DBFC 4 – 1 USRC
Friday 23rd September at Kings Park Pitch 3 with 21:00 kick-off.
Squad: Martin Y, Ben, Martin R, David, Simon, Dan, Dom, Syd, Jordon, Tom, Matt Z, Dave M, Martin B, Scotty H and Jarrod.
Scorers: Ben, Jordon and 2 for Matt Z.
Last Friday night saw the league’s two top teams square off at Kings Park, with a late 9pm kick-off time. There was widespread fear amongst the team that the HKFC Ultras* may miss this match to cheer on the boys against Kitchee at Sports Road. Luckily for DB however, Tom Halder’s stadium ban was upheld, so the Ultras boycotted that match: editor’s note:* Ultras being a group of devoted Hong Kong Football Club Premier League team supporters who are renowned for drinking and being very loud. Ben, Tom and Jordon are Ultras.
Everyone turned up in good time, including the return of DBFC’s prodigal son, Master Zoeller. The team warm-up was conducted at the side of the pitch where DBFC Vets were playing a match, which proved a distraction with the lads verbally abusing Sam Riley and company for some questionable finishing towards the end of their game. This was all in good fun and reciprocated later when a decent number of Vets players (many regulars in the Legal League team squad) stayed to watch our match.
Gazza warned the lads that we faced a tough USRC side, whose Yau Yee team had recently folded, with many of the players joining their Legal League team. USRC would keep the pace of the game fast and quickly closing down so DBFC had to counter this with equally quick play. The starting 11 were to be; Martin (GK), Ben (RB), Rigby (CB), David (CB), Simon (LB), Dan (RM), Dom (CM), Syd (CM), JB (LM), Tom (10) (C) and Matt Z (CF). Dave M, Martin, Jarrod and Scotty would start on the bench. Tom was to continue as team Captain much to Zoeller’s chagrin; clearly he was still upset after losing a wrestling match to the skipper in Wanchai last Wednesday night.
The first half started sloppily on a tight pitch, with both teams struggling to get the ball down and play passing football. The first 10 minutes was more reminiscent of pinball than football, with DB’s Syd and Tom particularly culpable. The ball was bouncing around DB’s midfield like Scotty Holmes’s moobs on a rollercoaster. Ben, with his new found role as a genuine footballer was getting particularly frustrated with Syd’s wastefulness, although he found Tom’s performance a bit more comical. DB’s only joy was coming from the left, with JB skinning the USRC left back repeatedly, including a humiliating nutmeg. The poor guy had finally had enough and cynically tripped Jordon, who proceeded to go into short angry man mode and start a fight with the entire back four. Surprisingly at this point Ben “I Box” Roberts was nowhere to be found. Continued pressing by DBFC resulted in a free kick being awarded 30 yards out from the USRC goal and up stepped JB to hit an absolute cracker of a shot off the underside of the cross-bar. The rebound was headed in by the marauding Ben Roberts. JB claimed the ball was over the line, but no one was going to deny big Ben his first goal for DBFC.
DBFC were now settling and playing better football and it wasn’t long to wait for the second goal. Matty Zoeller played JB through to run onto goal and he delightfully chipped the out coming USRC keeper to record his seventh goal of the season. Not long after USRC had a breakaway and Syd put in a great last man tackle to stop a USRC shot on goal. However, he couldn’t continue and had to come off with “cramp”. Dave M came on to replace Syd at centre midfield. The whistle was blown for half-time soon after with DBFC 2 – 0 ahead.
Half time talk was Gazza reminding everyone that we were in a battle. We were on top but had to continue with the work rate and focus. Tom was asked to drop a little deeper to help out the midfield two (and to stop getting in the way when we were building attacks). Dan came off to be replaced by Scotty H at RM and Martin B came on at LB for Simon.
The second half continued much the same as the first, with neither side really dominating possession or creating many chances. DBFC continued to struggle in midfield, with Tom continuing to get little joy every time he tried to control the ball…or pass the ball…or shoot. The DBFC third goal came from a USRC corner, with Dave M clearing the ball to Matty at the half-way line for him to turn and skin the two remaining USRC defenders before finishing superbly past the keeper. It was an excellent goal at a crucial time. As with the first game against FWD, DBFC let their guards slip to allow USRC back into this game. USRC all out attacking resulted in them getting a goal back to make it 3-1 with 30 minutes remaining and they continued this pressing, which could have resulted in USRC making a game of it were it not for a couple of fantastic saves from the DBFC keeper, Martin. Jarrod replaced Scotty to operate in a more defensive role for the last 15 minutes.
DBFC continued to have many chances of their own, especially when counter attacking with a number of attempts that should have been finished. One notable chance was when Tom done particularly well (for the first time all game) by getting to the by-line and put a cross on a plate (with cutlery) for Ben Roberts, who could only manage to head wide from 3 yards out.
DBFC finally put the game to bed with another excellent solo effort from Matty, who took on three USRC defenders before finishing superbly with his left peg. It was another class goal from the bearded wonder. Although a goal to remember, sadly it was overshadowed by a bizarre and frankly inaudible rant from DBFC’s manager: Something about his balls I believe? Clarification can be obtained directly from Gazza upon request.
The game finished 4-1. And was by no means a classic game on a small, bouncy pitch with two very committed teams, nonetheless another strong performance from DBFC.
MOM – Not too many contenders to be fair this week. Matty Z played well and got a brace, and Riggers had a good debut marshalling the defence alongside a “poorly” David. Jordon should be mentioned for another industrious performance on the wing, with another goal taking his tally to seven in three. Although, with the game poised at 3-1, Martin Yu made some really important saves, with one particular down to his right from a point blank header at a crucial time and for this performance he earns the MOM award this week.
DOD – Your match reporter has to give himself a mention for a truly shocking performance; DBFC’s skipper had a day to forget. He had the touch of a leper, the box to box ability of Stephen Hawking and the control of Matt Orr in a room full of 16 year old girls. I announced my retirement shortly after the game, but much like that other little left footed wizard of world football, U-turned fairly quickly. Sam Riley gets an honourable mention for slapping Morse goodbye in the pier bar after three beers. Morse was, for the first time in his adult life, speechless. However, this week had a clear winner. After the fourth goal, kick-off was interrupted as an infuriated Gazza marched onto the pitch and berated a USRC forward. There have been some conflicting stories about what was said; although I believe it was along the lines of “Did uh give yooose permission t’ kick ma balls,” repeated about 13 times. All 22 players were perplexed, with Gazza giggling to himself like a little girl. A worthy winner.
Also, big thanks go out to all the DBFC Vets players who stayed behind and cheered us on at Kings Park, much appreciated lads. We can only apologise about the quality on display!!
Reported by Tom, edit by Gazza