Sunday 13th September 2009
By Gary Rosslee
I have often wondered where the phrase ‘to separate the men from the boys’ comes from…it means, to distinguish between mature, experienced individuals and novices, as in ‘the picket line will separate the men from the boys in the union’. The idiom is used without respect to gender.
However another idiom could refer to our fixture with Sporting St George on Sunday morning at the lovely Norman Park!
We arrived at Norman Park still with the ringing in our ears from Toby “Lord Lucan” Harlow that the side we were going to play today "weren’t strictly a Vets team”. This could not have been further from the truth when a Renault Clio arrived and was blasting out the stereo what one believed to be “DRUM N BASE” which apparently is very popular with the youth of today. Around 9 lads with the average age of about 19-20 exited the vehicle almost in an Anthill Mob-esque fashion. This was going to be very interesting indeed.
After our best impression of the Chinese state circus – I mean putting up the goal nets with the limited resources we had available (can somebody bring a stepladder and a mallet if we play at Norman Park again please?) we kicked off with the following line up.
Gary Rosslee - GK
Danny Saines - LB
PG - CB
Andy Cobham - CB
Darren Mace - RB
George K - LM
Neil Connelly - CM
Matt Wright – CM
Rich Davies - RM
Paul Tanton - CF
Pete Harvey - CF
We took the lead early on with a goal from Pete Harvey with a cracking strike although it wasn’t a great finish and those who were present will know what I mean! Pete picked the ball up a good 35 yards out and aimed a speculative shot goalbound which had the keeper beaten from the moment it left his foot till the moment it hit the back of the net 12 seconds later! So there you had it, 1-0 to the Vets.
Both Danny Saines and Darren Mace did excellent jobs against their right winger and their left ‘whinger’ respectively considering they had the obvious advantages over them, youth, fitness, speed, coloured boots and possibly their own teeth!
We then started to allow them to play the ball around and their number 3 and number 5 started to take control of the game and were pulling all the strings. A simple ball through the middle put their forward through who finished comfortably leaving the goalkeeper little chance from 12 yards out. So there you had it 1-1.
Little other action really happened in the first half, other than we defended resolutely as a unit, and they were limited to shots from distance all of which never troubled us. We just lacked the quality in the final ball and tried to force it 9 times out of 10 but to no avail.
Second half kicked off and they were awarded a soft penalty for quite an innocuous challenge by Neil Connelly. Their player went down as if he had been shot in some sort of PS3 game, in fairness he was probably up all night playing it the night before – at least that is what I think his Facebook and Twitter pages said!
So it became 2-1 to St George their penalty taker sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
For the next 20 minutes we played our best football of the match, neat simple 10 and 15 yard passes were finding feet and men in space and we had a couple of chances which we could have done better from. We then got caught out of position and they made it 3-1 with a delivery across the box and their oncoming player actually mis-hitting his shot and it somehow bobbled over the FOBG keeper's onrushing body and trickled in. It was a blow to have conceded a further goal as we had dominated the second half.
Pete Harvey realising the weakness in their goalkeeper hit another speculative long range shot which crashed off the bar, and Paul Tanton saw his effort saved by the goalkeeper’s feet at the near post.
They then scored the goal of the game with a dipping angled drive into the top corner but this was after some dubious decision making by the ref who allowed play to continue when their player was heard saying ‘let it go’ not sure if he said blud or cuz after but it was a definite infringement of the rules that gained them an obvious advantage, but what can you do…innit?
Pete Harvey was then giving the job of marking their “superstar” out wide who was clearly giving Pete some banter or backchat when you get to our age and somebody younger ribs you! Pete echoed out ‘I’m 41 years old mate’ to which their “whinger” replied ‘then why don’t you give up then?’. Hopefully Pete won’t be taking that advice, well not until the end of the season at least!
They continued to bomb forward and had a few more chances which were kept out by various parts of the FOGB goalkeeper's body or our defenders to keep the score kind of respectable. Not too sure what the incident was towards the end with a few of the players around the centre circle but I would imagine it was just handbags, or in today’s case……….satchels!!!! Unfortunately for us St George had once again defeated the (old) dragons.
MOM was Neil Connelly for a great workmanlike / Bryan Robson display in centre midfield (although St Georges had never actually heard of Bryan Robson) and also as emergency sweeper after we lost PG to injury, hopefully not a serious one.
Roll on next week to our home fixture against the Buff and if we play like we did a fortnight ago against Lloyds and even like some spells against St George it should be a case of OMG!!!!