Monday 6th April 2015
By Dan Rose
The day started so well I was up at 8 30 sharp, all be it having only just got in and along with Barnes was ready to lead the team to what would be our 6th win in 7 league games. Optimism was high, then everything unravelled before us.
Firstly Gibbo had Barnes in a panic after he told us he couldn't play. After ringing every contact I had and spending my delightful somewhat hungover morning searching for a keeper Gibbo confirmed he was now available having grovelled to the missus, we would like to personally thank Senay for this and hope she has a speedy recovery, we would have most certainly lost without Lee today. The day suddenly had optimism again. Silly of us to think everything would go swimmingly from here on in, 30 minutes before meet Steve McQueen texted to say his car wouldn't start, no bother we would be able to pick him up I thought. No, he's at his missus’ in... PADDINGTON. Not ideal, especially after Lee Friend had confirmed he would 100% be there however not on time.
We arrive at Bexley all looking worse for wear and all counting the numbers we quite clearly lacked with 40 minutes to go until kick off. Standing in the car park and worryingly trying to phone Ellis to ask if Gary Harrigan was allowed to stop working to come and play. No answer and even after LJ said we should just lie and say Matt said he could play we decided to venture elsewhere with no avail. With Tom Rush and Luke Foulsham uncontactable 20 minutes before kick-off we sit in the changing room with 9 players then Dave Martin apologetically strolls in. Hope! With now an amazing 10 players we asked the ref to delay kick off 15 minutes, he and Bexley declined and we instead powered on with what I would like to call the best warm-up ever, especially after watching Bexley warming up for well over an hour. We kicked balls into the net for all of 5 minutes and not one attempt at a jog was made.
With Rohan captain for the day, simply for being the biggest player in the changing room in more ways than one, Barnes led the huddle to 10 somewhat uninspired players at this point.
Kick off; the first 10 minutes was all Bexley, and they scored quite soon after, with my twice failed attempts to kick their pacy winger missing he squared the ball and the striker rifled home. This was slowly looking like what was going to be the longest afternoon of our season. Rohan then took matters into his own hands and after successfully fouling literally the whole of the Bexley team he found his way into the book after 15 minutes! Lee Friend then turned up after 20 minutes to take us to the dizzying heights of 11 players. There was hope, although that didn't last long as Scott who's got history, gave away a pen. Gibbo had other plans though saving what was a decent penalty low to his right (his second penalty save in two days) the turning of the game.
The shape wasn't that great but with 11 men we started to cause Bexley some problems. Rohan continued to kick everyone in sight and Scott also got into the action. With 5 minutes to go before half-time an opportunity opened up, Lee Friend drilled a low free kick which bounced up in front of the goalie which baffled me as the pitch was like a carpet, I lie it was horrendous and in very bad shape. Anyway back to the free kick: it bounced up, the keeper spilled it and Kobi with acres of space and 3 yards from goal, blazed it against the bar. No wonder he hasn't scored all season.
Half-time, we regrouped - I moaned a lot about wanting to throw up, the rest of the lads were very optimistic saying we could get something from the game.
We were a different team in the second half; the shape was better, the midfield was dominating even if none of them really played in their natural position, Kobi wide left and Scott on the right were getting into the game, Rohan was running (a lot), Barnes was trying, and Harry Tanner and Lee Friend were causing problems up top. The back four of Crossy, me, Ren and Mr Jazzhands also known as Dave Martin were fairly comfortable with Gibbo not really having a save to make. Then something amazing happened, I would say it was the best team goal I have seen from us this season on a pitch that bobbled at every opportunity, Crossy calmly played the ball to Rohan, he slid it to Barnes who jinked and turned on a sixpence, rolled the ball across the box and Kobi scored his first league goal of the season. Euphoria with 13 minutes to go.
Bexley were angry. Then with the game petering out to what was looking like a draw, from out of nowhere Scott who is getting a name for himself smashed a volley from 25 yards straight past the keeper and sent Farnborough wild, Scott celebrated emphatically after being called a donkey.
We easily saw the last 5 minutes out with no harm and there were hugs and laughter all round, after what started as a shambles it turned into an amazing result. I would like to thank everyone who turned up for their efforts. It wasn't pretty but we all enjoyed it in the end, many highlights and a joy to be a part of such a great team effort and the satisfaction at the end laughing at our measly five-minute shooting practice with not many hitting the target I might add.
Scott 9 another worldy but gave away the pen
Lee F. 10 for effort 5 for punctuality
Thanks again for a very successful Bank Holiday weekend for the team: 2 wins out of 2 against the top 2.
Special mention to Crossy stepping up from the 3rds, Kobi returning early from a stag do and Harry stepping up from the Fourths even if he is worthy of a start for the Firsts each week, for all stepping up to the plate in our hour (90 mins) of need.