Sunday 4th September 2011
By Roger French
Dismal Display in Dire Game as Senior Vets Struggle to Overcome Under Strength Orpington
So this was our official start to the season for us and it was certainly one to forget even with a decent looking victory under our belt and a clean sheet to boot.
As most people who know me would agree I’m not one to moan (LOL – I think that is the appropriate acronym) but that was probably one of our most inept performances I have seen for a long time and yet we won by a margin of 5 goals so what am I complaining about? Perhaps it has something to do with the prospect of being out for a couple of months but standing watching from the sidelines with our sole supporter, Jane, and Thomas who spent most of the time in his new tent was pretty depressing. To lighten the mood perhaps I should set a little conundrum – rearrange the following words to make a well known football saying: banjo, cow’s, with, hit, a, backside, a, couldn’t. Answers on a postcard please.
Perhaps it is this fixture against a team who despite being a decent bunch have for the last couple of seasons by their own admission struggled to get players as demonstrated by the fact that they only had eight players on the pitch as the referee discussed knocking time off the 90 minutes. As it was, due to injury and summer holidays, our squad of 13 had reduced overnight to the bare 11 so we weren’t exactly able to help out to any great extent.
This combined with the dingy changing rooms, no bar and cramped pitches with less than 5 ft between them made me long for the wide open spaces of Farrow Fields. Not wanting to take advantage of such a deficit I set about seeking volunteers. The Clown suggested Sini to which I replied “no chance” and promptly suggested he might want to volunteer and despite much muttering to the effect that he was club captain and not good enough to play for his own team according to the Muppet in charge he did agree to switch.
Prior to the temporary loan we lined up as follows:
Gary Fentiman GK
Ian Coles RB
Steve Palmer CB
Steve Blanchard CB
Colin Brazier LB
Mehmet Bozyigit RM
Leo Maccioni CM
Sinisa Gracanin CM
Toby Manchip LM
Jerry Cogotti CF
Rob Lipscomb CF
Supporters: Jane & Thomas
As it was, about 5 minutes into the game Orpington managed to rustle up a couple of extra players that allowed The Clown to switch back to where he rightfully belonged and gave them 10 against our 11 or at least for now.
All this disruption and uncertainly seemed to affect the way we played right from the off with passes going astray, tackles being missed and not much goal action. The ball seemed to spend a lot time in the road behind the Orpington goal and to be honest the least said about the first half the better.
There were glimpses of some good moves but most ended in an offside decision and were few and far between. I have to admit The Clown was probably our best player in the first half.
More disruption followed as one of the coerced Orpington players gave up after 20 minutes or so reducing them to 9 then just before the end of a reduced half their keeper upon returning from another half mile jog to retrieve the ball (editor's note...ummm, that was from my shot...) collapsed in a heap complaining of back problems. He certainly didn’t get it from picking the ball out of the back of the net like he should have!
So it was half time with no oranges (Waldorf won’t be happy) and no bleedin' goals and virtually no team to play against. The Clown’s services were called upon again and to his credit he switched sides but as their keeper couldn’t continue I think the second half resumed with 9 against 10…..you with me so far?
The second half was virtually all one way traffic. Orpington played with a couple of makeshift keepers and still we couldn’t get a goal with the ball being blazed high and wide on numerous occasions with one such wayward shot hitting the roof of the changing room some 50 feet behind the goal much to Jane's amusement and my dismay!
Finally we got the breakthrough that we needed as summer transfer signing from the Young Vets, Rob Lipscomb, eventually found a way past makeshift keeper number two. This still didn’t signal the avalanche of goals that it should have done and the game remained at 1-0 for some time giving a couple of nervous moments on the odd occasion when Orpington did reach as far as our box. Luckily Gary in goal had not fallen asleep and was able to tidy things up.
So many chances were squandered that I had given up hope of seeing any more goals but eventually Mehmet ran in a couple, Jerry got off the mark with one and Leo scored another header from a corner as he did in the corresponding game this time last season. Gary pulled off a couple of saves late on tipping the ball over the crossbar to avoid the emabrassment of conceding a goal against 9 players and finally the ref put us all out of our misery with the full time whistle.
When all the votes were collected it became apparent that none other than the Clown Prince with his newly acquired boots courtesy of Brighton Pier (allegedly – which reminds me he is due a presentation of his new FOBG boots next week) had been voted as Man of the Match. Remarkable really and sums this game up considering he played for the opposition in the second half! Although to quote a player who did cast his vote in his favour – “My vote went to Toby, every pass he made in the second half went to a Farnborough player!”. Still at least he became the first Senior Vet to pay his annual subs in full.
We have a new award planned for this season being Goal of the Season where players can nominate worthy contenders on a match by match basis – so far we have no contenders!
Man of the match: Toby Manchip