Pattaya City lose out in five-goal thriller


Bangkok Casuals League 2012-13

A new Thailand amateur football season started last weekend with Pattaya City FC opening their campaign against the French side Les Gaulois in Bangkok.

The close season has seen many changes take place with the Pattaya based team: Rick Bryant has stepped down as manager due to work commitments and a new committee has been formed, including the new coach Terry Bell, to pick the side for each match.  Only six players of the successful team of last year who finished runners-up have survived the purge and new players have been brought in.

City have a wonderful record in the league, with league titles and cup wins including a double of a league and cup win in the same season, so the new look City have a lot of work to do to keep up the high standard that has come to be expected of the club.

Last weekend the French team Les Gaulois started the game strongly but City’s defence, which employed a sweeper system, kept the home team at bay.  City’s new-look midfield however was still struggling to find its feet and that gave the French the advantage as they broke through a couple of times but were denied by City keeper Yoncul.

Despite Les Gaulois having much of the early possession, the first real chance of the match fell to City but Tshuma fired over the bar when well placed.  Les Gaulois hit back and after seeing a shot rebound to safety off the Pattaya goal-post they eventually took the lead midway through the first half when their forward found himself in acres of space and had the simplest of tasks to knock the ball into the back of the net.

The French side continued to pile the pressure on City and after being thwarted twice more by fine saves from Yoncul, they finally forced the City defence into a mistake and took advantage to double their lead by half time.

City came out with a more resolute attitude after the break but another mistake, this time by the previously unflappable Yoncul, allowed the French side to score again and take a decisive 3-0 lead.

City had to do something to get back into the match and it was Earnest Dipita who provided the spark when he went on a dazzling run and was unlucky to see his shot hit the Gaulois post.  This brought some much needed confidence back to the City team and it was Dipita, last season’s top scorer, who got City back in the match when he won a penalty following another mazy dribble.  The same player dusted himself down to take the spot kick and sent the keeper the wrong way to make the score 3-1.

City’s prospects of a surprise comeback looked even brighter soon after when Dipita once again tormented the Gaulois defence before slipping a cross to Tshuma who thumped the ball home and made it 3-2.

With ten minutes left City piled on the pressure in search of an equalizer but with virtually the last kick of the game, Danny Stevens saw his goal-bound shot deflect to safety off a Gaulois defender with the keeper well beaten.

The match finished 3-2 to Les Gaulois but there were signs of an improved performance from City in the second half.

Pattaya City’s next match is this coming Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Thai polo Club against BSL Youth.  Kick-off is at 4-00pm.