Quarter Final of the Legal League CUP
DBFC 4 – 1 J-Leagurers
Ma On Shan Recreation Ground
Saturday 25 February 2017 at 4:30 kick-off
Scorers: Bruno, Tom x2 and Dan K
Assists: JB x2 and Bruno
On a day that resembled a cold UK winter afternoon, the boys in white (DBFC) had the pleasure of a long trip to Ma On Shan Recreation Ground Football Pitch. The resemblance to the UK wasn’t restricted to the weather as the pitch, thanks to its worn state with lumps and bumps, was typical of a recreational ground in Blighty (UK).
Throughout the preceding week DBFC Manager Gazza Rollinson sent out plenty of rallying calls for players to attend this Cup Quarter Final fixture against a usually strong J-Leaguers side and by Friday he had managed to collate a strong squad of 16, Including two new signings and the enigma that is Mr. Zoeller!! So with a strong starting line-up of Alessio (GK), Simon (RB), Kieran (CB), David (CB), Morse (LB) Scotty (RM), Pascal (CM), Richie (CM), JB (LM), Bruno (new signing – CF), Tommy (no. 10 & Skipper) and a strong bench starting with Zoeller and Thierry and adding late arrivals Ben, Dan K and Jordan (new signing), the DBFC boys went into battle with a place in the Semi Final at stake.
Despite creating a few early half chances DBFC’s first 20 minutes was slow, struggling for rhythm with their passing and ultimately they paid the price when a J-Leaguer midfielder found time and space 25 yards out to drive his shot into the top right corner of the DBFC goal, passed the flying Alessio who was unable to get near let alone stop the effort! DBFC picked up the pace of the game and in patches played some good attacking football and started to do the hard work more effectively. One change was made in the first half, with 10 minutes until the break, Richie came off for new signing Jordan. The team started to take control with more solid tackling and tracking runners. Pascal and Jordan in the middle of the park and Scotty on the right battling back to help out the defence. I would love to have mentioned JB but we all know that he doesn’t do tracking back (ha ha). Then from an attack that resulted in a corner, DBFC pulled level; Kieran and Scotty crowded out 2 defenders and the keeper on the line to allow a well driven JB corner to fly towards the back post where it was met by new signing Bruno (Not Frank or Mars) with a well-timed jump to head into the back of the J-Leaguers’ net! The last 15 minutes of the first half saw DBFC frustrations boil and some players directing harsh words at the officials for some of their awful decisions. However, these bad decisions were being made against both teams and we let going 1-0 down affect our focus on playing football.
When half time came Gazza asked everyone to do some calming deep breathing for a few minutes before he reiterated the need to stay off the referees backs no matter how wrong they are. We needed to concentrate on the DBFC brand football; keep the ball down, quick and accurate passing and working hard closing down the opposition, then a win would surely happen. A number of changes were made; David made way for Thierry at CB, Morse came off for Richie to slot in at LB, Simon made way for Ben at RB and Scotty for Dan K at RM. A few rumblings in the stand were heard with regards to the non-existent Tommy (which has been the case for most of 2017) still being on the pitch, but after 5 minutes into the half, with his eyes closed and fingers crossed, he released a right foot peach of an effort from the edge of the box that went curling into the top right hand corner! Manager’s decision for him to stay on vindicated and even more so when moments later Thierry played a nice through ball to JB down the left channel for him to play in a nice low whipped cross to find Tommy at the back post to tap in again with his less favoured right boot! So at 3-1 and looking comfortable, with only 10 minutes of the second half gone, Gazza makes another change; Tommy hobbles off holding his nuts and complaining it was the result of the J-Leaguers CB’s heel that caught him unguarded and Zoeller comes on. Within a few minutes of this switch there was nice play down the right by Ben and Dan K to find Bruno, who slid a nice through ball to Zoeller’s feet with just the keeper to beat. The DBFC side-line at this point were all ready to start the celebrations for the 4th goal, however Mr. Zoeller managed to hit the ball straight at the onrushing keeper! Shortly after it looked like that miss could be costly as the J-Leaguers’ resulting counter-attack got them a corner that was initially punched out by Alessio to drop back at the corner-taker to put in a second cross. DBFC were caught-out by the repeat cross as the ball dropped from an attempted defensive header onto the toe of a lurking J-Leaguer player at the edge of the 6 yard box. So with the score at 3-2 and with 10 minutes to go it looked like DBFC would have their backs to the wall. This wasn’t the case! DBFC stepped up and showed a touch of class by stringing together some nice passing across the back and through midfield and then to the right for Bruno to play a ball to the inside right channel for Dan K to run on to and clinically finished with a shot across the keeper, which nestled nicely just inside the post. DBFC comfortably played out the last minutes of this game to secure the 4-2 victory and a place in the semi-final against USRC Gunners.
The stand out performers of the day were, Pascal for his tireless none-stop running to cover all areas of the pitch, Bruno who held up the ball nicely and made some nice passes and Dan K and Ben in the second half who linked up well on a few occasions. However, my choice for MOM goes to JB for his direct running at the J Leaguer defenders and 2 assists. A special mention is to be made for those squad players that had played the night before for the DBFC Vets team in an 8-2 drubbing of USRC; Thierry, Morse, Pascal, Alessio, Bruno and Scotty. #commitment
Now for the DOD: This is where I mention that at this point of writing the report Tommy (I haven’t been here in 2017) Halder was going to get it. I recognise his contribution today in scoring 2 goals but I also recognise that up to this point he has been consistently a team passenger in 2017, despite being a self-proclaimed baller/player. However, while the boys waited for the booked Party (Team) Bus to arrive to take them back to the Pier Bar in Central, David went to 7/11 to grab enough beers for the journey. He returned and we all boarded the bus and as the bus pulled away with our resident DJ (Scotty Guetta) started booming out the tunes, the question of “ how many beers did you get David? ” was asked. The answer of 25 brought the music to a stop and everyone, including the bus driver, glared before firing a rally of abuse for David “Daddy’s Bridge“ Rollinson…. 25 beers between 15 players on a 45 minute bus journey (without traffic) was never going to be enough, so when we hit tunnel traffic the abuse kicked off again! So as a result of gross misjudgement in the purchasing of beer for a bus journey, David Rollinson gets DOD! You had one job to do!! #EpicBeerFail.
Reporter: Scott Holmes
Edit by Gaz