Massive thanks to everyone who went on the long journey to Fanling to play against City/HKU Alumnai 城市草根 who were in a similar position to us. We played them at the start of the season and drew 1 – 1 and we wanted revenge as they beat us in the Cup Final last year.
We start in the usual 4-5-1 formation with the line up below:
Sanju, Matt, Leandro, Dan H, Stef,Pat,Oli,Chi,Adam,Miles,Aidan
Subs: Jim, Dave Ta, Jeff, Jason L, Josh
Given the massive pitch and that we were a little out of sorts last week we make a few changes. Pat goes to the right side of midfield, Miles into the hole, we play our two Chinese guard dogs (Chi and Oli in the middle) and Aidan aka modern day Ronaldo goes up front.
To our credit the formation and system work well. Aidan is outstanding up front. He shows great technique and vision. He looks threatening when going on runs and holds the ball up extremely well Aidan gave a class demonstration of how to play up front on your own. After Sanju pulls off a few very good saves a ball finds Aidan at the edge of the box and he lashes in an unstoppable shot to make it 1-0. Great to see Aidan get what he deserved after working so hard up front. We then settle down and start to play some good football despite the pitch. Chi and Oli break down attack after attack and Adam looks particularly dangerous on the left. A ball through to him sees him through on goal but he doesn’t hear the shout of "time" and slices a left foot shot that goes wide. It should have been 2-0. The rest of the half is an end to end affair. However, our defense holds tight and we have a few more efforts that go wide. Patrick works extremely hard on the right winning tackles and making some good runs. He even finds time to do the "crane move" that Mr Miyagi taught him (more of that later). We rearrange things with minutes of the half to go as Leandro turns an ankle and Miles has to replace him at centre back.
At half time all of our subs get on. In the second half Josh gets a run in the hole and plays very well and reminds me of Peter Crouch. Jeff goes into the middle and promises to not show his studs… cough. Jim and Dave go on the wings and Dave makes some good runs and defensive clearances. J Lo ex manager of the Nites slots in at right back and does really well. Mr bling booked the top deck of a specially chartered Singapore Airlines A3880 to join us. As expected they come at us determined to get back in the game and after a mix up they get the equalizer. However, the Nites are made of steely stuff these days and keep playing and create a fair few chances of our own. After fifteen minutes Aidan is sent clear through and hits a horrendous shot wide. We can’t believe the miss (Aidan thought he was offside so just kicked it off) however, worse is to come as the ref stops the game consults the linesman and sends Aidan off for an invisible elbow. Aidan protests and goes mental. This has got to be one of the worst decisions I have seen. The Zen man Chi calms Aidan down. Later the real pyscho of the team Sanju "Man to man" also gets booked for "swearing" although no one understands what he said. Anyhow, we knuckle down in 4-4-1 formation and tough it out for the next twenty minutes. Miles is commanding at centre back and has a calming influence on everyone. It finishes 1-1. I am proud of the character and committment of the team on a rainy late evening in far away Fanling not to mention the quality opposition and playing with ten men. Well done to everybody. Let’s keep going.
Man of the match : Miles (Great DJ, Part time model, Public Speaker).
Nominations for MOM for Aidan (Great striker, midfielder, journalist, Thai enthusiast)/Dan H (Great defender, sledger, cage fighter)
Mug of the day : Patrick Larusso (Great organizer, runner for charity, Kung Fu Black Belt)
STRENGTH & HONOUR
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