Farnborough OBG FC
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Match Report

Sunday 11th December 2011


Ditton United Vets
2 - 0

By Gary Rosslee

Our furthest (hopefully) away fixture of the 2011/12 season saw us take the rather convoluted journey to East Farleigh, in Kent to take on Ditton Utd Vets. Ironically enough a team we entertained in our last home game at Farrow Fields all that time ago on the 30th of October, a game that ended up all level at 1-1. When we eventually found the ground in Charlton Lane courtesy of some old-fashioned orienteering skills like an over eager Boy Scout our hosts could not have been more apologetic. For we were greeted by some rather old fashioned facilities that were only accessible to via a traditional country style that led over a fence into an open, unforgiving wide open space that appeared to have a football pitch 500 yards away in the middle of it – at least the pitch was a decent enough surface and level compared to some past away matches this year but the portacabin changing room that greeted us with its solitary shower which I’m positive was steam powered just like Danny Saines’ satnav. In the words of Ant & Dec ‘the mood in the camp was at an all time low’ and given the choice I think many of us would have rather gone up against Fatima Whitbread in a bush tucker trial and eaten a kangaroo\'s testicle!

We trudged across to the pitch and lined up as follows.

Gary Rosslee – GK
Danny Saines – LB
Matt Wright – CB
Paul Brett – CB
Simon Hunt – RB
Neil Connelly – LM
Jim St John – CM
Danny Clark – CM
Richard Cooke – RM
Paul Tanton – CF
Pete Harvey – CF

Mark Friend

Farnborough kicked off and attacked the Ditton goal with the wind behind them but failed to make any real penetration in the early exchanges and within 10 minutes Richard Cooke was replaced by Mark Friend after he pulled up with a suspect hamstring strain after he gave chase to a Danny Clark cross pitch pass that picked up too much pace from the swirling wind. A real blow to Richard seeing as he probably made the longest journey here today! Some tactical shuffling was done to the team and saw Mark slot in at right back and Simon take up the right midfield position. Ditton’s approach was very similar to their outing at Farrow Fields as they looked to get their mobile centre forwards in behind the back four with some telling passes that held up in the wind and had to be dealt with by the equally aware Matt Wright and Paul Brett. Mark Friend was on hand to head a dangerous whipped ball across the 6-yard box over his own bar to keep the scores still level but Ditton somehow took the lead from a goal courtesy of a catalogue of errors. A speculative shot from the edge of the box which had not been cleared properly was mishit but still travelled goalwards but with no real venom or velocity however Rosslee in goal completely misjudged the flight of the ball which he believed was sailing safely over, it however nestled into the back of the Farnborough net much to the disappointment of his team-mates but more importantly himself! 1-0 Ditton. Rosslee to his credit made amends a few moments after when he did well to beat away a sweetly struck shot after the Ditton forward beat the offside trap to keep the deficit at 1-0 and shortly after the half time whistle blew this was all in between a spiteful elbow to Pete Harvey from an irate Ditton defender.

The second half was harder for Farnborough as they were playing against the strong countryside wind but they actually enjoyed the passages of play with Jim St John and Danny Clark at the heart of everything Farnborough created. Paul Tanton was unlucky after seeing his near post effort saved by the feet of the Ditton keeper to deny him his first goal since the 24th of April and as Farnborough pressed forward for the equaliser they still found some time for some finger pointing and accusations of laziness within the team! Ditton nearly doubled their lead but Rosslee was able to save with his feet after a red shirted player did not cut out a dangerous ball across the 6-yard box. With Farnborough plying a high line in order to nick a goal they were often caught out with a long ball over the top and soon were staring defeat in the face after another freak goal undid them. The Ditton forward scored from what seemed an impossible angle that was aided by both the strong swirling wind and the far upright to help the ball trickle over the line, 2-0 Ditton and no way back for the OBG’s.

As we dissected another poor performance in the rickety portacabin / changing room Farnborough made a quick SOS call to Vic Farrow back at the OBG clubhouse ‘Save Our Showers’ MOM was a close fought contest today between Jim St John & Danny Clark in the centre of the park with the Jumbo just edging it.

Next week away again, this time to Santos Vets, no doubt in Brazil so I’ll see you at Heathrow airport / terminal one in the Wetherspoons I’ll be the one wearing the Havaianas.

Man of the match: Jim St John