|Fans loved it|
If you’d told me right then the match would explode into the most memorable Nonthaburi game I’ve ever seen, I would’ve thought you were "ting-tawng".
Eka seem to find their best form when trailing a game and sure enough, at two goals down the long “up and under” balls became neat, low passes that pushed Prachin’s midfield back. The first response was a header from Korawut that somehow rebounded back off the upright into the keeper’s arms. Around the 25 minute mark, the 'crows’ earned a penalty. The video below shows the decision was harsh but the reaction from Prachin staff was the most disgraceful thing I’ve seen since Samut Songkhram staff swore and threw bottles at Muangthong fans.
Prachin players initially surrounded the referee and yelled and gestured in his face, before walking off, with much vocal support from their coach. I thought the TFA rules had been amended to prevent this “walk off" nonsense but perhaps the team will get off on a technicality: they actually stood just in front of the touchline instead of behind it. While everyone waited for the brats to return, the ref stood in the centre circle like a lost sheep and did nothing. Personally I would’ve given every player one warning before red-carding the entire team and their coach. Prachin players and staff continued to intimidate and harass officials throughout the game.
Prachin’s coach finally got his toys back in the pram and Jelani Grant hit a placed penalty but knocked it just wide. Perhaps it was the spark the home side needed though, and before long Samarpan hit a sweet finish from a deflected cross to pull one back. Shortly after, no. 11 Prasop hit an absolute belter into the far corner of the neat to send home players and fans wild. That’s how it was at half time.
The second half was a back and forth battle that was sometimes scrappy, sometimes classy, but always exciting. Eka’s third goal came again from my Man of the Match Samarpan, this time a guided shot from a low cross. Prachin had their chances but the defence just about held out. About fifteen minutes from time there was an incident in the Nonthaburi area when Prachin’s number 10 retaliated to a shove by aiming a full punch at the face of substitute Somsak. The ref - probably rightly - sent both men walking. Somsak took his punishment admirably, Prachin’s player continued to run his mouth, as though a full punch was not a red-card offence.
Chances continued for both sides but there were no more goals. The incidents continued: the away coach was ordered to shut his big mouth by the linesman and kicked a bottle in protest, One home player - Pasakorn, I think - was taken away in an ambulance.
So ended an absolute gem of a football game, full of just about every incident and emotion you can think of in football. To make it even sweeter, it was played out in front of the biggest home crowd of the season. Fan sites are buzzing with praise for the match, the players and the supporters. Credit to every Nonthaburi player from the goalscorers to the bench who encourage their teammates so well. Every players showed passion, composure and skill.
Next weekend, fans in England will flock to stadiums to watch the likes of Man City and Chelsea play football Prima donna style. The ticket prices will be almost as much as some Thais earn in a month. Some players wouldn’t even think of thanking fans before going home and calling their agent.
Been there, seen those teams, bought their trendy shirts, got bored. Wouldn’t choose them over Nonthaburi FC if you paid me.
Sorry I didn’t blog on our excellent 0-3 win at Thanyaburi last week. This is a picture of the surface:
Photo credits: cheerprachin.com , nonthaburifc.com