Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Sun. January 2, 2022
FA Cup - 3rd Round
Dover vs. Middlesbrough (Barclays Premier League)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK
Betting Odds: Dover: 4-6 (Favourites) Draw: 9-4 Middlesbrough: 7-2
Past Meetings: 4W 0D 4L
We lost to Middlesbrough in league action about a month ago, dropping a 1-0 decision on the road but we're big favourites to move on today at home as we both enter the FA Cup in the 3rd Round. Middlesbrough just brought 30 year old midfielder Tom Cairney over from MLS to patrol the midfield and I expect the Scottish international to be in the lineup today. No relation to our own Neil Cairney, at least according to their personal pages but they both are from the same country.
I am going to take this game relatively seriously, as our board have expectations of us reaching the 5th round so I'll start a mostly full-strength lineup. Leading scorer Shanon Andrea will get the day off completely, as I'll go with Giorgos Gesios alone up front with Zoltan Bardi sitting behind him in our 4-2-3-1 formation. We have a big game in three days against Reading so I'll hope to have most of my key players available for that game. Youssouf Sylla starts in goal today and Paulus Tjiuoro starts on defence.
Dover: 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) Control
GK - Y. Sylla
D - R. Gaucho, P. Tjiuoro, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - Mancini, N. Cairney
AM - A. Bamba, Z. Bardi, G. Bolis
S - G. Gesios
Bench - J. Varga, J. Kuciak, C. Contreras, K. Kalfas, A. Zubizarreta, C. Murray, P. Moses
Middlesbrough come out in their 4-2-3-1 with 3 AMCs formation that has given us fits in recent memory. Their leading scorer Luke de Jong is up front and Tom Cairney indeed starts only two days after arriving at the club. I tell the team they can win this and pull aside Mancini and Gesios for personal chats.
3' - We get an early chance off a Gesios corner kick but Middlesbrough clear off the line.
12' - Sylla is called upon to make a nice save as Taksiarxis Fountas is sent through on goal.
13' - Neil Cairney springs Gesios but Sinan Bolat comes off the line to beat our striker to the ball just in time.
23' - We have possession around half way in Middlesbrough territory and work some one-two's. Cairney feeds the ball through the top of the box and Gesios latches on to it and fires a low shot into the near corner of the net. We're ahead courtesy of Giorgos Gesios! DOVER GOAL 1-0
30' - Gesios gets away again, this time courtesy of Mancini but while his shot beats Sinan Bolat, it doesn't beat the goal post, as it hits off the woodwork and out of play. Great chance!
32' - Middlesbrough have a throw in deep in our end but Renato Gaucho heads it out of danger. Bamba gets the ball and makes a long run up the left flank. A defender comes over to engage him and that opens up Gesios so the pass is made up field to our suddenly in-form striker. Gesios has a clear path to the goal and he shoots low to the far corner and it's IN! Gesios has two! DOVER GOAL 2-0
HALFTIME - An excellent half! We hold 55% of possession and outshoot them 9-5 (4-2 on target). I tell the team I'm pleased. No tactical changes needed.
53' - We work a counter after a failed Middlesbrough free kick and we have a two on one develop with Zoltan Bardi and Gesios. Bardi elects to shoot but his rocket is blocked away by Sinan Bolat. Play continues with us holding possession and Gianluca Bolis sends in a little cross that hits Gesios and deflects into the net! When you're hot, you're HOT! That's a hat trick for Gesios and we're up three! DOVER GOAL 3-0
55' - We make a beautiful three way passing play around midfield culminating in Cairney sending Bolis in all alone. Bolis shoots right at Sinan Bolat, however and our lead remains three.
61' - Gesios makes a brilliant pass to a breaking Neil Cairney but he's absolutely robbed by Sinan Bolat.
62' - Yellow card for Rayane Hamon. I start thinking ahead for our next game in three days, taking out Neil Cairney and Gianluca Bolis and bringing in Kostas Kalfas and Aitor Zubizarreta.
71' - I take out Zoltan Bardi and bring in Paul Moses, switching to a flat 4-4-2 control in the process.
73' - We work another counter attack and Moses springs Gesios. Our three goal man enters the area and hits a left footed shot that is turned behind the net by Sinan Bolat.
75' - Bamba storms down the left wing past the Middlesbrough defender and sends in a cross. Aitor Zubizarreta wins the ball and strikes it with fury into the back of the goal! What a game! DOVER GOAL 4-0
77' - Salim Loucif takes down a man and gets a yellow.
88' - Giorgos Gesios gets two more incredible chances, one off a header and another on a point blank rocket but Sinan Bolat makes both saves in spectacular fashion.
90'+1 - Off a Bamba corner, Hamon gets a header toward goal then Paul Moses has TWO quick cracks but again the poor Middlesbrough keeper, under fire all game, makes the great saves.
90'+2 - Sylla saves his shutout with a point blank save on a Middlesbrough counter attack.
Dover 4 - 0 Middlesbrough
Goals - Giorgos Gesios 3 (9.6), Aitor Zubizarreta (7.4)
Assists - Arsene Bamba 2 (8.7), Salim Loucif (8.3), Neil Cairney (8.0)
Man of the Match - Giorgos Gesios
Other Dover Notables - Youssouf Sylla (7.0), Rayane Hamon (7.8), Paulus Tjiuoro (8.1), Renato Gaucho (7.5), Mancini (7.6), Gianluca Bolis (7.1), Zoltan Bardi (7.0)
Attendance - 11,475
Just a fantastic performance - we hold 56% of overall possession and outshoot them 25-8 (14-4 on target). 12 of our players get ratings over 7.0. Spectacular!
-- We are given £69,000 for the win.
FA Cup - 4th Round Draw
-- With COUNTLESS lower league teams still in the competition, we are lucky enough to draw Manchester United as our 4th round opponent. Yeah, that's sarcasm. At least we're at home for that match but man, another BRUTAL draw.
-- Chelsea once again come calling about our fine midfielder Neil Cairney and I'm smart enough to have clicked on the "reject all offers" tab so I don't have to really deal with them anymore.
-- Yikes. Man City come in with an official inquiry on Rayane Hamon - he's not for sale, gentlemen!
-- I've made a few Bosman contract offers to players with less than six months remaining on their deals. We'll see if anything goes through.
-- Andrea Rocca returns to full training. I assume Wayne Rooney isn't far behind. Rocca missed a month but I don't imagine it will be too long before he's match fit again whereas Rooney will need extensive time in the reserves due to the length of his injury and his advanced age.
Premier League Update
-- We have a Wednesday game this week and get to watch as Chelsea shock Man City at the Etihad 1-0. United beat up on Tottenham as well so we remain in 3rd spot, 6 points back of United and 10 back of City.
Dover U18 Update
-- We destroy QPR's U18s 5-0 behind two goals from Phil Whitbread and singles from Pete Smith, Emmerson Harvey and Gregoire Lambert.
-- We head on the road to Reading in Premier League action.
Last edited by NoSkillz : 02-17-2014 at 07:59 PM.