Sunday 24th November 2013
By Gary Rosslee
Sat here some 48 hours after our match against Charlton Rangers I still can’t quite put my finger on our overall team performance!? We were in certain pockets of the 90 minutes better than our entire performance against ‘Inter Vyagra’ the previous week in which we won comfortably 5-2 however that does not detract from the fact that today we were simply not good enough or hungry enough and we lacked real desire.
Charlton Rangers play at Queen Mary’s Sports ground on Perry Street, Chislehurst which is a rare local fixture for yours truly and it is safe to say the pitches are in lovely condition, so much so that we were requested to warm up on the pitches behind that were not in use that Sunday, it was chilly November morning but the conditions were excellent for football; there was a slight zip on the surface and the winds were minimal.
Unfortunately Farnborough’s absentee list continues to grow longer than my wife’s Christmas present list each week as Brett Cheesman has now been ruled out for the rest of the season with a reccurrence of an ankle injury, we were however pleased to report the return of Chris Rawley and Dean Wyatt who have both been absent lately along with the return of Margate’s or Thanet’s (depending on how old you are) favourite export since ‘Benbom Brothers’ Paul Aitken!
Farnborough reverted back to their familiar 4-4-2 formation and lined up as follows.
G. Rosslee ©
C. Rawley A. Cobham P. Bailey M. Wright
B. Clunn St. John D. Wyatt P. Tanton
B. Grainger S. Davies
Now more than often this season and any in fact Farnborough man mountain Jim ‘Jumbo’ St John is normally the biggest player on the field at any given time…………..well not today! It is very safe to say Charlton Rangers are one hell of a lump of a team; in fact it was even remarked that they resembled the ‘Monstar’ team from the 1996 Warner Bros motion picture ‘Space Jam’ http://www.theheckler.com/2012/04/30/jordan-assures-bobcats-fans-we-have-plans-to-sign-several-monstars-in-offseason/
Farnborough kicked downhill first half but were soon on the back foot, as Charlton played simple yet effective football, knock it in to the feet or head of their giant centre forward who would then bring the midfield into play and within 3 or 4 touches they were in on goal each time; thankfully due to some excellent defending by Paul Bailey Farnborough were able to weather the storm for the first 10 minutes or so.
Charlton did inevitably break the deadlock however as again some simple football on their behalf and some lacklustre passes from our end allowed them in directly on goal and as Andy Cobham tried to put in a last ditch tackle the forward had enough ability and composure to slot the ball under the approaching Rosslee, 1-0 Charlton Rangers.
What happened only a few moments after the restart was deemed as much of a ridiculous refereeing decision as the one made the previous night at the MEN Arena in Manchester. A routine through ball was played into the box as Rosslee went to pounce on the heavy first touch of the centre forward and gather the ball safely in his hands however the touch was heavier than he expected therefore the ball was now going straight to his feet as he was spread horizontal on the floor, Rosslee still had the presence of mind to swing with left boot to clear the danger away however the ball struck Paul Bailey on the hand from a matter of 2 yards out and the referee pointed to the spot to award a penalty kick much to the dismay of the Farnborough team, the resulting penalty was blasted home to give the home side a 2 goal cushion and incense the visitors. 2-0 Charlton Rangers.
Farnborough continued to be cut open by simple 3 / 4 pass moves, either direct from a Charlton throw-in or well worked triangles in the final third of the pitch and when Farnborough did have the ball they uncharacteristically gave possession away cheaply with mislaid passes or hit and hope passes that put them immediately on he back foot.
Charlton grabbed a third goal in rather fortuitous circumstances as a ‘meat and drink’ effort low down and straight at Rosslee was blocked by an outstretched leg by Matt Wright and with Rosslee committed and grounded the giant Charlton centre forward was gifted an open goal to fire into, 3-0 Charlton Rangers.
Charlton could have easily added a couple more to their commanding lead but wasteful finishing combined with a couple of decent saves from Rosslee, most notably a dive to the top right hand corner to keep out a header from yet again their giant centre forward kept the score respectable-ish. Si Davies had Farnborough’s solitary first half effort at the Charlton goal and somehow scored, the ball rolling down his shin and deflected off of at least one defending player on route, 3-1 Charlton Rangers.
The ref blew for half time and Paul Tanton introduced Si Reynolds, Paul Aitken and Richard Davies in a triple substitution replacing Si Davies, Chris Rawley and himself.
Second half Farnborough kicked uphill and came out of the traps the quickest as they now kept the ball a lot better and communicated better than they had in the first half, they also appeared to be the fresher of the 2 sides as some of the Charlton players were now carrying knocks and blowing. Paul Aitken was unlucky not to score his first goal in Farnborough colours as Richard Davies played the pass of the match with a 60 yard cross field ball that found Paul unmarked at the rear post, he did well to bring the ball under control but fired his effort over the bar with the goalkeeper beaten, the comeback looked definitely on for the visitors who now had the bit between their teeth. For all of Farnborough pressing and possession and determination they were soon undone by another fortuitous goal for the home side, again another effort shot straight at Rosslee who put his name on it only to see it ricochet off of Si Reynolds\' outstretched foot to completely wrong foot him and leave him clutching at thin air, 4-1 Charlton and surely now there was no way back?
If there was a way back for Farnborough they did well to eradicate that all by themselves as they capitulated in the final 20 minutes and Charlton had chance after chance after chance and had it not have been for Paul Bailey who appeared to be the only player that still gave a damn the scores could have been an embarrassment. The final nail in the coffin came when an underhit back pass to Rosslee by Matt Wright allowed the Charlton midfielder to capitalise and run on to the ball, Rosslee fully committed had no option but to haul him down in the box and thank his lucky stars that our matches are all friendlies and therefore he did not get sent off for a cynical / professional foul. The resulting spot kick was scored by the same player who netted a penalty in the first half, and if yours truly is not mistaken that was his 3rd of the match, 5-1 Charlton Rangers.
The referee put Farnborough out of their misery as he blew for full time as Farnborough were left licking their wounds, the changing room was a sombre place coupled with the fact that there was no bar on site to grab a beer and reflect on how poor they were at times.
MOM with a landslide 8 votes which shows you how much we were under it today was Paul Bailey.
Next week we are away at Kent Cricket Club in Beckenham against Peckham Rye Vets who appear to have absorbed many of the ‘Lloyds Golden Oldies Vets’ so another tough fixture is on the cards, let’s just hope we are not hit for six!
Man of the match: Paul Bailey