Sunday, 24 March 2013

Paknampoo NSRU 1 Nonthaburi 0

Eka lost out in an even game following a first half goal from the home home side on a clear, sunny afternoon in Bangkok.

I was unable to attend the game but the highlights below show the difference between the sides was a series of hospital balls played from our own deep midfield throughout he game. I hope the coach will be on to this problem and it can be fixed quickly, as it's more a tactical issue that any lack of talent.

Jorrin John was unable to convert a second half penalty and the opposition goalie did remarkably well to hold the rebound effort at point blank range.

So our run of wins comes to an end but as long as we fix the 'suicide ball' problem in our own third, there's no reason to believe we can't bounce back quickly from this setback.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Nonthaburi FC 3 Samut Prakan Utd 0

Whoever on the Nonthaburi FC side struck the deal with MTU to act as a  nursery club is responsible for a huge turnaround at the club.

Toni lines up a volley
It’s not just on-pitch performances that have changed. The crowd at this game was the largest I’ve seen and though the vast majority were in Eka colours, there were Phuket FC and plenty of Muangthong shirts, too. The substitutes wore MTU training tops and the whole set-up has a slightly larger feel to it.

But it’s the pitch that counts and without taking any credit away from a good team performance, there’s no doubt which players made the difference today. SP Utd actually made the brighter start and crafted several good chances but once the Nonthaburi attacking line got started, they ran the show. Jorrin John made a powerful run to set up Alassane for the first goal, Tomi latched on to a superb through ball for the second and Eka’s third goal came again from Alassane after a great run and cross from Nathagun (another MTU youth player) and a lovely little touch from Toni.

Jorrin John - Not easy to shake off the ball
In the second half the side sat back a little though even when SP Utd had chances, they took them very poorly. Towards the end of the game there were incidents that have been edited out in the video below, there were two scuffles in injury time which then sparked one of the most hilarious ‘rage off’ competitions between two coaches I’ve ever seen. Both sets of fans behaved impeccably throughout.

This is the first season ever that Eka have looked likely to score more than once in a game. The distribution and intelligence in the play of the squad has also improved and it would be wrong to give sole credit to the MTU imports of Toni, Alassane and John, but they are certainly the catalyst.

Samut Parakan overcame us with ease last season and were level with us before this game.  This time they were dispatched with relative ease in a ten minute spell of the best attacking football I’ve seen at RL level. At the start of the season I said that Nonthaburi fans would be happy just to have a team, and anything else would be a bonus. This is one heck of a bonus.
Photo credits: Nhong Tim

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Happy days! Cup win and big signing

image owned by

If you're an Eka fan, get out and buy your lottery ticket. The boys managed to pull off the rarest of feats - a victory in a cup game - in midweek with a 5-3 win over non league Korat FC, The game did not go to penalties so it is as the scoreline suggests, a goal-fest. It appears that for the first time ever Eka will be a high scoring team this season, though we still look shaky at the back. Overall though, it's 3 wins in a row, equal to our total number of victories in all competitions last season and we've barely started.

But that's not the big news.

The fan club has confirmed the signing (probably a loan, but not confirmed) of Englishman Jorrin John from Muangthong United. Jorrin was a trialist at Leicester City, a large club playing in England's second tier, just three years ago where fans expected big things of him. With Leicester's Thai ownership, he took the unusual step of being loaned from England to Thailand. He was subsequently released by Leicester but impressed Muangthong enough to win a contract there. He was loaned out to Suphanburi last year and due to go on loan to TTM this year but the deal fell through. As such, he has ended up with Eka.

What this amounts to is an English player with experience of football at a far, far higher level and due to play at a higher league club ending up with us. It could be very interesting.

Just think, a few months back we weren't even sure if we had a club to support any more.

Eka play Samut Prakan United at home this Saturday. KO 4pm.

The goals from our cup game

Pictures of the game (thanks Vinnie)

Jorrin John interview  (Feb 2012)

Leicester Fans on Jorrin John (Feb 2012)

Leicester Fans on John in 2008   (Note the mention of threatening to stab a team mate! Hopefully he's mellowed with age. His more recent interviews would suggest so.)


Monday, 11 March 2013

Thai Honda 1 Nonthaburi FC 3

Nonthaburi made it a win and three goals for the second time in a row with a victory at Thai Honda last weekend. Honda were in D1 just two seasons ago and reports say Nonthaburi had to perform well to earn their win.

To emphasise the contrast with our dreadful form last season, consider that one more win would take us over halfway to matching our total points tally for last season!

Eka play Samut Prakan United at home on Saturday, but first they face non-league Korat FC in the Thai FA Cup (another healthy sign that we are entering this competition at all). Vinnie tells me that Korat - not to be confused with Nakhon Ratachasima FC - use only local players. Nonthaburi will be looking to perform another rare feat for the club by actually advancing past the first stage of a cup competition! Good luck guys!

match photos here

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Eka 3 RBAC 1 - report

Any football fan knows that great feeling that comes with the first home game of the season. The sunshine, the meeting of old friends and the feeling that Saturday afternoons have a purpose once more.

Today it’s the clash of nursery sides as Nonthaburi (MTU’s Nursery side) take on RBAC BEC TERO (Obviously BEC Tero’s nursery club). I wasn’t expecting too much as despite the massive clearout of players this season, we had started with the same form as 2012, i.e. losing and not scoring.

Unfortunately the teamlist I previously posted on my blog looks to have been superseded so I will have to start identifying players again. What I do know is that we have four African players including Cedric, who was with us late into last season and three others I suspect are all loaned from the Muangthong youth team. The foreign player I'm unaware of is simply shirt-named 'Toni'.

The first half was very reminiscent of Eka sides of old, decent football going forward with very little threat on goal.At half time it was 0-0.

Karamoko Alassane - quality
The second half was very different. MTU broke a very long scoring drought with a close finish from African player number 26, Toni. RBAC equalled within a minute but we restored the lead with great link up play between Toni and another African player, number 10,Karamoko Alassane. I am sure this guy is a loanee as he showed great skill and control but his body language suggested he might not be overjoyed playing at this level. In any case his finish and his triple somersault to celebrate looked great.

By now the three Africans were running the show and a superb volley from Toni made it 3-1 and though RBAC pulled one back to make it 3-2, Eka’s African trio were by now just having great fun going forward. Toni went down under a soft challenge to get an RBAC player his second yellow - poor lad started walking before the ref even reached into his pocket - and Glassinie was replaced by another African player, Traore to see the game out. 3-1, I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw us win at home or score three goals in one game.

Overall this was a great second half performance and the list of goalscorers - all MTU loanees I suspect - should tell the story of what makes us different this season. If we can keep up this standard of attacking performance and tighten up at the back, we can make a top half finish. But what’s more important than hat is that we are still here, still have a team to cheer and still get to enjoy an afternoon at the football. Whoever made that possible, I thank you.

Photo credits: Nitinont Image & GraphicStudio's Page