Sunday 10th November 2013
By Gary Rosslee
Remembrance Sunday is a very poignant date in the Young Vets calendar not only does it signal the sacrifices made by the millions of people between 28 July 1914 and 11 November 1918 but it always signals our first trip to Kidbrooke “Village” and our first of 4 consecutive games on the road courtesy of a good old fashioned bit of copy and pasting of the previous year’s fixture list.
So today’s oppo as they were this time 12 months ago were Toby Vets, and it was this time one year ago that we recorded our first clean sheet of the season quite aptly at the 11th time of asking. We assembled at John Roan playing fields to be greeted by some familiar faces in the shape of our old adversaries John Roan / Old Tamponians and they gave us the heads up that this Toby side were not the same team that had been around over the past few years (in fact Toby recently defeated John Roan) and they were right this was a much stronger side than previously.
Farnborough lined up as follows.
G. Rosslee ©
P. Bailey A. Cobham B. Cheesman M. Friend
B. Clunn St. John D. Nott P. Tanton
B. Grainger S. Reynolds
Kicking into the bright autumnal sunshine Farnborough created a number of very good opportunities to break the deadlock within the first 5 minutes; Paul Tanton was given the ball on a plate by Barry Grainger but his first time effort went down the keeper’s throat who to be fair did well to tip the ball over; however a yard or two either side of the keeper and Tant would have given the Guild the lead. Si Reynolds did well to keep his balance inside the box and with the keeper advancing he tried to guide the ball inside the far post but it hit the upright and went out. Ben Clunn then wasted the best chance to open the scoring as the ball was squared across goal but his shot lacked any real conviction which meant the keeper could save quite conformably in the end.
As quick and mobile as Toby Vets were in the final third of the very long pitch the Farnborough back four coped excellently with the pressure that was put on them; however they could do nothing about the opening goal that home side scored. A corner was swung in from the right hand side and Andy Cobham looked to have won the ball with a header but he was nudged in the back whilst in mid air by the Toby player which changed the projection of his leap and his 11 stone frame (soaking wet while holding a brick) was out muscled by a Toby player as he got across him and headed home, 1-0 Toby Vets.
Farnborough showed great resilience as they refused to let the setback affect their game as they continued to play some decent football and showed some real ‘Dunkirk’ spirit and they were awarded for their persistence as Paul Tanton returned the favour to Barry Grainger as he played him in and he coolly rounded the onrushing keeper and scored from a tight-ish angle to restore parity. 1-1.
Farnborough then took the lead through Daragh Nott who notched up his 3rd goal of the season after further unselfish play from Paul Tanton on the edge of the box and Daragh let fly with a well placed finish into the top corner of the Toby goal, 1-2 OBG’s.
The Farnborough lead did not last as long as they would have hoped as Toby Vets fashioned an equaliser on the counter attack, Paul Bailey was very unlucky not to get his block tackle in and the ball ricocheted off of his foot to wrong foot Rosslee and draw the scores level at 2-2 and the ref blew for half time.
Paul Tanton made the following changes, Si Davies replaced Paul Tanton, and Daragh was replaced by Matt Wright this meant that with some shuffling Si Reynolds was shipped out to left midfield, Si Davies playing up top, Matt Wright went to left back as Mark Friend was shuffled across to right back and Paul Bailey replaced Daragh in the centre.
Within moments of the restart the 5th goal of the game was scored, and it went to the home side unfortunately. Mark Friend allowed his man to ghost in behind him (to be fair he was as quick as a whippet) and he had time to square the ball across the Farnborough goal where the centre forward who was unmarked in the box was able to tap home from a few yards out, 3-2 Toby Vets.
Rosslee had to be alert to keep an effort out with a smart save to his right hand side from 8 yards out to keep the deficit to just the one goal and then Ben Clunn who even by his own admission was not having his best game for the Guild was replaced by Paul Tanton out on the right wing so maybe it was just a pure coincidence that Farnborough nicked an equaliser albeit through a rather fortuitous refereeing decision only moments after?
A Brett Cheesman free kick was floated to the edge of the Toby box and the ball was nodded down by Si Davies to either Barry or Si Reynolds my memory escapes me but ultimately the ball was squared to St John to tap home at the back post unmarked. For a moment every player in Red & Yellow thought the referee was going to give offside as they trudged back to defend but fair play to the ref as he let the goal stand to bring the scores level again at 3-3.
From there on Farnborough grew in confidence and stature and deservedly took the lead for the 3rd time of the match; Paul Bailey giving Si Davies the sort of delivery centre forwards can only dream of. A free kick just inside the Toby half was struck into the area between the penalty spot and the 6 yard box and Si Davies timed his run to perfection to smash the ball home first time with a well executed volley, 3-4 OBG’s.
The Farnborough rearguard still had to be on their game as they all won their personal battles respectively and this allowed the likes of Si Reynolds, Barry Grainger and Si Davies to find themselves in acres of space in the final 3rd of the pitch and Si Davies was played in on goal one on one and he kept his cool to slot home convincingly, 3-5 OBG’s.
There was still time for the Toby keeper to pull off a couple of decent saves and Farnborough to waste a few decent chances, most notably Si Davies now on a hat-trick blazing over after a clever 3 man team move. However the keeper was completely unable to stop the goal of the game, courtesy of Paul ‘There’s only one Village’ Tanton. Si Reynolds brought the ball down from the sky and looked to set himself up to try a speculative effort out on the right hand side however he laid the ball off to Tanton with the perfect weight and Tanton did well not to step in the technicolor yawn that Ben Clunn had laid down and curled the ball with his right foot first time over several players in the box and over the Toby keeper and the ball nestled in the far right hand side corner, 3-6 OBG’s.
Looking back to this fixture on Remembrance Sunday this time last year yours truly commented on the fact that this wasn’t one of those games that you’ll remember for while but thankfully today’s game was. The ref (who I should add was one of their players) had a very good game and was very fair blew the whistle for full time and Farnborough eventually ran out 3-6 winners. This was a difficult game today against fast, fit opposition on a very big pitch that played quite heavy underfoot.
Next week we are playing away at Greenwich Barracks in ‘Ha Ha’ Rd, seeing as we are playing Inter Vyagra wouldn’t it be more apt if we were playing at ‘Fnar Fnar’ Rd!
MOM today was Si Reynolds with 4 assists, who also took the kit home. Note to self it might be wise to bring the spare kit next Sunday ;)
Man of the match: Simon Reynolds