Sunday 12th November 2017
By Mark Harrington
Supporters: Big Pearce and girlfriend Alex.
Well this was literally a case of “after the Lord Mayor's Show”. After last week's superb buffet at Eynsford the only feast on offer was the amount of goals. No one fancied the mobile greasy spoon at Eltham Town Youth Academy so it was back to the village for pork scratchings and crisps. Probably a safe bet.
Unfortunately, Marcus' neck finally succumbed to all that weight and he was ruled out the day before but not after much questioning how he got the injury? As it’s a family read I’ll protect the innocent (doesn't stop Patrice - ed.) but also dispel the rumours he was getting his teeth bleached for a friend's party in Brentwood, Essex. Perhaps the neck went after dropping the £2 Dartford toll coins which no doubt landed on the back of his head. Anyway, we have a good squad and Frank Pearce moved ably into centre back to form a ‘little and large’ partnership with Jon Gasson. Both set the foundations for our raids on what was a difficult pitch.
If Bake Off can have Best Baker then we can have Best Defender and James Clarke, only resemblance to Paul Hollingwood is the goatee beard, had an outstanding day at right back. Good distribution and excellent covering got him a few MOM votes on a day that was all about scoring. Frank Pearce also got a couple of votes and shows that despite the scoreline we did not have it all our own way and if not for a superb save from Matti Wright and a last ditch tackle by James, our third clean sheet on the trot would never have materialised.
It took a while for us to break down Greenwich who are polar in terms of age, a number of youngsters supported by the old guard. A spirited bunch with funny numbering on their backs, one had 666 on his shirt and when questioned confirmed he is the local funeral director. Looking at the score you may think that a few of his recent customers were playing; however they defended the old way and it took us until the 27th minute to lift the lid on a high scoring performance. MOM Jez Mooney scoring one of the goals of the season with a sublime left foot volley which the keeper had absolutely no chance with. Jez had an outstanding day and again despite Alan getting a hat-trick was rightly voted MOM with 8 votes. Jez took the corner that allowed Jon Gasson to tower over the oppo and head in at the far post for his first of the season. Jon usually has a couple by now and his celebration clearly showed he’s up for more. In fact, I thought he was playing defence but only to find him trying to emulate his Spurs idol Chris Waddle on the wing at certain points. Paul Tanton had one cleared off the line by a corpse who was already on the ground but whilst it could have been a case of more or even conceding, we took a two-nil lead into the break and we all acknowledged we were not playing to our best. Maybe the pitch, maybe the changes but better was to come in the second half.
Rob Mullen followed up to side-foot home after Si Davies' shot was blocked in the 52nd minute and Si got his own reward when in the 61st minute he politely argued the award of a corner, won it, took it and scored from it via a slight deflection but it was going in anyway so I’m giving it to him. Fully deserved goal for a controlled performance in an uncustomary central midfield role. His Eric and Ernie back kick was skill to behold and set off a raid on the oppo's goal which if we had scored would have brought me sunshine. Sorry truly awful, must be the medicine.
Alan had been looking like a hungry man all game, no not for the mobile food but his goal touch had not come early this week but after several chances that came and went, it was worth the wait as his 7-minute hat-trick (yes including the usual being fouled and pen) he notched his second hat-trick in a week. A super effort especially as he got up early to drive back from Norfolk to make the game. True commitment and I am told his radio was up quite loud all the way back. Apparently the future Mrs Fines does not hold the same torch for Farnborough. Don’t worry Al it will only get worse!
In between Al’s second and third, Damien Preston got his second in two with a header that would win any game. I thought it was too high, would come off the top of his Philip Schofield quiff and go out for a throw but Damo managed to rise like a phoenix, flex the neck muscles and plant a powerful header into the top corner. Two keepers would not have saved it and once he picked himself up, realised it had gone in or more likely come round, took the plaudits, which there were many and rightly so. It ran Jez strike close as a contender for goal of the season. Damo had a fine game on the left and interchanged with ‘Rolls Royce’ Joe to form a good partnership on our left side.
Tom Naughton “the Bolton Express” got good game time on the right and a few tricks and lollipops were on show to confuse, I think the oppo. Tant gave us his usual cultured performance and was unlucky not to add to his vast total, hope the shoulder injury is fine Tant and the same to Rob with his Achilles injury that forced him off.
Not sure of the oppo next week but hopefully Tant's injury will not stop his phone usage and the arrangement of another game, which will be away.
Only comedy moment I can think of is Frank Pearce crippling his own team mate's foot. Probably explains why Damo was able to jump that high for the header but I am told it was all cuddles and kisses over a glass of red back in the Village.
A great effort lads, well done on increasing our goal difference, making it 8 wins on the spin. Have a good week all.
Man of the match: Jez Mooney