DBFC 4 – 1 USRC
10 February, 2017 – King Park, Pitch 3.
Scorers: Rob Scott x2, Dan Keenan and Jordon Brown.
TEAM: Martin Yu (GK), Benny Robert (RB), Kieran Donnelly (RCB), Steve McGurgan (LCB), Morse (LB), Danny Loup (RW), Dan Lye and Pascal (CM), JB (LW) with Bert Bacon and Rob Scott up top. On the bench were Scott Holmes, Rodders and Simon. Injured David, Halder and Zoeller (the faltering assassin) watched from the sideline.
After a disappointing last two games, it was of vital importance to get the momentum going again. A loss would put us right amongst the chasing pack, with USRC being able to get within a point of us. Also, with FWD and J-Leagues playing the next day, both those teams had the chance to catch up to us or leapfrog us respectfully. So a win would give us some breathing room at the top of the table.
Fortunately, and despite our ever lengthening injury list, we were able to get a very strong team out with the help of our HKFC star trio of Steve McG, Bert Bacon and Rob Scott. Also included was Kieran Donnelly marking his return to the DBFC Legal League team. So, after a decent warm up, Gaz named the starting team (as above) and made Steve McG the Captain for the night.
The game started pretty well, with DBFC in control with the lion’s share of possession, but USRC still managed to get a few chances on the DBFC goal. On one such occasion, early on, USRC counter attacked and their winger put a deep cross to the edge of the box, which was met with a thumping, goal bound volley that somehow Kieran was just able to clear off the line with a brilliant header. DBFC continued to control the game with Robbie and Rob Scott linking up well and one time Robbie slipped a through ball in to Rob Scott on goal, only for him to wait a second too long to take his shot – allowing the USRC defender to block. JB was very active down the left but wasn’t having much luck because the USRC right back was on a mission to stop him no matter what. As soon as JB got the ball, a heavy tackle went in. The USRC defender was having a good game, timing all his tackles just right but to JB’s credit he battled away and the USRC player had to work extremely hard to earn everything he got. At last the first goal soon arrived, and deservedly so, with Robbie stealing possession in the attacking third and sliding in Rob Scott, who this time made no mistake and hit the ball low past the USRC keeper.
Just before half time DBFC were lucky not to concede a penalty. Dan Lye, chasing back into the box caught the USRC forward from behind but luckily the American referee was just as blind as he was last time he refereed our game against FWD to give a penalty and waived play on. It was fitting that DBFC went into the half time break 1 goal to the good.
Our half time team talk praised all players for commitment and effort; acknowledging we were the better team and unlucky not to be more goals in front. However, at only 1-0 up USRC were very much in the game and we needed the same intensity in the second half. A point of main discussion was how bad our organisation for corners had been and that the quality of corners delivered should have resulted in a goal. So we worked out who would attack which positions for second half corners. Danny Loup came off to be replaced by Dan Keenan.
The second half started well with Dan Lye and Pascal dominating possession in the middle of the park and early on DBFC forced a succession of corners from which DBFC threatened to score with well worked routines attacking the box. One corner saw an acrobatic launched volley attempt from Kieran just go wide of the USRC goal and another corner did result in a goal when the ball broke free from challenging heads to fall to Dan Keenan who smashed a half volley into the USRC net from 8 yards out.
USRC where seeing far less of the ball and having a lot less chances coming from their long balls forward. DBFC dominance soon resulted in a third goal that came after an excellent through ball from Dan Lye to Rob Scott, who rounded the USRC keeper to slot home in an empty net. DBFC remained in control of the match by dictating the play but in a moment of lapsed concentration and USRC fortune, the USRC CM was allowed to make a dribbling charge through 5 DBFC challenges (the ball popping out in his favour) and pass the ball out to his player at the edge of the 18 yard box. He continued his run into the box to meet the resulting cross with his head, sending it to the right, past Martin for a goal. USRC had a good spell of possession after this goal but didn’t really create much and with USRC pressing forward it always left room for a DBFC counter. DBFC’s fourth goal came from a ball down the right to Dan Keenan, who put in a good cross; collect by Rob Scott to slip out to the left for incoming Jordon, who hesitated momentarily at the USRC appeals for off-side before rifling in a bullet shot into the roof of the USRC net. In sending away USRC appeals, the linesman was adamant that Jordon was onside and obviously from the 10 DBFC onlookers at that sideline directly in line with Jordon, behind the linesman, the official was absolutely correctJ.
Scott Holmes came on for JB for the last 15 minutes and put in a good shift closing down the USRC defenders and making some trade mark runs to keep USRC pinned back in their own half. While Simon was getting ready to come on Martin was the victim of a horror challenge from a USRC player, sliding in when he clearly wouldn’t get the ball. This resulted in Martin having to come off with a hand injury and Simon taking over keeper duties for the last 5 to 10 minutes. Rodders had earlier told Gaffer Gaz he was suffering from a neck strain and was happy to sit this game out if tight and going well —– that show of honesty, attitude and willingness to be there to play if needed was well appreciated by the Manager. This mentality is evident throughout DBFC and a credit to a great team spirit.
Gaffer Gaz was a very happy man having secured a vital 3 points and watching a very good game of football by DBFC against good opposition. However it was the performance after the game that is noted as just as good! There was a good number that made it back to the Pier Bar to witness birthday boy JB being chatted up by a very strange man, who insisted on buying all the DBFC team tequila shots, which we reluctantly downed with screwed faces at the roughness of the quality of the drink. Some more sensible players and the manager left the party and the group remaining finally managed to get back to the plaza, where they stayed until 5:30 in the morning, entertained by Scotty Holmes’s boom box and a dancing display by Pascal after his insistence that the younger lads needed dancing lessons.
MOM – Every player raised their game and committed 100% and should have a shout for this honour. Credit to our 3 dual -citizens of DBFC and HKFC who gave equally 100%, were class performers and SteveMcG took on the Captain’s role effectively. Ben Roberts and Morse was solid coping with the USRC attacks down the flanks, JB never stopped after numerous crunching tackles that would put most down and the midfield duo of Dan and Pascal that worked to control the play. However, the committee has decided that the award for this game goes to Kieran Donnelly on his return to the Legal league side and put in a class performance at Centre Back alongside Steve. Also Kieran’s performance after the match was a contributing factor.
DOD – Jordan Brown, for the man at the Pier Bar episode. Strange. So strange. Really really weird.