The home side got off to the worst possible start when they conceded the opening goal from a harmless looking free kick after only two minutes. Safari Nelson was the first choice goalkeeper for the previous campaign but failed to convince and lost his place to new signing Jagkid Thamassaen at the start of this season.
Thamassaen has been a consistent performer so it came as something of a surprise to FC Phuekt fans when Nelson was recalled. He made a couple of glaring errors in the last home game which he was fortunate to get away with, this time he was not so lucky.
Yala got a free kick near the half way line which was over hit by Abdun Safee but Nelson’s positioning was terrible and he could only watch as the ball sailed over his head and into the empty net.
Yala could easily have gone two goals up five minutes later when they saw a strike ruled out by a dubious linesman’s flag. FC Phuket enjoyed a lot of possession but were able to create few clear cut chances. Nene Bi had a good opportunity from a corner in the 29th minute but his header was easily saved by the Yala keeper and the away team held on to take a one goal lead into the second half.
Niwes Petjamrus, the full back who endeared himself to FC Phuket fans by adopting the role of head cheer leader when he was injured at the start of the season, was replaced at half time. Poramut Krongborisut, who can play either out wide or up front, was brought on in his place in an attacking substitution.
A second half onslaught was expected by the Surakul faithful but Yala were desperate to hold onto their lead and adjusted their tactics accordingly. The away side showed zero attacking intent choosing to play their midfield in extremely close proximity to their defence. This formation left their forwards almost totally isolated but also created an extremely congested area for FC Phuket to try and pass the ball through.
The breakthrough did not arrive until the 64th minute when teenage striker Adisak Kraisorn was brought down in the box after a clever one two. Diarra Ali stepped up to take the penalty but it was a tame effort which the Yala keeper Nirudin Nideha easily stopped. The feeling that this was not going to be FC Phuket’s day was compounded five minutes later when Diarra Ali was given a glorious chance to atone for his earlier penalty miss but dragged his shot wide.
Despite FC Phuket’s dominance when the goal finally did arrive it was Yala who scored it. When Amat Kadaffi received the ball wide on the left wing in the 84th minute his strike partner Maha Manayoopee was off the pitch receiving treatment leaving him totally isolated. With four FC Phuket defenders between him and the goal and absolutely no support from his team mates he decided to go it alone. He did so to brilliant effect leaving three defenders trailing in his wake before cutting inside and placing a shot beyond the despairing dive of the hapless Nansen.
It was the best goal to have been scored at the Surakul Stadium in recent history and
Manager Arjan Songsamsub was disappointed but refused to blame Safari Nelson for the goal,
‘I don’t regret picking him. I don’t know what happened with the goal. I think he was unlucky. He has played three matches this season before today and we have won all three of them,’ he said.
Despite this setback FC Phuket remain seven points clear at the top of Division Two (Southern Section) and are on course for a place in the promotion play offs.