Sunday 22nd December 2013
By Gary Rosslee
We were going into our match against Wellcome Vets on a run of back-to-back victories which has appeared to have done the team morale a world of good; however today’s match was clearly going to be our toughest test since the beginning of December when we played (and collapsed) against Peckham Rye Vets.
Even with the torrential downpours both the day before and on the morning there was never any doubt that today’s match would be called off as the drainage at Beckenham Cricket club is probably the best I have ever seen, so good news for us all wanting play football but bad news for those who were partying at ‘Bibas’ till the early hours of the morning!
Also at BCC were the Senior Vets team who were playing against the Wellcome Super Vets team, however the decision and a rather strange one at that was to let the older Vets teams play on the much longer pitch which meant we were playing on the postage stamp pitch.
Farnborough due to another shortage of numbers called up a couple of new recruits and lined up as follows.
G. Rosslee ©
C. Rawley M. Wright A. Cobham N. Connelly
B. Clunn D. Wyatt St. John J. Redman
S. Thomas B. Grainger
Farnborough chose to kick away from the low December morning sun however it was Wellcome who started the much brighter team as they took the lead in the opening 5 minutes as once again a set piece proved to be our Achilles heel as St John was guilty of not marking his man and the towering centre back was able to head home an unstoppable header, 1-0 Wellcome.
Wellcome continued to have Farnborough on the back foot as they utilised their two front men to good effect, and with the pitch being as small as it was it was difficult for Farnborough not to sit too deep. Wellcome nearly doubled their lead as again their centre forward latched on to the ball and he shaped his shot that Rosslee just about managed to tip on to the crossbar and the ball then actually went out for a throw in. Farnborough did manage to have some decent spells of possession as Ben Clunn and John Redman on their respective flanks were utilising the width of the pitch and knocking on some telling crosses. New recruit Simon Thomas went the closest to levelling before Barry Grainger eventually scored the equaliser. Barry skipped past 2 over zealous challenges before taking the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper before slotting home from a very acute angle, 1-1.
From there on the play was pretty evenly balanced as the referee blew for half time.
Thankfully by now the sun had moved further away and was not as much as a hindrance for Farnborough as it must have been for Wellcome in the first half but with that said it was Wellcome who came out of the traps the fastest again. Farnborough failed to clear the ball as the centre forward now talking up more of a central midfield role whipped the ball into the box and the same centre back that scored the first goal was on hand to head home from 7 yards out, 2-1 Wellcome.
Farnborough again showed real desire to claw back a further equaliser as this time St John (atoning for his early lapse of concentration) headed the ball on for Barry Grainger to score a rare header to make the scores 2-2.
A further set piece was to be our downfall again as Wellcome scored from another corner to take the lead for the third time in the match to make the scores 3-2 but Barry Grainger soon levelled from a direct free kick that the goalkeeper maybe should have done better with but with all that said that made the scores level again at 3-3.
Barry had some fortuitous luck with his 4th goal as his first time effort ricocheted off of a defender’s trailing foot to wrong-foot the goalkeeper to give Farnborough the lead for the first time in the match, 3-4 OBG’s. Wellcome had several further attempts on goals that forced Rosslee into a couple smart saves but it was centre back Andy Cobham who pulled off the save of the match. The ball ran loose in the crowded penalty area and as the centre forward picked his spot Andy somehow dived high up to his left to head the ball away for a corner as it was destined for the top corner to spark scenes of jubilation like we had just won the match.
With around 4 minutes remaining on the referee’s watch Farnborough finally put the game to rest as Ben Clunn latched on to a well weighted through ball and took the ball around the goalkeeper before finishing into the empty net to finally break Wellcome’s resolve and score his 3rd of the season making him joint third scorer?!!
MOM today was Barry Grainger for his 4 goal haul.
Next game up is the home game just after Christmas against local rivals Cudham which always proves to be a tough match but more importantly it’s a chance to run off that extra portion of Christmas pudding!
Man of the match: Barry Grainger