Farnborough OBG FC

Match Report

Sunday 22nd September 2019


Alan Fines 2, Paul Tanton
3 - 3
Charlton Rangers Vets

By Mark Harrington

Squad: Gary Rosslee, Neil Pearce, Joe Champ, Jon Gasson (Capt), Mark Harrington, Simon Davies, Dean Murphy, Jason Miller, Alan Fines, Steve Shippey, Paul Tanton, Robin Moody, Sean Blackwell.

There was a capacity crowd at Farrow Fields today or so I thought…actually it was the parents walking up to the top field to watch their kids in the Colts but we will take any support even on a pro-rata basis when they go back to use the clubhouse facilities. Yes we managed to get a game on the bottom pitch and it was a cracker. This fixture was originally scheduled to be away however, due to an error by the oppo and the availability at our place the venue was switched.

I was pleasantly surprised with the size of the squad (15) we had going into this game and then suddenly, it became a bit like that game show 15 to 1. One drop out and then the ref dropping out meant one of the players had to ref. Step forward Guild legend Matti Wright who immediately offered his services. Fireperson (for the politically correct), taxi driver and now ref. No end to the boy's talents and he controlled the game well. Actually calling Matti a boy is unfair on our opposition as Matti's whistle was probably older than a good number of the Charlton Rangers team.

We started the brighter with our 5-4-1 formation. Originally I had planned to combat the very tall fella in the opposition's side who makes Jon Gasson look like a midget. So the thought process was that Jon would follow him all around the pitch and the full backs would stop the crosses into the box leaving Neil and myself to mop up. Best laid plans and all that as we found out he wasn't even playing but anyway, we would keep this formation. It was working well as their nippy forwards needed containing and the back five combined well leaving Si, Robin, Dean and Tant to create chances for Sean. Sean held the ball up really well on a number of occasions and finally after sustained pressure, Tant side footed in from 25 yards, sorry mean millimeters. This was not against the run of play and very much deserved.

Two last ditch tackles prevented our oppo from squaring the game and as the original danger had come from our mistakes I felt that with a bit more help upfront Sean could double our lead. So We went back to 4 4 2 and Shipps came on to support Sean with Jason pushing from wing back to winger and Neil at fullback. Immediately I was nearly made a tactical genius as Shipps broke but the narrow angle meant his shot rolled agonizingly across the line and was then cleared. We were playing well at this point and looking likely to double the advantage but one through ball enabled their pacy forward to let fly from a tight angle and beat Gary to make it 1-1. Gary admitted he should have done better but the shot did have power and both Jon and myself thought we were going to catch him. Gary more than made amends with later saves anyway.

So we went into the half-time break all square and if honest feeling a little bit disappointed that our first half performance had not yielded more. Alan had driven two hours to get to the game and so our top scorer started as sub but came on for Paul Tanton, who had a fine first half. Alan's instructions were to hold the ball up and give us legs, even though this is not his game but neither is heading usually but from a great cross by Jason Miller on the right, Alan rose to put a powerful header into the top right to put us back in the lead and his second headed goal this term. Our oppo thought they had equalised when a long clearance was seized upon by the nippy forward. Usually you would say you cannot be too quick but on this occasion this was the case. He scored but the flag had already gone up, I went down clutching my hamstring and the game restarted with us still in front and a reshuffle. Neil moved back to central defence and Jason to right back. Dean back on the right providing the same outlet as in the first half.

We lost the ball in midfield and in trying to recover our error, we gave away a free kick which was crossed to the far post for the midfielder to head in to make the score 2-2. Well Al's two-hour drive was not in vein as we got our own free kick outside the box when the defender 'clothes lined' Alan who stepped up and bent a superb kick into the top left of the goal. Two goals in less than 45 mins was a good return and Al now has 9 goals in three games. This we thought was going to be the winner but in the dying minutes our oppo broke and despite opportunities to clear, the ball fell to the left winger who hit a good half volley past Gary.

So we had won the game three times and it was nearly four when a cross was headed just wide by Robin in almost the last action of the game. Against a good footballing side with youth in their ranks a draw can be considered a good result but in the dressing room we really felt we should have won the game. Perhaps with more subs it would have enabled us to freshen up the team but every man put in a fine performance. There was not one bad player performance and I would say that each man in a Guild shirt was better than their opposite number. Perhaps I am being biased but after limping off I saw enough of the game to witness that our oppo were more pleased to get the draw than we were. So anyway I can at least end my short tenure undefeated and hand back to the bronzed skills of Damo who will be back in the dugout next week.

Jason deservedly won the MOM with 5 votes and Robin, Sean and Alan sharing the other nominations although, Matti Wright got the most respect for sacrificing his own game to allow us to play. Thanks to Leanne for the grub, which was shared with he Colts who also shared a 3-3 thriller and Gary for his match day duties.

A few players away next week but hopefully, we can get a team out against John Roan at home.

Man of the match: Jason Miller