Sunday 18th November 2018
By Mark Harrington
Venue: University Sports Ground, Perry Street, Chislehurst
Supporters: Barry Grainger and Eden Grainger
Squad: Gary Rosslee, Frank Pearce, James Clarke, Neil Pearce, Jon Gasson, Joe Champ, Damien Preston, Simon Davies, Dean Murphy, Justin Blundell, Steve Shippey, Tom Naughton, Matt Kerby, Jason Miller, Paul Tanton, Dean Wyatt,
Apologies for no match report last week as this reporter did not attend the match but my spies tell me there was not a lot to write about in a comfortable 4-2 away win for the Guild except, 2 goals from Rob Mullen, a 30 yard screamer from Si Davies, Tom Naughton’s first goal for the Club and James Clarke again excelling with a MOM performance. See not much to write about !
We had not played Bird in Hand previously but our senior colleagues had advised they were a good footballing bunch and we would need to be on our toes. A massive squad for the game of 16 so we were confident we had as much fire power as we could for what turned out to be a challenging game. It did not start that way as Shipps put us 0-1 up in the first minute after seizing a sloppy back pass to round the keeper. A few minutes later and Tom Naughton played a superb through ball for Shipps to increase our lead with a fine one on one finish. Good to see Steve back and in the goals after a hamstring strain.
All was going well, we were 0-2 up, lots of fresh legs on the bench and then just before half-time, a moment the Keystone Cops would be proud of (more on calamitous cops later) we had numerous attempts to clear the ball, no one took charge and after a fine finish by their striker we went into the half-time break leading but only just. Marcus asked for one voice to be heard and judging by the final score I don’t think anyone was listening! Anyway, we had reasons to be confident as those coming on, Jason, Dean Murphy, Neil, Rhino (in the words of Harry Redknapp) are top, top players. Sadly I think dear old Harry would rather eat a kangaroo's anus than sit through what transpired in the second half.
Bird in Hand do have good forwards and they smelt blood and took their chances. Numerous changes had affected us and it was not long before it was all square when their striker chased a through ball and lifted it over the oncoming Gary Rosslee and into the net. Gary had pulled off a few one on one clearances and in this game probably played more out of his area than ever before and alongside our centre halves.
Both sides had further chances but their nippy forward cut in from the left and drilled a low shot past Gary’s outstretched hand to put them in the lead. We rallied and but for a few horrendous misses we could have pulled level. Matt, fear not this miss was only almost as bad as the one against Old Colfeians! No joining the firearms squad anytime soon mate. Tant, our lethal man from 5 yards for once pulled his shot wide when it seemed easier to score. Perhaps as this was about 7 yards out it was just not his distance. I am actually being harsh on the forwards as it really was just not our day, even on a nice large pitch with fine weather and a large squad. I am sure you see the sarcasm.
As usual though the Guild spirit was fully evident. We did not give up even when a breakaway goal in the final minutes sealed the home win we continued to use every ounce of energy until the final whistle blew.
Frank Pearce was easily MOM with 14 votes. A robust performance against a very tricky and pacy winger but little legs stood firm. Good to see Big Jon Gasson back and completing another 90ish minutes upon his return from knee surgery. Tom and Shipps were a lively partnership for the first 45 minutes before having to leave for family duties. Poor James Clarke copped a shiner from a stray arm and had to leave the pitch and will now miss next week’s game at Farleigh. A real shame as James is having an outstanding season.
The real bonus was the comestibles on offer from Bird in Hand or rather Bangers in the hand. Super sausages from one of their players who works at Smithfield market. You’ll never see a finer pair of bangers……well em…….no stop it don’t say it! Moving swiftly along….
Away at Farleigh next week when we hope to return to winning ways.
A good week to you all.
Man of the match: Frank Pearce