Sunday 6th May 2018
By Mark Harrington
Squad: Gary Rosslee, Frank Pearce, Marcus Allen, Neil Pearce, Matti Wright (Capt), Damian Preston, Dean Wyatt, Jon Gasson, Paul Tanton, Matt Ellis, Simon Davies, Tom Naughton.
Supporters: Jumbo, Mrs Gasson and family, Mrs Pearce and family, Dean Murphy and dad, a few people I didn’t know but a capacity crowd.
Referee: The excellent Paul Parsons.
So what a difference 12 months makes...... this time last year I was taking the high fives for saving a late Peter Harvey penalty that gave the young vets a 2-1 win against our older brothers. This year I sat motionless as our ‘sort of’ older brothers took a 2-0 lead within 20 minutes. I don’t want to sound like Jose Mourinho but my pre-match talk centred on the fact that if we were not at the races then the experience or desire of what many people would say were the underdogs, would give the oppo the advantage. This proved to be the case as we were all over the place and whilst we can blame the lack of a lino flag not going up for at least one, if not both goals, Kyp and Simon Thomas put the seniors 2-0 up, which was nothing more than they deserved.
Finally, we awoke from our slumber and Dean Wyatt raced clear to reduce the deficit with a smart finish. Simon Davies scoring in off the post drew us level and Dean Wyatt sent us into the lead. The pre-match talk was all about the peach water from Lidl which was nicely topped off with surrounding ice. Clearly worked for Rhino as he covered every blade of grass and he rightly deserved Man of the Match, just edging Marcus Allen who also had a fine game. Rhino was seen smuggling a few left overs out the door but this was rightly deserved.
We can complain about the amount of injuries and absentees we had but credit must go to the 12 on duty who grin and beared the heat to perform so well. We thought we had gone further ahead when Matt Ellis smashed in but only for referee Parsons to award a foul on the seniors' keeper and Matt and Jon Gasson could have extended our lead. Jon Gasson performing excellently in midfield from his usual defensive role. Tom Naughton came on after 30 mins to provide great width and almost scored from a great move but his shot was straight at the keeper. Tom had a good game and the work in the gym is paying off, our Bolton flyer nearly winning the game in the final stages when after a brilliant one-two with Matt fired over and this was the last real chance, we’ll with that ball anyway as we await the cutting back of the Jumanji goal to try and recover the ball.
So the villain of last year came back to be the villain, well for us anyway, again when after a great tackle by Frank Pearce the ball ricocheted to Pete Harvey and he made no mistake when firing past Gary into the top right. It was probably no more than the seniors deserved. It mattered not about the result as both teams were committed and did the club proud. Vets football continues to be on the up at FOBGFC, even if other clubs are in decline and we moved from the field to the bar to enjoy a few jugs and the food excellently prepared by the bar staff.
This was the young vets last game and mine as match day manager. Tant will continue to do the fixtures, I will concentrate on getting fit and also do some admin but I am pleased to confirm that Marcus Allen, former London coach of the year at Long Lane and and UEFA B qualified will take over match day duties. Marcus is a great man to hand over to and I am sure we will go from strength to strength.
I have enjoyed my time running the side but nothing beats playing and I cannot wait to pull on the red and yellow after a few summer months getting the knee sorted. I would like to thank each and every player for their efforts but more importantly those who allow us to turn up and play namely, those doing the bar, the kit, the food, the committee but special praise to Jordan for coping with what must have been the worst winter on record to get the pitches playable.
We shall now look forward to the young vets golf day and the presentation night. Hopefully we can get as many people to both and not to forget the Farnborough festival. Anyone who was there last year will recommend a good day out and worth the sore heads the following day.
Thanks again boys for a fabulous season. Lots of stand out performances and I now go off to consider the various awards, which is not an easy task after such a good season.
See you over the summer and if not, for pre-season at one of the local fields.
Man of the match: Dean Wyatt