DBFC 3 – 2 Corinthians
KGV School Pitch
Monday 6th March 2017, KO: 9:00pm
Squad: Alessio (GK), Ben (RB), Martin Rainer (CB), Stefano (CB), Morse (LB), Scotty (RM), JB, Jordan R (CM), Danny Loup (CM), Dom (10), Bruno (CF) with a strong bench of Rodders, Dan K and Rollinson Jnr.
Scorers: Scotty x 2 and Dom
Assists: Bruno, JB x2
A shortage of Saturday pitches resulted in the league rescheduling this fixture to Monday night to the KGV school pitch, which was left vacant by a rescheduled Legends league game. A number of changes were made to the squad from last week because of injuries and unavailability. Still it was a strong squad looking forward to this game at a changed time and venue, in cooler conditions. Gazza laid out the game plan asking for the players to use the width, compact the structure when possession is lost and keep a high tempo, closing down the opposition quickly.
The game started at a hectic pace with both sides playing some nice attacking football. However, it was DBFC that soon took the upper hand, thanks to the work-rate of the new CM pairing of Danny Loup and Jordan R, the latter sitting nicely in front of the back four, breaking up play and distributing the ball well with a good range of passing. DBFC were having success down the left flank with JB’s lightening pace and dribbling skills causing the Corinthians defence no end of problems. The first goal came from the left after a nicely worked passage of play found Bruno in the left channel to drill a pass to Scotty ghosting into the 6 yard box (sicut Paul Scholes) and rifled the ball into the roof of the Corinthians’ net (via his shin) to give DBFC a deserved lead. Minutes later Danny Loup played a fine pass down the right channel, between the Corinthians’ Left and Centre Backs for Scotty to control and make room for a shot that he blazed just over the bar. Unfortunately, this resulted in Dom’s ball being kicked out of the park; tears were seen swelling in Dom’s eyes after the match when told his ball was not found. Jordan R picked up a knock to his heel and was replaced by Rodders and soon after DBFC got their 2nd goal when Dom popped up at Centre Forward position to slot home a JB pass, after nice passing and dribbling down the left. Sadly though that was the last contribution Dom could make to the game as he had to come off shortly after (30 minutes of play) with an injured back sustained from an outrageous attempt to put in a through pass with bicycle kick. He was replaced by Dan K and soon after DBFC scored their 3rd goal of the half when again JB rounded the Corinthians’ LB and squared the ball to the far post for a charging Scotty to rifle the ball into the Corinthians’ net. Scotty’s 2nd goal was to be his first brace of goals since moving to HK! So it remained 3-0 when the whistle for half time was blown.
The half time team talk from Gazza praised some great football and asked for the team to keep focus and produce the same standard in the 2nd half to see us home and dry. Gazza also asked that we play clean and direct with no complicated football, warning that if Corinthians get a goal it would lift them and cause us problems. The side was slightly reshuffled; Scotty came off and Dan K moved to his usual RM position, Rodders moved to number 10 position and Jordan R came back on a CM (having rubbed loads of analgesic gel into his heel).
Despite Gazza’s instructions to keep the intensity with clean and simple football, DBFC started the 2nd half unplugged. DBFC were missing 1st and 2nd balls, making sloppy passing decisions and seemed more interest in arguing with the officials over wrong decisions than concentrating on the football. Corinthians were on top and after only 8 minutes of the 2nd half, won a free kick on their left side just inside the halfway line. The ball was punted into the box and was allowed to drop behind our CBs and bounced in front of Alessio. The Corinthians’ CF was first to react and got a toe to the ball as it bounced, to sneak it past Alessio to make the score 3-1. Post-match analysis blamed the KGV flood-lights for causing the problem of missing the headed clearance. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse; it did! The DBFC defence played the ball across the back line (as they did successfully throughout the first half) looking for a forward opening but it was not seen so the ball was played back into Alessio to kick clear. However, unusual for Alessio, he opted to pass into the midfield but stubbed the ground as he made the pass, which was short and ended up at the feet of a Corinthians’ CF. Alessio came out and managed to turn the CF away from goal but Alessio’s Italian determination made him continue to recover his mistake and he took down the CF just inside the in the box for a Penalty! The Corinthians’ forward brushed himself off and dispatched the penalty just beyond the reach of Alessio to make the score 3-2! DBFC regrouped and started to show some real determination to keep the lead. DBFC were starting to arrest the upper hand and pass the ball more effectively, leaving Corinthians on the back foot and limited to punting the ball forward for counter-attacks. After 25 minutes Bruno came off and Scotty went back on as CF. Soon after, DBFC had a chance to put the game to bed when JB put in a great in-swinging corner that created a goal mouth scramble for the ball to drop at Martin Rainer’s feet. Unfortunately a sweet strike by Martin was just wide of the left post. The game then became a little scrappy with Corinthians determined to cause an upset but DBFC dug deep and defended resolutely, getting back to basics by sending the ball to “Row Z” when needed. DBFC created opportunity for a number of counter-attacks but these were frustrated many times by poor referee’s assistant (linesman) decisions. The most contentious being when Danny put in Scotty who laid it into the path of Rodders going on goal to slot it in, only to see it (incorrectly) ruled offside (this was all opposite the DBFC bench so intense expressions of disappointment ensued). With the clock ticking down the ball fell to JB on the left wing, who again turned on the after burners to leave the Corinthians’ RB for dead, and he ran on towards goal, one on one with the Corinthians’ Keeper; surely a goal? However, selfishly JB saw Scotty running into the 6 yard box (on a hat trick) and squared the ball. Unfortunately, the pass was a little too hard for Scotty to get too and the ball missed his toe-end by millimetres. So, 3-2 the final score and another valuable 3 points in the bag for DBFC —– but “gee-whizz” we didn’t make it easy!
A special thanks to Reto and Tommy H for coming along to support. Thereafter, only a few (Gazza, David, Scotty, JB, Tommy and Ben) made it to the Pier Bar for the post-match dissection, which to be honest we did not dwell on for too long!
MOM: Stefano made his comeback from long-time injury and put in a good performance, Danny never stopped running and put in a shift and a half and Scotty with his 2 excellent goals and never say die commitment are all contenders. However, the man of this match is JB for his continuous threat down the left wing and 2 assists and second half “dig deep” to get all over the pitch to win back the ball and use his dribbling skills to relieve the pressure.
DOD: This has to be Dom for his attempted bicycle kick that didn’t work and ended up nearly breaking his back and having to be substituted.
Report by Scott Holmes / edited by Gazza