The saying “a week can be a long time in politics” (Harold Wilson, sometime in the 1960’s) could be altered slightly for the Mes team who has to chew on their opening day capitulation for 7 days but they bounced back in impressive style seeing off Goodfellas 3-0 on Happy Valley Pitch 1. Oumer Kieta was the main man for Mes notching a brace with Laurence Garner getting the other. Aside from having a full squad this week, the difference was the clinical finishing from Mes in a game where Goodfellas manager Stuart Pang left disappointed in his teams performance citing they didn’t deal with the heat well.
Heat wasn’t a factor in the late kick off on Saturday on the same pitch as J-Leaguers put 5 past Forward who did manage to get a consolation. Not much to go on report wise other than Damian Espejo was the Forward goal scorer with Soichiro Tsuruta, Mikiya Abe (2) and Masayuki Saki (2) the Japanese scorers who sit 2nd in the table on goal difference.
It’s a well-known fact that Spartans have more Hong Kong franchises than McDonalds and Starbucks combined, and it was the turn of their two legal league franchises to go head to head on the out of town pitch at Tin Yip Park. Wanchai Spartans were flying high after their opening day result while Soho’s were looking to get their first points on the board after a 3-1 defeat on their opening game. It was a ding dong battle with both teams leading at one stage but in the end, it was all love and cuddles for the Spartans boys as they all agreed a draw was a fair result. Ali Thompson & Chris Mendez for Wanchai while the Soho scorers were Rudi Willemse & Daniel Bakenhaus.
Revolution and USRC fought out a 1-1 draw meaning both teams have drawn their opening two games. It was USRC on the front foot but like the previous week they were countered and went 1-0 down when Jamie Kelly latched onto a flick from Matt Creighton. Revo has a few slight chances but it was again USRC who pilled on the pressure and Marcus McMillian scored 10 minutes from the end to share the spoils.
Joining J-Leaguers and Wanchai Spartans on 4 points is HK Scottish who saw off Corinthians 1-0 at the HKFA Pitches. A competitive and physical game saw limited chances from both teams and it had that feel if someone could nick one then that might be enough to take all 3 points and it fell to Jevon Marsh to be the hero of the day scoring the winner and taking the plaudits down at Joe Bananas.
Goalless draws are as common as hens teeth in amateur football but that’s what was served up by DBFC and Club Tropicana in week 2. DB had the better of play in the first half and it required a smart save from stand in keeper Dan Snell to keep it level when he closed off the angle and made a good one on one save. The second half Tropics had the better of the play hitting the post and managing to block off the balls into the DB attackers. With a few minutes to go a very similar chance fell to Tropics and this time it was the DB keeper making a good stop to earn his side a point.
Division 2 is beginning to take shape after the second round of fixtures, with a gulf in class between certain sides adding further weight to the split leagues argument. The 2 new additions to the Legal League continue to prove their worth and both made in 2 wins from 2 in emphatic fashion.
Irish Harps are now shining like emeralds as they sit atop of the early standings. Their near rugby score against a hapless BOCs gives them an early edge in the goal difference charts as they ‘scraped’ a 14-1 success in a game where their famed luck was not really required. The Irish scored all 15 in this, being generous enough to spoil their clean sheet with an own goal. After playing lovely football throughout and ripping their opponents to shreds, the score could have been even higher but for some good stops from BOCs overworked keeper. Scorers were Lee McQuade (4), Cian McNamara, Liam Grant (2), Ronan O’Boyle (2), Shane Moore, Richie Neylon, Luke Moynagh and Iain Kiloughrey (2). Early days but looking like the team to beat this season.
Scottish Eagles also made it maximum points from 2 games to join their fellow Celts as they handed out a pasting of their own against Shooters. The match report from Shooters was far more solid and reliable than their backline simply stating ‘Scottish created critical chances and didn’t miss while we created way fewer and missed them’. A pretty fair way to sum up a 9-1 defeat. Eagles goals from Howard Kelly (3), Will Banner (2), Sam Wolstenholme (2) and a goal each for Joe Green and Mike Durej. The Japanese sides’ consolation was scored by Kuramae who can at least take heart from the fact that they probably won’t have to play the top 2 again this season after shipping 8 last week to Harps.
Samurai Blue had opened the season with a comprehensive win and continued their great start with a 5-0 thrashing of Dragon Valley in the ‘epic match report derby’. Samurai were dominant throughout this one and after taking the lead at the mid-point of the first half, never looked back as their wingers ran riot creating chances at will. Yang Zhang George got 2 with Ahmed Jemli, Younes Aboubker and Ravi Sukhwani giving the score-sheet a familiar look. DV compared their ‘resistance’ to being as easy as shooting fish in a barrel (if the fish are nailed to the bottom of the barrel and instead of a gun you use a grenade). Ouch.
Vikings could be a surprise package this season as they also maintained their 100% start with an impressive 4-1 victory over San Pells. Their fairytale start to the campaign akin to something from countryman Hans Cristian Andersons’ repertoire as the Kowloon Tsai pitch initially reduced them to ugly ducklings before they grew in to this one, eventually gliding like glorious swans by the end of the contest. After going in level at the break and then taking the lead through Chris Brennan, San Pells proceeded to implode gifting their Danish opponents the points with 3 punished errors. Hebo Christensen (2) and Dan Petersen were the beneficiaries before man of the match Kasper Munk wrapped up the win with a fine individual strike.
Krauts are the other perfect side thus far but were made to dig deep against a stubborn and much improved Legal Head. In an end to end game with plenty of chances, a German side did what they do best by inflicting penalty related heartbreak on their opponents. Having seen 2 spot-kicks awarded against them, Legal were aggrieved that a similar offence was not picked up by the officials at the other end as Krauts clung on for a narrow 4-3 win. Krauts scorers were Roberto Pascarelli (2), Bjorn Hasse and Simon Ranke with Michael Frank, Jason Tiger and Yann Duhart for the unlucky Head.
Old Speckled Men were looking to bounce back from an opening defeat and boing they did with a 4-2 win over Shui Wei. Not an easy fixture for either side in the sweltering heat as forwards seemed to cope better than the respective backlines. Steve Harrington gave OSM the lead, finishing off a decent move at the far post before Gary Wong equalized with a lob from the edge of the box. James Chambers then restored the lead in typical fox in the box style as he followed in a shot to tap home. In the second period Shui Wei hit back again through main man Niko Nitti but that was as good as it got for the Shenzhen team as OSM went through the gears to pull away thanks to Jonny White sliding home and a second for far post lurker Steve Harrington as the Speckles put their first points of the season on the board.
Another team searching for redemption was Bants as they looked to recover from their heavy loss last time out. To do so they would need to crack the Young Guns enigma who are the most consistently inconsistent side around. Whilst the 5-0 result suggests a comfortable afternoon for the Bants lads, it was mentioned that this could have been much closer but for an excellent goalkeeping display. Steffano Sorentino, Perry Sea, Kenny Lam, Alexis Devaud and Vlad Karanovic giving a truly global feel to the score sheet.
The big shock of the week came on Monday night at Kings Park as MBFC recorded possibly their greatest ever Legal League result with a 3-2 win over KCC Royals. Despite no linesmen at all for the first half (and only one for the 2nd), it was satisfyingly surprising to hear of no dodgy offside calls. Royals it seemed were in an overly generous mood as they first scored an own goal and then had a man sent off within the first 20 minutes before they were then hit on the break by Huang Haole to gift MBFC a 2 goal lead before HT. Steve Rigby hit back and the KCC side pushed hard with 10 men but fell 3-1 behind as Wang Weizhi finished a one on one. Luca Merlone then headed in from a corner to reduce the arrears but it was too little too late as MBFC held on for a famous win.
KCC Cavs and Wanchai Wolves were both part of the top eight last year but may find it tricky to do so again with the level of competition having being ramped up. Gabriel Ho was Cavs angel last week and delivered another heavenly performance this time out as the late goal specialist helped his side snatch a point from the ravenous Wolves claws. Earlier, Wolves’ game plan of disrupting their opponents’ rhythm and playing on the break seemed to be working wonders as solidly named Chris Jim stabbed home before Henry Li converted a contentious penalty, making it 2-0. Credit to Cavs though who kept going and remain unbeaten thanks to a long range effort that snuck over the line and a cool finish in the dying moments to share the spoils.