Sunday 21st February 2010
By Gary Rosslee
Today saw the Farnborough Young Vets make the short trip down the Croydon Rd to The Warren, the home of the Met Police Vets and the soon to be “Acid House” 40th birthday party of a certain Danny ‘Disco Biscuit’ Saines!
We arrived at The Warren in good spirits after last week's 11 goal thriller although the rain was trying its hardest to put a dampener on things, quite literally when it suddenly dawned on us that we were the only people slightly resembling football players to be seen in the vicinity and to the Met’s finest we could have easily been accused of casing the joint.
We now were in a bit of a quandary as the lack of opposition meant either the game had been called off due to the downpour that morning and the Met had not told Farnborough or the game had been moved to a later kick off and a certain somebody who was last seen on the back of a milk carton had not notified the club. So the later kick off it was then, yeah cheers Toby!
We lined up as follows
Gary Rosslee – GK
Neil Connell – LB
Matt Wright – CB
Tony Simpson – CB
Darren Mace – RB
George Kleanthous – LM
Jim St. John – CM
Richard Cooke – CM
Robin Lipscombe RM
Paul Tanton – CF
Pete Harvey – CF
The opening 5 minutes were what we have come to expect against the Met and given the amount of tackles that rained in you could have been forgiven for thinking we were actually playing the Met Office rather than the Met Police!
George Kleanthous become the first casualty of war when he was involved in an off the ball incident which saw him inducted into the local church choir and saw the ref brandish a yellow card to the Met Centre back, this was not a fair cop as he should have definitely been sent off according to one eye witness who wishes to remain anonymous.
Farnborough created the better chances in the first half and the first real opportunity fell to Paul Tanton whose shot was brilliantly saved by the legs of the Met goalkeeper after George had whipped an excellent ball across the Met box. The resulting corner then saw the Met break away on a counter attack which led to Rosslee being drawn into a smart one on one save to keep the score at 0-0.
Richard Cooke and Jim St. John were now bossing the midfield and not allowing themselves to be bullied either verbally or physically out of the game by the combative Met players and with some well organised defending by the Farnborough back 4 the Met failed to create another first half chance of any real substance.
Tempers were now slowly starting to reach near boiling point, which somehow always seemed to involve the no nonsense St. John in midfield who was continuing to stamp his authority on the game. Farnborough’s second real chance fell to the in form Pete Harvey who unfortunately fired his shot too close and at a decent height for the goalkeeper to get his hands behind the shot and divert the ball away from danger. The score remained at 0-0 (somehow).
Farnborough's persistence and patience finally led to them taking the lead courtesy of a Pete Harvey goal as he rounded the Met goalkeeper and slotted the ball into an empty net to make it 0-1 Farnborough and it was no more than they deserved. Farnborough should have gone in at half time two up; however Paul Tanton failed to take advantage of a lapse of concentration at the back and pulled his shot just wide with only the goalkeeper to beat. Half time 0-1 FOBG.
The second half saw the inclusion to the game of Andy Cobham, Danny Saines and Simon Harvey; unfortunately it also saw Richard Cooke withdrawn from the match with a recurrence of the hamstring injury which he has been struggling to shake off for the last few weeks now. The Met Police seemed to find another gear and were hungrier and more determined than us for the majority of the second half and their dominance paid when they equalised from what seemed to be a routine clearance from just inside the box by Danny Saines. Somehow the Met striker got his toe to the ball just before Danny’s last-ditch swipe and the ball fizzed into the Farnborough goal where an unsighted Rosslee was helpless in his efforts to save it. This left the Farnborough players scratching their heads and thinking, how? So there it was 1-1.
The Met continued to pressure Farnborough and by now some of the Young Vets started to lose their heads and let their tempers flare up which was playing right into the Met’s plans. Also the ugly side of Farnborough’s play started to creep back in, that’s right the moaning at each other rather than supporting and encouraging each other.
There were a couple of further scares at the back for Farnborough, Rosslee committing himself outside the box with a lunging tackle forcing the Met player out wide but thankfully losing his balance and going to ground far too easy for some people's liking, the Met’s calls for a foul were dismissed by the ref instantly.
The Met then almost nicked it in the last minute with a thunderous strike from 18 yards out that hit the crossbar and thankfully went behind the goal, just when the drama seemed to have subsided there was still time for St John to deliver yet another robust tackle, this time on the earlier yellow carded player which seemed to get the loudest cheer of the game from both sets of players I’m sure!
The ref blew the final whistle and the score ended in a 1-1 draw, probably a fair result overall which had been contested in very gruelling conditions.
Next week it's Glendale Vets at home although the kick off time is still up in the air, as were half of the players who tried to get anywhere near Jumbo today!!!
Man of the match: Jim St John