Saturday 20th August 2011
By Paul Parsons
Our first warm up game of the campaign saw an eager Junior Reds side offer a fine display against a seasoned and experienced Third XI with a few new faces. We started in bright sunshine both on and off the pitch, and ended in a downpour, which reflected our play at times, and we were very disappointed to come away with a draw.
We have a lot of potential in the squad, with at least 10 players in their early 20's (ok, so only me and Jay Hardy in the 35-40 bracket if you must know!).
We started well, keeping the ball, and looking dangerous on the break with James Cheshire and Gary Harrigan upfront. Dan Bull was magnificent in goal all game, with assured kicking, block shot stopping and acrobatic saves to keep us in the game in the first half. Junior Reds had the best chances of the first half, however we were much more assured on the ball and had more possession. Jay and Piers tackling like terriers and a unique combo of Steve Lombard and Gary Atkins working some magic down the left. Nick Stannard never gave the ball away all game on the right, and was very much part of the action, giving his all for the full 90 minutes.
So to the goals! We gifted them a goal from a break in midifeld, and did not try to get back to defend, and although we got back on level terms with a Gary Atkins long range cross/pass, we gifted another when I got just ahead of the attacker to nod back to the keeper, but with Dan bearing down on the striker, the ball was over hit, and the striker took a tumble as he lost possession, and the resulting penalty was coolly finished by ex FOBG player, Josh Walsh. With 10 minutes or so left, Steve Lombard replicated Gary Atkins' goal from a free kick that slipped through the keeper's hands, and with Ben Tomkins, Lee Thraves and Paul Parsons defending resolutely at the end, a draw was always on the cards. Another new face, James Ward, came on and grafted hard up front for the final 15 minutes. The game was played in excellent spirit, and we look forward to more games both in friendlies and league in the not too distant future.