An intriguing fixture to put it mildly.
Playing a mainly under 18 / fringe squad first eleven, we waltzed through the first half and went in 7-1 up at the break, having opened the scoring vie Elliott Poley in the 9th minute with Jabir Laraba netting four consecutive goals in a 15 minute spell, Nathan Pooley and Max Webb getting our others and (I did It) Ma Wei netting a cool finish to make it 6-1.
Tianjin were a bit too polite and gave us a bit too much space in the first half (and at that stage I wondered if we'd beat our record of 13 in a match) but, to their credit, they showed more mettle after the break, they never gave up and deservedly reduced the arrears with Han Lei scoring a penalty on the hour. We then fielded a plethora of young subs who'd been warming up before half time and didn't have numbers on the teamsheet, but they grew into the game and got the scoring train back on the rails thanks to Matt Surmon, Joe Brazil and Cameron Richardson.
Tianjin had some vocal, encouraging and very friendly fans including a lad filming the game from a table near the halfway line. I was worried about how to pronounce the visitors' names but I asked a friendly Chinese couple on the train home if they'd help me with the teamsheet I'd already printed! Thanks to Dan for translating some of the opponents' names phonetically and also to Freddie Burse who knew the names of our three second half goalscorers.