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Saturday 9th March 2024 - 16:00pm Thailand / 09:00am GMT - TSP

Futera United were left to rue missing a plethora of chances as a controversial equaliser for Sathorn UTK FC, ensured the sides shared the spoils in a highly entertaining 1-1 draw at the UTK Stadium.After the debacle of the previous week's match cancellation, Futera arrived at the UTK Stadium looking for their first win in the TSP. An unfamiliar-looking Futera, in a changed third kit of yellow and blue, took to the pitch, and it became quickly apparent that the playing surface was atrocious, with bobbling and uneven bounces hindering the away team’s normal passing game. A scare for Futera inside the opening five minutes saw UTK break down the right flank, and a low cross found the centre forward six yards out, but with the goal at his mercy, he completely missed his kick. Two minutes later, Futera took the lead when Nuang dispossessed the UTK centre-back, laying the ball off to Tun, who unselfishly slid in Phu, who finished calmly into the bottom corner to give the away side a 1-0 lead.Futera continued to push forward, with both Jew and Tun having excellent chances to extend the lead. In the 40th minute, a neat through ball found the UTK winger through on goal, and Sin’s clumsy challenge was penalised, resulting in a penalty being awarded. An incredible period of play, reminiscent of Watford’s play-off semi-final winner against Leicester City, was to follow. First, Film dived to his left to brilliantly save the penalty from the UTK skipper, parrying the ball out to Phu, who set off on a swift counterattack. An exquisite cross-field ball from Nuang arrived at the feet of the on running Tun, whose pinpoint cross found Phu, who had continued his run, only for the young winger to narrowly head over the bar. With half-time approaching, Futera should have increased their lead, as a sublime through ball from Nuang found Jew clean through on goal, but he horribly miscued his shot wide to let the home team off, and the halftime whistle went with Futera holding a narrow 1-0 lead.

After a shaky defensive first half for Futera, coach Breeze made two changes, bringing off Sanook, who was lucky not to receive a second yellow card, and the out-of-sorts Sin, replacing them with Mhee and M. Futera forced a number of corners early on, and in the 56th minute, a slide-rule pass from Jew behind the full-back was collected by Tun, whose fierce shot was well saved by the UTK keeper.

Another Futera corner in the 63rd minute was well collected by the UTK keeper , who like Film at the opposite end was performing heroically. His quick clearance caught Taku flush in the face, knocking the young midfielder to the ground. To the astonishment of everyone inside the ground the referee played on allowing UTK to launch a swift counter attack which again Film did well to save pushing the ball out wide. From the resulting cross the home team winger beat Mhee’s poor attempt to quell the danger and fire in a diagonal shot into the bottom corner for a somewhat controversial equaliser.This sense of injustice seemed to rock Futera and a number of players seemed to lose their heads with a number of rash tackles going in.

After a tough ten minute spell Futera, after a tactical change with Jew reverting to centre back and the introduction of Beem, began to dominate the game. Beem’s pace and direct running was a constant threat and his low cross was deflected but once again the UTK keeper was able to keep the ball out. With Bew and Taku driving forward Futera pressed hard for the winner, a delightful cross from Mhee arrived at Art’s feet but the young striker’s first touch was poor enabling the UTK centre back to make a last ditch tackle. In the 92nd minute Bank escaped down the left wing cutting inside the full back and powering in a shot that somehow with help from the post the home team keeper managed to keep out. With the full time whistle approaching Futera were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position just outside the box on the left flank. Jew drove in a low hard cross that caused mass confusion in the box with the ball taking a number of ricochets before UTK breathed a huge sigh of relief clearing up field as the final whistle sounded on an eventful 1-1 draw.

A disappointing result for Futera United in a thrilling game that they really should have won. Once again guilt-edge chances were missed but what is more worrying is our defensive frailties, where we are continually caught by opposition counter attacks. We can bemoan the incident around the UTK equaliser but ultimately the reason we drew the game is down to our own sloppy play. For me the two full backs, and Mhee when he came on, were poor not offering anything going forward and defensively they were dreadful. Tactically we are very naive getting caught out in transitions time and time again. At this level we need to be more astute and intelligent. On a positive note it was good to see Bank back again, Film had a fantastic game and young Beem showed why he should be in next week’s starting line up. No time to dwell on this week’s disappointment as we look forward to table-topping Dome for our first  game at our official home. A win against high-flying Dome puts us right back in the mix so plenty to look forward to. Futera Su Su.

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