Diary of a Thai football season

2022/23 Samut Prakan v Kasetsart FC

A win against struggling Kasetsart would be a major step towards second division safety


(Can we build on last weekend's amazing win in Nakhon Si Thammarat? photo: official Samut Prakan Facebook page)

Samut Prakan's recent home record is worrying?

It is. We've taken just one point from our last four home games. But tonight is a glorious chance to end that awful run against a team who have won just one of their last ten games and currently lie in the bottom three. I'm not saying a win tonight will make us safe but eight points clear of the drop zone would be a mighty nice buffer to have.

Although Kasetsart have had a few draws on the road this season, they've only achieved one victory - a 1-0 win at Nakhon Pathom back in October. 

What was the score in the reverse fixture?

The two teams met in late October at Kasetsart FC's Insee Chantarasatit Stadium, but a splendid Samut Prakan away following had to settle for a point from a drab goalless draw.

Any player connections?

Anusit Termmee started the season as Kasetsart's first choice shot-stopper after moving from Samut Prakan, where he was the second choice keeper last season. Unfortunately when you are understudy to Patiwat Khammai (now Muangthong United) your chances are going to be severely limited and Anusit ended up making only two first team appearances for Prakan. Sadly, the opportunity to rebuild his career at Kasetsart seems to have stuttered of late and looking at recent team sheets, he is now hovering between second and third choice. Perhaps a change of manager might be just what he needs, which brings me nicely to....

New manager syndrome?

Kasetsart FC wasted no time in appointing a new man-in-charge after their most recent defeat at home to Nakhon Pathom, and 48-year-old Anurak Srikerd is the new guy in the hot seat. Can the former player who was born and bred in Samut Prakan and made over 70 appearances for the Thai national team, save Kasetsart from the drop? This game will be his first test. 

(Photo credit: back of the net)

To the match itself

Another very disappointing crowd of around just 250 turned up for this one, with barely a dozen or so away supporters from Kasetsart (pitiful for a club that's just up the road). On the TV, the stadium looked virtually empty.

It's the visitors who settle into the contest quicker, causing problems from the right wing and keeping Prakan centre half Makan Diawara especially busy. However, the home side carve out the first clear cut chance on the half hour mark, as hesitant Kasetsart defending allows Kitikai to gain possession, but from a tight angle his shot is straight at the keeper. Yodsakorn then fails to take advantage of the rebound. The closing ten minutes are all Kasetsart as Toto lashes a shot just over the bar, and shortly after, his fellow countryman and strike partner Pitbull is denied by a brilliant save from Thatpicha. Oh, Samut Prakan are in a contest alright. I'm beginning to think a share of the spoils could be a decent result tonight.

Half time: Samut Prakan 0 Kasetsart FC 0

Kasetsart start where they left off in the second period, looking easily the team most likely. Pitbull's mishit shot falls to Mongkol, who can only hit the upright at point blank range. The young man's facial expression clear evidence of what a glorious chance that was to give his T2 strugglers the advantage. Moments later, it's Thatpicha to the rescue again as he pulls off a worldy from a long range strike by Marut, with Samut Prakan well and truly under the cosh. Nigerian striker Omogba will feel he should have done better with a header that loops over the crossbar.

Samut Prakan's only worthwhile effort of the half comes on 69 minutes, but Phanthamit's powerful strike doesn't really test the keeper enough. Sho Shomija then sees his header off target as Prakan realise time is running out. 

Kastsart almost go home with a priceless three points as Pitbull latches on to a right wing cross but the lively Brazilian can't connect cleanly enough and Thatpicha is grateful to see yet another attempt go wide. 

Full-time: Samut Prakan 0 Kasetsart FC 0

Watch the match highlights

(Keep on smiling....that's the main thing. Photo credit: back of the net)

Overall thoughts?

As I came out of the ground, my initial thoughts were that a draw was a fair result, but having watched the TV highlights, a share of the points was the very least that Kasetsart deserved and it has to go down as yet another sub-par home performance. The way it feels at the moment, it's our away performances that are going to keep us in the division. However, this was certainly an opportunity lost as fellow T2 strugglers like Chainat and Krabi lost their respective games.   

My good friend Sheffield Jon hadn't attended a Samut Prakan match for a month or two due to work committments, but standing alongside me tonight, he was impressed with how much our overall team play had improved since the new manager took over. I would certainly agree with that, but the lack of firepower in the final third is still a major problem...and has been all season.

From a spectator's point of view - and I hate to say this - home matches are becoming a bit of a drudge when you take into consideration the soul-destroying attendances and the results out there on the pitch. I love away games where you get the chance to experience new towns and new stadiums, but nights down at the Samut Prakan Stadium are becoming distinctly hard going.  

Who's up next?

We travel just under three hours north to take on Chainat FC on Saturday 11th March. 

Going?

Absolutely. I've wanted to see Chainat's Khao Plong Stadium for some time so we'll make a long weekend of it and hope there's enough to keep us occupied in one of Thailand's quieter backwaters.  


Samut Prakan City fixtures and results 2022-23




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