Sunday 23rd September 2012
By Roger French
Senior Vets Squander too many Chances and Pay the Price against Sanco Super Vets
As autumn hit with a vengeance the curse of Sanco returned as our profligacy in front of goal cost us dearly today. To say Sanco should have been dead and buried by half-time is not an understatement as chance after chance went begging. I can only hope that the winter weather does not take away our opportunity to rectify this dismal score when they come down to Farrow Fields in February.
With regular match reporter and co-manager Waldorf taking the unprecedented step of deciding that discretion is the better part of valour by taking two weeks leave it was down to me to either find a suitable volunteer or fill the gap myself. As you can see I failed miserably so find myself trying to remember the sequence of events as in days of old.
Let’s start with the simple things. First a no-show by John Tallis brought the numbers down to 13 and so the team lined up as follows:
Gary Fentiman GK
Chris Bourlet RB
Chris Webb CB
Ian Coles CB
Colin Brazier LB
Mehmet Bozyigit RM
Sinisa Gracanin CM
Nick Waller CM
Rob Lipscomb LM
Ian Shoebridge CF
Andy Faulks CF
Subs: Mick O’Flynn, Roger French
The game kicked off in persistent rain and we immediately settled into our stride and took the game to Sanco with well constructed passing moves forcing them back into their own half for long periods of time. Webby was playing an excellent game as last man, Sini and Nick were controlling the middle of the park and both Rob and Mehmet were getting plenty of ball down the wings.
The first of many glorious chances was spurned after about 15 minutes when the ball was crossed in deep by Mehmet from the right and was met by Webby with a suspicion of handball as he slipped on the greasy surface. The ball broke free in the penalty box and Shoey lashed it against the bar from seven yards out. The first of many let-offs for Sanco.
Shortly after this we did in fact take the lead when a high ball into the penalty area was probably harshly adjudged to have been handled by the Sanco defender but both their referee and linesman were in agreement and so up stepped Compo. Looking assured with the confidence built by scoring in every game so far he tucked the ball away into the bottom left hand corner despite a valiant attempt by the Sanco keeper.
We continued this largely one-way traffic and created many good scoring opportunities but were thwarted by either good goalkeeping or wayward finishing. Sanco were always dangerous on the break and forced a few corners to give us a couple of nervous moments.
Half-time came and although we had no oranges we were suitably refreshed by a tray of teas supplied by the opposition. Mick O’Flynn swapped with Chris Bourlet who pointed out as he took up the line that as a defender for the first half he had helped keep a clean sheet. The slender one goal lead was worrying me too.
The second half started with Sanco taking the initiative and pushing on in their quest to equalise and began to find a bit of space. They played a higher line and we found ourselves in offside positions all too often. Our defence was able to cope but our attack continued to be wasteful in front of goal with Mehmet blazing high over the bar from 8 yards out.
The feeling of regretting not taking our chances was fully justified when Sanco managed to pull the game level. It still wasn’t time to panic as we continued to press forward and create chances.
With twenty minutes played one of their subs on the touchline informed me that they usually only played 40 minutes each way and I began to think it was about time I had a go. Just before I had a chance to make the substitution they shocked us with another goal to put them 2-1 ahead.
Shoey came off to allow me to play a cameo role up front and to try and catch Waldorf in the top 50 goal scorers since website records began. If Compo had been a bit more alert and played the ball earlier as I stood unmarked in the box things might have been different.
As it was it took a bit of fluky rebound between two defenders as Sanco tried to clear their lines with the ball falling to the feet of Compo on the edge of the box. He took a couple of paces and dispatched the ball into the back of the net to bring us back into the game with five minutes remaining.
We continued to press for the winner that we should have had by now and the inevitable happened with players pushing up we got caught at the back although Gary managed to make a good save from the first attacker he could only parry the ball into the path of a second Sanco striker who made no mistake.
Time was running out with only 3 minutes left to play. We were unable to find a way back into this game and Sanco were mightily relieved to hear the final whistle to give them an unexpected victory. As they say we were the architects of our own downfall.
What made it harder to accept was how well we had played as a team. There were a number of stand out performances including Sini and Webby but the MOM votes by a clear majority went to Nick Waller for a sterling performance at the heart of midfield.
To add to the disappointment the majority of the team had to leave straight after and although Sanco provide half-time teas they don’t stretch to post-match hospitality which added to the rather empty feeling I had unless you count a couple of packets of Scampi Fries mistakenly purchased by Rob Lipscomb.
P.S. Bambi on ice, a.k.a. Colin Brazier has promised to buy a new pair of boots by next week’s game.
Man of the match: Nick Waller