Sunday 4th May 2008
By Vince Wray
We entered our last game of the season knowing that we needed at least a point to take us off the bottom of the table and avoid the wooden spoon. Our recent performances have been an improvement on what’s gone on previously this season. The season started well for us but we ran into problems between December to March, losing a long succession of games and this was made worse by injuries and players'' lack of commitment. Obviously all of this led to a downward spiral of results and Darren was feeling very let down at this stage. However a 3-2 win against Tulse Hill in March signalled a return to form and the previous week''s excellent win against Purley confirmed this. Additionally this was Darren’s last game in charge as a youth team manager, he will be running the Sunday XI next season. A decent performance was also required to give him a good send off.
We started the game very well making use of the extra space on the large bottom pitch. We found success down both flanks in the 1st half through Wray and Keyworth.
The first goal came after Milner picked the ball up and passed into the centre to Fryer who controlled and then passed out to the right flank where Wray raced onto the ball, crossed and Bridges slotted home. It was a good move and typified our start to the game, further chances were created but we couldn’t find the finish. We relaxed and Wickham came back into the game, Burkett made a good save before they levelled the scores. It was an even half which finished 1-1.
We definitely had the game under our control in the 2nd half and the play was all Farnborough but we couldn’t find a way through. Milner delivered some good free kicks and we certainly pressed hard down the left side mainly. On reflection we didn’t actually test their keeper enough although we had all the possession. Burkett was called into action at the other end in a rare Wickham attack when he came out and dived bravely at the forward’s feet. Overall this was a tight game and neither keeper was tested enough to provide a game full of goals and opportunities, the defences were definitely on top but we deserved victory based on the 2nd half dominance.
So that brought the curtain down on the season and the end of an era for Darren who has had this team and managed it since they were 6 years old, some of whom are still playing for him, namely: George Burkett, Tom Delaney, Tom Skrine and Alex Wray.
That definitely says something about Darren who has given everything to these boys over the years; enthusiasm, encouragement, dependency, faith, belief and honesty. Those boys that have stayed with him since day one should also be recognised for their faith and commitment.
Well done Darren you can look back on the many years of happiness and enjoyment you’ve brought to the boys, you have truely had an influence on their lives and you can definitely assume your time managing has been a massive success. I''m sure the Sunday XI will be all the more improved for your management next year.