Match Reports

Chonburi 3-3 Trat

Saturday 11th May

HT: 1-1

Scorers: Cruz, Sittichok, Lukian

Attendance: 3,605

Chonburi Stadium

KO 6:00pm

Line up

23. Kampol Pathom-Attakul

2. Noppanon Kachpalayuk

30. Kim Gyeong-Min

28. Niran Hanson

18. Nattapong Pephat

4. Teerapong Deehamhae (22. Wattanasap Jarernsri)

16. Si Thu Aung (24. Phanuphong Phonsa)

45. Park Hyun-Boem

46. Patrick Cruz (8. Worachit Kanitsribampen)

11. Sittichok Phaso

91. Lukian

Yellow cards: Noppanon, Teerapong, Nattapong, Gyeong-Min

Red cards: None

Man of the Match: Sittichok

Match Report

For today’s report, I’ve tried something a little different. At half time, I gave my dictaphone to Tim Spear so he could record his thoughts on the first forty minutes. Then, after the match, I handed the device to Brian Enever for his opinions on the second period. The results can be seen below.

First Half: Tim Spear

We should really be one nil up, but we’re not. We’re one one. The question is, why? Kampol and Nattapong have been particularly poor. Kampol hasn’t managed to find one of our players with his his distribution for the whole of the first half. For their equaliser he was caught in no man’s land. He didn’t know whether to come or to stay and Diouf had a simple header into an empty goal.

For our goal, Lukian was absolutely magnificent. He took the ball around their left back, pulled it back and Cruz slotted it in underneath the keeper. A beautiful goal.

About ten or fifteen minutes after going in front, we should have had a second. Again it was Lukian. He picked up a very poor back pass, rounded the goalkeeper, stumbled, but still managed to pass the ball and the shot came in. In fairness to the keeper, he did extremely well to recover.

Overall, most of the play has been in Trat’s half. Chonburi have been pretty solid. Defensively, the centre halves look good, for the first time this season. They’ve done a good job.

Nattapong at left back, has been pretty weak, as has Kampol in goal. The midfield have been OK. It’s not been an exciting game, but I still think we should be one nil up. It could be better. It’s pretty easy to criticise the team, but one thing we have done well is our pressing. When the opposition had the ball, we pressed hard and fast. It’s a long time since we’ve seen a Chonburi side do that. It makes a big difference.

Second Half: Brian Enever

We started the second half quite well. Si Thu Aung gave us more width, we looked composed and generally looked good. The problems started after we scored our second. Straightaway, we just stood back and allowed them to walk through for an equaliser.

Then, we took off Cruz and brought on Worachit. The worst change we could have made. Worachit doesn’t move anymore, he doesn’t fight. He just watches from the periphery all the time.

We became disjointed. With Lukian up front on his own, trying to cover too much ground and we lost the impetus.

Worachit should watch what Lukian did for the third goal. He fought for the ball. He chased after a lost cause and he scored becuse of it. Worachit is just standing, watching all the time.

Then again, a few seconds after the restart, Trat were awarded a free kick, a debatable free kick, but our defence just stood and watched as the ball came in. It went around the outside and then was crossed to the far side of the six yard box for them to equalise again.

It was very disappointing and we should be doing much better. Trat were mediocre and we really should be beating teams like that.

One more thing, as I looked at the subs warming up in the second half, I realised we don’t have that strength in depth anymore. At one time we used to look down and see players of the calibre of Pipob, Therdsak, Leandro. All these players we had in the past who were capable of changing the game. We just haven’t got any now. We’ve got eleven players who try hard – most of them – but we’re just not good enough.

With thanks to Tim and Brian

Thai Honda 3-3 Chonburi (5-3 pens) (FAC R1)

Wednesday 1st May

HT: 1-2

FT: 3-3

Scorers: Sittichok (2), Cruz

Penalties: Phanupong (1), Saharat (1), Worachit (0), Gyeong-Min (1)

Attendance: 880

72nd Anniversary Stadium

KO 6:00pm

Line up

35. Chanin Sae-Ear

2. Noppanon Kachpalayuk (24. Phuanupong Phonsa)

30. Kim Gyeong-Min

5. Kritsada Kaman

18. Nattapong Pephat (3. Zaw Min Tun)

19. Saharat Sonthisawat

11. Sittichok Phaso

45. Park Hyun-Boem

10. Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

46. Patrick Cruz (22. Wattanasapt Jarernsri)

91. Lukian (8. Worachit Kanitsribampen)

Yellow cards: Nattapong, Sittichok, Saharat, Kroerkrit

Red cards: None

Man of the Match: Sittichok Phaso

Match Report

And it had all started off so well. Noppanon marauding down the wing and putting in some quality crosses, the home defence all over the place as they faced a constant bombardment and an early lead courtesy of a well taken goal by Sittichok. Eight minutes in and we were already discussing who we wanted in the next round – for the record, it was “anyone at home”.

However, the motor boys had other plans for us. And these plans mainly revolved around hacking our leading scorer to pieces. Right from the kick off they made it clear what their intentions were. As soon as Lukian received his first pass, he was scythed down by a challenge that would warrant a yellow card in pretty much any country in the world. But, apparently, not here.

Sure, we got a free kick, but the punishment should have been harsher and this would have sent out a message to anyone else thinking of committing such fouls. Unfortunately, the referee’s failure to act meant it was open house on the big Brazilian from then on. You could almost sense the glee among the Honda players, as they were handed a free pass to kick him at every opportunity, by the man in black. And, boy, did they take advantage.

Make no mistake, these weren’t just mistimed tackles or spur of the moment fouls designed to halt an attack, these were premeditated assaults. Deliberate tactics conceived on the training ground purely to injure an opponent. And they left a very sour taste. But where was the protection?

Any officials worth their salt would have been wise to what was happening and done something to stop it. Sadly, the three clowns last night were negligent in their duties. Therefore, it was no surprise when the league’s leading scorer limped off in the 24th minute. Job done and a victory for outright thuggery. I hope you’re proud of yourselves, lads.

However, we can’t blame the defeat entirely on “the plucky underdogs'” agricultural approach. Our own failings were very much in evidence again and we did look a shambles.

The defence was all over the place (Again!). No cohesion, no plan and seemingly no idea what to do when we had the ball or when our opponents had it. It was embarrassing. It’s no wonder that we have conceded the most goals in the top flight. And there really is no signs that it will improve. Certainly not under the current regime.

The rest of the team weren’t much better. There was no desire, no urgency and a real lack of leadership. Only Sittichok – who I thought was outstanding – and Gyeong-Min can feel any pride at all in their performances. The rest need to take a good, hard look at themselves and decide if they want to be professional footballers because last night, they looked anything but.

And don’t get me started on Worachit! What a waste of space. From promising, dynamic youngster to bone idle, scared to tackle, workshy fop in less than two seasons. That’s some going. And as for his penalty. Was there anyone in that ground who thought he was going to score? His body language was all wrong and he looked like he’d rather be anywhere else. Most of us wish he was!

So, dumped out of the cup by a bunch of lower league cloggers at the first hurdle. Where do we go from here? I dread to think. We have just over a week to put things right before our next fixture, but I honestly can’t see it getting better…can anyone?

Nakhon Ratchasima 4-0 Chonburi(T1)

Sunday 28th April

80th Birthday Stadium

HT: 2-0

Scorers: None

Attendance: 12,677

KO 6:00pm


Line up

23. Kampol Pathom-Attakul

2. Noppanon Kachpalayuk

30. Kim Gyeong-Min

3. Zaw Min Tun

6. Alongkorn Prathumwong

19. Saharat Sonthisawat

24. Phanupong Phonsa (16. Si Thu Aung)

45. Park Hyun-Boem

10. Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

8. Worachit Kanitsribampen (11. Sittichok Phaso)

91. Lukian (14. Ekkachai Rittphan)

Yellow cards: Noppanon (2), Kroerkrit

Red cards: Noppanon

Man of the Match: Park Hyun-Beom

Match Report

by Russ John

Chonburi, fresh from their amazing 7-5 victory last weekend, were the visitors this weekend.

The Sharks started confidently and could have gone ahead in the third minute when a low drive drifted wide. The Swatcats then slowly built momentum and after a rather sterile opening half hour, during which neither side created clear cut chances, Henry opened the scoring. A superb backheel flick found the Ivorian who stroked the ball confidently into the net.

The Swatcats consolidated their lead with a well-crafted goal in the 40th minute. Henri stepped over the ball from an Amadou pass to leave Assumpcao clear on the edge of the box and he thumped home to put the Swatcats two up.

Lukian had a great chance to pull one back when he shot narrowly wide in the 43rd minute and as the first half drew to a close, without doing anything special, the hosts found themselves two nil up at half time.

The second half commenced with the Swatcat defence sitting deep – a team trait that keeps resurfacing. The Sharks countered and began to throw men forward and one wondered if the hosts could exploit gaps inevitably left at the back.

The answer came in the 65th minute when Assumpcao ended a fine solo run with a low drive that was saved by the ex-Swatcat keeper Kampon. Minutes later the Brazilian stroked home to put the hosts three up.

In late drama Assumpcao raced onto a through ball from Amadou. His run was ended by a lunging tackle inside the box from Noppanon and a penalty was awarded. The unfortunate defender was red carded (for a second yellow I think) and Assumpcao converted the spot kick to complete his hat trick.

A decent performance and a great victory tonight. Henry, Amadou and Assumpcao prove yet again what a handful they can be and the Sharks defence just could not cope. A word here for unsung hero Kidsada Hamvipat. He tackled again and again to add some much needed bite in midfield – he’s a real warrior.

A great hat trick from Assumpcao but the Sharks fans really need to know why the Brazilian was left completely unmarked in the box for his first two goals – conceding 9 goals in two matches is worrying, even cataclysmic, for Chonburi and it could lead to potential disaster.

Onwards and upwards, Champions Buriram Utd next. This match should be used as a gauge as to how far we have progressed and could answer the question, “Can we hack it against the best?”

With thanks to Russ

Chonburi 7-5 Chiang Mai (T1)

Sunday 21st April

HT: 4-2

Scorers: Lukian (5), Sittichok, Si Thu Aung

Chonburi Stadium

Attendance: 3,390

KO 7:00pm

Line up

23. Kampol Pathom-Attakul

2. Noppanon Kachpalayuk

30. Kim Gyeong-Min

3. Zaw Min Tun

6. Alongkorn Prathumwong

19. Saharat Sonthisawat

24. Phanupong Phonsa

45. Park Hyun-Boem

10. Kroerkrit Thaweekarn (16. Si Thu Aung)

46. Patrick Cruz (22. Wattanasap Jarensri)

91. Lukian (11. Sittichok Phaso)

Yellow cards: None

Red cards: None

Man of the Match: Lukian

Match Report

How do you write a report for a match like this? Ninety minutes of absolute mayhem with more incident and excitement than we usually get in a whole season. It was madness, I tell ya. Madness!

There’s no point in trying to analyse the game, focus on the numerous mistakes made by the players on both teams or criticise the tactics. No, it’s far better to concentrate on the fact that we were regally entertained by two teams who tore up all the coaching manuals and played as if their lives depended on it. Just like we used to in the school playground.

Sure, there’ll be some people out there who will see this as a bad reflection of the Thai league. They’ll use the 7-5 scoreline to label it amateurish, naive, undisciplined etc – and I have seen a number of negative comments on social media – but let ’em. I’d much rather watch a twelve goal thriller than a flawless, tactically perfect 0-0 or 1-0. “Sunday morning pub football” was one comment I read. Well, I’d happily get up early on the Sabbath to watch more matches like the one I saw last night. Even if it meant missing ‘The Archers’ omnibus.

And what about Lukian? What a revelation he has been. His five goal haul last night – the highest by any Chonburi player in a single top flight fixture – has seen him rocket to the top of the scoring charts. And on this form, he’s going to take some shifting from this lofty peak. It’s a well worn cliche, but he really did look like he was going to score every time he got the ball…and very nearly did! The Chiang Mai defenders looked terrified and didn’t know how to stop him. Certainly not legally. It’s so nice to have a player who gets the fans buzzing like he does. It’s been a long time since we’ve had anyone who’s done that.

Credit too must go to his strike partner, Patrick Cruz. Even though the Brazilian has yet to find the net for the Sharks, his contribution can’t be overlooked. He takes a lot of the pressure off his compatriot and makes lots of unselfish runs to give his mate more space. It’s only a matter of time before he breaks his duck, and then we’ll see some fireworks. Imagine two of them banging in the goals! We could well break a few more records this year.

But whatever happens from here on in, we’ll always have April 21st, 2019. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun inside a football ground as I did yesterday evening. And I doubt I will again. Although with this Chonburi team…anything is possible!

Sukhothai 0-0 Chonburi (T1)

Sunday 7th April

HT: 0-0

Scorers: None

Thung Thalay Luang Stadium

Attendance: 3,260

KO 6:00pm

Line up

23. Kampol Pathom-Attakul

2. Noppanon Kachpalayuk (5. Kritsada Kaman)

30. Kim Gyeong-Min

3. Zaw Min Tun

6. Alongkorn Prathumwong

4. Teerapong Deehamhae

24. Phanupong Phonsa (16. Si Thu Aung)

45. Park Hyun-Boem

10. Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

46. Patrick Cruz (8. Worachit Kanitsribampen)

91. Lukian

Yellow cards: Teerapong

Red cards: None

Man of the Match: Park Hyun-Beom

Match Report

A reasonably entertaining 0-0 draw and a fair result. I thought we had the better of the first half, but the home side were on top after the break. Both teams created – and spurned – some good chances, but ultimately the defences came out on top, as the Sharks stretched their unbeaten run to three games and head into the short Songkran break in tenth.

This was a good team performance, however a few individuals deserve special praise. Firstly, Park Hyun-Beom was outstanding in the middle of the…erm…park. He was always available for a pass and constantly looking to move play on. His enthusiasm also rubbed off on those around him and we saw a more dynamic midfield than we have done all season. We’ve been crying out for a player of this nature for a while so it was pleasing to see the positive response from his team mates. Playing alongside such a commanding presence will cerainly benefit them.

Behind him, his compratriot, Kim Gyeong-Min turned in yet another solid display. He too was vocal and constantly reminding the other defenders when to move up and drop back. I’ve been very critical of our rearguard in recent weeks, but with a bit of work – and proper coaching – they could yet gel into a decent unit. And the big Korean has a large part to play in that process.

To his right, Noppanon had one of his better matches. The chase back and tackle that led to his late substitution epitomised his contribution. He’s always been a willing runner, but he usually confines these spurts to going forwards – and then ambles back – but yesterday you couldn’t fault his effort – in both directions! I only hope that the injury he sustained making that match winning (match drawing?) challenge on Baggio, isn’t too serious and that the two week rest will be all he needs to recover.

So overall, a good evening’s work. A decent point won and our first clean sheet of the year. Hopefully, this recent upturn in form and run of good results will give us the confidence to kick on. We have a very winnable home fixture – against T1 new boys, Chiang Mai – after the holiday so the players and staff can enjoy the time off and come back refreshed ready to start again on the front foot. It’s going to be a much happier Songkran than it looked like it was going to be just over a week ago!

Bangkok Utd 2-4 Chonburi (T1)

Wednesday 3rd April

HT: 0-2

Scorers: Lukian (2), Phanupong, Si Thu Aung

Thammasat Stadium

Attendance: 2,692

KO 7:00pm

Line up

23. Kampol Pathom-Attakul

63. Thanaset Sujarit (16. Si Thu Aung)

30. Kim Gyeong-Min

3. Zaw Min Tun

6. Alongkorn Prathumwong

4. Teerapong Deehamhae (14. Ekkachai Rittipan)

24. Phanupong Phonsa

45. Park Hyun-Boem

10. Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

46. Patrick Cruz (19. Saharat Sonthisawat)

91. Lukian

Yellow cards: Gyeong-Min

Red cards: None

Man of the Match: Lukian

Match Report

You just never know what to expect from this Chonburi team. We’ve gone from outstanding at Buriram Utd on opening day, to abysmal against Suphanburi a couple of weeks ago and all points in between. It’s already been a rollercoaster ride of a season and we’re only six games in.

Last night we were treated to the whole range of the good, the bad and the “requires a lot of work”, in the space of just ninety minutes. It was entertaining, but, oh my goodness, I needed a couple of stiff drinks at full time.

Let’s start with the negatives. Our set plays really are appalling. We never know what do when we have a free kick or a corner and invariably end up turning what should be an advantage into a major disadvantage. I’m convinced that the players don’t do any work on this during training. They can’t. Can they?! Please can someone show them what to do and maybe work on some set pieces. It would certainly help our cause when it comes to match days.

Our goal kicks are poor too. Every single one of them followed the same pattern; the keeper telegraphed where he was going to kick the ball and then hit it straight at an opponent. This meant that our defence was under pressure time and time again, as the ball came straight back at us. It was all so unnecessary. A bit of thought and application is all it needs. Again, will someone please teach them what to do.

In addition, our tactics were strange. Not once did we put a Bangkok Utd player under any kind of pressure until they were deep inside our half. It was odd watching our forwards run away from defenders who were carrying the ball forward instead of challenging them and forcing them into making mistakes. We got away with it yesterday, but won’t always be so lucky.

Finally, why didn’t we leave a man up when they had a corner? The benefits of doing this are surely obvious. Well they are to anyone but our coach.

Anyway, enough of that. On with the positives.

What a result! As enjoyable as it was unexpected. Even though Bangkok Utd aren’t (yet) firing on all cylinders, a 4-2 win at their place is still a major achievement. Sure, we rode our luck at times, but we came with a game plan and it paid off. You could see that the players were concentrating, working hard, and determined to get something out of the fixture.

Gyeong-Min was very vocal at the back and was constantly reminding his team mates where they should be and when. Thankfully, they appeared to be listening to him and, even though they were under the cosh for long periods, they held firm in a gritty display.

In another Worachitless midfield, Kroerkrit worked hard and it was pleasing to see him running at people with the ball at his feet. He seemed to grow in confidence as the match went on, but why, oh why, did he take the penalty? Surely this was a job for Lukian? He was on a hat trick too. Baffling. But, as we’re now concentrating on the positives, I’ll let it slide…for now!

And what can I say about the big Brazilian? Two great goals – the first with the aid of a big deflection – and yet another tireless performance. He certainly is a handful for defenders and how wonderful it is to have a target man we can rely on. If the way he has started the campaign is any guide, he could be on the way to becoming our record top scorer in a single season. We just have to make sure nothing happens to him and he stays fit and healthy. Get that cotton wool ordered!

So, overall, a wonderful night in a cold and wet Rangsit. It was a pleasure to have been there – along with 102 others (I counted them) – and went a long way (although not all the way) to erasing the memory of that 7-2 defeat a couple of years ago. As I Tweeted joyfully after the final whistle: It was the best performance at Thammasat since The Clash in 1982. Happy days!

Chonburi 3-2 Prachuap (T1)

Sunday 31st March

HT: 2-0

Scorers: Lukian (2), Zaw Min Tun

Chonburi Stadium

Attendance: 3,251

KO 6:00pm

Line up

23. Kampol Pathom-Attakul

2. Noppanon Kachpalayuk (63. Thanaset Sujarit)

30. Kim Gyeong-Min

3. Zaw Min Tun

6. Alongkorn Prathumwong

4. Teerapong Deehamhae

24. Phanupong Phonsa (16. Si Thu Aung)

45. Park Hyun-Boem

10. Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

46. Patrick Cruz (8. Worachit Kanitsribampen)

91. Lukian

Yellow cards: Zaw Min, Kroerkrit, Patrick

Red cards: None

Man of the Match: Lukian

Match Report

Now that’s better. Although we did make hard work of it. In truth, we should have been 4-0 up before Prachuap scored and, at one point, it did look like those missed chances would prove costly, as the vistors looked the likeliest to go on and win it, after drawing level midway through the second period.

The first half performance is just the kind I’d like to see repeated week after week – but for the full ninety minutes. Every single one of the players put in a shift and gave the impression that they wanted it more than their lofty opponents. There was definitely a feeling that they had something to prove and it was easily our best display since the opening weekend. We played some good football too. Which was encouraging. And, dare I say it, looked a lot more steely, without Worachit in the centre of the park.

After the break we did appear to sit back and let Prachuap come onto us, which was a big mistake. For long periods, all the old bad habits were back on show and the ‘Main Standers’ feared the worst. Most worrying was the apparent lack of leadership out on the field. There was no-one geeing people up and talking to team mates. However, it was good to see Pipob leap out of his seat a couple of times to urge the players on. He needs to do it more.

I guess we also have to give credit to Jukkanpant for bringing on Si Thu Aung for the last quarter of an hour. The youngster was a reveation on the left wing and caused the defenders all kinds of problems, whilst taking the pressure off our own overworked back line. His cross for Lukian’s injury time winner was a thing of great beauty. And what a finish too. Needless to say, the ecstacy and relief that followed the ball hitting the net was something we all enjoyed!

But now the euphoria has died down, the hard work has to begin. We’ve proved that we can do it so now we have to be more consistent and play to our strengths. We have a tough task away at Banngkok Utd on Wednesday night, but there’s no better place to show that yesterday wasn’t a one off and we’re up for the battle. It would be great to come away from Thammasat with something. Over to you, boys!

Suphanburi 3-0 Chonburi (T1)

Saturday 16th March

HT: 1-0

Scorers: None

Suphanburi Provincial Stadium

Attendance: 7,517

KO 6:00pm

Line up

35. Chanin Sae-Ear

63. Thanaset Sujarit

30. Kim Gyeong-Min

5. Kritsada Kaman

6. Alongkorn Prathumwong

8. Worachit Kanitsribampen

19. Saharat Sontisawat

45. Park Hyun-Beom (11. Sittichok Phaso)

10. Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

24. Phanupong Phonsa (14. Ekkachai Rittipan)

46. Patrick Cruz (16. Sithu Aung)

Yellow Cards: Kroerkrit

Red Cards: None

Man of the Match:

Match Report

So, where do we go from here? Well, unless things change – and quickly – there’s only one answer to that question and it isn’t “up”. We’ve had some depressing times in recent seasons, but this is the worst; bottom of the league, one point from four matches and no signs that things are going to improve. It’s bleak. And I can’t see it getting any better. After the short break, we have a tough run of fixtures coming up. I’m struggling to see where our next point is coming from (Probably Chiang Mai at home on April 21st -ed).

After a fairly decent start yesterday (we even had a shot on target!), the players seemed to lose interest, and heart, midway through the first half. There didn’t appear to be a catalyst for this, just a general acceptance that we would lose. Even more worringly, there was no-one out on the pitch trying to rally the team and absolutely nothing from the bench. Nobody geeing them up, bollocking them, encouraging them or motivating them. Why not? For me, it’s a sign that something is seriously wrong. And it needs fixing. Now!

Jukkapunt has to be relieved of his head coach duties, immediately – if not sooner. He’s clearly not up to the task and often looks like he doesn’t even want the job. To be honest, I’m surprised he hasn’t already tendered his resignation, such is his body language in the dugout. If we can see this, why can’t others? Or is it the usual “head in the sand and everything will get better” approach? If it is, it’s not bloody working!

There is talent and potential in our current squad, but you wouldn’t have thought so watching the defeat at Suphanburi. The first twenty minutes aside, the players looked like complete strangers who been thrown together right before kick off. There was no plan, no tactics, no grit and no desire. And as for our so called “defending”…what a shambles! It was embarrassing to watch at times. What has happened to that battling spirit we showed at Buriram Utd in the opening game?

I saw plenty of it last night from one of the opposition midfielders. A lad called Adul Lahso. He was everywhere; running, harrassing, tackling, chasing lost causes and inspiring those around him. I wish we had someone like him in our midfield…

Chonburi 2-3 Port (T1)

Friday 8th March

HT: 1-1

Scorers: Lukian, Worachit Kanitsribampen

Chonburi Stadium

Attendance: 4,270

KO 8:00pm

Line Up

35. Chanin Sae-Ear

2. Noppanon Cachpalayuk (3. Zaw Min Tun)

5. Kritsada Kaman

30. Kim Gyeong-Min

18. Nattapong Pephat

8. Worachit Kanitsribampen

19. Saharat Sontisawat

45. Park Hyun-Beom

10. Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

91. Lukian (56. Channarong Promsrikaew)

46. Patrick Cruz

Yellow cards: Noppanon, Saharat

Red cards: None

Man of the Match: Park Hyun-Beom

Match Report

I’m bored of repeating myself by banging on about our problems so, just for fun, I’ve scrambled up this week’s match report. If you wish to read my thoughts on Friday’s game, and more general matters, you can rearrange the words in the following sentences. Or, leave them as they are. They make as much sense either way!

Yet display disappointing another. Line up though even our out put strongest we, tactics employ any we didn’t recognisable to appear. Coach really our clueless is. Squad a decent have season this we, doesn’t them get how he the best but know to out of. Motivate how or to them. Things unless change, this struggle we again going are to year.

With needs to experience someone employ the club. A team pick who someone can, them organise, playing them an effective and system get. Management senior the can see surely this. They can’t? The can fans. Sick the problems are we seeing of same in week, out week, better we feel deserve we. Will the more results crowds see poor drop and will cheap amount no bring tickets of them back.

Abysmal Friday was the defending on. Defending it “schoolboy” call I’d, would but that an insult to be schoolboys. The pitch Leader need a we out on. Charge was if I in, Hyun-Beom now I’d the captain make and to boss rein him free the give team, clearly because isn’t from the coming this touchline. All to then, go a qualified find out I’d head coach can a players get out of these who tune. Distinct, a relegation is possibility otherwise.

Chonburi 0-2 Samut Prakan City (T1)

Saturday 2nd March

HT: 0-0

Scorers: n/a

Chonburi Stadium

Attendance: 4,622

KO 6:00pm

Line Up

35. Chanin Sae-Ear

24. Phanupong Ponsa

5. Kritsada Kamam

3. Zaw Min Tun

18. Nattapong Pephat (16. Si Thu Aung)

14. Ekkachai Rittipan (46. Patrick Cruz)

8. Worachit Kanitsribanpem

56. Channarong Promsrikaew (11. Sittichok Phaso)

10. Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

19. Saharat Sontisawat

91. Lukian

Yellow Cards: none

Red Cards: none

Man of the Match: Kritsada Kaman

Match Report

Well, this was a strange one. Pre match, most of the discussion had centred on how well the club was doing with its off field activities. The marketing, the handling of Pipob’s testimonial, reduced price season tickets, the efficiency of the new online ticket service and the well stocked shop, were all rightly praised. The new signings too came in for a lot of approval. The mood was genuinely upbeat and the previous week’s performance and result at Buriram Utd had introduced an element of cautious optimism. Bring on the football!

However, away from our little group, the atmosphere appeared somewhat subdued. None of the sponsors’ stalls had been set up and the absence of loud pumping music, accompanied by young ladies screeching into microphones, meant there was an eerie silence around the outside of the stadium. And where were the fans? Twenty minutes before kick off, the place was virtually deserted. Had someone forgotten to tell them that there was a match on? I think the phrase “low key” sums it up. Although they did turn up eventually and there were long queues outside the ticket offices ten minutes after the game had started. Sharks fans clearly aren’t ready for all this new technology nonsense.

Another factor adding to the oddness of the occasion was the small number of ex-Pattaya Utd fans in attendance; some in replica shirts, but many in civvies. Having made the effort to turn up, they seemed at a loss to know what to do. Where they there to protest? Should they be supporting Chonburi or their “new” team? In the end, there was about a 50/50 split so at least half of them would have gone home happy. And the other 50%, still confused.

The match itself is probably best forgotten, certainly from a home fan’s point of view. It wasn’t a classic. But the biggest taking point was our team selection. It was bizarre and raised so many questions. Here’s a selection:

Where was Hyun-Beom? The standout player in pre season hasn’t featured in either of the opening two matches this season. Why not?

Why didn’t Patrick Cruz start? The Brazilian came on for the last twenty minutes in Buriram and terrified their defence. Why was he left out of the starting XI?

Why wasn’t Gyeong-Min playing? The returning centre half – again a second half substitute in the north east last weekend – didn’t even feature. Mystifying.

Why play a largely untried and unknown 17 year old in the middle of the park when you have much better, more experienced players on the bench (or in the stands!)? It beggars belief.

Why pick only one out and out striker in a home game that we should winning? Nuts!

And don’t get me started on the tactics. Or should I say lack of them. Jukkapant really isn’t ready for this job. We undoubtedly have a talented, capable squad this year, but he clearly isn’t the one to get anything out of it. He doesn’t have a clue. If he had Roy Race on the books he’d probably loan him out to Samut Songkhram.

If we’re serious about challenging for trophies again – and we won’t have a better chance than we do this year – the management needs to act quickly to bring in a coach who knows what they’re doing. Someone who can get the best out of this group of footballers. Otherwise another eight months of frustration lies ahead.

Buriram Utd 2-2 Chonburi (T1)

Saturday 23rd February

HT: 0-0

Scorers: Worachit Kanitsribampen, Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

Chang Stadium, Buriram

Attendance: 15,491

KO 6:00pm

Line Up

35. Chanin Sae-Ear

63. Thannaset Sujarit (2. Noppanon Cachpalayuk)

3. Zaw Min Tun

5. Kritsada Kaman

18. Nattapong Pephat

14. Ekkachai Rittipan (46. Patrick Cruz)

19. Saharat Sontisawat

4. Teerapong Deehamhae (30. Kim Gyeong-Min)

10. Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

8. Worachit Kanitsribampen

91. Lukian

Yellow Cards: Kritsada, Kroerkrit, Nattapong (2), Saharat, Lukian (2)

Red Cards: Nattapong, Lukian

Man of the Match: Lukian

Match Report

By Peter Reeves

So a new season. A chance to have a conjectured look at new signings, what work the coach has done and generally sit back and enjoy a bit of football. We’d also discover how Buriram Utd would be without Diogo.

Chonburi’s first half was ok. Plenty of spirit and all but one of the new players looking like they may contribute. No tactics of course. The coach seems to think making two or three passes at the back constitutes control. Then you get a big hump forward and lose possession. The midfield might as well go home. Worrying to see that not much has changed in that respect.

Worachit had a decent chance early on, but poor technique let him down and he screwed his shot wide. However, as we got to half time, The Sharks had looked better, and the champions – who have signed an inferior player to replace the only Brazilian I’ve had any time for – looked weak. As the second started thoughts turned to nicking a point.

Then ten minutes after the restart, things were to get better. Tunez gave everyone a lesson in how not to defend, when he lost the ball to Cruz and was then turned inside out. The striker played a pass to Worachit, who held his nerve to slot home. 0-1 and a deserved lead. But then Lewis Carroll took over and took us all to Crazy Town.

Just after the hour mark, the referee, who had been flashing cards around all match, some justified, some not, handed out a second booking to Nattapong, which resulted in the youngster being sent off. Down to 10.

Buriram have this little bloke, Supachok. Decent player. On 64 minutes, he cut in from the left and it’s 1-1. Now there is a battle.

Chonburi fell apart, and 2 minutes later, it was 2-1 as the defence did their disappearing trick. I sat back and expected the flood gates to open, but Buriram Utd are poor and Chonburi, regained some composure, and fought on.

Being a man down didn’t seem to matter much, as the visitors still went forward. They were rewarded 15 minutes from time with a deserved equalizer. A precision cross evaded, Tunez, and the onrushing, Kroerkrit, connected to blast home from close range.

Finally, the highlight of the evening, as Chonburi’s Lukian was sent off. He had spent the match whining, man-handling the ref, having little kicks and elbows at people and finally he was gone. Good riddance. He should have gone in the 19th minute or the 59th minute. You can’t grab a ref, but justice was done. Eventually. Ciro was bad. This bloke a disgrace.

So, in summary: Chonburi were worth at least a draw and showed plenty of spirit. BuriramUtd?  No Diogo. No Buriram Utd.

With thanks to Peter

My Observations

I think Peter’s been harsh in his match report. As I said in my preview, this was the toughest opening game we could have been given and I thought we acquitted ourselves really well. I was extremely impressed with how we approached the task and we always tried to play football.

I had my reservations when I saw the starting XI, but felt more confident as the match wore on. They all stuck to the jobs they’d been assigned and no-one was hiding. We also made life difficult for the reigning champions, who were probably expecting us to just roll over. This spirit bodes well for the coming months. We have to make sure that it can be reproduced every week and not only in the “big” matches. I was proud of my team on Saturday night and was encouraged by the performance. I want to feel that way after each ninety minutes.

The referee was poor (That’s me being charitable!) and seemed determined to send off anyone who was wearing a white shirt. He must have been delighted that he managed to do it twice! Strangely, similar offences to the ones that earned our players yellow cards went unpunished when committed by those in blue. How odd? Initially, I felt that this might be the usual football supporter bias, but was relieved to see many neutrals on social media saying the same thing.

I was impressed by the new signings. The strikers – Lukian and substitute, Patrick Cruz – look like they’ll be a real handful for defences this season and bring a bit of guile to the team. Something that has been missing of late. Let’s hope they are paired together and we get to see the best of them on a regular basis.

Finally, I take issues with Peter’s comments about the aforementioned Lukian. I do agree that man-handling the ref, whining and moaning aren’t particularly pleasant, but to criticise him for it while praising Diogo (“The only Brazilian I’ve had any time for”)seems unfair and a little odd. The ex-Buriram Utd striker’s entire time in the Thai league was blighted by such behaviour – plus diving, rolling on the floor and waving imaginary cards at every opportunity. Or has that all been conveniently overlooked in order to make a point and run down our new forward and potential terrace hero?

Chonburi 1-0 Trat (Friendly)

Saturday 16th February

HT: 1-0

Scorer: Lukian

Chonburi Stadium

KO 6:00pm

Admission: Free

Chonburi 2-1 Chainat (Friendly)

Saturday 9th February

HT: 0-0

Scorers: Lukian, Sittichok Phaso

Chonburi Stadium

KO 4:00pm

Admission: Free

Match Report

By Sam Mosley

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Chonburi v Sanfrecce Hiroshima, my first time watching football in Thailand. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and an even better game of football.

A week later, I went to the Chonburi Stadium again, to watch the friendly against Port, although I couldn’t stay for the testimonial, due to having my 9 month old boy and wife with me and they were getting tired.

This week was another first for me, I went to the game by myself!

I didn’t want to drive, as I thought I would treat myself to a few drinks before the match, as I would back home, and therefore I took advantage of the Grab promotion I was made aware of at the Sanfrecce game (50% discount with the discount code.) and took a taxi.

I must give a shout out to their service. I live in Bangsaen, and it is very difficult describe the location of my street, so they were completely reliant on GPS and, to my surprise, they found it straight away with no problems. This was the same going home, simple booking system and the car was here very quickly – well done, Grab!

Now, on to the game. This friendly took me a little by surprise, when I arrived at the ground. The last two friendlies I had been to were full and the streets were vibrant with blue shirts. This time, however, the streets were empty, bar a few joggers or street vendors.

I noticed the gates to the stand were open and you could freely walk in. I actually had to check I was at the right ground but luckily I was. I guess it was a low key fixture.

Once inside, I walked right up to the halfway line for a great view. It was interesting to see both benches up close and personal, something I have never actually witnessed at a professional game before.

I think in terms of the action on the pitch, it was a game of two halves. The first half really flattered to deceive, something I could expect, with the T1 season so close and people not wanting to pick up injuries. I saw a few openings for both teams, but nothing really spectacular.

At half time I decided to go down to the local shop – which happened to have tables outside – to enjoy a drink. So I took advantage of this opportunity and, after a phone call from my Dad back in England, I missed the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half. Now, if you were at the game, you would know this was the period that we scored our two goals! Schoolboy error on my part there.

However, I enjoyed the rest of the half, especially the much more competitive and edgy nature of it. Even with fatigue showing towards the end, both teams still went for the win. I was very happy to see a good Sharks’ victory against a divisional rival and I really do think it will stand us in good stead for the coming season.

Luckily for me, Dale showed me a link for the highlights and I have now seen both our goals, the second being very impressive!! And the first from my favourite player, Lukian. In conclusion.  After the three friendlies I have been to, I am very excited for March 2nd and my very first home league game. I hope it’s a positive result against Buriram Utd the week before, although I know that is a tough task, going off last season’s performances by both teams.

Chonburi 0-1 Renofa Yamaguch (Friendly)

Wednesday 5th February

HT: 0-1

Kiarti Thani Country Club

KO 4:00pm

Starting XI

Wattanapong Tabutda

Thanaset Sujarit

Zaw Min Tun

Mawouna Amevor

Natthapong Pephat

Wattanasap Jarernsri

Nattawut Saengsri

Chanyarong Pormsrigaew

Si Thu Aung

Phanupong Phonsa

Chris Cortez

Chonburi 2-5 Port (Friendly)

Sunday 3rd February

HT: 1-1

Scorers: Saharat Sontisawat, Zaw Min Tum

Chonburi Stadium

KO 5:00pm

Admission: THB50

Starting XI

Chanin Sae-Ear

Noppanon Kachpalayuk

Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

Alongkorn Prathumwong

Worachit Kanitsribampen

Ekkachai Rittipan

Saharat Sontisawat

Lukian

Niran Hansson

Kritsada Kaman

Park Hyun-Beom

Chonburi 2-1 Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Friendly)

Saturday 26th January

HT: 1-1

Scorers: Lukian, Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

Chonburi Stadium

Attendance: 5,154

KO 6:00pm

Admission: FREE

Match Report

By Dale Farrington

I don’t usually put much store in these friendlies, but there were a few positives to take away from Saturday’s match.

Firstly, the form of Park Hyun-Beom. This lad looks class – like Gyeung-Min last season. Whoever our South Korean scout is deserves a medal. For they have unearthed another gem. He was calm, collected and showed a good touch on the ball. He also wasn’t afraid to let his team mates know when they’d made a mistake (and done something right). I’d make him captain and give him free rein to boss his team mates about out on the field. We’ve been crying out for a natural leader and he certainly fits the bill. He could well be the Thai league find of the year, but keep that secret to yourself.

Secondly, our willingness to get stuck in and show that we weren’t overawed by our more illustrious opponents. This approach was so apparent that it prompted Alan from JSoccer to Tweet a complaint about our over zealous tackling. This is not an accusation that could be levelled at Chonburi teams of the recent past so was most satisfying to see.

Next, the result. Whilst it doesn’t really matter in the overall scheme of things, it was nice to register a win against much stronger foreign opposition. Even more so when you take into account Bangkok Utd’s result (and performance) against Sapporo Consadole yesterday – a 5-1 defeat. And whilst it comes nowhere near to erasing that 0-9 reverse in Tokyo a few years ago, it was pleasing to get one over on our illustrious Japanese visitors.

All in all it was a pleasant way to spend a Saturday evening. No-one is getting carried away – at least they shouldn’t be – but if we can produce that kind of committed display on a regular basis over the coming months, I for one will be very happy with the entertainment on offer, and so, hopefully, will a few thousand others.

Chonburi 1-0 PTT Rayong (Friendly)

Saturday 19th January

CHONBURI 1-0 PTT RAYONG

HT: 1-0

Scorer: Worachit Kanitsribampen (P)

IPE Training Ground

KO 4:00pm

Admission: FREE

Chonburi 1-1 Selangor (Friendly)

Tuesday 15th January

CHONBURI 1-1 SELANGOR (Malaysia)

HT: 0-1

Scorer: Lukian

IPE Training Ground

KO 4:00pm

Admission: FREE

Starting XI

Wattanapong Tabutda

Noppanon Kachpalayuk

Zaw Min Tun

Thannaset Sujarit

Nattapong Pephat

Teerapong Deehamhae

Nattawut Saengsri

Ekachai Rittipan

Sittichok Paso

Patthadon Tiangwong

Chonburi 0-1 Pahang (Friendly)

Thursday 10th January

CHONBURI 1-2 PAHANG (Malaysia)

HT: 0-0

Scorer: Lukian (Penalty)

IPE Stadium training ground

KO 4:00pm

Admission: FREE

Starting XI

Chanin Sae-Ear

Kritsada Kaman

Niran Hansson

Alongkorn Prathumwong

Phanupong Phonsa

Park Hyeon Beum

Saharat Sontisawat

Worachit Kanitsribampen

Kroerkrit Thaweekarn

Lukian

Chris Cortez