Sunday 11th April 2010
By Gary Rosslee
Today we made the all too familiar trip to John Roan School fields to play new opposition by the name of ‘Old Tamponians’ naturally the usual jokes you would expect from a group of grown men were exchanged in the dressing room about their choice of name before kick off. ‘What can I say it must have been that time of the month!’ no seriously the time for making jokes about their team name is over…..period!
Today also gave us the chance to exercise the demons from our last game against Lambeth Classics who have now put a match report on their website, and a very gentle one on us I might add...
(if only they could have lacked that sort of flair and creativity in front of goal a couple of weeks ago things may have been a different story). Although the second report on their website is a true work of genius.
We managed to round up a solid squad today despite missing the likes of Neil Connelly, Pete & Simon Harvey, Andy Cobham, Robin Lipscombe, Macey, and Aaron Carpenter.
We lined up as follows
Gary Rosslee - GK
Danny Saines - LB
Tony Simpson – CB
Matt Wright – CB
Richard Davies – RB
Lee Cleaver – LM
Jim St John (Jumbo) – CM
Richard Cooke – CM
Dave Garratty – RM
George Kleanthous – CF
Paul Tanton - CF
With the lack of refereeing options available today the Old Tamponians players kindly offered to referee the match and we were assured there would be “no strings attached”!
The first 10 minutes were pretty evenly balanced with neither team creating what you would call a real chance that was until Jumbo hit the Tamponians bar with a towering header from a Richard Davies corner. Moments later a lapse in concentration from Matt Wright at the other end almost allowed Tamponians to take the lead when he misjudged a through ball which should have been easily cleared but instead called for Rosslee to charge out to collect, however the ball did not have enough pace on it and the dreadlocked centre forward gambled on this and rounded Rosslee but couldn’t slide the ball into the empty net as his touch was just too heavy thus leaving the angle tighter than he would have liked. Both teams had ridden their luck to keep the score goalless.
Rosslee then had to be alert to punch away a knock down from an Old Tamponians corner that landed right in the path of an unmarked Tamponian inside the 6-yard box who looked destined to break the deadlock. George had a goal disallowed for offside and this was just one of many offside rulings that went against us which were dubious.
Old Tamponians took the lead thanks to another dubious decision, this time Chris Greenhough who had replaced the injured Dave Garratty was judged to have fouled his man inside the penalty box and the ref gave a penalty. This was smashed down the middle as Rosslee dived to his right in despair. 1-0 Old Tamponians.
The Tamponians lead didn’t last for too long as Farnborough were now finding their rhythm and taking complete control of the game with some solid performances from Richard Cooke and Jumbo in the middle of the park. Farnborough took a quick corner and Richard Davies curled in a peach of a goal with the outside of his right foot from the right hand corner of the box, this eluded all the players in the box as well as the Tamponian goalkeeper whose last minute dive was not enough to keep it out. 1-1.
The Tamponian goalkeeper then made up for that blip with a couple of smart saves to keep the scores level going into half time. Some further changes at half time saw Paul Tanton and Stuart Manwaring enter the fray.
As per many of our games we were slow out of the blocks for the second half and nearly found ourselves behind again, thankfully Rosslee was on hand to tip a fierce close range drive over the bar and then clear the resulting corner. Rich Davies who was now playing at right midfield doubled his tally from open play after he collected the ball out wide and drove into the penalty box unleashing an unstoppable shot which the goalkeeper got his hands to but couldn’t divert away and the ball nestled nicely into the corner to give Farnborough the advantage. 1-2.
This should have given Farnborough the impetus to go on and add more goals and put the game to bed but instead we switched off and nearly conceded an equaliser, another save from Rosslee kept the scores at 1-2, however this could have been avoided if Rosslee had not opted to punch a loose ball away on the floor which found a Tamponian on the edge of the box. With the goal gaping at his mercy his shot back into the box was blocked by Rosslee who had somehow managed to get up from the beached whale position and concede a corner to save his blushes!!
Jumbo was unlucky not to put further light between the two teams when he charged into the box and evaded a series of tackles but he saw his effort saved by the legs of the Tamponian goalkeeper and the ball somehow managed to stay out. These were tense moments as the game was still hanging in the balance. That was until Paul Tanton now playing right back stepped up and scored Farnborough’s third with what he describes as his ‘standing leg’ the ball finding the top left hand corner and leaving the goalkeeper with absolutely no chance. 1-3 Farnborough.
Farnborough looked to be home and dry but there was still time for the Old Tamponians to carve out another opportunity, again Rosslee thwarting another attack this time with a feet first tackle when the Tamponian centre forward was through one on one.
The ref blew the full time whistle and thankfully we had come through this test worthy 1-3 winners, we now only have 4 more games to play this season but luckily enough the ground is starting to dry up and get harder than a coffin nail!!
There were very some good individual performances today from the likes of Richard Cooke, Richard Davies, Matt Wright and dare I say it even yours truly.
Lee Cleaver and Chris Greenhough also had solid debuts for the Vets; will this give them an appetite for more?
Next week sees us entertain the teachers of Avery Hill; the reverse fixture saw Farnborough win 3-8 so they’ll be looking to avenge that result and they should be more than fresh after having the last 2 weeks off for half term!
Man of the match: 50/50 Gary Rosslee & Jim St John