Pattaya Daily News

02 November 2010 :: 16:11:26 pm 45243

MBMG Bangkok Casuals League Division 2

FC Nova continued their excellent start to the season when a Mark McKeowen goal 5 minutes from time sealed a 2-1 win over a Vikings side that before this game had topped the table and now sends the Pattaya based side to the summit of Division 2.
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Nova knew this match would be arguably their toughest test so far, the Vikings had won their opening two games in convincing style and are widely regarded as one of the favourites for the title.

Stuart Levy made a one starting change from last weeks game, captain Lee Homer was reverted back to his old centre half position, allowing Roger Cox to make his debut in the middle of midfield. It was a decision that proved justified as Homer was a tower of strength all afternoon and Cox put in an excellent shift in the holding midfield role, constantly breaking up the Vikings passage of play.

The game itself started in blustery overcast conditions and with a strong wind against them, it looked as if Nova would be in for a tough first half against the physically strong and fit Viking side. However coach Levy must have been delighted how well Nova started this game, the introduction of Cox to the team allowed McKeowen more freedom in midfield and the diminutive midfielder basically ran the show on Saturday. Nova’s two dangerous wide men Nico Sippel and Ben Bryant were soon seeing plenty of the ball and causing the Vikings problems and it was no surprise that they took the lead on 20 minutes. A great piece of skill just outside the 18 yard box from McKeowen saw him lose two Vikings players and a little slide rule pass released full back Sorus Ackermann who cut into the box and unleashed a fierce shot the crashed in off the underside of the crossbar. After this the Vikings came more into the game and the visitors equalised on the half hour, Nova looked to have a long ball over the top covered, however centre half Dar’s poor clearance allowed the Vikings player through on goal and he coolly squared the ball to his strike partner who tapped the ball into the empty net.

Nova should still have gone into half time leading but after doing all the hard work in holding of a Vikings player and rounding the keeper, striker Bjorn Ellingsen rather scuffed his shot allowing a covering defender to clear.
Coach Levy was still happy with the first half performance and with the strong wind in their favour come the second half was confident his team could go on and win the game.

The second half started evenly, Vikings were seeing plenty of the ball but every time they looked to launch an attack, the play was broken up by Nova’s hard working midfield, or superbly swept up by skipper Homer and his well organised defence. Chances were few and far between as the match was frantically fought out in the middle of the park. The game was also not helped by an over zealous linesman who felt it necessary to flag at every opportunity for a number of mysterious offside’s and fouls much to the annoyance of a bemused set of player on both sides. As the game looked to be filtering out into a draw, Levy threw “caution to the wind” and went with three at the back for the final 10 minutes in search of the winner.

First a great Nova move involving Mckeowen, Ellingsen and “Super Sub” Nicholas Creasey saw the ball fall to the feet of Thai Nick 15 yards out and his shot was bound for the top corner until the faintest of finger tip’s from the Vikings keeper sent it wide. Time was running out when with five minutes left Bryant was released down the right flank he passed inside to Creasey who cleverly pack healed the ball into the path of that man McKeowen who rifled in a fierce low drive that found the bottom corner of he net.

Soon after, the final whistle blew, and a jubilant Nova could celebrate an important victory whilst a rather despondent looking Vikings team set off on their long journey back to Bangkok.

Although only 3 games in, this was a vital win in the context of the season, Both Nova and the Vikings should be challenging for league honours come the end of the season and there is no doubt Nova face another stern test when the two sides meet in Bangkok in the New Year.

After the hard fought victory the Nova players and management could be seen celebrating long and hard into the night at Jamesons Irish bar.

This coming Saturday Nova have another home fixture against Bangkok Storm at their new pitch opposite the Siam Plantation Golf Course. Kick Off 4pm

Category : Sports News

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