Dateline 21st July 2018
FT NRFC 1 Chainat Hornbills 0
The Swatcats welcomed the Hornbills in this mid table clash. They started with Assumpcao and Malaysian Shahrel up front - still no Yayah Kunath!!
The home team started brightly and Shahrel shot just wide in the third minute. They then began to dominate and with Chainat throwing 3 or 4 men forward in rather a reckless fashion surely openings would be left at the back.
In the 15th minute, a Chakrit cross was deflected goal ward by a defender but an alert keeper managed to palm the ball just wide of the post - a lucky let off for the visitors. From the resulting Pina corner, Jakkit headed in to give the Swatcats a deserved lead.
The home team continued to create half chances and with any luck could have been 2 or 3 as the half came to an end.
As the second half progressed, the home defence was put to a real test as the Hornbills strived for an equalizer. Sterling work from Lee and Chalermpong aided by T May T, managed to keep the marauding Hornbills at bay. Despite the Hornbill pressure, they did not create real chances and indeed Jakkit almost put the Swatcats two up with a fine drive in the 53rd minute.
The home team were denied a stonewall penalty in the 64th minute when Assumpcao was body checked in the box but play was waved on - one of many dubious decisions that tonight’s referee made. Assumpcao then had a clear chance to make it two in the 71st minute but his low drive was weak. Minutes later he raced through on goal only to be again body checked off the ball just outside the box - again his claim for a foul was turned down!!
Definitely a proverbial “game of two halves - first half, the Swatcats dominated but second half they defended too deep and allowed a spirited and attack minded Hornbill side to put the defence under massive pressure.
A competent performance from the home side and a massive 3 points. I now feel that the team is safe from the drop and indeed should be looking to cement a seventh place finish. Full marks to the club for adding to the squad at a critical time and despite my early season pessimism, the club appears to have rescued its season.
I consider that the club has massively exceeded expectations - well done to everyone at the club. 8 games unbeaten, bottom placed Air Force next weekend and a winnable FA Cup quarter final to come - things are looking up!!
Match Day 24 Stats