USRC 3 – 3 DBFC

Venue: Kings Park Pitch 3, Jordan

Squad: Alessio, David, Kieran D, Jordon, Ben, Jonny, Rob Scott, Matt H, Sabian, Tom, Matt O, Robbie, Leo, Yoon and Scott H

Scorers: Rob Scott x 2 and Matt O

There were an unprecedented 19 players that advised availability for this game, giving the management somewhat of a head-ache as 8 subs would be a little too much to manage. The rationale of ensuring that all registered DBFC players get a fair spread of football across the whole season was a main consideration, so it was decided we’d go for 5 subs, which eventually ended as 4 subs on the night because of a last minute drop-out.

It was a cold, wet Friday night at Kings Park as everyone arrived in good time. The mood was Jovial and as everyone was getting changed the sound of Justin Bieber filled the room, courtesy of Kieran Donnelly’s phone. Tom Halder had the audacity to question Kieran’s music choice and was quickly shot down with the following rationale: ‘Look, 1) He is a $hagger, 2) He is rich and 3) He is handsome as f**k’. Eloquently put, as usual, by Kieran!

Down to the pitch and first action was for Robbie to announce the starting line-up; Alessio in Goal; Ben RB, Kieran and David CB and Jordon LB; Matt H and Rob Scott CM, Jonny H RM, Sabian LM, Matt O CF and Tom playing behind him in the hole. A strong bench consisted of Yoon, Leo, Robbie and Scotty H.

The first half started fairly evenly, with USRC seeming the hungrier of the two teams. An early yellow card for Kieran wasn’t an ideal start but he clearly had their striker in his pocket. Chances were coming for both teams, with DBFC often having patches of very good play before being let down by the final ball. USRC took the lead after scoring a very dubious goal, which looked (was to the DBFC sideline right on the officials shoulder) to be significantly off-side.  This goal came from a USRC player crossing from their left wing to their striker who was in acres of space, on his own, nowhere near the rest of the play. DBFC defence stopped, sure of the off-side appeal, which didn’t come and allowed him to round Alessio and put the ball into an empty net. DBFC responded well by forcing a few corners, but still failing to get any attempt of note on the USRC goal. During a break away by USRC, Jonny was covering the USRC striker as he chased the ball into the DBFC box only for Alessio to rush out to take the ball and leave both Jonny and the USRC striker floored. It was Jonny that came worse off and had to be replaced by Yoon. A swap around saw Sabian go to number 10 position, Matt O to LM, Tom to RM and Yoon CF. Yoon quickly settled into the game and was instrumental in the first goal when he got the ball and laid it off for Sabian to slide a pass through to Rob Scott and put him one on one with the USRC keeper – the result inevitable, a calm strike past the keeper and an excellent equalizer for DBFC. DBFC were soon in the lead when a clumsy tackle on Sabian resulted in a DBFC free-kick on the edge of the box – up steps Rob Scott to strike the ball firmly and bend it into the top left corner. DBFC 2-1 up at half time.

The half time team talk highlighted that USRC had fielded a good side and that they seemed to be slightly more up for the game. DBFC had some really good spells of passing and let down by the final ball. DBFC had lots of individual talent tonight but were not quite there as a team. However, it was DBFC winning 2-1 and to go out in the second half and keep more possession, more quality with the final ball and find more bite. Two changes at half time saw Sabian and Matt O come off. Robbie came on at CM and pushed Rob Scott to number 10 position and Leo went to LM.

Unfortunately, the second half started with USRC having the majority of the possession and DBFC struggled to get hold of the match. One thing that did improve was with Yoon chasing down the USRC CB, who for the majority of the game was waltzing 20 yards up the pitch before picking a pass of his choice. Both sides had chances, and both sides got frustrated at the very poor standard of refereeing – though luckily he was equally as bad for both teams. Chances for both teams came and went – USRC missing from a yard out and Scotty Holmes (who just came on) just failing to get on the end of an excellent Matt H through ball. The USRC equalizer came when breaking down their left. Ben, who was having a solid game, inexplicitly let the USRC big forward to go passed him to the by-line, David got across to cover and attempted to block but the weak low evaded him and went to a USRC player on the edge of the box, who turned and shot past Alessio despite the best attempts from Jordan to get across and block. Soon after, the referee awarded USRC a very dubious free kick when Robbie appeared to cleanly win the ball. The free-kick was floated in, missing several DBFC players and landing at the feet of the USRC CB (Lander) at the back post to poke the ball in. DBFC behind 3-2. This seemed to be the wake-up call DBFC needed. There were 15 minutes to play and changes were made both tactical and to get everyone game time. Scotty H came on for Tom at RM and Leo came off after a hardworking 25 minutes for Sabian back on at number 10, Rob Scott CF and Yoon to LM. Ben Roberts was replaced by Matt O after complaining about his arm as the reason the big USRC forward got past him (a visit to hospital that evening revealed Ben had a fractured arm and will be out for a few weeks). With some excellent running, Sabian put in Yoon down the left, who turned his man and was fouled. A deserved free-kick. Up steps Robert Scott who puts in an excellent ball to Matt Orr who, rising like a Salmon in desperate search of its spawning grounds or a Phoenix out of the ashes, planted a header firmly in the net at the back post. DBFC now at 3-3 with a couple of minutes to go. DBFC now wanted the winner and pressed again. Some great work and passing in midfield saw Sabian drive to the left byline and put in an excellent low cross that fizzed in front of the USRC goal at 1 yard out. Scotty H was there at the back post and it seemed by all watching he was a certainty to score. However, as Scotty H went to ground to slide the ball into the goal, the miss-timed lunge saw the ball bounce over his belly (obviously a big bounce) at one yard out. A great opportunity to win missed and an opportunity for a story and a half from Scotty H, as two days early he had messaged Gazza predicting he would come on and score the winner towards the end of the game. The game ended 3 -3 and on reflection of the football played, a draw was probably the right result. A very exciting game to watch and plenty of beer at the Pier Bar afterwards.

MOM – contenders: Rob Scott as usual played a big part in the game and scored 2 great goals. Sabian and Matt Orr were class players in parts and Yoon worked really well when he came on. —- However, my choice is Rob Scott to get the award.

DOD – Matt O for sending Gaz an email saying it was his last game because he is leaving for San Francisco, is a clear contender. A nice email with the classic Arnie line “I’ll be back” and also a plea that while he’s away to take good care of his mate Ben Roberts. Gaz agreed to make a label (like Paddington Bear) that Ben could wear when out with DBFC “Please look after Ben, Thank You, Matt”.  However, Kieran gets it this week for: 1) Playing Justin Bieber before a game when Eye of the Tiger would have been more apt; 2) For not, despite his best attempts, getting a USRC player booked when, in fact, he succeeded in getting booked himself; 3) Arguing with the referee and not seeing that USRC had already taken the free kick and 4) A brilliant email sent to all the DBFC Legal League circulation at 23:32.

Reported by David Rollinson and edited by Dad