Sunday 7th February 2010
By Gary Rosslee
A cold crisp morning on the 7th of February saw the Farnborough Young Vets stop start campaign take us to the delightful Cray Wanderers ground in Oxford Rd, Sidcup. The sign outside the ground read ‘The second oldest football team in the world’. Cray were assembled in 1860, today’s opposition Old Albany Vets finally assembled this morning at around 10:20!!!
In fairness to Old Albany we were very grateful to actually be playing a game as our scheduled cup game against Lambeth Classics was postponed as they had “another” cup game that took precedence over their fixture with us. They say everything happens for a reason and thank goodness our game against Lambeth was postponed today because based on today’s performance we would have been dumped out of the cup and the white suits on order with Top Man would have been a waste of time & money.
Today’s squad available to us was a very strong one at that, the noticeable absentees were Andy Cobham & Danny Saines. Also Simon Harvey was nowhere to be seen apparently without even letting the club know if he was available or not (does anybody to this day know if Simon contacted Vic at all)?? (Message from the Hon. Sec. Simon text the Sec. 17 times on Sunday morning and he did pass the message on to Tant!).
We lined up as follows.
Gary Rosslee – GK
Rich Davies – RB
Tony Simpson – CB
Matt Wright – CB
Neil Connelly – LB
Robin Lipscombe – RM
Daragh Nott – CM
Richard Cooke – CM
George Kleanthous – LM
Peter Harvey – CF
Paul Tanton – CF
Today also saw the return of the prodigal son Aaron Carpenter who was our solitary sub, on the sidelines.
Farnborough kicked off and tried to get to grips with the boggy pitch early on, this was not the type of playing service we are normally used to and therefore the pitch was going to act as a real leveller today. Farnborough took the lead from a Rich Davies penalty which according to the Old Albany players was a harsh decision, but everybody in a red jersey could see that Peter Harvey had been blatantly pushed to the ground from behind. 0-1 FOBG.
The game from there on seemed to lack any real flow to it and it was very scrappy and bitty affair and although Albany had a couple of half chances – most of them were gifted from our mistakes and we coped with what they threw at us.
Farnborough should have easily have doubled their lead after the Albany goalkeeper made a hash with an initial first save and Paul Tanton (the current holder of the Ronnie Rosenthal award) was on hand to coolly slot the rebound away only to somehow completely mistime his shot and his feeble effort only just made it back to the goalkeeper whilst he was doing his best impression of a starfish on the deck! Chance missed, no a glorious chance missed and the scores remained 0-1, maybe at this rate we were not going to get that second goal and put some daylight between us and Albany?
Luckily enough for Farnborough Paul Tanton did eventually find his shooting boots and after some good team play he made it 0-2 smartly converting at the goalkeeper's near post and netting his 10th goal of the season. Half time was now upon and this is where it all seemed to go wrong for Farnborough.
It wasn’t until the second half kicked off that we realised it was ourselves who had a mountain to climb…quite literally! The slope of the Cray Wanderers pitch is very deceiving to the naked eye and Albany clearly looked like they had used this to their advantage on more than one occasion in the past. This led to Albany putting Farnborough under the cosh from the get go.
What followed for the next 45 minutes was a combination of a lack of self-discipline, a lack of pride and a lack of respect for not only the opposition but a lack of respect shown by our own players to each other. On too many occasions we caught pointing the finger of blame at each other rather than showing any real encouragement.
Albany nearly pulled a goal back early on with their first counter attack of the second half (but believe me there were more to come) but thankfully Neil Connelly was there on hand to hook the ball off the line with Rosslee in the Farnborough goal beaten all ends up from a well angled free header.
Matt Wright showed some spirit at the back for the OBG’s making some timely interceptions and last-ditch tackles but was helpless in being able to prevent the first goal that Albany eventually scored. The ball was dispatched by their goalkeeper after a tame effort was gratefully collected by him and he released the midfielder who hit the ball long and into the corner thus leaving Farnborough with the daunting task of trying to defend a 2 on 4 scenario at the back, Albany actually had the time and space to pass the ball 3 times to feet in the Farnborough 18 yard box with the Farnborough goal gaping and they neatly tucked it away at the back post leaving Rosslee no chance. The looks on the faces of the Farnborough players with their hands on their hips gathered around on the half way line said it all, 1-2 FOBG.
1-2 then became 2-2 after a succession of Albany corners and where an unmarked player at the back post rose to head home, Rosslee instinctively got down well to his left and got a good hand to it but the ball ricocheted off of Neil Connelly on the post and the ball was diverted back across the goal where another unmarked Albany player leapt highest to head the ball home in to an unguarded net. 2-2.
Farnborough somehow weathered the storm with wave after wave of continued counter attack all of which seemed to lead from us giving the ball away cheaply in the Albany half. With the last kick of the game we somehow nearly nicked the win, Aaron ‘smooth operator’ Carpenter was put through one on one with the angle only slightly against him he decided to go for power rather than placement and thrash his effort high and dreadfully wide! The ref blew for full time and Farnborough were glad to come out of this game somehow unbeaten in their last 7 games.
Yours truly is sorry that the match report has been a rather damning piece of writing, but hopefully we can use this display today to give us the kick up the backside that maybe we need! Ok so we haven’t had the chance to build on any momentum due to the amount of games we have missed recently and maybe we did play like a team that had only played together 3 times in the last 10 games technically and fitness wise.
MOM was Matt Wright for an excellent game at the back.
I nearly managed to get all the way through this match report without mentioning that FOBGFC will be represented at this year's Olympic Winter Games by our very own Aaron Carpenter who we understand will be competing in the GB Skeleton Bobsleigh team, this must be the only rational explanation we can give to the reason why he has seen it fit to have his entire body waxed, and when we say entire body we mean entire body!
A special thank you again to Paul Tanton for his quick thinking in managing to organise an alternative fixture today otherwise we would have all been at home doing DIY or out shopping or in some people's case down the beauty salon having a back sack & crack!
Roll on next week where we are away to Avery Hill.
Man of the match: Matt Wright