Match report: Summer Palace vs ISB Dragons

Match report for Summer Palace vs ISB Dragons, IFFC first Division league, Saturday 20th October, Lido
On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon Summer Palace played its 5th league game of the season against the high-school team ISB Dragons.
Early on in the game, Palace had the lion-share in terms of ball possession and created numerous chances, with in particular Ian Crouch, playing up-front and giving their central defenders a hard time. However, the lack of luck (we hit the bar 3 or 4 times during that game), combined with a lack of composure in front of goal meant that it was still 0-0 after 10 minutes. It was then the high-school boys who drew first blood on one of their rare incursion into our half of the pitch. Loose marking at the back post from Patrick R. let the little Dragons plenty of time to head the ball on Jason D.’s cross-bar and then get the rebound into the goal off his back…
Palace, 0-1 down but not panicking, re-took control of the game and quickly equalized as Peter H., with a simple tap-in, could take advantage of the Dragons’ inability to defend corner kicks.  In the rest of the first half Dragons were getting more of the ball as the (older) legs of the Palace were tiring. The young Dragons, deceptively short-sized, grew more aggressive too and Gabriel de T. had to leave the pitch injured after a clumsy challenge. Then, 5 minutes before half-time, a through-ball caught our central defense off-guard and Jason had to dive in the feet of the on-rushing forward. Being at least twice as big as his opponent, Jason got the ball and the boy too! The ref had no hesitation, penalty against Palace! The well-taken penalty kick left no chance to Jason, and Palace were once again behind. Fortunately, just one minute after the restart Mike Zheng could convert one of our chances with a great demonstration of shooting on the turn. A great tackle from Adam Nowak saved us from conceding a third goal in the dying seconds on the first half. 2-2 at half time.
Early on in the second half, Palace were the quickest off the starting block and managed a great move involving at least 7 or 8 passes with the ball going from one side of the pitch to the other before Chris Lupton could release a nice ball in the feet of Charles Wharton who coolly converted the chance by slotting the ball under the Dragon’s keeper. 3-2, Palace was finally leading on the score-sheet in this game. We however could not extend our lead, despite having most of ball possession and a few more opportunities to score. As a result, the last 5 minutes of the games were a bit nervous as the Dragons were pushing for an equalizer. But we hold-on to preserve this narrow lead and to claim another win and the 3 points associated to it.
Few people made it to the bar after the game and Peter was voted Man for bringing friends to support us during the game, while Adam N. got Donkey for playing chess while in the bar.
Read More

Match Report: Summer Palace vs Lao Hu

Match Report: Summer Palace 0 – 0 Lao Hu Internazionale

Week 3 in the IFFC 1st Division saw Summer Palace go head-to-head with fellow title contenders Lao Hu Internazionale. As ever, the fixture was compelling for its clash of styles- The Lao Hu team boasting energy, technique and movement and Palace displaying age, experience and – as Lao Hu’s youthful ‘keeper put it – “a bunch of massive dicks”.

The match began with Palace snapping into tackles and making their presence felt; in the middle Gab and new boy, Alex were preventing Lao Hu’s central duo from perpetuating their side’s usual passing fluidity. When they did get into exciting areas, Palace’s rotating back-line of Jason Kaye, Peter, Donald, Edu and Patrick were behaving much like the girls on the youngsters’ first awkward dates, “no entry here”. Up top, perennial child abuser, Crouchy was giving their defense a torrid time with his movement and physicality, it looked like it would be only a matter of time until Rowan’s pre-match war-cry of “Make them cry” was realised.

Indeed, after 15 minutes of midfield attrition, Palace were awarded a free-kick 35 yards from goal. Despite Lao Hu’s entire schoolboy side being taller than Ben, Palace were always likely to be most dangerous from set pieces. Gab’s whipped cross to the back-post was turned goal-wards by Jason Kaye only for the ball to deflect off Lao Hu’s ‘keeper and over the bar. Like a teenager’s first clumsy fumblings in the bedroom, his success owed more to luck than judgement. The match proceeded to half-time with much the same pattern of play, Palace creating the odd half-chance and Lao Hu struggling to establish themselves in the game.

The second half commenced with the sun sapping energy from Palace’s tired legs. Lao Hu began to find their passing rhythm but were still struggling to penetrate Palace’s resolute defense. On the few occasions they cut through, they found Jason Dorey guarding his goal more stubbornly than a 16 year-old guards her v plates. While Dorey’s reflexes were frustrating Lau Hu’s strikers, Bobby’s protective refereeing was incensing Palace’s outfield. Crouchy was booked for assaulting a minor – in Crouchy’s defense the boy did put in a reckless challenge and was one of the few who had the audacity to not look petrified when Crouchy threatened to kill him, he needed to learn.

Palace tried rotating the wings in an effort to disrupt the pattern of the game and while the tactic did not create many openings it did allow Blythe to nominate himself for post-match awards by kicking his shoe further than the ball and indulging in a swing, miss and pirouette (not landed) when attempting to cross.

Though the game drew to its conclusion with Lao Hu enjoying plenty of possession but no penetration, Palace created the contest’s final chance. Crouchy held off challenges down the left channel to cross low to the near-post, Blythe’s shot was blocked by a combination of keeper and defender and the ball fell to Gab three yards out. Not usually one to show mercy to the impressionable, Gab experienced a first in his life- being kept out by a teenager’s legs.

The game may have ended in a stalemate, but Lao Hu went back to their homework and Summer Palace went to the pub – there’s victory there somewhere. Voting was an intimate affair with only 4 players present. Boosted by many text votes, Dorey and Edu shared MOM- Dorey for his saves and Edu for his huge tackle (his lady-friend is yet to confirm this rumour) – and Blythe picked up DOM. B52s led to a heavy night out for some and special mention must go to selfless acts made by FCFC players on that night: Donald, for not only knowing 4 single hot girls, but also for bringing them along to Luga’s to meet the team. And Crouchy, whose generosity knows no bounds 🙂

Read More

Match Report: Summer Palace 6:1 Chaoyang Park Rangers

Match Report: Summer Palace 6-1 Chaoyang Park Rangers

Saturday 15 September 2012 saw Summer Palace resume hostilities with long-term fatigable foes Chaoyang Park Rangers. While many of Beijing’s residents were protesting over the sovereignty of some rocks in the East China Sea, the only prize on Palace’s agenda was 3 points from Division 1’s second round of fixtures.

The battle began with Palace controlling possession and territory well; CYPR were limited to brief incursions around the perimeter. The contest looked to be heading in only one direction, surely only a matter of time until Palace’s pressure told and the break-through made. CYPR aren’t deterred so easily however and their hopes of achieving victory were briefly kindled when a foray down the right and volley into the area caused utter confusion amongst the Palace defense, allowing CYPR’s front-man to draw first blood. Palace’s resolve was swiftly demonstrated, a devastating counter saw Andy Mo’s piercing long ball dispatched emphatically by Jason Kaye and the state-of-play resumed.

Palace’s half-time mandate was clear: preserve the status quo. The game resumed with Palace tapping into reserves of energy unavailable to their opposition. Within minutes the men in yellowish gave themselves the upper-hand, patient build-up play on the right led to a ricochet falling kindly for Wim to strike clinically into the bottom corner, 2-1. The fight was leaking out of CYPR and Summer Palace soon took a stranglehold on the game. CYPR’s defensive blockade had proven resilient in the face of wave after wave of Palace attacks but concerted pressure around their area saw the ball fall to the onrushing Jason Kaye who thundered a left-footed half-volley past the keeper. With the wind truly taken out of CYPR’s sails, Palace added a fourth. Elliot released Ben down the left while CYPR’s right back was napping, leaving a clear run to goal for a toe punt finish. CYPR continued to battle, though quite who they were fighting for the fifth was known only to them. Rowan’s inswinging corner was headed out of the keeper’s hands by one of his defenders to the back post where two more defenders succeeded in clearing out each other, allowing fox in the box Peter a composed tap in. With victory assured, it was all aboard the Palace showboat for number six. Measured build-up play created space for Mike on the right, he cheekily nutmegged one defender before squaring to Barrie whose touch and flicked back-heel found Rowan alone at the back post to calmly place the ball into the bottom corner.

Victory celebrations included congratulatory messages from Ai Wei Wei and MOM and DOM awards for Peter Headden and Jason Kaye, respectively; Peter’s for his commanding performance in the defense and Jason’s for forsaking defensive duties in favour of gung-ho attack.

Palace march on,
Ben R
Read More

Match Report: Summer Palace vs Barbarians

 Match report for Summer Palace vs Barbarians B, Sunday 9th September 2012, Chaoyang Stadium
As quite a few guys came late (as usual) and the ones who had played for City just before our game needed a rest our starting 11 was probably not the strongest and we fell behind after 10-15 minutes. Fortunately the guys who came from the bench at that point quickly changed the game and we started to pile pressure on their goal. Jason Kaye scored a great goal (volley below the bar from outside the box after a long ping-pong style exchange between their defence and our strikers…) to make it 1-1. Neat passing on the right wing led to Mike Zheng to double our score, 2-1 at half time, but it should have been more in our favour.

In the 2nd half, the Barbs’ keeper continued to make a lot of good saves to keep them in the game and then the ref gave an extremely soft penalty against Blythe for handball (he jumped to clear a corner with his arm across his chest the ball struck his arm having deflected, with no Barbs player within a 10-m radius…). They converted the penalty to level the score at 2-2.

Fortunately there was still plenty of playing time left, and we went on the attack again and created numerous chances. Captain Ben missed a sitter only for the ball to be partially cleared to the edge of the box and Elliot smashed it into the ‘upper 90’. Elliot then added another 10 mins later. Final score 4-2 for Palace. We could have added more, Benny Wu being guilty of missing a sitter as well.
All in all, it was a very good start of the league season: we created far more and better chances than them as well as having more possession, scoring 4 top quality goals, and got great support from the City guys who had stayed to watch our game.
In Luga’s after the game, Jason Kaye got MOM for an excellent defensive performance topped off by a bullet of a half-volley into the top corner to make it 1-1 and Benny Wu got Donkey for generally for not scoring. The best shots he took that day were of Luga’s tequila…


Ben R. (with editing from Patrick)

2010/11 Premiership & First Division League Winners.
“creating an atmosphere of fun and friendship for footballers from all corners of the world in the spirit of competition that all players, past, present and future, can enjoy”
Read More

Palace Cup Match Reports

Much like one of Edu’s weekend Sanlitun forays, our cup run began with a bit of nervousness and trepidation, rapidly ascended into breathtaking displays of skill, daring and vigour, before finally meekly succumbing to the realization that we were overmatched by a taller, fitter, and more elegantly named opponent. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

It began at the Cup draw with Captain Ben, brandishing a red beard and imaginary eye patch, boldly selecting our old nemesis, Lao Hu. What better way to test our rigorous offseason training regimen than a match against the reigning Asia schoolboy champions, who subjected us to a 5-2 embarrassment the last time we played?

When game day arrived we realized that they seemed to have added in height what we added in girth, but we quickly taught them that in football guile is perhaps more important than simple physical ability. We were on them from the kickoff, winning possession and launching a series of attacks which culminated in wily veteran Rowan launching in a free kick, which was headed back across goal by not quite so wily nor so veteran Pikey, and then crashed into goal by blind header specialist Jim So. Ben and Elliott continued to boss the midfield and the dazed youngsters gave up another corner, delicately served up by Jim So for returning citizen Wim to head up for debutant Henry to volley home, 2-0 to us before the match was fifteen minutes gone. We took our foot off the gas a bit and they started to get some pressure on goal, but stand-in keeper Jason indeed stood tall, making several good saves before a nice move by their standout midfielder brought them to 2-1 just before half.

In a prescient move Rowan went back to keeper for the second half and reinforcements arrived just in time, as Mike Zheng gave us some legs for the counter-attack even as we were increasingly on the back foot. Shawn and Thilo were massive (in many ways) in defense, repeatedly holding the schoolboys at bay, but an unlucky deflection on a long range shot found its way into the net and we were 2-2 at the gun. Calm, cool Adam Nowak stepped up under pressure for the first penalty kick and responded by not only missing the goal entirely but also by immediately feigning injury. Not to worry though, as we were impeccable from there out, scoring on every kick. After letting the first four shots in to get the measure of his opponents, once and future keeper Rowan settled on the cunning strategy of giving up most of the goal and then diving in the only direction he could, away from his injured shoulder. It worked beautifully as he saved their final kick, and after Shawn converted for us Rowan used the same ruse to save again and win the match for us, 5-4 on penalty kicks. For his offensive prowess and defensive heroics he was the obvious choice for Man of the Match, and while the sartorially-challenged Henry made a run for Donkey, Adam’s penalty gaffe and lame cover-up could not be denied.

Unfortunately, about the next match, perhaps the less said, the better. Facing premier side Vikings would be challenge enough, but while our side was depleted through injuries their’s was strengthened with ex-proffesionals. Nevertheless, spurred on by Patrick’s somewhat innovative take on a pre-match motivational speech, we charged into battle. Perhaps thinking to emulate Rowan, JD decided to save his diving for the post-game penalties, but the strategy backfired as we were three-nil down after half an hour. We continued to work hard and make our presence felt, with Lee Xiong physical in the midfield and Patrick using any means necessary to ensure no one got by him at the back.

Our effort paid off as we had more of the ball in the second half. Wim and Andy Mo created some chances and Crouchie wreaked his usual havoc up front, but our opponents got another goal in against the run of play and the match finished four-nil to them. Despite the disappointing result, there were some highlights, particularly the return of old boy Ben Woodcock, who flashed both skill and speed, though not in quite equal measure. New boy Jason once again proved his on-pitch prowess with his excellent reading of the game and crunching tackles, deservedly taking Man-of-theMatch honors. Unfortunately his off-pitch judgement proved somewhat lacking, as his post-game fascination with our favorite bottle lady/grandmother/mascot’s delectable bits earned him the rare Man-Donkey Double. Strangely fitting.

While our Cup run may have ended earlier than we hoped, a stellar win, the return to fitness of some vets and the impressive showing by new blood will send us into this week’s season opener with great confidence. Palace!
Adam N.

Read More

Match report for Summer Palace vs Barbarians B

Match report for Summer Palace vs Barbarians B, 11th December 2011, Lido

This was Palace’s last league game to play before the winter break and on that Sunday afternoon it was a relief that the weather was not as cold as one could have feared.

Palace was looking for another win so that Dong Ren would not run away with the league title even before the half-season mark had passed. This game however, was a derby, if one considers that the Barbarians and City/Palace share common roots through Club Football, and the Barbs B are a solid opposition as we had found out in the friendly game we played against them earlier this season (a 1-1 draw).

Fortunately this season Palace has plenty of depth in the squad, and with Charles Wharton and Ally Russell we could welcome back to the team two of last-season high-scoring midfielders.

Early on in the game, Palace had more possession but the Barbs had the best chances to score, and Jason Dorey had to make some fine saves to deny them a goal. For once, Palace wasn’t the more physical side on the pitch and the Barbs were living up to their name with some barbaric tackles and cynical fouls, giving away a lot of free-kicks. It was therefore quite pleasing that they got punished for it as the ref awarded Palace with a free-kick just outside the penalty-box, slightly off the centre, on the left. Then came Jim So, our leading goal-scorer, who took the free kick beautifully as the ball went over the wall with pace and dropped in the side-netting inside the right post. Their keeper had hardly moved. 1-0 for Palace. After opening the scoring Palace dominated the rest of the first half and it with was with confidence that we went into the half-time break during which Jim So left us… to catch a plane for Japan.

Maybe we were a little over-confident, as when the game resumed, it was the Barbs who were looking like the stronger side. Only 5 minutes had elapsed since the re-start and the Barbs had found a equalizer. Jason could only weakly punch away a corner kick, and one of the barbs could head the ball back towards our goal, lobbing our defence from 6-yards. For most of the second half, the game was very close and the tension was high for the Palace’s supporters as, at that stage, it could have gone either way. But gradually, Palace re-took control and
as we entered the last few minutes of the game we were putting the Barbs under sustained pressure. The pressure finally paid off, when Lee Russell was the quickest to take advantage of a goal-line scramble to score the decisive goal. It wasn’t the prettiest of goal but it may proved to be very valuable at the end of the season if Palace is still in contention for the league title. 2-1 for Palace, final score although there was still time for the big oaf that plays centre-forward for the Barbs to get his marching order from the ref for a second yellow card. What a fine afternoon this was!

After the game, most of the team and its supporters went to Luga’s for the customary drinks and votes. Jim So, although not there, got Man again for his beautifully taken free-kick and for Donkey there was a tie as the votes were shared between Adam, Ally and Amir (I’m not sure why, maybe you had to have a first name starting with an A to get voted Donkey that day??).


Read More

Match report for Summer Palace vs French LE B

Match report for Summer Palace vs French LE B, 26th November 2011, Lido

The weather keeps getting colder, but Palace came to the game with a red hot string of results. Joining them on the sidelines, however, were perennial contenders and longtime rivals French LE B. It was the game of the week according to many commentators and many a Chinese person was seen peering through the fence, obviously having been unable to acquire any of the sold-out tickets.
Palace may have felt edgy from all the hype before the game, but captain Ben Roberts found the right words to calm the team and get everyone focused. As a result, Palace came out firing on all cylinders and quickly put their stamp on the game. Palace’s more physical brand of football quickly led to the lion’s share of possession and eventually to Jim So taking a ball from half and passing 3 defenders to put the ball in the back of the net. Almost before French LE could adjust to Jim So’s ability to dribble, he then showed that he is clearly not a one trick pony by bursting past the last man to collect a through ball and calmly finish for his tenth goal of the season. You can’t spell SCORE without S.O. Jason Dorey also showed his class at this point by making a superb one-on-one save. Lee Russell also nearly had a fantastic goal, but his left footed strike off a Giovanni cross caromed of the corner of the goal. Then it was Barrie George up front giving the French headaches from headers, but none of his attempts yielded a goal. Oddly enough it was Ben Roberts who finally found the goal as he directed a cross into the bottom corner with his head. Yes you read that correctly, with his head. 3-0 Palace at the half.

The second half started much as the first had finished with Palace enjoying a greater part of the possession and looking far more threatening. Although none of their chances were converted at first, the pressure was building and the French defense looked ready to concede another. Finally Olliver Chesterman had his opportunity with a ball coming to him in the penalty area. The French keeper could only watch as the ball shot just inside the left post. Regardless of the score at this point French Le B were not going to lay down, and they kept pressing and defending till the end. A great run near the end of the game from Ollie produced the last goal, which Lee R knocked in with his left foot. 5-0 Palace

After watching City come from behind against Vikings, the palace boys went to Lugas where they were soon joined by the rest of the club. After much drinking and fun they voted for men and donkeys. Jim So and Giovanni were voted Men of the Match, with 5 votes each. Lee Russell got Donkey with 5 very ridiculous votes.

For people who like stats:
Palace leads the league in goals against with 6 goals conceded in 10 games
Jim so is the leading goal scorer with ten in 6 games played
Lee Russell has the highest donkeys per game average at 40%

Read More

Match report for Palace vs King World

Match report for Summer Palace vs King World played on Saturday 19th November, Chaoyang Stadium
It was a clear, blue Saturday morning but it was a freezing day as the blistering wind tore into into Chaoyang Sports Complex. Many Palace players were deceived by the blue skies as all came a little under-dressed (Felipe turning up only in the team kit + sandals/without socks) except for the evergreen Jim So, who remarked that it was nice and warm while basking in the morning sun. Things did not bode well as Palace suffered a huge setback even before the game started as our stand in goalie, Patrick, injured his winkie in the warm up and Pikey volunteered to be our stand-in’s stand in while our resident goalie Jason started on the bench.
Palace had a jittery start as they struggled to impose themselves in the first 10 minutes while King World managed to cause some panic in our defence in the early minutes as Peter slipped over the ball, but he recovered just in time to play the ball away. Just when doubts started to creep in and with Palace’s reknowned ability to choke against underdog opposition, Olly put some calm into the nerves by tucking away the first goal of the game. This was followed shortly by Lee Xiong’s brilliant volley, that looked like it was going through ‘bullet time’ as it floated in the air (like forever) and dropped just under the bar, leaving their keeper no chance. Plaudits to to Lee X though, as he chose to celebrate the goal ‘Adam Nowak’ style, jogging discreetly back to the centre-circle. As King World struggled to keep up with Palace’s quick movement, Jim So showed everyone how to do it with his ‘move’ of the day, making use of Lee R’s decoy overlapping run, and with a pull-back on the ball, he fooled 3 King World defenders before stroking the ball so gently and delicately, spinning and dipping it into the top corner, beyond the reach of the goalkeeper (it looked like art). Shortly after, Jim struck again from a cross by Basti, followed later by a goal from Olly, who couldn’t decide which foot should he used while the ball dropped from the heavens, he did score by smacking the ball in with his left foot though. King World did provide a threat and reason for Pikey to demonstrate is keeping prowess in the last minute of the half though, as their forward sprang through 1-1 while Pikey dived and saved at his feet, only for offside to be blown after all the action.
5-0 at HT
The manager ran through some changes for the second half as Palace look to seal the game off, introducing Gio back into the fold after a long injury layoff.
Shortly after the restart, Lee R, not one to miss out on all the action and always at the right place at the right time, scored from a goalmouth scramble and celebrated in style, with his trademark Jack in a Box jump-celebration. As everyone thought the goals would dry up, up stepped Jim So, who added three more goals, one with his left foot, spinning 2 defenders and tucking it into the bottom corner, another with his head off the post from another cross from Lee and finally the third with his right foot tucking the ball away from 5 yards out.In between, Olly sealed his hat trick, smashing the ball with aplomb after some neat interplay between Jim, Ben and himself.  We still had time for a penalty though as the King World defender thought he was the goalkeeper when he punched the ball away from a corner. Arguments were abound between the Palace players on who should take the penalty while King World swapped their goalie. Amid the chaos, up stepped the legendary Edou who was looking to break his Palace duck. As the world watched and with bated breath during the run-up, Edou’s body-move and shimmied as he hit the ball. All were fooled except the goalkeeper, who guessed correctly and saved the penalty! (and Edou’s duck continues..) The game tapered off towards the end as the King World offside trap suddenly worked and Palace eased off, only to concede a last minute goal from a scamble, which proved to be the only blemish on a 10-1 scoreline.
The squad proceeded to Luga’s for post-match proceedings as Jim So took home MOTM by a mile, with his performance drawing comparisons to the mythical ‘Pippo” Inzaghi (Mythical only because not everyone knows Pippo!) and also giving the squad a footballing lesson: Prepare by dressing well, keeping warm and then scoring with every legal movable part of his body (left, right foot and head) which he mentioned that it also demonstrates that he is a ‘good lover’. Donkey was a closer affair though as there were many last minute inclusions, but Pikey emerged from the front-runners to take Donkey by a single vote for not ‘being involved enough’ in the game! He did promise that he will be more involved in the next game as we look to take on tougher opposition in the French while both winners downed their B-52s.
Read More

Match Report Summer Palace vs ISB Dragons

Match report for Summer Palace vs ISB Dragons, League game, 12th November 2011. Side Gongyuan
It was a beautiful sunny day when Summer Palace met to face a high school team for the second time this season.  On the squad were faces new and old.  Hailing from old Mexico was Felipe, a young midfielder full of promise, and from Forbidden City we had our old friend Barrie George in goal. In a shocking decision, the captain showed up to the game sans facial hair, perhaps wanting to appear closer in age to the day’s opponents.  This flies in the face of the tenants of Movember (moustache month) and everything his club represents (teamwork, accountability, etc.).  The defense was also missing some parts, with Peter unavailable and Adam needing to conclude some business at Chaoyang sports complex before coming to the game.
After play commenced both trams began trying to impose their own style of play.  Palace opening by trying to work possession and use dangerous wing play to their advantage, and ISB using quick passing and probing with their quick strikers.  Both teams had some chances and Palace seemed more like to score after a series of set pieces.  Finally after Ben Roberts took a fine free kick, Lee Russell found himself in the right place at the right time and sent a shot through the crowd in front of goal, 1-0 Palace. Palace had no time to relax however, as the young ISB only seemed to grow more threatening after conceding and they had plenty of 13 year old firepower waiting on the sidelines. The score remained the same until halftime, despite ISB having a couples of one-on-one with only Barrie George to beat.
The halftime talk was optimistic, but it seemed that everyone knew there would be more goals in the game.  But if more goals were to be had, they would be bloody hard to come by.  Time after time Palace’s attacks came away with nothing, and Barrie George kept stunning the ISB forwards with gut wrenching saves.  These same young forwards who had taunted the City standout after the halftime whistle by calling him lucky were now finding that Barrie George makes his own luck.
Luck can go both ways, and just when it seemed that ISB simply had to have a bit of luck, Andy Mo found himself with the ball and an open net gaping.  No one needs to tell Andy Mo where to stick it 2-0 Palace. That was only justice in fact as minutes before that, the (half-blind?) referee managed to miss that one of the ISB defender had cleared the ball from behind his goal-line using both hands!!  Palace then saw the tireless Jason Dorey taking a turn at striker and doing his best to cover himself in glory and getting booked by the ref. Joining him was Felipe who showed a good deal of flair and a penchant for flick-ons.  Amir showed everyone he loves being offside as much as he loves herbs.
The game ended 2-0 in favor of the Palace, and the majority of the team stayed to see City give the Barbarians a 4-0 thrashing and then went to the traditional spot afterwards. At Lugas the voting commenced over a bottle or two of tequila and the usual amount of wisecracks. Adam walked away with the donkey with a massive nine votes for being at the wrong field at the right time.  Ben Roberts got the Man award with five votes for good play and leadership despite a woeful gaffe with the whiskers and also forgetting sunscreen again.  Really, if I looked like that after sun I would wear sunscreen to bed.
Go on Palace!
Lee Russell
Read More

Match Report for Summer Palace vs Celtics

Match report for Summer Palace vs Celtics, League game, 5th November 2011. Chaoyang Stadium
The rain stopped just in time for the league’s curtain raiser of the weekend, the showdown between the league’s ‘lethal-est’ attack and league leaders, Celtics, against the league’s tightest defence, Palace. The game started with Celtics playing their aggressive and physical brand of football, preventing Palace from playing their free-flowing pass and move game. City initially struggled to adapt as dangerous challenges were flying in from everywhere, and the game was in danger of spilling over as Celtics were getting away with some studs up challenges and Palace getting increasingly frustrated with the inept refereeing standards. A Palace goal on 15 minutes managed to calm some nerves, though no one could make out who scored, as Adam chose to coolly stroll back from the melee leading to the goal (Adam was the scorer, if this is still unclear). Shortly after, Ben put in a defence splitting through pass to Olly, who tucked it coolly under the advancing Celtics keeper to make it 2-0. As the half wore on, Palace upped the tempo and their pressure was rewarded with a stunning first time volley (Paul Scholes style) off a corner, hitting the inside of the post and nestling in the top corner of the net, from Gio right at the stroke of halftime, def a nominee for goal of the season. 3-0 HT.
The Celtics started quicker off the blocks in the second half, particularly posing a threat from their giant striker (flicking long high balls)-quick forward combination (Duncan Ferguson kinda stuff), but this was effectively neutralised by Peter, sticking to the tall guy like glue (and irritating the hell out of him). Totally against the run of play, Palace made a quick counter attack with Kieran squaring unselfishly to Amir who tapped in from close range. 4-0 to Palace. As the game threatened to taper off, Palace scored again through another blistering attack down the wing, albeit this time through an O.G as the Celtics defender deflected Ben’s cross into his own net. Palace was about to run riot though, as they turned on the style, moving the ball around, resulting in Nils, putting in a MoM worthy performance, rounding the Celtics goalkeeper Robin Van Persie style and rolling the ball into the empty net. He was not done though, as minutes later, he hit a first time half-volley which hit the base of the post. Celtics were still posing a threat though, coming close with well-taken free-kick that rattled Jason’s crossbar before earning a dubious, soft penalty (by a Peeri Weepu lookalike). Not to be undone, and preserving his awesome Palace penalty record, Jason (nursing a terrible hangover and injured wrist) saved the penalty, but unfortunately for us, the rebound rolled back out to the Celtics forward who put it away, which took some gloss off our scoreline. The game tapered out till the end, as we wish Jason all the best in recovering from the kick he got on his hand from the Celtics forward. Full-Time score Palace 6 – Celtics 1. That result makes us top of the league table (although Dong Ren have a couple of games in hands).
In fairness, it could be said that Celtics fielded a weak squad as they were without their star player Johnny White (who played in goal for the first 15 minutes), and their talismanic fleet footed winger. But this should not take any credit off the Palace performance as all 18 players put in a good game with the goals coming from different guys. Perhaps, Palace’s role model player of the game award goes to Adam, who demonstrated his commitment to the cause by not only tracking the Celtics winger all over the park and also from one end to the other, as the Celtics guy was getting substituted off the pitch! Brilliant! Votes for Man-of-Match and Donkey were in-part done at Luga’s just after the match and in part done in the evening at the Teppanyaki near Gongti. The combined result of the votes for MoM went to Adam, Nils and Peter (with 3 votes each), while Donkey was awarded to Adam alone.
Read More