Thursday, 29 September 2011

Assumption Thonburi 1 Nonthaburi FC 1 - report

After a disappointing nil-one defeat at home last week, Eka were handed a surprisingly quick chance for redemption when this game was switched from Thonburi to Eka's home of Wat Boat, presumably due to water-logging at Thonburi's stadium. It was still officially listed as a home game for Thonburi and Eka fans were placed in the away section of the Stadium.

Nonthaburi took the lead with a neat finish by 31. Theerapong following some one touch football in the first half. Thonburi equalised later with a clear-cut penalty decision that was duly converted. This was the only downer of the game for goalie Manop, who played his first fixture of the season despite being the best goalie we have in my opinion.

Towards the end of the game Eka started to push harder, causing one Thonburi player to throw himself down and play dead. At this point their stretcher man announced to the ref that he was coming on to the pitch and strolled on before waiting for the ref's permission. Said ref was too nervous to respond. This moment really summed up the officials in this game and indeed many of the problems with officials in Thailand, period.

So the game ended 1-1. It was an enjoyable contest despite having the feel of an end of season encounter between mid-table teams with nothing left to play for, which is what it was.

We now head towards the end of the season, though we still have a home game with champions Kasetstart to look forward to. Soon it will be time to look back at an enjoyable if slightly disappointing season and think about what changes need to be made for 2012. There's no doubt we have quality players in the likes of Manop, Janewit ("on loan") Prasop, Korawut, Grant, Reece, and Sathit and the whole squad look motivated.

So what, then, is the reason for the lack of play-off push? Clearly, goals have been a problem and this was screamingly obvious before the mid-season transfer window, and was not addressed when the window opened. What we did do in the window was allow Janewit - by far our best defender - to go and failed to replace him, even allowing another quality defender in Soloman to walk away.

There are other questions: our players are true professionals yet appear to tire earlier than other teams, they play at their best when playing by instinct (when losing or under pressure) rather than following a game plan and substitutions appear random and rarely involve a tactical switch. Who is responsible for this? Surely it's the coach. If we want next season to be different, we need to take a serious look at the staff set-up. Still whatever happens, the players will have the loyal fans of the "Rookery" to cheer them on.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Double blow

Unofficial reports suggest that Passakorn and Prasop, the two casualties from Sunday's excellent match are both likely to be out for the rest of the season. It's massive blow to Eka just as we begin to make a late move towards the "best third placed team" spot, though admittedly as a very long shot.
Prasop is arguably our most talented player and the team are always notably weaker without him.
Down went Passakorn........

Courtesy of the third-placed race looks like this:
53 Lampun
48 Nth BKK GD22, GF 41
48 S. Sakon GD12, GF34
47 KoratP24 GD 32 GF 53
47 Chachoengsao GD11 GF47
46 Rachawiti
45 Ayutaya
44 Uttaradit
43 Yasothon/NSRU/Nontaburi

....then down went Prasop

Photo credit: ต้อง บางศรีเมือง  (

Note: This list is comparing teams from all the regional divisions

Monday, 5 September 2011

Nonthaburi FC 3 Prachinburi 2 - Report

Fans loved it
At 1720 yesterday my terrible week was getting worse. Despite starting with a full-strength team, Eka were 0-2 down to Prachinburi in a “last chance saloon” clash for the D2 play offs. Both goals came from defensive howlers that exposed how badly we need a replacement for Janewit if he never returns from Chiang Mai.

If you’d told me right then the match would explode into the most memorable Nonthaburi game I’ve ever seen, I would’ve thought you were "ting-tawng".

Eka seem to find their best form when trailing a game and sure enough, at two goals down the long “up and under” balls became neat, low passes that pushed Prachin’s midfield back. The first response was a header from Korawut that somehow rebounded back off the upright into the keeper’s arms. Around the 25 minute mark, the 'crows’ earned a penalty. The video below shows the decision was harsh but the reaction from Prachin staff was the most disgraceful thing I’ve seen since Samut Songkhram staff swore and threw bottles at Muangthong fans.

Prachin players initially surrounded the referee and yelled and gestured in his face, before walking off, with much vocal support from their coach. I thought the TFA rules had been amended to prevent this “walk off" nonsense but perhaps the team will get off on a technicality: they actually stood just in front of the touchline instead of behind it. While everyone waited for the brats to return, the ref stood in the centre circle like a lost sheep and did nothing. Personally I would’ve given every player one warning before red-carding the entire team and their coach. Prachin players and staff continued to intimidate and harass officials throughout the game.

Prachin’s coach finally got his toys back in the pram and Jelani Grant hit a placed penalty but knocked it just wide. Perhaps it was the spark the home side needed though, and before long Samarpan hit a sweet finish from a deflected cross to pull one back. Shortly after, no. 11 Prasop hit an absolute belter into the far corner of the neat to send home players and fans wild. That’s how it was at half time.

The second half was a back and forth battle that was sometimes scrappy, sometimes classy, but always exciting. Eka’s third goal came again from my Man of the Match Samarpan, this time a guided shot from a low cross. Prachin had their chances but the defence just about held out. About fifteen minutes from time there was an incident in the Nonthaburi area when Prachin’s number 10 retaliated to a shove by aiming a full punch at the face of substitute Somsak. The ref - probably rightly - sent both men walking. Somsak took his punishment admirably, Prachin’s player continued to run his mouth, as though a full punch was not a red-card offence.

Chances continued for both sides but there were no more goals. The incidents continued: the away coach was ordered to shut his big mouth by the linesman and kicked a bottle in protest, One home player - Pasakorn, I think - was taken away in an ambulance. 

So ended an absolute gem of a football game, full of just about every incident and emotion you can think of in football. To make it even sweeter, it was played out in front of the biggest home crowd of the season. Fan sites are buzzing with praise for the match, the players and the supporters. Credit to every Nonthaburi player from the goalscorers to the bench who encourage their teammates so well. Every players showed passion, composure and skill. 

Next weekend, fans in England will flock to stadiums to watch the likes of Man City and Chelsea play football Prima donna style. The ticket prices will be almost as much as some Thais earn in a month. Some players wouldn’t even think of thanking fans before going home and calling their agent.

Been there, seen those teams, bought their trendy shirts, got bored. Wouldn’t choose them over Nonthaburi FC if you paid me.


Sorry I didn’t blog on our excellent 0-3 win at Thanyaburi last week. This is a picture of the surface:

Photo credits: ,