Suffering from a prolonged spell without match practice,
an out of sorts Farangutans Football Club went down 3-1 last Saturday.
Outplayed by a good passing outfit blessed with resourceful attacking
options, the salt was really rubbed into the wounds by the fact that this
was the team from TOT, the telephone company, but they probably had a phone
network to assist them in the plays.
The game started well for our beloved Farangutans.
Stretching the opposition with pace and a direct style of play, the boys
from the UN Irish Pub looked dangerous during the opening half-hour. Indeed,
they took a deserved lead on 30 minutes from a lovely set-piece play. With
the TOT boys expecting a direct shot and cramming their defensive wall with
6 bodies, there was always room for the Farangs to attempt something a
little different. It was the fullback Dr. Tim who spotted the opportunity,
and his run from deep was spotted by Adam who dinked a deft chip over their
fullback straight into his path. With time to weigh up his options, Tim
selected a pass inside, a good choice! James duly took the ball in his
stride and slammed the ball home for his first League goal of the season.
Well done lad!
As the half wore on however, warning signs began to
emerge as the TOT boys began to find space behind the farang midfield. As
the defence dropped ever deeper, there were several close calls before the
referee blew for half-time oranges. (Hey, where were the oranges boss?) And
in all truth, the 1-0 scoreline was not an accurate reflection of the
balance of play.
We are, it must be said, accustomed to the Thai teams
playing a tight accomplished passing game, and this team were no exception,
expertly picking their way out of defence and finding the feet of their
frontmen with unerring precision. With a midfield pairing short of match
fitness, the onslaught that was to come in the second was perhaps
Captain Lee rang the changes at half-time, and with half
an hour to play all five substitutes had been used. However, the fresh legs
were not fresh enough, although some of them were nicely tanned.
And from this point on there was only one team in
it. In fact, the game became ridiculously lop-sided as the Farangs were
unable to keep the ball for any length of time, providing the opposition
with countless opportunities to pass their way into threatening positions.
Wave after wave of attack engulfed the FFC penalty area, and when Rick was
sent off for a rash challenge, defeat looked a near certainty.
Centre-forward Ano provided some brief glimmers of hope with his pace, and
Hinsh supplied some sure touches, but more goals were soon conceded. Credit
to the stubborn defence and the goalie, man-of-the-match Mark, that the
margin of defeat was only two goals.
Not ones to accept defeat badly (hey, we’ve lost before
and we’ll lose again!), the Farangutans nevertheless left the pitch with a
sour taste in the mouth. This was due to the blatant bias of the match
official, who consistently awarded inexplicable free-kicks to the
opposition, as well as myriad yellow cards to the farangs. Well, we are not
unaccustomed to seeing a little, shall we say, “preferential treatment”
in favour of our Thai opponents, but we can usually swallow our pride and
accept it as coming with the territory. Nevertheless, last Saturday’s
refereeing display was unashamedly contrived, bordering the absurd. One for
Sepp Bloater? Definitely.
Notwithstanding, congratulations to our skilled
opponents, and roll on next Saturday, or is it Sunday?
And finally, many thanks for the continuing support of
our kind sponsors, the UN Irish Pub and the Chiangmai Mail. Boy do we
need it after that!
Men of the match: Mark, Tim, and James.