heart to keep HKFC out. DBFC probably had the best chance to get another goal with a number of counter attacks. So it was 2-0 at the final whistle, which left a very satisfied DBFC team. The beers tasted exceptionally good that evening in the HKFC Sports Bar.

MOM: a number of great performances and Scotty’s goal should be made into a movie. However, without doubt the award goes to Gianluca for some great goal-keeping and most of all for a great penalty save and rebound block.

DOD: This is Matija for an inexplicable leap to catch the ball when it was probably going to go out of danger beyond the far post. Other than that one moment, Matija didn’t put a foot wrong so we need to get him some shorts with pockets to keep his hands in. A mention goes to Baz for a full blow discussion with the referee trying to convince him that Matija was fouled to make his hands go full stretch in the air. Baz managed to sell 2 second-hand cars that night.