Let’s start at the top of division one, where USRC Gunners were in fine fettle as they saw off a spirited Irish Harps 6-3 in an enthralling game on Friday. Irish had a couple of lads arrive late, while USRC were seemingly switched on from the outset as they raced into an early 2 goal lead through Sean Taylor and Marcus McMillan. A third soon followed, and what a sweet volley it was again from McMillan, but Harps got a well worked goal from a corner, Cian McNamara with a bullet header. Just before half time, Gunners’ very own Irishman Ian Casey saw his shot remarkably hit the target for once, with McMillan on hand to tap home for a first half hat-trick. Harps are never beaten though, and with a couple of changes at HT, came out firing again but McMillan was again in the right place to tap home after Taylor squared for his third assist. The game then got interesting, as a deflected shot followed by a goalkeeping error handed Harps all momentum (Po Sing Lam and Ian Killoughery scoring) and at 5-3, had a header or a 6-yard shot been lower, a nervy finale would have been on. As it was, Giacomo Gallina came off the bench to head in a 6th for the Gunners who leapt to the summit.
The other big game of the weekend saw DBFC dispose of J Leaguers 4-0 in a rain-soaked Happy Valley contest on Saturday. Without their usual huge squad, the Japanese struggled to contain young Ethan Squires up top, and he opened the scoring after Paul Crompton had put him through with a first-time pass. Second half was close for large parts, but DB eventually got a second- Squires again- before an Enzo Pedro strike and Squires’ third put the game to bed late on.
In another crazy game, HK Scottish Stags proved they can beat anyone on their day, as they came from 2 goals down at HT to beat Wanchai Spartans 3-2. Dan Dibden and Oli Baijings seemingly had Sparts well on their way to victory, but second half graft and goals from Winter, Carnham and Bobak gave Stags the win. Tropics got back to winning ways as well on Saturday, with a narrow 2-1 win against the inconsistent Goodfellas. In a well contested game with some strong challenges, Kyle Wagner scored from the spot to put Tropics one up though Fellas felt it was a very soft decision. Nico Staffileri made it two nil but Ian Randawe was lucky to get one back before Fellas thought they had an equalizer, only for the linesman to dubiously flag for offside. Unsurprisingly, Fellas requests for a refund from the refs were waved away.
Soho Spartans added to Revolution woe with a 6 nil thumping, going one up with an Aaron Weener goal direct from a corner. Gerardo Rios made it two with a wonder goal, carrying the ball the length of the field and curling it into the near side top bins early in the second half and from then on, Sparts controlled proceedings. Arten Fatkulin, John Theunissen, Patrick Malingula and Marc Beaton all scored thereafter to seal the win. Lastly, KCC Cavs got their first win of the season in a ding-dong affair on Monday. Corinthians had taken a two-goal lead early on and could have been out of sight, with Jamie Foy and Roy Man putting them ahead. KCC however got one back before the half through George Yang and carried that momentum into the second half. First, Sango Gurung levelled then Krish Sadhwani put them ahead but Cors thought they had salvaged a point as Riccardo Chesti made it 3-3. However, 3 minutes from the end Michael Ho found the winner for Cavs with a sumptuous drive from distance.
In Div 2, HK Krauts saw off title challengers OSM with a solid 4-0 display. Simone Ranke opened the scoring with a deflection and two goals in quick succession put the game out of reach for the Old Men, the second coming from a bad defensive under hit pass straight from the restart. In the second half, OSM regathered some shape and composure but they couldn’t find the goal to make a fight of it and late on, Krauts got a 4th on the counter. Simon Ranke with his second, Oli Weston and Nick Gerigk were the scorers of Krauts other goals. Also finishing 4-0 was Legal Head against Vikings, the latter side seriously depleted which didn’t help their cause. Jose Cabot, Mike Frank, Darragh Kennan and Manuel Pena scored the goals for LH and Rosie Howes wrote the following report, “It was a Misty afternoon as the clouds rolled over the mountains in the distance. Legal Head were raring to go after a rusty start to the season re-start. After a shorter warm up, talks of nutritious breakfasts, borrowing the other team’s boots... anticipation to begin was growing. The first half involved lots of clever football. Short, quick passes, brilliant defending and LH maintaining the majority of possession. A few shots towards the goal couldn’t quite make it over the line but after lots of shouts to “kick it harder”, Jose wiggled the ball over the line and the crowd went wild! Half time huddle was a chance to rest and revitalise. It was agreed to keep the intensity up and LH did not disappoint. Our players were desperate to score! So desperate we nearly conceded an own goal, saved just in time! As the clouds thickened, Vikings grew tired and LH saw their chance. With Chris, Connor and Guille controlling the play and with multiple passes into the box we were all eagerly waiting the next goal. Darragh, who seems to be prolific at Aberdeen, delivered. Manu stepped up, perfectly placing the ball in the left-hand corner. The heavens opened and Grande Mike (with his boots, two sizes small) scored the final goal, bringing our total to 4. Two bad throw ins were barely mentioned in the debrief as LH players were too busy googling the definition of vasculation. Well done LH a strong start to the season, Vikings didn’t stand a chance.”
Mes and Scottish Eagles fought out a 2-2 draw with Tom Rogerston bagging a brace to put Mes two goals up but a soft goal saw Howard Kelly reduce arrears just before half time. Mes tried holding on but Will Banner made it 2-2 towards the end and despite Mes coming closest to the winner hitting a post, a draw was the fair result. Rumours that the linesman was on the phone throughout the game are as yet unconfirmed. KCC Royals won again and were once again grateful to their GK for their 2-1 win against Wanchai Wolves. Kenneth Cheng for KCC and Harry Scowen for Wolves with a full force volleyed worldie had scored goals in a close game which looked like it was heading for a draw, until heartbreak at the death as Sam Trayford netted the winner. Lastly, San P’s were awarded a 3-0 win against Samurai Blue after an admin mix up meant the pitch signer was not on hand, thus the match could not go ahead
Into Div 3 and the first result to come in was the top of the table clash which saw Shooters oust DF Express 4-2. Shooters scored 2 in the first 5 mins and made it 3 nil in the second half, but DF fought back with 2 goals themselves. In the end, a beautiful Shooters 4th goal sealed the win. Yohei Nakao got 2, Yosuke Kuramae and Yasumitsu Mano got one each for Shooters while Li Yong Sen and an own goal were not enough for DF. BOC and Barbarians battled out a 1-1 draw in an even game. Dino Camdzic scored for the Barbs while Dan Horn was on hand for BOC’s, with the latter a touch lucky to come away with a point given Barbarians hit the woodwork twice. Yu Xing Cao was the hero for HK ZJ as they overcame Dragon Valley by the odd goal in five. It was a tight game, with ZJ going a goal up. Jimmy Zhang equalized for DV and Dave Reid then put the Valley ahead, but Yu took his chances well to eventually see the Zi Jing side come out on top 3-2. Lastly, controversy as Bants battled to a 2-2 draw with Stray Dogs. Jeff Leung and Eamon McNurry were the Bants scorers while Leo Mimasu and Bruce Mak were the Dogs scorers in an even game. The main talking point however seemed to be a player being asked to switch shirts at HT but in doing so, the referee seemed to forget whether or not said player had been booked. When brandishing a second yellow, it is still unclear as to whether or not the player in question should have been sent off. In the end, he stayed on but Stray Dogs did the honourable thing and got a different lad sent off, but Bants couldn’t force the winner.