DBFC Vets 3 – 0 USRC 1911

When: 21 October 2022 with 19:30 KO

Where: Kings Park pitch 3

Squad: Bradders, Riggers, Nin, Tita, Morse, Jonatan, San, Ben, Sammy, Tong, Crommy, Pedro, Emerson, Sam R.

Scorers: Emerson, Crommy and Sammy.

DBFC Vets were looking to consolidate their good start to the season with another win in their second Legends League game of the 2022-23 season and had received availability from 17 players. However, on match day messages of unavailability came from 3 of those players (Stephane, Pui and DJ) so DBFC Vets started with a squad of 14 players, but Gaffer Gazza remained confident of the win with a very good quality 14 player squad.

USRC 1911 started with only 9 players, so the expectation was DBFC Vets would get an early couple of goals but this just didn’t happen and USRC 1911 tactically organised their defence to thwart the DBFC Vets constant attacks. The linesman was very helpful to USRC in this period, giving some very questionable off-side flags, one of which was a case of two yards on-side when Ben broke through the USRC off-side line and scored a good goal only to see it ruled out. The USRC squad expanded, at 5, 10 and 15 minutes after kick-off, to 12 players so their planned action to defend to prevent DBFC Vets scoring was well executed.

DBFC’s slow and frustrating start settled when USRC had 11 players, with the back four (Riggers RB, Tita and Nin CB, Morse LB) linking well with Jonatan and San at CM and Morse and Riggers looking to over-lap with Sammy at LM and Ben at RM. However, the unusual over-lapping role for Riggers was a bit too much for the aging superstar and after 20 minutes he had to come off with a pulled calf muscle, so on comes Sam Riley as replacement RB. DBFC Vets continued to have most of the possession and there were some nice passages of passing play that just didn’t have the final telling pass into the oppositions box. Crommy and Tong, playing as a central attacking pair (DBFC usual CF choices of Pierre, DJ and Stephane were not available) just didn’t quite work out the runs and spaces, but kept working hard in pressing the USRC defence to find an opportunity.

At 25 minutes gone, Ben was replaced by Emerson to operate at LM while Sammy swapped to play at RM. DBFC Vets continued to have most of the play and press forward, while USRC relied on looking to catch the DBFC defence on the break. With 10 minutes of the first half left DBFC got their goal. Play from Sam at RB went to San at CM, who found Tong moving over to the right and rounding the defender to pull a pass into Crommy, breaking into the penalty spot, to move left and lay off to Emerson, who was steaming in from the left side. Emerson coolly slotted a low shot past the USRC keeper into the bottom right corner.

The scored remained 1-0 at half time and in the break talk Gaffer Gazza pointed to the DBFC CM having to try breaking through the high off-side line held by USRC, despite the linesman being flag happy, and having Crommy and Tong not turning that line on the last man, as it wasn’t working (at least 12 off-side calls in the first half). Captain Tita praised the hard work by the team in the first half and to keep the tempo going as USRC would get tired and spaces would get bigger. He emphasised that Kings Park pitch 3 was a very small pitch so fast movement and passing was required when we had possession.
Second half started with possession and pressing mostly by DBFC Vets but after 15 minutes in, USRC seemed to step up and had a 15-minute spell of pressure that required full attention from the DBFC back 4. Bradders was on his toes but never looked really under threat. Earlier Emerson had moved more central to allow Crommy to try work his magic left foot at LM with Emerson working hard up and down the central area. At 15 minutes Ben came back on for Emerson to put fresh energy in that central area and on 30 minutes DBFC Vets got their second goal to make the game safe. Sammy was always threatening down the right side and from some hard work by San and Jonatan in midfield DBFC regained possession to give the ball over to the left for Sam R to play to Crommy, who recycled into San to pass across to Jonatan, who then switched play over to Sammy. Sammy pushed forward then pulled the ball back into Tong, who then passed to Crommy for a lay back to San who’s shot was blocked. The rebound fell to Ben to play in Tong on the right. Tong cut back the ball into Crommy, who had moved into the 18 yard “D”, for one touch forward and smash into the bottom right corner of the USRC net with his right foot (not his magic left foot). DBFC Vets 2 nil up at this point and cruising, looking for the third goal.

USRC still trying to catch DBFC on the break but Nin and Tita kept focused and cleaned up everything. DBFC Vets third goal came with a USRC attack stopped and the ball played into Jonatan at CM who turn to find Pedro down the middle, dropping out from the USRC box. Pedro took one touch moving the ball back and then into Sammy coming down the right. Sammy cut inside and let loose a left foot rocket to see the ball fly into the top left corner of the USRC net, giving the keeper no chance.

The game finished 3-0 and DBFC Vets players were generally satisfied with their performance, as was Gaffer Gazza. The early finish time of 9pm on a Friday night meant a big group venturing out to the bright lights of Wanchai for post-match beers. Happy Days!!!