Sunday 28th March 2010
Beckenham Hospital Cup
By Gary Rosslee
Our second round cup tie against Lambeth Classics was justifiably our most anticipated game of the season, to some of us it couldn’t come quick enough; so much so that even the clocks went forward an hour to just to ensure we didn’t have to wait any longer for this mouth watering tie.
We had been talking about this fixture ever since we comprehensively disposed of Crofton Albion in the first round of the Beckenham Hospital Cup which seems all but a distant memory now. So you can imagine we went into this match pretty much with the same attitude as every other game we have played this season which was that of confidence knowing that we could give any team a run for their money when we all play to the best of our individual abilities. Unfortunately today without wanting to be too critical WE DIDN’T!
Maybe in our defence we could have blamed our heavily disrupted season which has been a real stop start affair, or maybe we could say that our last match (ironically enough against Crofton Albion) was not the best preparation before we faced a team who were as well organised and technically as good as Lambeth Classics??
At the start of the week we had a squad of 16 available players at our disposal according to the squad list sent out by Paul Tanton, however come Sunday morning the squad had been savagely reduced and we lined up as follows.
Gary Rosslee – GK
Neil Connelly – LB
Matt Wright – CB
Andy Cobham - CB
Rich Davies – RB
George Kleanthous – LM
Daragh Nott – CM
Richard Cooke – CM
Rob Lipscomb – RM
Adam Dawson – CF
Pete Harvey – CF
Lambeth took the lead with no more than a few minutes on the clock when the Lambeth goalkeeper launched a huge clearance downfield into the Farnborough half and bounced right on the edge of the 18 yard box, this caused mayhem for both the covering centre back and Rosslee in goal, and as Rosslee failed to come and collect the ball cleanly and confidently this left the Lambeth forward with the easy option of slotting the ball into the unguarded goal as due to Rosslee inexplicably fumbling the ball, what a time to pull out his first howler of the season he must have thought! 0-1 Lambeth.
Lambeth soon doubled their lead as they looked to kill the game off, mainly by utilising their very quick and skilful wide men at every chance both of whom would go on to cause havoc all game. Farnborough failed to clear a loose ball in their own penalty area where a grateful Lambeth player was on hand to duly stroke home with ease. 0-2 Lambeth.
Lambeth then made it 0-3 courtesy of their centre forward who was a constant threat and had an excellent game, to those who weren’t there the best way to describe his style of play was a cross between Emmanuel Adebayor and Kanu. He had the pace, skill and power of the Togolese money grabbing Adebayor,…….and the Kanu part you ask? Well nobody knows how old Kanu really is either, do they? 0-3 Lambeth Classics.
We were forced to make a couple of substitutions during the first Half, with Rob Lipscomb and Andy Cobham both coming off injured which saw Neil Connelly move in to sweeper and Danny Saines to left back and Paul Tanton took up the role of right midfield.
Farnborough did create a few decent chances; the most memorable was the free header from Adam Dawson from a matter of yards out which went up rather than goalwards and seemed to take an eternity to come down out of the sky, by then the Lambeth GK had time to adjust himself and parry the ball over the bar. Mickey Gearing blew for half time and Farnborough regrouped. We had limited the damage to just the 3 goals courtesy of a few good men out there in a FOBG shirt who were trying to salvage something from the game (you know who you are).
Farnborough started the second half the brightest with Richard Cooke standing out a country mile for Farnborough’s MOM award and he managed to wriggle through the Lambeth defence and beat the goalkeeper after picking up the ball on the half way line. 1-3 Lambeth. By now Farnborough looked like they had the fire back in their bellies and to some looked like they were going to come stage a comeback from the jaws of defeat like they had previously done this season against the likes of Toby Vets, and Avery Hill.
George Kleanthous saw an ambitious effort out from the edge of the box curl just the wrong side of the post, and the Lambeth goalkeeper pulled off a couple of smart saves to keep Lambeth’s lead to two goals.
What happened next could only be described as suicidal on Farnborough’s behalf. We took our eyes and minds off of the game for a split second, and we were punished courtesy of an unmarked header at the back post because we simply all stopped to see if George (who by now was clearly struggling with a hamstring problem) was OK to continue on, pure simple schoolboy stuff and punished yet again, it was now 1-4 Lambeth, and now the OBG heads dropped again.
Lambeth added a 5th from ‘Ade up front who finished coolly after being put through one on one with only Rosslee to beat and he duly obliged, 1-5.
Rosslee then was caught out by a last minute bobble off of the turf and could only parry the ball into the path of yes you guessed it ‘Ade’s’ path to add a 6th. Surely game set and match?
Lambeth had a couple more scoring chances which would have turned the rout into a cricket score but Rosslee in the OBG goal did well to thwart the further attacks with smart one on one saves and save any further blushes to the Young Vets and at least restore some pride into himself if the truth be told!!
Mickey Gearing blew the final whistle and yours truly could only describe the feeling as to how it must feel for a dying animal to be finally put out of its misery after hours of suffering!
We were second best to a better team and full credit to Lambeth Classics who may sound like a brand of cigars but today they were the ones who were truly smoking!
We wish them all the best in the Cup.
Man of the match: Richard Cooke