J-Leaguers continued their impressive start to the season and now sit at the top of the league 1 point ahead of DBFC and Corinthians who are in second place after their 2-0 win over HK Scottish. Captalizing on a mistake by the Stags center back James Nortey rounded the keeper before slotting into the goal with a second half strike by Yudai Masubuchi making the 3 points safe.
Corinthians bounced back from their defeat last week by seeing off faltering Forward who have now lost 3 of their opening 4 games. Forward started with 9 men and Corinthians took advantage by taking a 1-0 lead through a scrappy Mike Fry goal before Forward managed to get up to 11 players. The injection of the two new players boosted Forward who equalized through a “looped” effort by Jose Lorenzo after Corinthians gave the ball away cheaply. However Cors got their act together and took the lead again just before half time when Fry got his second of the afternoon. The second half provided no more goals and Corinthians ran out 2-1 victors mainly through to a fantastic performance from goal keeper Gianluca Temperini.
Krauts are still looking for their first point of season after being beaten 2-0 by USRC. USRC started really strong and went two up early on when Ross Critchon and Roy Man rippled the net. Krauts fought back well and could have nicked a goal first half but USRC largely dominated chances. Without scoring the third Krauts were always in the game but the USRC defense held firm.
Tropics and Wanchai Spartans played out a 2-2 draw with Tropics coming twice from behind to share the spoils. Spartans took the lead when a long ball over the top evaded the CB and the Spartans player had a one on one and slotted the ball into the goal. However, Tropics bounced back and got their act together and equalized 10 minutes later when a low shot was only parried by their keeper straight into the path of James Manning who walked the ball into the goal. Coming back out at 1-1 in the second half both teams fancied their chances and it was Spartans who got their noses back in front when a 20 yard low strike found its way into the bottom corner. The goal of the game however was the last when a long through ball over the top of the Spartans defense was met on the volley when Eamon Dick cushioned the ball over the advancing keeper. (Not sure who the Spartans scorers were)
Football is a game of two halves and Goodfellas and DBFC had the spoils of a half each with Goodfellas coming out top 2-1. Fellas took the first half with 2 goals from Ed French and hit the woodwork as well as they dominated an out of sorts DB. However a second half fightback through a Kafi Harun goal got DB back into the game but they couldn’t find one more and lost their first game of the season.
The battle of the promoted teams saw Bants come out 3-2 winner in a tough game where the scoring went back and forth. A brace from Sam Ameen and a super diving header from John Ashley secured the points for Bants with Li Yongsen & Gerardo Rios scoring for Soho’s. The ref came in for severe criticism missing a pen for Bants and a goal that was over the line for Soho’s.
In Division two under the Friday night lights, there were clear eyes and full hearts aplenty (but unfortunately one team could lose) in an epic encounter between two of the Legal League’s longest established sides. BOC’s went in search of their first points of the season as they took on Legal Head who were sitting pretty in mid table. In a topsy-turvy game, BOC’s took the lead before falling behind and levelling (twice), however it was not quite enough in a game where they also missed a penalty as Legal Head snatched a 4-3 win at the death. Goals for BOC from Mikey Taw, James Day and Mohamed Lemistef with Jamie Kelly and the returning Andy Mitchell getting a brace each for the victors.
The 7-goal thrillers continued on Saturday as Mes were able to tame Wolves 5-2. Their high pressing game and lethal frontline caused problems throughout with Liam Kelly, Chris Delaglesia, Oli Davies, Will Harvey and the ever dangerous OG sharing the goals for Mes. Wolves hot-shot Victor Johanssen scored one and claimed the 2nd (see Harry Kane) in response but it was not enough as Mes continue their strong start to life in Division 2.
Shui Wei have been somewhat of a surprise package this season. Having failed to make the top half split last year, they now find themselves in 4th place following their 5-2 win over a struggling Shooters team. Not much to go off from the match report despite the abundance of goals other than that it was fairly even first half before Shui Wei pulled away with their goals coming from Evan Forrester (2), Luke Facer (2) and Alex Ng. Hiroshi Uehara and Shinichi Yoshimoto got the consolations for the Japanese side.
Revolution were able to pick up their first win of a so far indifferent season as they put Vikings to the sword by 3 goals to nil. Both sides looked to get the ball down and play despite the landing strip pitch at Ma On Shan. What was most notable for Revolution was a revelation that Andy Burwell can listen to instructions, playing a lovely 1-2 before lifting the ball over the keeper to open the scoring in a MOTM display. Tim Rechter made in 2 just before half time as he finished from close range following up from a Burwell header that came back off the bar. In the 2nd half, the quality build up from both sides continued and there were plenty of missed chances until the ageless Jason Edwards delivered a peach of a cross from the right which fell kindly to the ‘Hamburg Hammer’ as Rechter finished with aplomb for his 2nd and Revo’s 3rd of the afternoon. Special mention to Vikings #10 who was near impossible to knock off the ball and their pacey #23 who caused problems all game.
Dragon Valley moved up to 3rd in the table following a 2-1 victory over Young Guns. In a tight game of contrasting styles, Dragon Valley took the lead with a now trademark counter attack as Max Remington showed his steel to finish in the top corner after running on to a weighted pass. Justin Davies extended the lead with a low finish but Young Guns patient possession game saw them wrestle back a bit of control and make a contest of it. They got their reward with a quality finish from Dennis Chan after a dinked through ball but fell just short of grabbing a point as Dragon Valley held on for the win.
It was another tough day at the office for MBFC who remain bottom after going down 6-0 to Old Speckled Men. Gaspard Wittevrongel (2), Rob Croucher, Tom Esbrat, Beb Wiggins and D Kelso got their names on the score-sheet. OSM move up to 8th and look like they will be pushing for that all important top half place before the league splits.
On Monday night something had to give as two 100% records were on the line between KCC Cavs and San Pells in arguably the fixture of the week. Cavs settled in to their tiki-taka football and scored through Gauravdeep Singh, Adrian Samtani and Stefan Antonic. San Pells were generally a little wasteful in front of goal although the same cannot be said for James Redmayne who bagged two, the 2nd of which has been described as ‘a header with the power of a volley’. It was Cavs however who took the 3 points back to the KCC club with a 3-2 success and now sit atop of the table with a game in hand.
In the final game of the week, KCC Royals and Samurai Blue kept the entertainment coming in a ding-dong battle evidencing why we love (and at times loathe) the beautiful game. SB took the lead through Chris Cocoran but were quickly pegged back when Royals were awarded a penalty and made no mistake from the spot. In an end to end encounter, Sam Blue then missed a penalty of their own before KCC hit the front with 10 to play. There was to be one final twist though as Cocoran bagged his second of the game with a minute left on the clock to ensure the game finished as a Desmond (2-2).