A Flood of Goals on a Wettish Day

Time: 10am, November 7th, 2010
Venue: Bai Ling Bridge Riverside Park

By Michael Christie

There was a nice, slick surface, if a little wet and slippery in places, at Bai Ling for when Taipei City kicked off their BML campaign against JFC on Sunday morning at 9am. The slick surface meant that the ball skidded quickly over longer distances than usual, so everything was set up for a good game between two teams that like to pass.

The full squad of JFC players duly assembled at 6am, four hours before kick-off, while Taipei City were saved from taking the field with ten men by the arrival of Paul five minutes before kick-off. Taipei started with Andy Weston in goal, Taka Koizumi at right-back, Mamadi Colley at left-back, Tom Clarke and Paul Hsueh in central defence, Carlos Mayorga in right-midfield, Ross Conlon in left-midfield, Brian McGuinness and Michael Christie in central midfield, Dawda Fatty in “the hole” and Dan Calvert as “the target man.”

The first half opened with Taipei City establishing control, which they never relinquished. City pressed up possibly too much, in that Dawda and Dan didn’t have much space to work their magic in the first ten minutes. City had four or five corners in quick succession, the last of which produced the opening goal. JFC attempted a clearance but the ball fell to Mamadi just inside the box. Drilled hard and low into the corner through a crowd of players, this was a finish of classy assurance.

Next came “The Big Dan Show.” Not content with scoring the opener, Mamadi laid on an excellent cross for Dan to finish with his head. Dan’s second and City’s third scored with the boot from Dawda’s assist  followed soon after. Then near the end of the first half Dan got another header from an excellent Taka cross. The first half was marked by good possession football – clever passing and good movement.

There were no changes at half-time, though with the arrival of Matt Wharton there was now more strength in depth. Matt came on for Carlos after fifteen minutes. Taka moved up to right-midfield and Matt played at right-back. Meanwhile, Mamadi scored with a long-range pile-driver to make it 5-0. JFC had a rare attack and managed to score next. They celebrated wildly, but quite soon Mamadi had forced another ball into the net, this time a deflected header from a corner. At 6-1 to cap a great game from the connoisseur’s point of view, Dawda scored two rapier-quality goals. Ross emulated Dawda with two top-drawer bottom-corner finishes to make it 10-1 (He passed up the opportunity of a hat-trick out of modesty.)  Unburdened with humility Dan had a volley from five yards out which he slammed home to take his tally to 4 on the day, not counting the 5th wrongly chalked off for offside.

So that was the first BML game. Much easier than expected, City were comfortable and played with a lot of composure. JFC tired badly but credit should be given them for trying, not giving up and getting a goal. On the day, City can give themselves a pat on the back for doing a good job. Of course, there are harder games to come.

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