DBFC 2 : 2 Royale Dragons.

Po Kong Village Road Park Pitch No. 1

21 January 2017 KO: 5:30 pm

Squad: Alessio, David, Ben, Tom, Simon, Syd, Morse, Scott H, Kelvin, Danny Loup, Matt O, Matt Z, Dan K and Dan L.

This weekend was always going to be short of players as many were opting to take a break to get over niggling injuries, take holiday and other arrangements, which Gaffer Gaz was unconcerned about because our fixture was against bottom of the league Ruby Murrays and we could call in enough back-up players to fill the gaps to adequately take them on and win the match. However, late on Thursday the league decided to rashly throw away the rule book and rearrange our fixture because of late threats to forfeit from Ruby Murrays and Dragons. This upset the arrangements and all day Friday Gaz was on the email and phone trying to convince main players back into the squad.

The fixture against Royale Dragons is regarded as our local ‘derby’ but given the late notice no one could get excited about it and were just feeling hard done to by the league bending over backwards for the whipping boys (Ruby) crying about a 5:30 pm kick-off when they wanted 1:00 pm. Ruby’s did play at 1:00 pm and got flattened by J-leaguers; so much for 1:00 pm producing a better team for them. The rearranged fixtures certainly suited J-Leaguers and Dragons, with Dragons having a very strong squad available for the later time.

Gazza named the starting line-up: Alessio (GK), Ben (RB), Syd (RCB), Morse (LCB), Simon (LB), Scott H (RW), Danny Loup & Kelvin (CM), Matt Orr (LW), Halder (No.10) and Zoeller (CF), with David and Dan K on the bench and Dan L to arrive late for the second half.

The game started well with DBFC largely in control but not getting the ball to our wingers enough. However, when we did we were finding openings. On one occasion, Matt Orr got the ball and skinned his man and put an inviting cross in that Zoeller wasn’t able to get close to. Fortunately Halder, who showed a vast improvement from the last game, was able to collect the ball at the edge of the box, skin his man and smash the ball past the keeper at his near post: An excellent goal.

DBFC continued to play well but couldn’t find that final telling pass. There were a number of decent openings with half chances that didn’t come to much. New signing Danny Loup collected a ball just outside the Dragons’ 18 yard box, after a corner breakdown, with clear sight of goal only to put it well over the bar. Dragons looked good on the counter and their wingers were causing us trouble. However, DBFC soon had a chance to go 2-0 up when an excellent cross from Matt Orr found Matt Zoeller in the centre of the six yard box with the goal begging. Unfortunately for our ever reliable striker, he wasn’t able to get his angles right and headed wide (Gaffer Gaz blaming Matt’s head being like a two dollar coin). From the resultant goal kick, Dragons went up the other side of the pitch, and after some shaky DBFC defending and a goal mouth scramble, got a goal against the run of play. To make it worse this was just a few minutes before half time.

Half time talk was for DBFC to step up the pressure and keep passing the ball and the young Dragons would fall. Dan Lye arrived and went into centre-mid for Kelvin. Dan K replaced Scott H at RW. Matt Orr went up front with Matt Z going out to the left.

DBFC resumed the second half on top with lots of possession and pressure on the Dragons’ goal but the goal wasn’t coming. Dragons were defending deep and trying to set off counter attacks but our back four were working hard and Syd had Oli under control. Some decent chances went begging but we finally made the break-through when Ben, who had been pressing down the right wing and firing in a number of decent crosses, took one of his long throws for Matt Orr to rise at the near post and head on across the Dragons’ goal for Dan K to head in at the far post. DBFC were now 2-1 up.

DBFC continued to dominate the game and press although Dragons were more determined with their counter attacking. DBFC had more decent chance to score another goal and put the game to bed but again the goal didn’t come. The best chance falling to Matt Z after Tom put in a good cross to find him 8 yards out from the Dragons’ goal only for him to see his volley go just wide of the post (Gaffer Gaz blaming Matt’s foot being like a two dollar coin).

With 15 minutes left disaster struck and Dragons scored. Syd, who had being dealing with Oli Rendall (Dragons CF) comfortably all match went to head a Dragons goal kick and while in the air got a discrete nudge from Oli, to not only miss the header but see the ball hit his back and fall into the run of the Dragons CF to be one on one with Alessio and slide the ball into the DBFC goal to make it 2-2.

DBFC resumed the pressure and Dragons got everyone behind the ball. Tom came off, Scott H back on to LW and Matt Z moving to number 10 to take Halder’s position. Matt Orr came close on a number of occasions with good shots but DBFC couldn’t find the winner.

MOM: Ben Roberts at right back was very good, much to the annoyance of a Dragons player. Danny Loup and Danny Lye both did well in the middle. Overall, despite his moment of madness by nearly getting sent off at the start, the MOM goes to Benny.

DOD:  A number go into consideration for their part in the most anti-social pier bar visit of the year.  But the clear winner is JB, again, for being suspended and being annoying on the sidelines. I guess it’s inevitable when all it takes to get you drunk is a small bottle of Asahi.