Sunday 25th March 2018
By Mark Harrington
Squad: Gary Rosslee, Neil Pearce, Jon Gasson, James Clarke, Robin Moody, Joe Champ, Dean Murphy, Damien Preston, Darragh Nott, Alan Fines, Paul Tanton, Barry Grainger, Dean Wyatt, Tom Naughton.
So we had a full squad, the whole club to ourselves and the big pitch. What could possibly go wrong? The most difficult decision was which cubicle to contemplate formation in, yes I even considered the more salubrious surroundings of the ladies but the closest I got was getting a loo roll for our oppo. I did however, admire the wallpaper and dream of a nice quiet moment to think of two at the back and lots of runners but realised you cannot take the p@ss in there.
So we could spread ourselves lavishly across any of the dressing rooms and that might have been the problem. Perhaps only 50% heard my dastardly tactics or maybe none of them did judging by what went on in 90 minutes. I have run out of 2018 excuses of why we lost so this is the best I can muster.
We took the lead twice in a game we should not have lost but this is us, all or nothing. As commented and summed up by the excellent referee Marcus Allen “we seem to either go forward or defend and nothing else”. We missed the big man’s physical presence in the back line and hope his Achilles recovers soon although, he did a super job of taking charge of the game. Numerous compliments from the oppo although, as he is the size of a house who would question him? Marcus' match analysis was spot on. Before the bad weather interrupted our consistency, we could control games and our style of play was a joy to watch. For some reason we cannot even control the ball at the moment. Lack of games has cost us but this oppo have only played once since January so same problems for both sides and we cannot blame the Beast of the East or even the Mini Beast of the East, just a load of crap from the South East.
In the first half our play was hasty and we lacked composure, we were lucky with two bits of bad finishing otherwise we would have found ourselves behind before Dean Wyatt tapped in. The oppo argued in vain that he was either offside or part of Damien was off the field before he crossed. There was a man on line so he could not be offside and their lino never gave anything so we were one up with 20 minutes gone. Going in at half-time in the lead led me to wrongly believe this would settle us down. A double save from Gary almost prevented the equaliser however, the ball broke loose and the forward slid in to just about get the ball over the line with Gary injuring his most prized asset his right arm. For many reasons we hope Gary recovers, not least the WhatsApp group will actually talk football which is something nobody wants!
Tom Naughton, back after a few months out, sent over a super cross in the 70th minute that Barry Grainger tucked away to put us back in front. We had a chance to kill the game but sadly we were denied and it was not long after that the Farleigh manager, who I have to say was one of the most fair minded in the opposite dugout, levelled after coming on as a sub. He deserved his side-foot finish for his pitchside manner in controlling his players from arguing with any decision.
A draw would have been a fair result but as we know, we always go for the win and were caught out by an excellent finish after a long clearance found its way to their forward who lobbed over Gary. An excellent save from their keeper denied Alan an equaliser and the last kick of the game saw Farleigh put the result beyond doubt when all but Neil Pearce were in the oppo penalty area trying to level the scores. Neil had played a fabulous 90 minutes, his first for a long time and he rightly won man of the match with 7 votes. Not bad for a centre half playing in a side that let in four goals! James Clarke also had an excellent game and it was only after some numpty took him off that we conceded. Dean Wyatt ran his second half-marathon in a week and Damien put in a shift on the left hand side of midfield.
I cannot fault all the lads' effort and there is a genuine appetite to work hard however, extra effort and desire is getting in the way of sensible decisions. I lost count of the amount of times that we tried the hard ball rather than the easy approach. I appreciate we all want to do well or make amends but when someone is better placed, let’s go back to basics. Anyway rant over and it was a good match to watch and far better than playing in easy wins.
Thanks to Steve Viner for opening up, Leanne and apprentice Nicky for running the bar and to Tant for his post match scran. Much appreciated.
Game for Easter Sunday to be confirmed but we have 14 available so hopefully some opposition will be old enough not to want to go Easter Egg hunting!
Enjoy your week.
Man of the match: Neil Pearce