Although an 8 nil score line reflects a one sided affair, it was probably Nova’s poorest performance of the season so far. Without a fixture last week and with a couple of their regular players missing, coach Stuart Levy rang the changes from the side that took on the Golden Boys a fortnight ago with veteran journeyman Daryl Mann making his long awaited return from injury. In all there were eight positional changes from that game and it did seem to somewhat affect the balance of the side, however this can be no excuse for their lacklustre first half display in which they only led by a solitary goal against a masters side at the wrong end of the table.
The 2.30 pm kick off meant the first half was played in sweltering heat, and both sides struggled. Nova just could not get their usual passing game going and they seemed to lack the energy and drive that has been at the forefront of most of their games this season. They still created plenty of chances thou’ and on a better day striker Bjorn Ellingsen could well have had a hat-trick in the first half alone. One player who did emerge with some credit in the half was Ellingsen’s strike partner Paul Derbyshire, he looked sharp all game and it was he who opened the scoring on the half hour, latching on to a Lee Homer through ball before outstripping the home defence to fire home.
The rest of the half was a forgettable affair with both sets of players and the few remaining supporters who had not deserted to watch the ladies rugby on the neighbouring pitch, relieved to hear the half time whistle.
Coach Levy certainly let his players know what he thought at half time and their weren’t many that escaped the wrath of his hairdryer treatment!!. It must of done the trick along with a couple of tactical changes, as Nova looked a totally different side in the second half.
A lot of their game centre’s around Mark Mckeowen in the midfield and when he is on fire he sets the pace for the rest of the side to follow and he put in a bustling second half display. It was not long into the half that Nova extended their lead when Derbyshire jinked his way past two Masters defenders before scoring from the acutest of angles. Man of the match Derbyshire soon completed his hat-trick with a superbly taken third goal and enhanced his reputation further as one of the divisions deadliest finisher’s by adding a fourth soon after. By this time the Masters had rather given up the ghost and it looked as if Nova would score with almost every attack. The best goal of the game soon came when a flowing six man move saw Andrew Robinson deliver the inch perfect ball for Mckeowen to guide his first time effort home. The floodgates were well and truly open and there were further goals for Sit Namthong, a great solo effort from defender Steve Kerr and the final goal of the game fell to Thai Nick who tapped the ball in to the empty net after Ellingsen had seen his effort rebound off the post.
Although they finally won this game with some ease, Coach Levy and the Nova players certainly know they will have to up their performance in the coming weeks. They face two tough games before the Christmas break. This coming Saturday they play the Sportsman at home, 4pm kick off. Followed by BSL Youth away in Bangkok the week after.
Also to note, FC Nova’s game against Golden Boys two weeks ago in which Nova lost 3-1 has been overturned by the league and a 3-0 result awarded to the Pattaya based side. After it was found that for the third time this season the Bangkok side had contravened league rules by playing unregistered or ineligible players. Although Nova had offered to replay the game, the league management decided that rules must be adhered to at all times and the points awarded to Nova. This decision see’s Nova remain unbeaten in the league having dropped only 2 points from a possible 18.
Jamesons Irish Bar was again the place to be on Saturday night and the beer was soon flowing as the management and players were seen happily celebrating another Nova victory!!!