Sunday 22nd April 2018
By Mark Harrington
Supporters: Harrison Wright, Mrs Wright and little Miss Wright, Little Grainger and Mrs Grainger, Family Gasson.
Squad: Gary Rosslee, James Clarke, Jon Gasson, Matti Wright, Joe Champ, Justin Blundell, Jon Redman, Damien Preston, Alan Fines, Paul Tanton, Barry Grainger, Simon Davies (Capt), Referee: Andy Cobham.
It turned out to be another scorcher, the weather wasn’t bad either! After the euphoria of last week’s amazing comeback, we actually took a right liberty in taking the lead. More on the match to come…
Overnight we lost both Frank and Dean Wyatt to dehydration. Not sure on the condition of either player although, we are awaiting confirmation that Rhino has attempted a dry fart. This should lead you to determining the extent of his injury/illness. Tripadvisor on that particular Ruby house has been updated. Don’t fancy a driving lesson this week with Rhino unless the windows are open. Get well soon boys.
So in the basking sun and down to 12 with many duties to perform and taking on our old nemesis Metrogas, it was to be a tall order. Thankfully Harrison Wright joined me in the dugout and performed the role as assistant manager. I did resist his advice to take the ‘old man’ off and he reluctantly agreed once he realised that we couldn’t as we didn’t have anyone else! Harrison did a great job of looking after the equipment, dishing out the bottles and making sure we didn’t lose yet another ball. Harrison risking life and limb to recover every wayward clearance and shot that ended up in the local prickly fauna. He was a busy lad!
In the 15th minute of a close opening, Alan Fines did the trick yet again to notch his 31st of the season. Bending a fine effort into the bottom right hand corner, using the defender as a shield. A couple of other chances came and went for both sides and then we paid the price when a failed clearance allowed the opposition to equalise. It could have been worse before half-time but thankfully James Clarke's last ditch tackle saved a certain goal. Pleased for James as he didn’t have the best day last week but came roaring back with an excellent showing. Jon Gasson and Matti Wright were another centre back partnership that has not had much time together but both provided a solid foundation and looked like they had played together for years. Jon had got over the previous day’s disappointment of seeing Spurs lose the semi to the “mighty mancs” to perform superbly. Joe Champ working his usual class down the left supplying Damo “Forest Hill flyer” Preston with numerous balls. Damo had a great game and chased anything that moved. I was often called Forrest Gump for my runs but I think I’ve finally lost that tag to Damo. Sorry to mention “Runs” Rhino!
The back five were superb today and Gary again saved us with several top drawer saves. Gary has had a fine season and whilst also having the time during the week to bolster morale with entertaining the group on WhatsApp. The midfield was one we had not selected together before but they were immense. Led by Capt Si Davies they not only chased, tackled and protected the back four, they played some super passes and football. Justin Blundell following up his fine game last week with yet another super showing. Simon was calmness personified in setting up and releasing Jon Redman down the right wing. Redders had a magnificent game and rightly won Man of the Match and in the 65th minute he fired a super 25-yarder into the top right hand corner to give us the lead.
We could have scored a few more before Barry Grainger put the game beyond doubt with a left foot cross-shot that beat the keeper in the bottom right. This was a magnificent display by a super committed 12 who were willing to put their bodies on the line for the cause. None more so than Alan Fines who took a hefty whack on the ribs and ended up winded but only to reappear to fulfil striker and then dropping into midfield when Simon came off through injury. Full credit to Si for managing so long as he has been carrying an injury and this made the display even more special. Hopefully no long term affect on either player and they will be available next week. Thanks also to Paul Tanton for occupying several positions and playing with his usual calmness and class. With a bit more luck he would have added to his 402 goals but it was not to be. Thanks also for the post match scoff Tant!
This was a great win as we have not had many victories against Metrogas and follows up last week’s effort and so to record these two victories, against strong opposition is a great achievement. Away to Midland Bank next week when hopefully, we can continue the good form.
Thanks also to those that opened up the club, Leanne and gang for the bar and the boys for clearing the field and doing the nets including, the Little Gassons who helped Daddy carry the nets to the container.
Enjoy your week all.
Man of the match: Jon Redman