Sunday 24th January 2010
By Gary Rosslee
You had to go all the way back to the 15th of November 2009 since Farnborough Young Vets last posted a league victory. Now cynics would say that if this had happened at a higher level there would have been various calls for the managers head, maybe cries from the terraces such as ‘sack the board’ (Which has been a very popular chant down at West Ham for years now I hasten to add!)
So why was this?
Why, given the amount of talent this squad boasted had Farnborough Young Vets not recorded a league win since the 15th of November?
Why, given the high standard that most of these players had played to had they not walked away with 3 points “in the bag” in the last two months?
Were we now a spent force?
Were we ravaged by injuries?
The answer was as a well-known Eastern European Meer Kat once famously said ‘Seemples’
It had just come down to the terrible weather we had all been subject to for the last 2 months, which had prevented us from playing a game of football in the Farnborough colours that we have been proud to wear this season. The only consolation in-between the last seven league games that had been postponed was a comprehensive 1-4 win in the Beckenham Hospital cup against Crofton Albion and for those even more fortunate there was a run out in the Presidents XI versus the Chairman’s XI game on Boxing Day which is now but a distant memory.
Now fast-forward to the week that led to our very very eagerly awaited game against Sanco Vets at home. It is probably safe to say that every one of our players by now is a fully qualified or if not at least part qualified meteorologist who could if put on the spot explain about isobars the troposphere or Extra tropical cyclones seeing as the weather was all we had been concerned with in the last 8 weeks. The weather this week had been a bit hit n miss for the last few days but at least the snow had completely passed, the temperature outside was now starting to get warmer therefore the risk of ground frost was a lot less, the signs were looking good.………. But alas at the 11th hour word got back to the FOBG HQ in Farnborough Square that Sanco had accidentally double booked their fixtures and therefore were not going to be able to fulfil their obligation to play against us.
As it stood this was going to be the 8th league game in a row postponed for the Young Vets, which also meant that this would leave us with even less preparation time for our second round cup tie against Classic Lambeth. However thanks to some very quick thinking we were able to organise an alternative fixture and now our opposition would be the Buff Vets.... Game on!
We lined up as follows
GK / Events organiser - Gary Rosslee
RB – Rich Davies
CB – Matt Wright
CB – Andy Cobham
LB – Danny Saines
RM – Robin Lipscombe
CM – Richard Cooke
CM – Neil Connelly
LM – George K
CF Paul Tanton
CF – Pete Harvey
The Buff made their intentions known from the Kick off and had the better possession and to be fair more composure on the ball, they continued to press and threatened with various chances. We definitely looked like a team that hadn’t played together for quite some time. The most notable chance for the Buff came when their attacker was put through one on one leaving Rosslee with no choice but to charge from his line to smother any attempt and although beaten by the shot the angle was luckily against the Buff attacker who saw his shot go wide by a foot and a half of the FOBGC Left hand post. The warning was there for all to see. Robin Lipscomb had Farnborough’s first clear chance to open the scoring for the Young Vets and double his tally for the season but he saw his unmarked header sail the wrong side of the post. George then fired it down the Goalkeepers throat from the angle of the box, Richard Cooke then saw his curling effort go agonisingly just over the bar with the goalkeeper stranded.
Then with around 25/30 minutes gone Farnborough took the lead after some strong and persistent play from Richard Cooke who was able to dig the ball out and deliver a floated cross into the box where Pete Harvey was on hand to coolly dispatch the ball low and hard past the Buff Goalkeeper leaving him no chance. So there you had it, a 1-0 lead to FOBG.
Farnborough then doubled their lead literally with the final kick of the First Half with easily the best move of the game, By this time Simon Harvey had replaced Robin Lipscomb at Right midfield and he combined brilliantly with Richard Cooke and I’m positive another 2 or 3 passes were strung together by other players but my memory escapes me, The final ball was passed out wide left to George who seemed to have an eternity to pick his spot and drilled the ball into the bottom right hand corner to make the score 2-0 and a deserved 5 minute break..
As we have tended to do on many occasions we started the slower team out of the blocks again after the re start and found the Buff asking all the questions yet again. The Buff were gifted with their opener courtesy of either some quick thinking from their attacking player. Rosslee was quickly out of his area again and leathered the ball up field as he was out of the 18-yard box, however the momentum of the oncoming Buff player swept him off of his feet and therefore left the Farnborough goal gaping and Rosslee in heap on the floor. The Buff managed to get the ball back up field and score into an empty net in 2 swift moves. So the score now stood at 2-1 FOBG. If it is little consolation even one of the Buff’s players after the match who wishes to remain anonymous was shocked to see the foul not given for an infringement on the Farnborough Goalkeeper, and I have to say I agree with you Brett Cheesman!!
The Buff then managed to pull the game back to 2-2 courtesy of a quickly taken direct free kick that was given away far too cheaply on the edge of the box in the first place. Rosslee frustrated by his team mates lack of hearing in regards to the number of people he required in the wall made the fatal error of coming way too far off of his line so he could bark his instructions more closely. Neil Connelly spotting this immediately instructed Rosslee to get back on his line but by now it was too late; the ball had sailed over his head and again nestled into an empty net! Whether the ref agreed to let the kick be taken quickly or not remains to be seen but one thing is for sure, when a free kick is given away in such a dangerous area the defending players should only be listening to the goalkeeper’s instructions on how he would like his wall set up – PLEASE TAKE NOTE!
The game was now poised at 2-2 and with each minute ticking by one moment the Buff had the upper and the momentum but then it would swing Farnborough’s way as both teams looked like they had the decisive winner in them, Then what happened next can only be described as the real defining moment of the game. They say that anything can happen in a minute in a game of football and how right they were.
With one minute to go the Buff’s ever dangerous pony tailed playmaker and two goal hero drilled an excellent low ball across the face of the FOBG goal from the left hand side knowing that any touch from either one of his own team-mates or even a Farnborough defender would probably inadvertently deflect the ball into the net and securing a huge local derby win. The ball whizzed past the first Buff player who was attacking the near post and luckily went past our incoming defender who would have probably scored an own goal for his troubles. The ball then at the last minute courtesy of an outstretched foot from an unmarked Buff player who came sliding in at the last moment directed the ball goal-wards from 6 yards out surely he had sealed the win for the Buff, surely the beers were on him…………..? But Rosslee in the Farnborough goal had other ideas and somehow managed to not only get down to his left hand side in a split second but he managed to push the ball away from the congested danger area and around the post out for a corner. The resulting corner then led to a blatant vicious attack on the Farnborough corner flag that was blissfully minding its own business by the Buff Corner taker. With the flag laying on the ground writhing in agony and onlookers from both teams completely lost for words the quick thinking of the Farnborough players used this distraction to break away up the other end with the ball and Richard Cooke was on hand to slot the ball home past a stranded and slightly bemused Buff Goalkeeper who was still wondering how his team had not just gone 2-3 up, Instead he was now picking the ball out of his net. What a cruel mistress football can be. 3-2 Farnborough. Surely that was it?
The Buff knew they had to make one final push and every player including the goalkeeper pushed forward looking for the equaliser with what would now surely be the last piece of action of the game. Richard Cooke was on hand to break up another attack and presented Matt Wright with an open goal from 30 yards out who hit it first time, the only thing that was ever in doubt was whether the Ref would allow enough time for the ball to splutter over the line, thankfully there was. 4-2 to FOBG and then the sound of the Full time whistles rang out loud and clear. This had been a tough test but we had come through it although not exactly with flying colours.
Many thanks again to the Buff for agreeing to play us at short notice; I’m sure we will have another good encounter at the end of March.
Man of the match was Richard Cooke for another excellent game in midfield who capped off his display with a goal and two assists to boot. Although Rosslee would like to think he was a close second if only just for “That Save” ;)
Next week we take on Glendale Vets who at the time of print play their football at Swanley rec (or is that spelt wreck???) although the location is still TBC. We need to use this next game as a springboard for our Cup game against Lambeth and iron out any frailties that may have appeared after having nearly 2 months off!
Man of the match: Richard Cooke