DBFC Vets 1 – 0 HKFC Vets

Venue: Hong Kong Football Club, Happy Valley.

Date: 28 October 2015 19:00 kick-off

Squad: Gianluca, Dirk, Gazza, Kieran D, Kieran McK, Steve, Alessio, Martin, Tim, Pascal, Thierry, Kevin, Robin, Cyrille

Scorer: Kieran McKnight

Dirk started the week with decent numbers for this game but as the game got closer players dropped out with Mike and Pat D being last minute casualties. The plus was that Robin announced he was visiting Hong Kong —- so straight into the squad. Still DBFC had a strong squad of 14 players at kick-off and all wearing the new DBFC kit flashing our main sponsor’s name on the front (Harvey Law Group). DBFC looked the part for this game and were in a high confident spirit.

The team had 10 minutes of pretend warm up (as old men tend to do) before Dirk got everyone together and laid out his team formation and tactics. Gianluca keeper, Steve and Kieran D as CB, Gazza LB, Alessio RB, Thierry CDM, Pascal CM, Tim (Captain) ACM, Kevin LM, Cyrille RM, Robin CF. Leaving Dirk, Martin and Kieran on the bench. A few words of wisdom and inspiration from our captain of the night Tim then out to battle we went.

There were a lot of recognisable faces of good footballers (for their age) in the HKFC side so we knew that DBFC had to put in a solid performance to compete. It took a little while after kick-off for DBFC to settle into the game but when we did we played with confidence and looked relatively comfortable at the back. Although guilty of giving the ball away cheaply a number of times through the midfield, DBFC did put together some good moves that threatened the HKFC goal. Kevin probably had the best chance when he chased down a through ball to put pressure on the HKFC CB and the ball bobbled free to give Kevin a clear chance from about 16 yards out, but the HKFC keeper comfortably saved his shot. DBFC midfield were working hard and making some good passes, while the defence, particularly the cool head of Kieran D and “man mountain” Steve (to coin a phrase from our chirpy Scotsman), held firm on every HKFC attack. Changes were made half way through the first half with Kieran McK coming on for Robin and adding some pace, which started to cause the HKFC defence problems and Martin coming on for Kevin on the left after the later had run his socks off. The rest of the half was fairly even, with a few half chances for either side but the game was beginning to open up. HKFC had one chance from distance that skimmed the top side of the bar, but it was a wakeup call for DBFC to make sure the midfield closed HKFC down.

0-0 at half time.

Half time Dirk expressed his satisfaction at the performance and because the DBFC back line looked solid with Thierry sitting in front, it was decided to put two up front with Tim supporting Kieran, and Pascal now part of the 4 man midfield, with Thierry still holding. Dirk came on at RB for Alessio. Kev came back on for Cyrille on the right.

The second half kicked off and straight away it was evident that HKFC were going to press forward as we were planning to do. This gave a lot more thinking and work for the back four but the DBFC defence stepped up to the challenge. The game was more open now so the midfield was getting more time with the ball to pick out passes. Cyrille came on for Martin and was active down the left giving the HKFC defence a lot to think about. Kevin was finding space to run into and nearly got clear through on goal a couple of times. It was after about 10 minutes of the second half when play from the back found Tim who then made a defence splitting pass for Kieran to run onto and get there just before the HKFC keeper and take the ball around him to coolly slot into the HKFC goal. DBFC 1 up!

HKFC knew they were facing a tough challenge now so stepped up the pace to press for an equaliser. They brought on some tall players and where putting in some great crosses, particularly from there right back (can’t remember his name but he’s a short tubby lad from Newcastle). Kieran and Steve were working hard and committing to all the crosses with Gianluca being positive with his catching, which relieved the pressure. The DBFC defence as a whole was working very hard as HKFC were getting the upper hand.

The good thing for DBFC was that HKFC were now vulnerable to the counter attack and Kieran’s running across the HKFC defence and Cyrille and Kevin’s pace down the flanks was making HKFC think about their attacking forays. Tim was getting the ball and making some telling passes and Kieran and Cyrille were unfortunate not to score. Really DBFC should have scored a second to relieve the pressure but at only 1 – 0 up HKFC continued to press and DBFC found themselves sitting deeper. Thierry and Pascal were working their little French socks off covering in front of the back four.

An exhausted Steve came off with 10 minutes to go and Robin came back on barking instructions that nobody seemed able to follow, meaning that immediately after this change we were playing three at the back, but DBFC soon worked it out; Thierry to drop to CB, Pascal to drop to CDM, and Robin now sat (literally?) in the middle. Martin came back on for Kevin for the last 5 minutes.

There were no clear chances for HKFC but the crosses into the DBFC box to their numerous tall players kept DBFC on their toes. Kieran D was ubiquitous; he was getting his head here, there and everywhere. DBFC held strong. A fantastic battling performance from DBFC in a game that HKFC will feel they should have had something from.

Man of the match. Really most players were in for a shout but for his command at centre back and some witty comments throughout the game the honour for this game goes to Kieran Donnelly.

Comment of the Day: Gazza was brought down with a scything tackle across his thighs by the HKFC left midfielder (probably 20 years his junior) to which Tim remonstrates to the HKFC players, on behalf of his mate, to leave him alone because he’s 65. Obviously Tim got Gazza’s digits mixed up.

Gazza