Sunday 1st December 2019
By Mark Harrington
Venue: HSBC Sports Ground, Lennard Road, Beckenham
Squad: Gary Rosslee, Gary McQueen, Jason Miller, Neil Pearce, Joe Champ, Dean Murphy, Simon Davies, Sean Blackwell, Alan Fines, Barry Grainger, Mark Harrington, Jez Mooney.
This game is really battle of the bankers. We have a team full of bankers, well actually two but I am sure you get the point. A fixture we all look forward to as no doubt the best pitch we play on and the post match grub is not too shabby at all. We have never been able to repay the hospitality as despite the HSBC advert saying “World's Local Bank” perhaps this is reserved for just Beckenham. Anyway, matters not as we would rather play away on this pitch any day, except today perhaps.
So I make no apology for numerous bank references, gags, comparisons and down right obvious humour. “No change I hear you say”! Please don’t lose interest and I’ll branch out further down the page.
Anyway, despite being down to 12, one late arrival and one even later arrival we had on paper a strong team. However, what the paper says and the reality are two different things and we are absolutely down to the bare bones as this season is proving to be the most injury-ravaged I have ever known. From a squad of 26 we probably have 15 that are fit and that is counting four or five who really should be resting injuries but needs must! A few other people away does not help but we managed to patch up and have a squad.
A real game of two halves and despite the hosts taking a two goal lead through two errors defensively, we got back in the game when Jez robbed the home keeper and bent a brilliant ball from the left hand side of the pitch into the empty net after the keeper's run around. Our tails were up at this point and Gary Rosslee was proving, as he did all game, to be at his brilliant best. Numerous saves had kept us in the game and we went into the half-time break feeling that we could get level and counter.
In the early stages of the second half a period of two minutes that really changed the game. We looked to be crafting a certain equaliser but it would just not be deposited and we could not cash in. From the resulting kick we won back posession and the centre half went through the back of Barry, left him on the floor clutching his ankle but the ref waved play on and from the through ball the opposition made it 3-1. Now whilst the overall scoreline does not suggest we deserved anything this really did deflate us and whilst I accept it is hard for referees, this was a terrible decision. So I told him so and then he threatened me with the sin bin despite some bad language being used! Which he would have done if he did not then have a second thought that actually what I was saying about “yes he got the ball but you cannot go through the back of someone nowadays, even in vets and my player is lying flat out on the pitch”. I now see why they like to play at home! Some strange decisions in the match and I suggest he gets a rule book for Christmas.
Thankfully Barry was OK but we then lost Gary McQueen with a calf injury and Si Davies had departed with a groin injury but whilst this was an early withdrawal, Si did put his body on the line to return so we did not go down to 10 men. So we were very much in the red and we cannot wait for the transfer window to open. Our first aid room is overdrawn with bodies at present and we need to invest wisely is some new recruits. Sorry poor lines trying to deflect away from the game!
I am not going to spend much time detailing their goals as against our walking wounded I would be surprised if they didn’t cash in but I will spend time extolling the virtues of the players who really did give their all for the cause. Si Davies ran through pain as did Gary, Neil, myself and the energy Jez Mooney put in for his first game for four months after a dislocated shoulder was amazing. Jez along with Jason Miller really tried to compensate for the numerous injuries we were carrying. So full credit to those who desperately tried to fill two peoples boots.
Gary Rosslee was the man of the match and anyone who witnessed his performance would have been amazed at how many saves he made. Not really sure what the score would have been without Gary’s performance but Alan did score a customary goal to make the difference a bit more reasonable. Jason Miller and Jez also rightly picked up a couple of votes. So in tribute to Gary, it can only be done in one way eg. with a joke. So on the banking theme…it’s the only banking jokes I know and this is despite Patrice trying to get me to include one about pushing Mick O’Flynn over at a cashpoint to check his balance. So I’ll go with these and you can make up your own mind…..”Why do bankers make great lovers? They know the penalty for early withdrawal” or “What’s the difference between a bond trader and a bond? The bond matures”. Trying to end on a humorous note but perhaps not.
Anyway, they scored a few more tap-ins and one header but not really worth writing about. Onwards and upwards and until next week when we have the opportunity to respond.
Man of the match: Gary Rosslee