Week 5 in the Hong Kong Legal League and after a week of debate in the Division One What's App forum is was nice to get back to playing football. The full schedule of games in Division One saw the pack begin to stretch out with the early pace setter maintaining their momentum with victories for the top 3.
Wanchai Spartans and J-Leaguers finished second and third respectively last season so their match up this weekend was always likely to be a tight affair but in the end, just like the following seasons league position it was Spartans who came out on top via goals from new signing Nick Day and influencial winger Chris Balka. Spartans "player" (and I use that term very loosely) manager Steph Kelly was full of praise for his opponents commenting that they had to be at their best for a hard fought win and that they were the "best team" that his aincent greek warriors had faced. With their game in hand, Spartans sit 1 point behind the join leaders USRC and Club Tropicana.
USRC made it three wins in a row seeing off Corinthians in a comfortable 4-0 victory. And it was the first half, just like the previous week, that saw USRC blitz their oppoents with all golas coming in a dominent first half display although Corinthians will be runing their penalty miss when the scorers were 1-0. Goalscorers Jonathan Mok (cross come shot), Gwyll (nice header from a decent cross), OG (off post onto back of GK) and Sam Bensley from close range.The result sees USRC sit at the summit on a league best goal difference of +14 from Tropics who also recorded their own third straight win seeing off one of their traditional bogey sides Goodfellas 3-1 at Happy Valley. Tropics took the lead inside the first 20 minutes when Dipesh Tamang unleased a fizzer from 22 yards which left the Fellas keeper no chance and with the Tropics CB's marking Goodfellas main threat well they went into the half time break one goal to the good. The second half saw Tropics continue to push forward and Nico Staffieri made it 2-0 with another good shot from outside the box before Steve Franklin pulled one back. However Goodfellas couldn't push on after that goal and Kevin Frimpong scored with 5 minuted to go to seal the points.
Forward got a good 3 points against an HK Scottish side who have struggled over the past couple of weeks, winning 2-0 with goals from Ousmane Sommah and Anshul Maindola. The result see's the title winners from two years ago progress to 7th in the league with Scottish in 5th on 10 points.
DBFC pulled away in the final 15 minutes of their match with Revolution to win 4-1 but had to come from behind in the first half. Revolution had a threadbare squad but found themselves ahead via Benjy Leung and defended their lead resolutely before a comical equalizer just before half time pulled DB back into the game. However in the end Revolution didn’t have the legs and I the last 15, DBFC scored three to take the points back to Lantau. DBFC scorers Kafi Harun, Gabriel Bretel, Eathan Squires, Long Tim Nixon.
Soho Spartans recorded their first 3 points of the season in a game that was unfortunate overshadowed by the referee and lino's antics at full time. Not much to go on in either of the match reports aside from Soho scorers being Marc Elliot, Byron Grealy & Ronan Martin with Mes's goals from Damian Cozzolino & Dara Fahy.
Dragon Valley and San Pells had a couple of epic games last season so excitement was high for this one and expectations were well and truly met in a 8 goal thriller. San Pells eased in to 2-0 lead with a couple of nice strikes from Austin Tenny. Dave Reid hit back for the Dragons before HT with a deflected effort before Paul Martin levelled it up at the start of the second half. Austin Tenny then completed his hat-trick with a nice goal on the break. DV fought back to draw level again as Dave Reid was left unmarked to head in at the far post. From there the superior fitness of the Dragons shone through as Jeffrey Lai and Jordan Jackson claimed the points, 5-3 the final score.
Irish Harps were looking to re-establish their early season form whereas Bants were looking for any kind of form at all in this battle of two of the pre-season contenders for promotion. It was the Irish who triumphed here with a comprehensive 5-1 success. Lee McQuade was the hero as he bagged 4 including a screamer from outside the box as the Bants boys could not deal with him. Iain Killoughery got the other one for Harps with Donncha O’Brien on target for Bants.
Samurai Blue are another side harboring hopes of promotion and have looked very strong in their opening games thus far. This was a stroll for a side full of attacking flair as they destroyed MBFC 8-0. Patience was the name of the game as despite only being 1 up at the break, the floodgates opened in the second half as Yang Zhang George and Peio Burucoa were left to fight over the match ball with 3 each. Ahmed Jemli and Ravi Sukhwani added further gloss to the result as Samurai are on the march.
Vikings and Krauts squared off in a European derby with the Danes looking to maintain their 100% start to the season. In a game that run much more smoothly than the bounce of the ball at Kowloon Tsai, Vikings took the lead early on through Oliver Falkengaard. The response was almost immediate though as Nick Gerick capitalized on some uncharacteristically questionable goalkeeping to level things up. From there on it became a tactical battle as a winning goal became less and less likely. The 1-1 final result meaning that both sides could share a Carlsberg and a Jaeger together in the post-match piss up.
Shooters and Shui Wei ensured that whoever made the trip out to TKO for the late kick off did not have a wasted journey as they served up an end to end feast of attacking football. 5-4 to Shui Wei the final score with Shooters keeper admitting he was in desperate need of some liquid condolences after. Takeda, Nakano, Matsumorto and Nakao sharing the goals with Michael O’Donovan, Leo Chan, Angel Gomez (2) and Boudihaf Bouchalia doing enough to nick it for Shui Wei.
KCC Cavs continued their excellent start to the season with a highly impressive 8-3 thrashing of Old Speckled Men. Despite the eventual pasting, this was closely contested for over half the game with OSM drawing level 3-3 at the start of the second half. From there though Cavs seemed to find an extra gear (or 5) as they tore away, scoring some beauties in the process. Jordan Jarvis, Gabriel Ho (2), Stefan Antonic (2), Nikhil Narwani, Struan D’Souza and Krish Sadhwani moving Cavs level at the top after 5 games. James Chambers (2) and Ben Wiggins for OSM who find themselves struggling with just 3 points on the board so far.
Wan Chai Wolves have gone under the radar slightly so far but sporting a new kit and putting in consistent displays is one way to draw attention. They easily saw off the challenge of a winless KCC Royals on Monday night. Chris Jim, Stefan Schratz and Henry Li all scored but the goal of the game came from Gav Chung who curled a peach of a strike in to the top corner. Shame that Ant Chan hadn’t been taking notes as at 4-0 up he strode forward majestically, full view of goal in sight and already seeing the headlines in Tuesdays papers he took aim……only to hit a low flying bird as the ball flew away in to orbit.