DBFC Vets through to Cup Semi Final

DBFC Vets 1 – 0 KCC Vets

30th April 2018 at Kings Park Pitch 1 with a 21:00 kick-off.

Squad: Gianluca (GK), Dirk (RB and Captain), Riggers and Matija (CBs), Morse (LB), Thierry and Rudi (CM), Scotty (LM), Moti (RM), Dom (10), Ariel (CF) subs: Baz, Gaz and Sam

Scorer: Dom (assist Moti)

Discovery Bay Football Club arrived for the most part in good time to King’s Park in Ho Man Tin on a balmy April evening.

The warm up was conducted by the “star” Tekkers conductor-in-chief Barry Brown who was keen to dispel any notion of a soporific start that had on occasions plagued the DBFC side by sending the team through a quick and varied sequence of leg raises, complex enough to baffle most except the coordinated Riggers who chose to do his in reverse to both flummox and inspire Baz, who promptly got the pen and pad to add to his already dizzying repertoire.

With the team warmed up and ready to go, gaffer Gianluca Temperini went about naming the starting eleven, and the captain, with late arrival Dirk Haddow as right back and Captain, to face a KCC side studded with a youthful and virulent looking midfield from their YYL sides and a mountain of a man in goal.

The team talk centred around keeping things simple, on the ground, and relaxed. After the first half against Spartans in DBFC’s previous match in which, despite winning and putting a performance which richly deserved their maiden Legends League title, started in a passion-charged yet disjointed fashion, Gianluca was keen to stress the importance of a measured approach. Party legend Thierry was to start in front of the back four in the ‘quarterback’ role while Moti and Scottie were charged with hugging the wings and support by stretching the KCC backline along with Dominic Polisano in the hole and Ariel Winiger up front. In the midfield engine room Rudi was entrusted to keep the energetic Kowloon Cricket Club Football Team honest, while Matija and Riggers assisted either side by David Morson and Dirk Haddow were to thwart any threat arriving from the home side’s attack. Gianluca started between the posts and Barry Brown, Gary Rollinson and Sam Riley were on the bench.

The game kicked off on the vast and hitherto largely unfamiliar larger upper southeast King’s Park pitch upon which the vets have rarely, if ever played a LL legends fixture. KKC kicked off as DBFC Vets defended from the car park end of the pitch. Despite Luca’s calls for a measured approach, neither DBFC nor KCC vets seemed to be able to get hold of the ball to string a decent sequence of passes together. Dirk Haddow got caught out with a ball over the top and Gianluca did well to nullify the oncoming attacker’s shot. That ended the sum of Captain Dirk’s contribution as he went off with a calf complaint to be replaced by Baz Brown. Tardiness was the deciding factor for the injury admitted Dirk. The midfield of Thierry and Rudi were industrious in the pass and tackle but the DBFC midfield were getting overrun, albeit without any real threat from the KCC forwards. Sam Riley was introduced in place of Ariel Winiger up front in order to further facilitate DBFC’s pressing game, and it almost worked with the KCC defence being put under more pressure and the regularity of opportunities increased with Sam and Moti posing questions of the KCC keeper. Unfortunately, the KCC keeper was in fine fettle making a fingertip save as well as commanding his box well.

As the first half was drawing to a close and despite Discovery Bay Veterans having the balance of play, the score line was still 0-0 and threatened to remain so, until Gazza was heard from the touchline that Moti Namhias needed to be getting on the ball and running at the ageing left back with whom he ‘fought in ‘Nam’, but his calls fell largely on deaf ears until the ball was played from the back to Moti on the right flank and he took the ball forward before cutting inside to thread a lovely ball between the defenders for Dom to collect on his cross field run round the back. Cool hand Dom was one on one with the KCC keeper and took it round him to fire in from a tight angle. 1-0

The half time whistle came soon after and, despite being 1-0 up some of the DBFC stars were complaining of a lack of positively from our lads. Orders were issued to be more positive and enjoy the football. Thierry came off for a break and Morse moved into defensive midfield and Gazza at left back. Again, during the first 20 minutes, DBFC had the lion’s share of possession without making it count. Lots of play occurred in the KCC half but the final ball was often lacking with Sam especially guilty of missing an easy layoff to Dom. Scotty went closest in the second half with a long range effort when the KCC keeper was creeping off his line expecting a cross to the danger of Thierry and Riggers lurking in the box. Noticing the keeper creeping off his line, Scotty’s speculative effort looked for all intentions as going in and had the KCC keeper scrabbling backwards only for the ball to come thundering back off the bar. KCC did press in the last 20 minutes for an equalizer that would see them top the cup qualifying group but the DBFC defence held strong with solid performances by Riggers and Gazza. Dom led the final charge for a goal in a three on two situation and elected to thread the ball to Moti on the left wing despite Scotty arguably being in a better position. Had Moti’s ball cleared the first man Scotty would have had the goal at his mercy. It wasn’t to be and so the game concluded at 1-0. A hard fought but deserved victory.

Unusually for a late finishing Monday night game but consequence of a Public holiday the next day, a good number of players made it to the Pier Bar for some celebratory beers and a photo to prove we were there.

MOM : Shouts go to Riggers for a solid performance to keep KCC top scorer at bay, Rudi for a massive shift in middle of the park and OAP Gazza coming on to show all the younger players how solid defenders need to play. However, Dom gets the shout for his obvious quality of play and scoring a fine goal and bringing his Dad along to watch.

DOD: Consideration was given to Dirk for starting as Captain and only lasting 10 minutes and to Matija for winding Luca up with his sometimes nonchalant style of play. However, the honour goes to Gazza for ranting at the referee that a cup game is 35 minutes each way to allow for penalties, only to be later told it was a Champions League qualifying game that didn’t go to penalties. Gazza’s face remained a beetroot colour for the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Reported by Sam Riley