Match Report: HK RSC v HK Liverpool Reds

(Hong Kong, 19 April 2011) – HK RSC lost out to a well-practised Hong Kong Reds side at King’s Park on Monday night, but considering it was the first time many of the Rangers side had played together – or even met – the result wasn’t too bad, and we could have had a draw.

Despite a day-long panic when several players called off, leaving us short of numbers, there were enough blue shirts at kick-off for a full team and two subs. Unfortunately the late arrival of many meant that we didn’t have time for a team talk, though with Scott “I’m an ORSA VP, you know” Semple in charge, this was probably a good thing. Following a two-minute silence in memory of Hillsborough, the Ibrox Disaster, and Alan Wong, a Hong Kong Reds member who recently passed away, we were off.

Liverpool – surprisingly free of bad perms and dodgy ‘taches – made the early running as the ‘Gers started slowly, taking the first few minutes to familiarize themselves with their roles (and names). It quickly became clear that both teams were decent, though: the Reds had some quality up front, more than matched by a solid Bougie/Weir pairing of Colin McCallum and Bobby Tsang at the heart of defense, with the blue two winning everything in the air.

Gradually the Rangers side came to grips with the game, and the stylish central midfield pairing of Darren Thompson and Andy Hunter began to spread the ball around with Souness-like panache. Their styles complemented each other well: Thompson hustling for the ball and winning space to play, Hunter spraying pinpoint passes behind the ‘pool defense to the speedy and youthful forward line of Kyle Irwin and… err… his mate.

Best chance of the first half fell to Darren Thompson who lashed a 25-yard strike low and hard towards goal, though the keeper covered it well. For the Reds, a few shots from around the box, and a corner or two, but nothing we couldn’t handle. Half-time: 0-0.

The rest didn’t really help the teddy bears as we started the second period slowly, whereas Liverpool came out of the traps like a scouser after a dole cheque. Their forward line were pressing well – with no linesmen we couldn’t rely on offside to hold them back – and they just about had the opener on a breakaway. Their striker pushed the ball beyond our outrushing keeper Jack Herr, but the defence was back to mop up. A few minutes later, the Reds posted another warning as they moved the ball down the inside-right and their striker managed to beat Jack again – but this time it went by the post.

Following the pattern of the first half, the Rangers midfield started to take control but not to the same extent this time – we couldn’t seem to get the ball under control in attack. When the goal came, it was against us: a fine pass from the centre circle down the inside-right channel took out the left back, and the striker finished well with a strong, low shot across goal from just inside the box.

As the game wore on, Liverpool sat further back and we controlled more of the play, but despite Paul Kay’s best efforts up front, it wasn’t to be. Full-time: 1-0 Liverpool.

Rangers: Jack Herr, Colin Reid, Bobby Tsang, Colin McCallum, Mike Irwin, Richard Bulgin, Darren Thompson, Andy Hunter, Scott Semple, Kyle Irwin, Kyle’s mate, Willie Wong, Kevin Don, Paul Kay.

Man of the match: Bobby Tsang, for spending most of the day in the pub, calling off, then turning up and putting in a solid shift at centre-back (when he wasn’t off the park trying to chunder, that is)

Anton Rogan award: Kyle’s mate, for turning up with a Rangers shirt and green basketball shorts. Quickly sorted out by FIFA presidential candidate Semple.

Anton Rogan award, honourable mention: Darren Thompson, for wearing a long-sleeved Rangers top on the most humid evening of the year so far

Left-back who was badly out of position at a critical moment and cost us the game award: Scott Semple.

Posted April 19, 2011 by Colin in club, news

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