DBFC Vets 2-0 Spartans Masters (HT 0:0)

 

Venue: HKFA Football Training Centre, Tseung Kwan O pitch 6

 

20 April, 2021, 20:00 kickoff

 

Squad: Newley, Tita, Morse, Nin, Ping, Thierry, Gary H, Brendan, Scotty, Kwai, Stephane. Simon, Pedro, Dan and Akosah.  Bradders came along for a late fitness test on his torn calf muscle and to be a standby keeper.

 

Goals: Thierry, Stephane

 

Match report:

 

It was a gorgeous evening for football: The temperature was mild and the pitch was large, ideal conditions for our high-energy style, quick passing, and — eventually — lethal finishing.

 

Spartans enjoyed some control of the ball in the early stages. But man of the match Tita mopped up any danger in the back, intercepting through balls and controlling the tempo with smart passing. Two early defensive scares came when Tita put in a firm challenge on the end line as their attacker advanced toward the goal. He caught the ball and perhaps some of the opponent. But the referee correctly awarded a corner, not a penalty. Then, later, as we played the ball around the back, Nin pulled up with a knee injury, falling to the ground. Their forward took the ball and played on before the ref stopped play. Kudos to Spartans for returning the ball to us via throw-in. Pedro came on for the injured Nin in central defense and Akosah for Stephane upfront. Although we took increasing control of possession as the first half continued, we wasted a few good chances especially by Kwai, Brendan and Tita twice, and it was nil-nil at the break.

 

At half time Gazza made some tactical changes by bringing on Dan for Scotty to have one more player in defensive midfield, replaced Akosah with Stephane upfront and pushed Gary H in a more offensive role behind our two strikers. The second half was decisive: We got the ball into the channels and put in some threatening crosses from the wings. We drew first blood when Gary H delivered a pinpoint corner to unmarked midfield maestro Thierry, who headed home. One-nil to DBFC. The Spartans goalkeeper made a few good saves especially on Kwai when Akosah, with a great through ball from midfield, put Kwai one against one with the Spartans goalkeeper. However, he was helpless when Tita drove in a cross from the right and Stephane, at the far post, scored with a header. Newley hardly had a save to make in the second half, with Pedro helping spray the ball around the back as the Spartans attackers tired. The clean sheet was never under serious threat. With the ref’s final whistle it marked seven games played and seven games won for the Vets. Onward!

 

Man of the Match: Tita, marshaled perfectly the defense line, made excellent passes in the build-up of our offensive game and gave a beautiful assist on the second goal. Worth mentioning Kwai’s impressive work rate during the entire game coming back often to midfield to recover the ball when we were sometimes short on bodies.

 

Dick of the Day: Not easy to find one as everyone fought very hard for this tough and important win, but this nomination would go to Nin as when he twisted his knee he decided to stay on the pitch as the spirited fighter he is but shortly thereafter, as Spartans attacker approached, he collapsed to the ground in a heap because his knee had, in fact, a significant problem. This decision by the heart instead of the head allowed the Spartans striker an unique chance to score a goal while the score was still 0-0.

 

Report by Newley, Pedro and Thierry