Saturday 20th January 2007
By Paul Parsons
No, this isn’t a webmaster mistake. I really am writing the second team report. No it isn’t because the Thirds were off and I fancied watching a game!
Danny coolly looked at his watch, we were all in the changing room and the kit was in the middle….."well boys there are forty minutes before KO". "Hmm" I thought, that sounds ominous, do the Seconds have thirty minutes of warming up time? Do they all go for a cold shower before the game? What can we do for thirty minutes? The Thirds are usually still in the bar watching a game, having a smoke, or madly running around trying to find Djan, so exactly what is it all about that Danny mentions in a very measured way that there is FORTY minutes to go?
Ah! All was revealed when the team talk lasted 29 minutes! Constructive approach about how poor the team spirit was last week, we should be playing for our shirt and we let the club down and ourselves down, and short notice dropouts ruin it for everyone………….. sorry did I miss something or am I in a parallel universe, isn’t that exactly what the Thirds were saying after our game against Blackheath Wanderers Reserves at Flamingo Park last week!?!?!?
Anyhow Danny obviously felt things needed shoring up, and called upon 4 players that were in the Thirds last week!
We started brightly, with a couple of early chances falling to Sam Evans and Paul Tanton, however the first opportunity that Blackheath attacked they scored, from an attack down our left, cross, and a soft header from just 7 yards out.
We were well in the game and put together a couple of great moves down the flanks, with Sam Evans showing quality footwork and a good cross, and for Dan Head to hit a shot at pace and see it steer wide by a couple of inches from 20 yards out. Paul Tanton grafted all half in treacherous conditions and the midfield which included Richard Davies, Daragh Nott and Aaron Carpenter, competed for everything and won most of the possession and tackles. A number of passionate tackles in amongst the mud led to a couple of injuries for the Blackheath team, however Farnborough came out unscathed. Excellent refereeing, allowing the play to continue where necessary, and stop when things got silly, led to a full blooded encounter. Richard Davies was in particular good form with searching deep balls (or was he in deep mud, searching for his balls?!) to the front two from set pieces.
Most of the first half was about midfield commitment and no-nonsense defending from Chris Greenhough at right back and Ian Parsfield and myself and centre back. Peter Morton was able to use the spare space well and link up with Sam down the left, which created problems for Blackheath all game. However the Blackheath forwards were getting the run of the ball on a couple of occasions but Geof Ray was there steadying the ship at the back and pulling off a couple of great blocks that kept us in the game.
The first 15 minutes of the second half was again all FOBG, however the Blackheath forwards broke free and made it 2-0 against the run of play. With this Joe Lipton came on for the injured Chris. Geoff punted a ball up the field for Aaron to control, he knocked it forward to Paul Tanton, who swivelled and found Dan Head, from this he battled past a defender and neatly slotted the ball home; 2-1 and game on! Paul Tanton was spent, having given his all, and fresh legs in the form of Matt Gardiner were brought on. We felt the need to push on for an equaliser, however our joy at being back in the game was short lived after a parried shot by Geof and a despairing lunge and grab by Ian could not stop the ball from going over the line to make it 3-1. Again the spirit was still there, with all the team still believing that the game was far from over and it was from Daragh forcing a free kick just inside our own half, that Richard dispatched his trade mark free kick deep in at the far post, Ian was able to head back towards Aaron who met the ball at pace and unleashed an unstoppable pile driver into the roof of the net to make it 3-2 with 10 minutes left. We changed formation, with three at the back, Peter Morton being pushed on, however Ian Parsfield was himself unleashed and unstoppable and managed to get ahead and in the penalty area more times in the last 10 minutes than Paul Tanton had all game! With all this final pressure, we kept the football and belief together but we could not get a deserved equaliser.
A great team performance that resulted in a number of player getting votes and with Ian Parsfield shading MOM.
Hopefully there was enough passion and belief to give Danny a team selection conundrum for next week''s encounter.