24th April - 20:00hrs Thai / 13:00hrs GMT
The wait for football, that had seemed like an eternity, finally ended, when Futera United kicked off against Police Nongkhae in a friendly game. This game had taken on more importance with the announcement that TA games would take place the following weekend so this would be the last chance for our players to impress Coach Den and his staff.
Again, the game would be played in the now familiar friendly format of three thirds. Futera kicked off missing four of their most influential players, skipper Jew, John, Nu and our keeper Film unable to make the game due to their car breaking down en-route. The opening period saw a very pedestrian like performance from Futera, who saw plenty of the ball but their movement and tempo were very slow, maybe due to the lengthy time since their previous outing. Phu saw a shot from the edge of the box fly wide and our keeper Phon made a fine save from a Police Nongkhae free kick, diving to his left to keep out a fierce drive. Police Nongkhae looked a decent side with some neat technical players and they moved the ball around confidently. With the first third nearing its end the Futera defence was caught square, with both Poom and Owen drawn to the same man who played in the Nongkhae centre-forward allowing him to slot past Phon to make the score 1- 0 to Police Nongkhae.
The second third started with multiple changes for Futera and immediately there seemed to be more urgency and desire. Oat, playing in a wide midfield role, was causing problems down the right flank and linking up well with the ever impressive Pang. With M marshaling the defence and the Save in the middle of the park, giving the opposition no time, Futera were starting to get on top. In the 39th some excellent build up play saw Oat break through the Police lines, round the keeper and cross for Diw to to smash the ball into an empty net. Futera, now full of confidence surged forward once again, an Oat cross was almost inadvertently sliced into his own net from the Police centre-back. From the resulting deep corner, the ball was played back into the box, where the outstanding Oat, volleyed into the ground and the ball looped into the net to give Futera a richly deserve 2-1 lead.
The final third saw Phu occupy the forward berth and he would prove to be a real handful for the Police defence. Futera once again started brightly moving the ball with purpose and a long range effort from Phu, stung the Police keeper’s hands, as he scrambled to keep out the fierce drive. Phu wouldn’t have to wait long for the goal that his performance deserved, a delightful through ball sprung the Police offside trap and Phu flicked the ball deftly past the onrushing keeper who stuck out an arm and deliberately pulled the ball back, denying a clear goal scoring opportunity. From the resulting free kick, Phu’s wicked curling attempt deceived the Police keeper and nestled into the bottom left corner to make the score 3-1 to Futera. With Futera’s tails up now, they were causing problems down the left flank with the young trialist Art, whose identical twin Earth was on the opposite wing, tormenting the Police defence. In the 80th minute sloppy play by the Police back four allowed Art to win possession and unselfishly cross for Gao to fire into the roof of the net, 4-1 Futera. Another excellent chance came, two minutes later when a swift counter attack saw the ball crossed in from Art on the left and Gael was inches away from extending the lead. The final whistle blew minutes later, with the score Futera United 4 - 1 Police Nonkhae.
Another moral boosting win for the Futera team and we look in good shape going into the TA competition. After a slow start to the game I was slightly apprehensive knowing we were missing four of our more experienced players but the depth of our squad was utilised and we saw an excellent team performance. Oat’s energy and enthusiasm showed what a versatile player he is and Pang just seems to get better with every game. The team’s togetherness feels me with huge optimism and I can’t wait for the TA next week. Come on United!