MBMG International League Div. 2
FC Nova continued their unbeaten start to the season when they overcame a resilient Bangkok Storm last Sunday.
Manager Stuart Levy was forced into making one change from the previous week, with veteran defender David Booton replacing the absent Sorus Ackerman. It was a decision that initially looked questionable as Booton was spotted out celebrating his recent marriage to Tookta the night before with assistant coach and bucket man John Ryan, polishing off a number of bottles of Verve de Clique into the early hours of Sunday morning!
Booton certainly didn’t let his manager down however as he opened the scoring for Nova and his no nonsense display at left back carried off the man of the match award.
On paper this game looked a home banker for Nova, but the visitors had other ideas and they gave the league leaders are real run for their money all game.
Nova started the better of the two teams, but not for the first time this season failed to convert a number of excellent opportunities that came their way in the opening 20 minutes. In fact the best chance to open the scoring fell to the Storm on the half hour; a shot from the edge of the area had keeper Todd Kingsford beaten and when the ball rebounded off the post to another Storm player his goal bound effort was superbly cleared off the line from Booton.
Soon after Nova took the lead; Mark Dorey swung in a dangerous corner and Booton arrived to power home a diving header. You could call it a “champagne moment” much to the delight of the large home based crowd.
Nova had further chances to increase their lead but they are desperately missing a natural goal poacher, with last season’s leading scorer Paul Derbyshire currently climbing Mount Everest on a trekking expedition.
The second half saw Bangkok Storm really take the game to Nova, and they deservedly found themselves on level terms with half an hour remaining. Stuart Cowie needlessly gave away possession in the Nova half allowing the Storm to break away and a quick interchange of passes allowed the Storm striker to tap the ball home.
As with the previous week, Coach Levy soon went with three at the back in search of the winner. However, it could have backfired as on two occasions Nova were caught short in defence and the Storm missed two glorious chances when clean through with only the keeper to beat.
They were soon made to pay, as Nova’s three pronged attack allowed Bjorn Ellingsen time and space on the edge of the area and the Norwegian striker cut into the box leaving two Storm defenders in his wake before firing low and hard into the bottom corner. It was a goal that will hopefully give the striker some much needed confidence after struggling to find the net in recent weeks.
The game was soon put out of Storms reach when a flowing Nova move involving Mark McKeowen and Nicholas Creasey saw the ball arrive to Thai Nick who drilled the ball home from the edge of the area.
On the balance of play Nova certainly deserved the win but you can take nothing away from a Bangkok Storm side that played there part in a thoroughly entertaining game and played in a competitive but fair manner.
This coming week Nova face a really tough test when they travel up to Bangkok to take on the Golden Boys who have been rattling in the goals in recent weeks and along with Nova remain the only unbeaten teams in the league.
Coach Levy will hopefully have striker Derbyshire back for the game if he recovers from his frost bite. He has certainly been missed in recent weeks.
Available as well are full backs Mark Hill and Sorus Ackermann, but journeyman Daryl Mann remains a long term injury doubt after suffering an ankle injury in training last week.
The advantage of the Sunday kick off was that the Nova players could return to Jamesons Irish Bar after the game and sample the sumptuous carvery laid on and once again celebrate long and hard into the night.