Sunday 2nd March 2014
By Colin Brazier
Different reporter - same result!
When Rog asked me to deputise for Pat today I think he just meant as author of the match report, but I wanted to get into character so I wondered how else I could represent our co-manager while he was busy sunning himself in Lanzarote:
• Turn up early and have a cheery hello for everyone – fail;
• Try to turn every innocent dressing room comment into a double-entendre – fail;
• Be the calming half of our co-management team – fail (no-one can out-calm the New Roger French);
• Run back with the oppo forward while my fellow defenders are all trying to catch him offside – check;
• Treat every FOBG free kick – or corner – in the opposing half as a personal scoring opportunity – fail, Rob took our only free kick and made a decent fist of it, forcing the Santos keeper into a good save;
• Spend half my playing time with my mind wondering what can go into the match report – check;
• Big yourself up and dig out your fellow players for their mistakes in the report while conveniently forgetting your own howler which gifts the oppo a way back into the game – check, oh hell…check!
• I didn’t stop there either, driving to Sheppey after the game to see the in-laws. Here we differ; I think they’re extremely nice people!
We were playing Santos, new oppo for us, but the Young Vets have played – and beaten – them regularly over the last few seasons. For our fourth consecutive game, in two months, we assembled fourteen players. Our starting XI were Gary Fentiman in goal; Colin Brazier, Ian Coles, Steve Blanchard, and Mick O’Flynn in defence; Rob Lipscomb, Waine Hetherington, Mehmet Bozyigit and Ian Shoebridge in midfield; Andy Faulks and Colin Mant in attack. Roger French, Nick Waller and Andrew Washington were held in reserve.
The ever reliable Mick Gearing was the referee and was to do something unexpected in the course of the game for the second successive week. After his award of a penalty kick last Sunday, he spotted a foul-throw today, thus more than justifying his match fee.
There were many spectators including our usual fans Isabelle and Thomas French, Jane Martin, and returning Guild old boy (er, yes, we are all old boys!) Duncan Ainsby. Chris Webb was also spotted in the crowd for the first half hour of the game. Ours was the third of three matches to take place on our main pitch in two days, with the top pitch still being unplayable. Bunny Beston was spotted trying to find a darkened room to spend the afternoon in.
Well, guess I’d better get to the game. We started well, Colin B and Waine working well down the left, and Mick and Mehmet doing the same down the right. We took the lead after about 15 minutes with a fine team move, the ball being worked out to Mehmet (no, wait, stop press...MICK. Yes, definitely Mick.) who crossed low, finding Compo in plenty of space to pick his spot and then decide which part of the goal he would put the ball in. 1-0 OBG’s (copyright G. Rosslee).
So, ahead and looking likely to increase our lead, playing with confidence on a tricky surface, then our left back decides to play a blind pass inside, and finds Steve Blanchard had morphed into the oppo’s centre forward, accumulating, in the process, the ability to chip our 6’ 6” keeper who was standing on the goal line. Rubbish defending lads, rubbish. 1-1.
This visibly lifted Santos, who did, indeed, start to play some Brazilian football. It wasn’t South American football that gave them the lead after half an hour though. A keeper’s punt down the middle, Nick got his head on it (unfortunately) which wrong-footed our defence and the Santos striker put it in at the eighteenth attempt. Bad luck Gary. 1-2 Santos.
After that we never got back into our stride. We had most of the play but Santos always threatened on the break.
There was the usual swapping of players within the confines of our rigid 4-4-2 (when we have the ball; when the oppo have it, it mysteriously turns into 3-1-6) but I won’t document them all here, you have read these reports before, you know the type of thing. Never makes the blindest bit of difference, save to give everyone decent playing time. We huffed, but believe me, we puffed a hell of a lot more, to no avail. Santos held on reasonably comfortably to complete a deserved win for them.
Happy to report the showers were warm today; Vicky was working overtime behind the bar and Pam and Jane had laid on the usual feast. Shame the footballers couldn't do the same; maybe next week. We are now definitely on the crest of a slump results-wise, but even so it’s better than sitting indoors on a Sunday watching the rain lash down. Isn’t it???
Man of the match was Mick O’Flynn, who I hear got more than one vote, which counts as a consensus today.
Normal service (phnarr phnarr!) will resume next week when Pat has returned from his hols.
Man of the match: Mick O