Sunday 29th April 2018
By Mark Harrington
Supporters: Jumbo and little Jumbo.
Squad: Gary Rosslee, James Clarke, Jon Gasson, Matti Wright, Joe Champ, Jason Miller, Jon Redman, Neil Pearce, Damien Preston, Paul Tanton, Barry Grainger, Simon Davies, Rob Mullen, Jez Mooney
A four zero score line does not tell the story of this absorbing encounter. Everyone looks forward to playing this fixture due to the quality of the away ground and we have been fortunate to play at the salubrious HSBC surroundings twice this season. The first game was a close 3-2 victory for us and there was every evidence in the first half that it would be again. We had the ball in the net a couple of times before either an eventual linesman’s flag or an over generous referee disallowed a Jez Mooney goal when, after robbing the oppo defender fairly, was adjudged to have committed a foul on the defender, who had in truth had fallen over his own feet and so I think the referee actually felt sorry for him and awarded a free kick. Anyway, in the end it did not matter and we have nothing but praise for our opposition who are excellent hosts, especially Neil who despite playing most of the game had the energy to bring us cups of tea and be a friendly welcoming committee. This is always a tough but fair game and we all look forward to the rivalry again next year.
The first half proved to be a good battle by two equally committed sides and either could have gone into the interval with the lead. We started with five in midfield due to this working in our previous visit but this time around it was quickly evident that we needed more manpower up front. With 30 minutes gone, Neil moved from holding midfielder to right back and Rob Mullen came on for James to partner Jez upfront. Rob, making his long awaited return from injury, almost broke the deadlock with his first touch but unfortunately, it probably came too soon after his introduction and there was never going to be a second touch. We went in all square and shuffled the pack with Barry joining Rob upfront and Jez moving to right wing as Jason, who had covered lots of ground took a breather at right back with Neil also taking a well deserved break.
The second half started at pace and Gary made an absolute wonder save to tip a rocket of a shot onto the bar, which came down on the line and out. I am surprised the shot did not break his fingers and whilst the oppo thought they had scored, the official who was close to the goal, gave nothing which, was probably correct. No VAR consulted and we concluded that, like in most games things tend to even themselves up with our disallowed goal!
In the 52nd minute Rob Mullen side footed home from 10 yards out to put us in the lead. Sounds a simple goal doesn’t it this does not give justice to a super team goal. The lead up was a fantastic game of triangles from James, Jon Redman, Jez Mooney, which sliced open the oppo’s resistance.. Shortly after Rob’s goal, his next door neighbour was not to be outdone, Jez Mooney side footed home goal number two in the 58th minute. Similar type of goal with the same parties involved. Barry was dropping deep and pulling the strings and side foot finish number three came in the 68th minute when Barry converted a Redders cross for his fourth goal in as many games. We again shuffled the team and Damien came back on taking his usual left wing position, which enabled Tant to move to the right. This proved a tactical masterstroke as side foot finish number four came, when Tant converted his 403rd goal for the Guild when Barry squared for Tant to do what he usually does, side foot home from the right of the penalty box.
This was our penultimate game of the season and we have now won three very difficult games on the trot . It was great to keep a clean sheet and the back 5 again super solid and brilliantly lead by Captain Matti Wright. The defence excellently protected by the industrious four or five in midfield. Jason, Simon, Redders, Neil and Damien covering every blade of grass and quickly turning defence into attack. All 5 box to box today and supporting the forwards Rob, Jez, Barry and Tant at every opportunity.
So we go into the season finale against the Senior Vets in good spirits, which should be a good celebration of how strong both teams have done in representing the club. We often hear of teams folding but FOBG FC vets teams remain in good shape with deep depths in support. It has been a pleasure to remain involved this year and see the team be fully committed. We have only failed once this season in getting a team together which is 6 times better than last year. We have scored more goals, won more games and conceded less so each player should be proud of their effort and development. Only the weather has disrupted us and season highlight must be our 11 game winning streak and without such disruption and a long break at times, I am sure we would have extended that run even further. I hope to be able to add my name to the team sheet next year so going to be a busy summer sweating my **** off in the gym. I cannot wait to try and squeeze into our skin tight kit! The support of every player has been fantastic and hopefully all will return after a summer break but first…….let's enjoy a good game next Sunday.
No I have not forgotten you Gary…..for the second time this season against HSBC Gary Rosslee rightly won the man of the match award for yet another superb display.
Have a great week.
Man of the match: Gary Rosslee