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Nakhon Ratchasima FC - The Swatcats

Roger · 1483 · 36620

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Online Thaiwolf

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Dateline 11th June 2016

 NRFC 1 Pattaya United 0

The Rockin’ Dolphins from Pattaya were the visitors today with The Swatcats looking for a rare victory to enable them to improve their precarious position near the foot of the table. The match also was Milos Joksic’s first league game in charge.

The match began in front of a very sparse crowd – possibly fewer than 4000 I would guess – sad times indeed for a club famed in the recent past for its huge fan base. How pitiful the near empty 80th Anniversary Stadium looked tonight.

The Swatcats began on the front foot and put together some decent attacking moves with Tagbajumi looking lively and in the 13th minute after some smart work from Adeyeah, Chanatphon slid in the first goal for the home team.

For the first 30 minutes, Pattaya did not show much ambition up front and seemed content to soak up the home team’s pressure. In the 33rd minute a guilt edged chance was missed by the hosts as a close range header from a corner was miss timed and in the resulting melee a close range shot went wide. The Dolphins then countered with a drive going narrowly wide.

The second half started with Pattaya showing more attack minded intent but following a break by the home team a free kick was smartly saved by the visitor’s keeper and minutes later Adeyeah shot over from 8 yards.
A promising break by the Dolphins in the 60th minute ended with some brave goalkeeping by the home keeper as he came out to smother the resulting shot and in the 63rd minute Pralong Sawandee was sent off following a second yellow card after a silly and innocuous challenge on the keeper.

Pattaya were beginning to get a foothold in the match and one wonders why they only started playing at half time. The hosts seemed to tire and were losing their grip on midfield resulting in pressure being exerted on their defence. Despite this pressure the Swatcats held on to their one goal lead and earned a valuable victory.

A much needed 3 points tonight. The Swatcats looked a decent side tonight – especially in the first half. The midfield seemed more effective and provided more for the frontmen to get their teeth into. I still maintain that Tagbajumi and Adeyeah could form a successful partnership but as yet they have failed to be convincing. We did not miss Bjorn Lindemann (who incidentally was not even named as a substitute tonight).

Against a poor Pattaya team the defence looked OK too. On balance a useful start for Milos Joksic but against stronger teams we will continue to struggle. If we can put away lower echelon teams we should just about survive – and to me, given our poor start that would represent a satisfactory conclusion to the season.


Offline Alfie

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As you say, TW, much needed points. Now just one point behind Osotspa, who they play next weekend. A win would do wonders for the confidence of Swatcat players, I would think.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.


Online Roger

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Hey TW.
The Swatcats much maligned defence performed heroics to get a rare win. With 10 men ! One exception - leaving 2 strikers unmarked in front of goal at the edge of the penalty area in a heart stopping moment. A word of praise for the Swatcats Goalkeeper who seems to be gaining in confidence despite a stream of bad results and some early unsure form. He grabbed safely many good crosses throughout the game and made one amazing save in the second half at the foot of his left hand post !
I thought Tagbajumi showed great effort and some previously unseen skills with Adiyah remaining a threat all the time until he was substituted - these 2 will do well IMO. Is Prompong still around ? Good to bring him on as a late Sub.
After the Swatcats scored I felt they backed off a little and allowed Pattaya to get back into the game - bad tactics. But in the last 20 minutes full effort returned. IMO we just about deserved the win !
You are a Gentleman TW indeed not to have mentioned the appalling performance of the Referee.
EVERY time a player fell over there was a free kick - open season on cheating then. I watched the Swatcats in Regional League days and this was worse 'Reffing' than I have ever seen. Really serious foul play and innocuous stuff was treated the same. And there was no doubt that he favoured Pattaya almost invariably throughout the game IMO - - - but WE got the points.
The admirable Adiyah needs to keep control of himself - understandably infuriated at the goings on, he got very temperamental and was lucky to stay on the pitch after pushing the Referee.

Being a Torquay United supporter in another life I have experience of relegation battles - I know Swatcats can get out of this mess. A few more battling draws and wins will see us looking better.

Mid table still quite possible ! ATB

''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Thaiwolf

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The Swatcats visit high flying Bangkok United tonight (wed 15th June KO 19.00) in the next round of the FA Cup. Many will think that an exit from the competition tonight may well be advantageous to the team’s Premier League survival strategy.


Online Thaiwolf

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The Swatcats progressed into the next round of the FA Cup with a surprising victory over high flying Bangkok United. Going down 2-0 in the first 30 minutes they fought back to finish 3-3 after 90 minutes. The scores were still after extra time and the visitors secured the victory after winning the penalty shoot out.
Coach Joksic played an understrength side as he secured his second successive victory in charge.


Online Thaiwolf

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The Swatcats visit Osotspa Samut Prakan this weekend (KO Saturday 8.00 pm) for a crucial relegation battle. A victory would mean that they would leapfrog their opponents and lift themselves out of the relegation positions. A big ask but one which would be a fantastic confidence boost in their battle to beat the drop.


Online Thaiwolf

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Dateline 18th June 2016

FT Osotspa Samut Prakan 1 NRFC 2

The Swatcats visited Osotspa Samut Prakan in a vital relegation battle. A victory for the visitors would lift them out of the bottom three, leapfrogging the hosts in the process.

The match began with Lindemann in “midfield” but no Noah Chivuta. The visitors started brightly with a Tagbajumi header going wide. They continued to dominate possession and put pressure on the host’s defence. An Adeyeah drive went close followed by a shot narrowly over the bar as the Swatcats swarmed forward – the Swatcats were purring!!! Conversely Osotspa did not offer much up front in the first 20 minutes.

In the 24th minute Peeraphon fired in from 20 yards after a fine run to give the visitors a deserved lead. The Swatcats were looking a far better side than Osotspa and continued to press and in the 36th minute Pralong Sawandee slid in a second after a defensive mix up.

On the stroke of half time Osotspa went close but in truth it was their only real chance so far and as the half drew to a close NRFC seemed in complete control…. And playing like champions.

Osotspa pulled one back with an excellent 25 yard drive in the 48th minute. This seemed to wake up the home side and they pressed forward with real intent for the first time in the match.
Adeyeah then missed a chance after another defensive error and Lindemann went close with an angled drive as the visitors tried to regain their composure.

The hosts were beginning to seize the initiative as what had seemed to be an easy victory for the Swatcats was deteriorating into a fight for survival.

Noah Chivuta was introduced after 66 minutes in order to bolster midfield but Osotspa continued to press. NRFC broke sporadically but not with the purpose shown in the first half

Osotspa looked a different side in the second half but could not make up for their pitiful first half performance – NRFC tired and sat back, allowing Osotspa to play and this nearly cost them the win.

Tonight we played well in the first half but we have not become a great side overnight – Osotspa were poor and on this performance they are certain to join BBCU in Division 1 next season.
I’m not sure what Milos Joksic has done but the team looks better organized, more confident and seem to be moving the ball forward quickly and with more resolve. Three wins in a week isn’t a bad start for the new coach – and he seems to be doing it all with a big smile too!! Well done Milos.


Online Thaiwolf

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NRFC welcome the Army on Wednesday 22nd June (KO 6.00 pm). The hosts will be looking to build on their recent successes and haul themselves further away from the relegation trapdoor.


Online Roger

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Thanks for the reports TW.
Yes a terrific start for the Coach and a win against 'Army' will seal the progress.
Maybe we can even get a point in the coming game against Muang Thong.
Phew !
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Thaiwolf

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Dateline 22nd June 2016

 FT NRFC 1 Army United 0

The Swatcats entertained Army tonight, hoping to extend their winning streak to three games. In what was a feisty encounter a Bjorn Lindemann penalty separated the teams at full time. This win, coach Joksic’s third victory in a row, lifted the Swatcats further clear of the relegation zone and added some credence to the chance of Premiership survival this season.

Army started brightly with a long range shot but the hosts were soon on the front foot with a couple of chances going wide. The Swatcats pressed forward and a Lindemann effort was well saved, goalkeeper Sunny then brought down the advancing Prompong and Lindemann slotted home the resulting penalty to give the hosts the lead.

Army man Botti was sent off for a blow to an opponent’s head then a further long range effort from the visitors brought the first half to a close.

Nagano was sent off shortly after the second half began following a clumsy block to reduce the match to ten versus ten. Adeyeah then went narrowly wide following a slick pass from Lindemann. Army countered with a diving header going wide as they pushed for an equalizer.

Hassan Sunny then pulled off a first class save from a short range header and then Army went close at the other end as the momentum swung one way then another. An unlikely own goal was saved by the host’s keeper as the Army continued to press forward.

Another workmanlike performance with victory just deserved. Army were allowed a number of chances and might have considered that a point apiece may have been a fair result.
Nonetheless, a further three valuable points gained and the promise of movement up the table seems viable.


Online Thaiwolf

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NRFC  visit the SCG stadium on Saturday 25th June (KO 8.00 pm) to take on the mighty Muangthong United. MT are currently top of the league.
A fourth win on the trot for the improving Swatcats? I suspect not!!!


Offline Alfie

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The table as it stands today

There are none so blind as those who will not see.



Online Thaiwolf

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Dateline 25th June 2016

 Muangthong United 4 NRFC 1

Top of the league Muangthong took on the resurgent Swatcats at the SCG Stadium. The visitors hoping to continue their positive run of results, the hosts hoping to maintain their “top of the pile” status.
This fixture is a repeat of the season opener in which MT snatched a 1-0 victory.

As the game commenced, the visitors weathered the early expected pressure with Muangthong unable to make their early chances pay. Some desperate defending and mediocre finishing kept the Swatcat’s goal line intact. 72% possession in the first 30 minutes of play by the hosts indicated the dominance of the league leaders.

In the 32nd minute a deflected shot eluded the keeper to give the hosts a deserved lead. Then there followed a further period of constant pressure by the hosts, but on 44 minutes Tagbajumi broke through the middle and slid in an unexpected equalizer - a fine solo effort.

On the stroke of half time the home team regained the lead with a close range shot following a corner.

At half time, at 2-1 the Swatcats were still in the game but clearly playing second fiddle to a talented Muangthong outfit.

The second half quickly saw a fine save from a long range shot by the visitor’s keeper. NRFC countered with a fine effort from a confident Tagbajumi, tipped over by the home keeper.

Muangthong went further ahead with a short range tap in on 54 minutes after a fine break down the left flank. Minutes later the “on fire” Tagbajumi had a goal disallowed for offside after fine work from Chivuta and Lindemann.

MT continued to exert pressure, again dominating possession and producing a couple of decent chances in the process. The Swatcats countered sporadically with Lindemann looking classy in midfield at times but really there was only one team in this contest.
 Muangthong added a fourth goal on 82 minutes to give the score a rather flattering look. A late free kick by Muangthong rattled the bar as they closed out a rather comfortable evening’s work at the SCG Stadium.

Clearly outclassed but not disgraced by the season’s top PLT team. Good spirit and resolute defending kept the score line semi respectable. On balance another pretty solid performance but with no reward – further evidence I believe of the team’s ability to escape relegation.


Online Thaiwolf

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After the tough challenge of Muangthong United, the Swatcats now have two winnable games coming up. On Wednesday 29th June, they welcome fellow strugglers Chainat Hornbills (KO 7.00 pm) and then on 2nd July they visit BEC Tero (KO 7.00 pm).
Six points should be the aim and on current form, an achievable target.


Online Thaiwolf

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NRFC 1 Chainat Hornbills 0

An important battle at the 80th Anniversary Stadium tonight as both teams sought to ease their respective relegation fears. As the second leg commences, a real mid season “6 pointer”.

An encouraging 8000 fans welcomed the two teams. Early sparring led to few real chances but with the hosts playing with more resolve. In a rare foray forward by Chainat, a defender’s clearance bounced luckily off the bar to save an embarrassing own goal.
Lindemann, Adeyeah and Tagbajumi continued to link well and in the 27th minute, the game burst into life when Tagbajumi went close with a diving header after good work from Adeyeah. The Swatcats continued to press, looking dangerous up front and in the 45th minute Nagano went close with a header after a Tagbajumi flick.

The half came to a close with neither side able to break the deadlock but with the Swatcats “bossing” the game.

Chainat began the second half with a flourish with a snap shot well saved. The hosts then continued to press with a Tagbajumi shot on the turn inches wide.
In the 60th minute Lindemann broke the deadlock when he cut in from the flank and unleashed a thunderbolt from the edge of the box to put the home team ahead – candidate for goal of the season perhaps?

In the 66th minute the hosts struck the post after some good work from Tagbajumi. Adeyeah then fired over from 12 yards as they strived to increase their lead. A weak header in the 80th minute apart, Chainat offered little as the hosts battled for a second goal.

Another strong performance against a weak Chainat team - and another stride towards safety.

A couple of observations - Chivuta is now not a regular starter, maybe because of tiredness or injury Noah is being used sparingly and the team are getting used to coping without him (dare I say playing better without him!!!). Bjorn Lindemann has been playing out of his skin – he seems newly motivated. Adeyeah and Tagbajumi are becoming increasingly effective up front – and I think there is more to come. Adeyeah in particular is putting in real shifts, tackling back and dropping deep to help in defence.

All in all this is a different team to that which played in the early season games – well motivated, better shape on the pitch and playing together as a team. All this must be attributed to Milos Joksic and I commend him for his efforts - all we need now is for the fans to start streaming back!!


Online Roger

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TW thanks for that report.
So the Swatcats are now SEVEN points clear of the horror zone and I agree great credit to Milos Joksic.
I'm sure the Fans will return as the recovery continues - 8000 is double the real number there in some games recently.
Maybe Lindemann is better without Noah playing - I'm really pleased to see Adiyah and Tagbajumi coming through.
I thought we had a Guy on loan from Muang Thong ?? If so how's he doing ?
ATB
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Thaiwolf

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Hi Roger, not much info on the new guy - sorry. I think the team are playing better without relying on Chivuta. Lindemann has been a relevation in the last 2 games. I have always suggested (hoped) that Tagbajumi and Adeyeah would deliver. I feel that they could become one of the most potent partnerships in the TPL.

One thing is now for sure. The Swatcats will not be relegated. Now they must just pick up points (especially at home) and ease themselves into a respectable mid table position. I always thought that the 8th place of last year would be a hard act to follow and that has been confirmed this season. In order to progress they need a forward looking, quality midfielder to provide for the guys up front.
Right now, after earlier apprehensions, I am feeling pretty optimistic for the rest of the season. We need to catch Navy, Pattaya and Si Saket, then a top 10 finish is not out of reach.

All the best


Online Thaiwolf

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Dateline 2nd July 2016

 BEC Tero Sasana 2 NRFC 1

The Swatcats entered the Fire Dragon’s den in a bid to continue their recent vein of good form.

The visitors started with Prompong and Adiyiah up front. The game began with both teams probing cautiously but unable to produce much. In the 11th minute, a wonderful long ball from Adiyiah found Prompong completely unmarked in the box but he miss hit his shot and it went wide. Adiyiah then drew a decent save from the keeper with a 12 yard drive.
The Swatcats were now beginning to seize the initiative with some decent forward play and in the 16th minute an Athibordee shot was tipped over the bar by the keeper. Tero countered with a shot well blocked by the Swatcat defence.

In the 24th minute a Lindemann drive was well saved after a well executed break from the visitors. Then slightly against the run of play Tero went ahead in the 29th minute with a smart half volley. Minutes later they went close with a header and in two minutes of madness the Swatcats conceded again in the 31st minute to go two down.

The first half drew to a close with the Swatcat team wondering “How in hell’s name are we two down in this one?”

The Swatcats opened brightly in the second half with a flurry of chances, the newly introduced Tagbajumi looking lively at times. A wonder shot from Linemann from a full 30 yards brushed the bar in the 52nd minute as the visitors strived to half the deficit. More pressure led to defensive panic as Tagbajumi fired in from close range. Surely a goal must come soon.

In the 66th minute a glancing header was saved bravely by the host’s keeper as the Swatcats continued to press. As a result of this action the injured keeper was substituted. 
At the other end Tero missed a simple chance then on the break they were thwarted by the advancing keeper.

In the 84th minute Tagbajumi scored with an angled shot to give the visitors the sniff of a deserved point. Athibordee was then sent off in the 88th minute for a silly kick out at an opponent.

Another decent and encouraging performance. Quite honestly NRFC outplayed Tero tonight. Points will come if the team continues to play in this fashion. Chances are being produced and the defence is looking pretty solid. There are many reasons to be optimistic for the future.


Online Roger

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Well TW that's disappointing but at least the Swatcats put up a good show. Thanks for the report.
Sorry I missed you at the last game but next time eh ? ATB
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein