Sunday 8th September 2013
By Gary Rosslee
So our second game of the season and an away trip to Avery Hill / New Eltham to face ‘Metrogas Vets’ a side equally impressive as their home pitch and facilities and not to mention a couple of ex pro’s thrown in just for good measure.
The Farnborough management team were presented with a selection problem for the second week running as they were yet again deprived of several key players and the game almost kicked off with Farnborough only having 10 outfield players as Daragh Nott somehow cycled to the wrong ground, although rumour has it he was still at home trying to perfect his best man’s speech for Paul Tanton’s wedding next weekend. The numbers were so short in fact that Farnborough even had to ask “Smithy” of ex-Buff fame who was thankfully down in a spectator capacity to don the Red and Yellow just in case!
Farnborough eventually lined up in an unfamiliar 4-5-1 formation as follows.
G. Rosslee ©
R. Davies C. Rawley B. Cheesman M. Friend
B. Clunn D. Nott P. Bailey D. Wyatt P. Tanton
Sub / linesman
Farnborough knew this would be much harder and closer contest then last week’s cricket score against Greenwich Challenge and the visitors started the match the much brighter team, knocking the ball around with confidence and composure and making use of the extra man in the middle. Maybe Farnborough felt they should have taken the lead within the opening 5 minutes as Barry Grainger was played through expertly but he snatched at his first time shot and it ended up straight down the goalie’s throat for a rare miss for the Farnborough forward. The Farnborough back 4 played with real grit and determination and played as a cohesive unit as they managed to cope with the waves of Metrogas pressure and attacks that resulted in Rosslee becoming a mere spectator for the opening 20 minutes or so. In fact it was his opposite number who was the busier of the 2 keepers as he was alert to tip over a sweet volley from Paul Bailey from some 25 yards that would have been an early contender for goal of the season and he was also at hand to deny Farnborough from taking the lead on another couple of occasions. Farnborough for all their possession deservedly took the lead when Barry Grainger played a perfectly weighted reverse pass to Daragh Nott who finished with his left foot (a real collectors’ item) when unmarked 10 yards out from goal, 0-1 OBG’s.
Dean Wyatt was enjoying one of his best games for the Guild and was constantly at the centre of Farnborough’s play both going forward and in his defensive duties. I lost count of the amount of times Dean won the ball off a Metrogas player. A slight lapse in concentration nearly allowed Metrogas back into the match as Richard Davies (not known for his aerial prowess) mistimed a routine pass back header to Rosslee which allowed the Metrogas attacker a real glimpse of goal, Rosslee stood up big and managed to get a touch onto the ball that carried the attacker out wide and Ben Clunn was able to mop up the loose ball to keep the slender one goal lead still intact.
Groom to be / condemned man (delete where applicable) Paul Tanton soon doubled Farnborough’s lead as he was played through one on one albeit out wide and still with a lot to do he was able to shape his shot around the onrushing keeper who was now out of his 18 yard box, 0-2 OBG’s.
Farnborough weathered the storm for the remainder of the first half as the referee blew for the interval.
The second half was a completely different story to the first as Metrogas opted to play 3 men up front to instantly put Farnborough on the back foot and they were soon right back into the match as they scored from their first corner of the second half, Chris Rawley losing his man who was able to head home completely unchallenged and halve the deficit, 1-2 OBG’s.
Metrogas stepped it up another gear as they went searching for the equaliser and parity was eventually restored for the home side albeit through a controversial refereeing decision. The right sided midfielder appeared to be at least 2 or 3 yards offside when he collected the ball that ricocheted of Paul Tanton’s outstretched leg and he was able to look up and square to the unmarked centre forward who finished with ease, to leave Farnborough seething at the decision, 2-2.
From there on the whole make up of the match completely changed as the 2 sets of teams started to get niggly with each other and heated words were exchanged wherever possible. The referee awarded a free kick to Metrogas although Richard Davies had clearly won the ball fair and square and they nearly scored a third directly from it which would have been completely unjust. Rosslee appeared to have the ball covered but he collided with the upright thus dropping the ball goalwards but thankfully Mark Friend was on hand to hook the ball off the line from under the bar to spare Rosslee’s blushes who then took a boot to the stomach for good measures in the resulting goalmouth scramble.
Daragh Nott should have done better with a free header after another excellent cross from Barry Grainger and Ben Clunn knows he should have opened his account for the Guild from a matter of yards out as well. And Dean Wyatt was unable to shape his shot into the top corner after he had won the ball yet again on the edge of the Metrogas penalty area.
Rosslee had to be alert to pull off a couple of smart saves within the final 5 minutes as Metrogas went searching for a winner but (eventually) full time was blown for and both teams settled for a draw.
Metrogas were very hospitable après-match as they served up a couple of platters that contained a variety of sandwiches and pastries as Farnborough were left to reflect on a very hard fought contest against very good opposition and on paper given the squad we had to work with a very very (finger in the air) good result.
Man of the match: Dean Wyatt for an industrious engine-like 90 minutes.
Next week another away fixture against Cudham Vets at the Beaverwood Club and hopefully the return of some familiar faces to the squad. We already know that we will be without the services of Paul Tanton and Daragh Nott due to the biggest footballer’s wedding since David Beckham’s and with that said we all wish Paul and his wife-to-be congratulations and good luck on their fairytale day.
Speaking of fairytales, here is a copy of the shortest fairytale ever told.
Once upon a time, a handsome man asked an extremely beautiful woman to marry him. The woman said NO, and the man lived happily ever after. The End.
Man of the match: Dean Wyatt