The word legend is banded around willy nilly these days, but after 12 years in Hong Kong- it is a fitting way to describe Tropics manager Kev Reid, who leaves these fair shores for pastures new in the UK. A fighter on the pitch but a gentleman off it, all be it with an indecipherable Scottish accent (especially after a few pints in Flames)- Kev has played and managed in the LL for years and sat on the discipline committee too- as he of all people knows a thing or two about going into the referee’s notebook, such was his tenacity on the field. We wish you and your family all the best mate!
Unfortunately, USRC Gunners were in no mood to give him a happy send off as they rained five goals in to spoil the leaving do. In fairness though, the match was much closer than the 5-0 score line suggests. Indeed, the teams could and should have gone in level at the break but missed Tropics chances as well as an early goal and a swift counterattack saw USRC two to the good at half time, Kieran McBride and Sean Taylor with the goals. Taylor then helped himself to a hat-trick with two more sublime finishes after the break while Mark Jobling lobbed the departing Reid with the last kick, to put Gunners clear at the top. Irish Harps remain in hot pursuit having lost ground over Easter weekend with a 3-3 draw against Goodfellas. Fellas were 2 up through Steve Franklin and Dave Hughes, but Fiachra McArdle halved the deficit from the spot. Julien Pang made it 3-1 but the Irish roared back with goals from Ronan O’Boyle and Lee McQuade to snatch a point. They returned to winning ways though with a 3-2 win against Wanchai Spartans, and were again thankful McQuade and O’Boyle for goals, with Ian Killoughery getting the other. Harps were one nil down as Ali Thompson got Sparts ahead with a great free kick, but the Irish then found themselves 3-1 up before a late Sparts rally and a nervy finish after Dan Barrie had made it 3-2.
Also playing two games since the last round up were HK Scottish Stags who followed up a 1-1 draw against J-Leaguers with a 6-0 demolition job on Revolution. In the JL game, Keiichi Miyata had the Japanese one up, but Stags equalized through Peter Harod in the second half but failed to find a winner. That wasn’t the case against Revos though as a Tom Canham brace along with singles from Jevon Marsh, Will Bright, Miles Winter and Jordan Touati ensured a comfortable win against the league’s bottom side. J-Leaguers would go on to lose their second game over Easter as Corinthians turned in a fine display, eventually running out 3-1 winners. Isaac McGirr had Cors one up at HT, but Kensuke Hoshino equalised. Roy Man put Cors 2-1 up with a tidy finish before Ricardo Chesti curled in a 25-yard beaty into the top corner to secure the points.
The other two games that took place over the Easter week saw DBFC pummel Soho Spartans 8-2 while Goodfellas overcame KCC Cavs 3-2. In the DB game, Matt Zoeller rediscovered is predatory instincts with 4 goals, while Daniel Loup and Ethan Squires both bagged a brace and the goals were superb with free kicks, team goals and tidy finishes a plenty. Luis Hau and Tyler Rattray got the consolation goals for Soho. In the KCC match, Goodfellas came from 2-1 behind to score two in the second half in a result that was difficult to take for Cavs given they missed two great chances late on only to see Liam Saville net the Fellas winner with the last kick. Matthieu Demange and Steve Franklin got the other Goodfella goals after Gabriel Ho and George Yang had put KCC ahead in the first half. KCC are still in with a fighting shout of avoiding relegation but will need to be winning more games sooner rather than later.
In division two, Krauts recorded back-to-back wins with a 2-1 win against Wolves and a 1-0-win v Mes to extend their lead at the top. Angel Suarez and Oli Weston did the damage on Good Friday (Stefan Schratz scoring for Wolves) while it was left to Patrick Bez to find the only goal against Mes, who were unlucky not to get a point out of a closely fought contest. KCC Royals had a win and a draw out of their two games over Eater, starting off with a point against OSM. As always, Dan Scnick was MOM in goal for KCC though OSM did manage to get one past him through Joe Chagas. Luca Merlone however scored with a direct free kick from 20 yards and the spoils were shared. The following week, the Royals again had Merlone on the scoresheet- this time with two, while Joaquin Cadenas and Tarun Punjabi also scored as they overcame Samurai Blue 4-3. Wassim Iaribi, Younes Abouker and Ahmed Jemli got the Sam Blue goals, but it wasn’t enough to earn a point.
The Eagles played three times in the space of 8 days and came out of it with two wins and a draw. Firstly, they disposed of Vikings 3-1 thanks to Joe Quinn, and own goal and a Jack Broadman wonder goal. Vikings though had gone one up thanks to John Olsen before missing the biggest sitter in the history of Happy Valley. It also seemed like the match officials had a day to forget. Eagles went on to beat Legal Head 2-1 in a mid-week fixture thanks to Jack Broadman and Joost Huisman goals, with Deon Brophy netting for LH. Last up for Eagles was San P’s and perhaps the third game in a week took its toll. They did take the lead with Ben Cadman scoring but it was hard work from then on, and Simon Roberts got a late and deserved equalizer, and San P would have won had it not been for some great saves from the Eagles keeper.
Stefan Schratz scored his second and third goals of the Easter hols as Wolves defeated Legal Head 3-1 on Saturday while Murphy Chan also score for the Wanchai boys, with Guillermo Alvarez getting the LH consolation. Lastly in div 2, and with his final game in the LL, Kim Rasmussen’s Vikings went down 2-0 to OSM. In an even affair, the deadlock was not broken until the 50-minute mark when Max Cobbett scored his first of the season. The points were sealed when Joe Chagas curled in a second and Kim received a well-deserved applause as he departed for new adventures in Australia.
Games in div 3 kicked off on Good Friday as BOC and Dragon Valley fought out a tough 0-0 draw in a match which saw DV miss a penalty and BOC strike the cross bar with the game summed up by DV gaffa very well: “Neither team could have scored in a brothel!” Also on the Friday, HKZJ overcame Dong Feng Express 2-1 thanks to goals from Deyang Kong and Kongwai Lo. DF had gone one up through a Zhang Long free kick but were outdone by two quality strikes in the second half, the first in particular a great volley from a corner. Stray Dogs outclassed Barbarians on Easter Saturday in the heat, but it took a goal in the second half from Davis Wilky to break the deadlock. Nate Liu made sure of the points with the Dogs second, though it should have been more were it not for some embarrassing attempts at goal. Stray Dogs were then handed a 3-0 win because Dragon Valley couldn’t raise a team last weekend due to a number of late dropouts.
Three games though did go ahead and DF Express bounced back to winning ways with a resounding 5-0 win against BOC’s with prolific marksman Li Yong Sen with 2 more, while Huang Hao Le, Wang Miao and Park Sung Hyun also scored. Barbarians got the better of Bants with the odd goal in three taking an early lead through Phumlani Maxwell Ndioyu after a Bants mistake. Walter Vaz made it 2-0 before Jeff Leung got a Bants goal but yet again, they failed to take any more of their chances thus came away with nothing. Lastly, HKZJ got the better of Shooters in a comfortable 2-0-win thanks again to a goal from Deyang Kong with Wei Cheng Wei netting the second. The first goal came after 20 mins, the second was a shot from distance and HKZJ did well to keep a clean sheet as this is the only game this season that saw Shooters fail to score. All that leaves Shooters 3 points behind DF at the top with a game in hand with Barbs and BOC’s separated by just two points at the bottom.