Borel find it tougher going than expected

RAPHAEL Meade's first goal for Ernest Borel helped them beat British Forces 3-1 at the Shamshuipo Sports Ground last night to move them into fifth place in the Hongkong First Division.

Although it was Borel's third successive win in the league, team manager Tsui Kwok-on was far from happy with the performance of his local players as they build up for their defence of the Viceroy Cup next month.

Said Tsui: ''Some of the Chinese players were not willing to run - it was the foreign players doing all the hard work.'' None more so than the midfield pairing of Craig Foster, who scored the opening goal in the 40th minute after a slalom run through the Forces defence, and Tony Finnigan, who is proving to be a fine signing.

Meade, the 30-year-old former Arsenal player, was playing only his second game for Borel and scored with a flashing header into the far corner from a left-wing cross.

That came two minutes after Foster's solo goal but any hopes Borel had of a second-half goal feast were dashed by some strong defending and covering from a Forces side learning how to cut out the mistakes and close down their opponents.

They are the first to accept it is not pretty tactics but they are proving effective, as Borel discovered last night.

Their only goal in the second half followed an extremely harsh free-kick decision against sweeper Pat Russell, who was adjudged to have pushed Foster as he shielded the ball just outside the penalty area. Foster knocked in the free-kick and Wong Chi-keunghurled himself at the ball to make it 3-0 on 59 minutes.

Meade, who took a knock on the right knee, was replaced with 20 minutes to go but Borel's extra defender could not prevent Forces claiming a deserved consolation goal. Russell joined the attack in the 84th minute, swung in a superb cross from the left wing and Tony McAllister scored with a header.

It was McAllister's second of the season - his first also came at Borel's expense in a 5-2 defeat - and Forces' ninth in 12 league games.

After a poor start to the season, Borel have now won 10 of their last 12 points and will have striker Keith Thompson available for their next match after recovering from a thigh injury.