BFC Vets – Kennedy Town FC 3:0 (HT: 2:0)

Date: 7th June 2021, 21.00h kick-off

Venue: KGV School, Tin Kwong Road, Kowloon

Squad: Bradders, Morse, Pedro, Tita, Riggers, Thierry, Brendan, Crommy, Dan, Gary, Simon, Stephane, Akosah, San, Kwai, Ping and Pui

Goals: Pui, Stephane 2

Match report:

It had been a lengthy 4 weeks since the last DBFC Vets outing, with HV Spartans having pulled out of the scheduled fixture two weeks ago late on, although noted that this was more a ‘tit for tat’ gesture after DB had done similar earlier on in the season!  Obviously our reasons were more legit after fixture congestion and injuries to the likes of Crommy and Nin. A large squad of 17 players assembled at the KGV venue, which was an excellent turn-out given the unearthly start time of 9pm on a Monday night.  The weather was hot and humid, although thankfully the promised shower/thunderstorm kept away.

After a few initial concerns at the quality and patchy nature of the KGV floodlights, focus switched to the opposition wondering which Kennedy Town would turn up given they had achieved a highly creditable draw against the Godfathers and somehow lost to the Vets League whipping boys KCC within the same week.  DBFC were looking for another fast start following their destruction of BTDT in the first 20 minutes of the last fixture.  However, it was not to be this time as from the off DBFC were looking a bit sluggish with the passing lacking the usual crispness, with players regularly turning into trouble and running up blind alleys.  KTFC were able to build down the flanks in the initial stages but could not find the final pass through the DBFC backline with the blossoming partnership of Tita and Riggers looking strong at centre back.  Gradually DBFC began to step up the tempo with Thierry and San beginning to get their foot on the ball in midfield and dictate the pace.  Suddenly Pui found space running through and was brought down cynically by the KTFC player right on the edge of the box.  Despite the vehement protests from Crommy and Thierry, the ref and linesman were not to be swayed into awarding the penalty, giving the free kick inches outside the box.  It was a great position for a free kick just to one-side of the ‘D’ and it was Captain Crommy that lined it up to attempt what must be his 20th free kick of the season. Akosah was the decoy but this didn’t help Crommy from putting yet another effort way over the bar to keep his free kick scoring tally and maybe on target tally at zero (time to step aside as free-kick taker).

Notwithstanding the missed free-kick, this seemed to be the catalyst that sparked DBFC to up the pace and they began to pressure the KTFC backline in and around the penalty area, forcing the keeper into a series of hurried clearances.  Morse was beginning to get forward regularly and combined well with Kwai down the left.  It was from one of these well timed runs that Morse got to the byline and from the pull back the ball was eventually worked to Pui who rifled in at the back post giving the KTFC keeper no chance (1-0 to DBFC!)  From the restart, DBFC were now relentless in the closing down of the KTFC defence and midfield with the result that KTFC were finding it increasing difficult to get out of their own half and build any attacks of note with Bradders a virtual spectator at the other end of the pitch.  DBFC were now creating plenty of chances and only wayward finishing and lack of composure in front of goal was letting KTFC off the hook.  Just when it was looking like KTFC would escape to half time with only a one goal deficit, DBFC put together a well structured move which resulted in Stephane, who had come on for Akosah, surging into the box and firing low and accurately into the net (2-0 to DBFC!)  The half time whistle followed shortly and it was a contented DBFC that convened for Gazza’s Half Time pep talk.

With a two nil score line and a full allocation of subs, Gazza was now able to juggle his resources and freshen up the team.  Gary and Brendan came in for Thierry and Pui in midfield, with Akosah again rotating with Stephane up front.  As the second half kicked off it took awhile for the team to settle and similar to the first half KTFC were in the ascendency in the earlier stages of the second half without creating anything of note.  DBFC gradually started to get into the game.  After 10 mins, Dan came on for a tiring Crommy with Stephane returning upfront.  It was at this stage that DBFC sensed the match could be put to bed.  Brendan was making some energetic bursts down the right flank stretching the KTFC defensive cover.  Tita brought the ball out from the edge of the DBFC box and sprayed a fantastic ball over the backline for Brendan to meet on the run crossing right footed to the back post for Stephane to apply the coup de grace with a glancing header into the far top corner, the KTFC keeper barely moved! (3-0 to DBFC!)  It was a wonderful team move going from one penalty box to the other in a flash, definitely a contender for DBFC goal of the season!  The match was in the bag for DBFC and Gazza was able to relax and rotate the subs further with Simon and Pedro coming into midfield and defence respectively, Thierry also coming back on.

The game now became stretched as both sides began to tire.  KTFC began to go more direct with having nothing to lose.  DBFC were still creating chances but not converting with several near misses and good saves.  At the other end, Bradders was finally called into action after the first half inactivity, managing a fingertip onto the cross-bar and plunging to save at the feet of the KTFC striker.  Further opportunities came and went for DBFC with Stephane and others going close to extending the lead and capping the night off.  It was time to see the match out and keep the clean sheet.  The referee finally blew his whistle and it was a job well done by DBFC, extending the winning run to 9 matches!  It should be said that KTFC contributed well and showed good sportsmanship throughout, we wish them well for the rest of the season.  Some tough tests lie ahead for the DBFC squad in the remainder of the season but they can take heart from winning well without being totally at their best!

Man of the Match: A number of good performances from DBFC, especially from the backline with all members of the defence looking solid and distributing the ball well.  However, MOM must go to Stephane for all-round great performance upfront linking the play well, threading through passes to his fellow forwards, and finished off by a well taken double strike (left footed drive and header) which almost turned into the perfect hat-trick late on after an audacious right footed chip had come back off the woodwork with the keeper well beaten!

Dick of the Day: This has to go to Gazza for schoolboy error of leaving the nicely printed off pristine team sheet in his site office and having to scrounge and doctor a spare dogeared KTFC team sheet to fit all 17 DBFC players on with shirt numbers in time for the kick-off.  Team talk was then a bit rushed, and team photo opportunity went out the window, especially as the floodlights were then turned off promptly at 10:30pm (before the ref had even blown the full time whistle) so no post-match photo either!  Sorry Gazza!, although noted as usual the team formation and game management of the subs was exemplary.

Report by Bradders and edit by Gazza