Nakhon Pathom FC 2 – 0 Hua Hin City FC
Today was the final game in the first leg of the season. After today, everybody would have played everybody else once. We had to wait until the final game to face this season’s outstanding team, Nakhon Pathom. In just 7 games, Nakhon Pathom had twice as many points as Hua Hin, and their leading scorer, Diego had scored more goals than the rest of the Hua Hin team put together. A tough test could lie ahead of us.
Whoever is picking the team made some more strange decisions today. Maraba was still injured, but the other foreign players were out of favour. However, when this team was put together, there was strength in all areas of the park, so whatever team was fielded, they should have been capable.
Krit played probably his best game so far in goal.
The defence were outstanding apart from one lapse, which led to the first goal. We had 3 men marking the danger man, Diego, leaving the remaining Nakhon Pathom players with a clear advantage. The resultant header was not defended. Last week's gap at the back was filled by Poranarong Rodjakthuk, and I was delighted to see our regular captain, Jiradech Sangsanga replaced at the back by Narathon Thook-Arom. With Worrapat Sukkapan and Songkran Pungnoy in the middle, we had probably the best defence you will see in this league.
Our regular left back, Haritsadee Paitoon was promoted to captain for the day, and seemed to have a roving commission. Tossapon Hokma and Pratchaya Homchey put in a very workmanlike performance, and weren’t overwhelmed.
Last week’s little star, Panudach Subpeng had one of those games wingers suffer sometimes. He just couldn’t get past his man, and whenever he did, he was poleaxed.
So, 2/3rds of the line-up was pretty good. That leaves the front 2, David Megitt and Arnon Kaimook.
It’s not a secret that many supporters feel that David is a weak link, and every play goes through him. In fact, there are few in Zone B who understand why he gets started week after week. I watched his performance critically yesterday. He moved around well, but fell over a few times. However, it’s his ball distribution that gets the criticism:
• Passing the ball backwards, he scored 100%
• Passing the ball sideways, he scored 50%
• Passing the ball forward, he scored 5% - he seems to panic, his forward passes are rushed, and do not go where they are intended. He obviously has the ability, because every backward pass reached its intended target. I hope he sees this, and he can maybe work on this aspect – I still want Hua Hin to succeed. Despite what many fans think, this coach seems determined to pick him, so let’s help improve his game.
So that leave’s Arnon. We’ve seen Arnon as a lone striker many times in recent seasons – a position he does not excel in. Don’t get me wrong, he played well yesterday, and made some good little runs. There was a free kick about 40 yards out, and I commented to my wife, why is Arnon going to shoot? Well, the shot completely beat the Nakhon Pathom keeper, and rattled the crossbar. It would have been goal of the season if it were just 2” lower. However, I think this was probably the closest anybody came to having a shot on target.
The second Nakhon Pathom goal was master-class, and I look forward to seeing it again.
In summary, it was a good game of football. Congratulations must go to the coach for not parking the bus, but he has to learn that there are better alternatives to playing his favourites. He showed us against IPE that he wasn’t afraid to experiment. What he seems to be afraid of is playing his strongest team in their conventional positions.
That’s leg 1 of 3 complete. Even at this early stage, it looks like we only have runners-up position to play for. We are 4th, but could easily be in 2nd place. The ill-fated decision to lose 2 points against Chainat Hornbill, when they couldn’t field a team and the experimental loss of 3 points against IPE. Hopefully, we won’t make the same mistakes in leg 2.
League table after leg 1:
Next game is cup action against T2 opposition:
Season 2017/18 Plymouth Argyle
Points 68; Position 7