"We were completely mauled....poor from the word go....couldn’t complete a pass….we could have conceded 15....no exaggeration”. These were the brutally honest words from Corinthians manager Dan Hackett as he summed up his sides 7-1 thrashing at the hands of J-Leaguers. It’s been a good campaign so far for Cors but they came up against an inform Japanese team who completely dominated and raced into a 3-0 half time lead. Whatever was said at half time had no impact as 3-0 soon became 6-0 and while Cors pulled one back via Amanpreet Mintoo, J-Leaguers rubbed salt into the wound by scoring a seventh late on. The result see’s J-Leaguers move onto 19 points, level with Corinthians, but ahead on goal difference. Scorers: Scorers; Shochi Arai (2), Kenichi Sekino, Shunsuke Nakamura, Yudai Masubuchi, Takekazu Hiramatsu & Own Goal.
USRC have put their early season stutters firmly behind them and sit 5 points off the pace by seeing off 11th placed SOHO Spartans 3-0. USRC dominated the ball possession but needed a GK error to make the breakthrough before getting some light between the teams when their 2nd hit the onion bag after 65 min. A cleared shot off the line from SOHO’s might have set up the “grand stand finish” to excite the bumper crowd at Kings Park but it was Gunners who added the next goal to take a comfortable 3 points. Scorers: Nathan Els (2) & Michael Boas 1.
On paper it might have looked like an easy 3 points for table topping DBFC but this wasn’t to be the case as it took a late Matt Hoare header to take all the points back to Lantau. Going in 0-0 at half time the game was in the balance with DB getting their noses in front via a Charlie Higgins strike but were pegged back to 1-1 with 10min to go when Alexis Devaud sent a cracking header past the DB keeper. However with the late header from DB to take all the spoils they maintain their 5 points advantage at the top of the pile.
Goodfellas’s unbeaten run was broken by a spirited Spartans team who now sit on 13 points and in 6th place. “Bad day at the office” was Fellas’s managers thoughts as a single Steve Franklin strike wasn’t enough to take anything from the game. Spartans manager was full of praise for his team’s “great battling performance” especially as they went down to 10 men through two yellows for Damo Pilat. Spartans scorers were Simon Liu and Jorge Rodrigues.
Forward continued to climb the table seeing off Krauts 3-2 in an entertaining game. After their first win the previous week, Krauts were full of confidence and gave a good account of themselves against last seasons champions but found it hard to get their foot on the ball with Forward dominating the majority of possession. Going into the break 2-1 up via goals from Jose Lorenzo & Matthieu Demange, Forward put the game out of reach when Vu Pham hit a third. Krauts goals via Bastian Braun & Fritz von Storch.
Division 2 continued to capture the imagination with new league leaders, late comebacks gentlemanly competition and drunken match reports providing reminders of what Saturdays in Hong Kong are all about.
Beginning the day in pole position were Mes having dropped just 2 points all season. That was until they came up against stubborn Old Speckled Men on the small Happy Valley pitch. Mes thought they had this competitive encounter won at 3-1 thanks to two goals from Lar Finnerty and one from Liam Kelly, but the Speckled Men are made of stern stuff and staged a dramatic comeback to snatch a point. D Kelso, G Wittevrongel and J White grabbing the headlines to ensure their side remain in the top half of the table and pick up a very respectable result in the process.
That meant that San Pells had the chance to return to the pinnacle…of Legal League Division 2 amateur football, and they duly obliged with a comprehensive (if slightly predictable) 6-1 success over BOCs. James Redmayne continued his fine form this campaign with a hat-trick and despite some atrocious offside calls, further goals were added from Jeremy Gill, Peter Harrod and Darren Slade. San Pells were gracious in victory stating that BOC played some good stuff and talisman Mohamed Lemistef did manage to grab some sort of consolation.
After starting the season with 2 draws and a defeat, a Revolution has certainly taken place as they racked up their 7th straight win, continuing their resurgence against Legal Head. The 6.30 kick off meant that it wouldn’t just be a test for the players but also the shoddy floodlights at Kowloon Tsai. Out of the darkness, Revo went on a rampage with the yellow ball and stormed in to a 5-0 lead by half time thanks to a Chris Marshall long ranger, a tidy finish from Matt Creighton, a tap in for Benjy Leung and 2 of the most trademark Tim Rechter headers you will ever see. A slightly depleted Legal Head were paying the price for not having a proper keeper but credit must be given to the Head lads as they never gave in and kept fighting for every ball whilst also putting together some decent moves. Revo added 2 more in the 2nd half thanks to MOTM Louis Joseph – the first a Ronaldinho-esque chip (definitely a cross) smashing in off the stanchion and the 2nd an ice-cool finish from a perfectly weighted through ball.
Wanchai Wolves kept up with the chasing pack bearing their teeth in a 6-0 drubbing of MBFC. The team propping up the table were left lamenting their lack of a proper warm up as they found themselves 2-0 down inside the opening 5 minutes. From there it was always going to be an uphill battle considering they have only managed to score that same number of goals all season. Wolves maintained the tempo despite the referees calling offsides from throw-ins, and added a further four goals. Marco Roque living the dream by scoring on his debut whilst Henry Li helped himself to a brace. Ryu Yoshida and Ronnie Ho got a goal apiece before Swedish speedster Victor Johanssen wrapped up an emphatic win.
Dragon Valley had every reason to celebrate with their gaffer admitting he was a little tipsy by the time he got round to writing the match report. In a real game of two halves, they were able to fight back to secure a 4-1 victory over Shooters. The Japanese side took the lead in this one through a wonderful curling finish from Yoshikazu Ninomiya in the first half. This was just reward for a side who have consistently been playing a level above their lowly league position. Alas, as has so often been the case, the 2nd half was a different story for Shooters with DV kicking in to gear and scoring some quality goals. First, a delightful in-swinging cross from the left was glanced home by Dave Reid to bring the scores level. From there the floodgates opened as Max Remington channeled his inner-Thierry, spinning and swerving a beauty in to the far top corner. Jimmy Zhang made it three as he finished an intricate move by dinking over the keeper before Max Remington got his second and Dragons fourth heading home from a free-kick.
On Monday, KCC Cavs had the chance to re-claim 3rd spot and were well fancied to do so against a Vikings side who were trounced 5-1 by Royals on their last visit to Kings Park in September. This was to be another evening to forget for the Danes as Cavs ran out 4-0 victors thanks to goals from Nikhil Narwani(2), Stefan Antonic and Bennis Wong. The result meaning that despite 2 defeats already this season, Cavs are just 3 points off top spot in an exciting scramble for Division 1 football.
Royals have hit form at just the right time as they looked to continue their free-scoring frenzy of recent weeks. They came up against a Shui Wei side who have plummeted down the league following a few tough defeats of late. The form book can stay inside of the window after this and whilst it was perhaps no surprise that the outcome would be three points for KCC, the 8-1 final result may have raised a few eyebrows and conversely dropped a few heads over the border in Shenzhen. Leo Chan was at least able to walk away with a goal to his name for the defeated side. Waiting on Royals goal scorers.