Sunday 25th October 2020
By Mark Harrington
My Left Foot…
Passers-by: Senior McQueen, Mrs McQueen, Marcus & Otis, Neil Connolly, Stuart Ross, Roger French, Danny Saines.
Team: Gary Rosslee, Gary McQueen, Robin Moody, Matti Wright, Joe Champ, Paul Tanton, Chris Morris, Si Davies, James Rutter, Jay Gasson, Sean Blackwell.
Subs: Damian Preston, Jez Mooney, Alan Fines, Mark Harrington.
Ref: Andy Cobb.
So lately I’ve been suffering from writers' block and really struggling for material, I’m sure you have noticed! I was actually going to retire, the pen by the way, not the boots and so sorry to disappoint. Thankfully, I was rescued as my day would not be complete without a bit of reporting on the goings-on at the young Vets. So just when the pen seems empty, along comes a saviour to invigorate the grey cells and I have not had to scour the web for material when we had our very own Google right in front of us. Anyway, more on this comic genius in a bit.
So this was Inter Vyagra part 2 as this team were our very first opposition of the season. On this occasion, it was not that long ago so you may recall we managed to triumph 5-1 against a very determined side. We thought then they were never a 5-1 loss side. No jokes about being a 6-1 loss side then as these guys are wrongly described by the scoreline. It was not easy and but for a few injuries to them, a first class save by Gary and a post, the scoreline could have been very different.
We have had an abundance of players this season but with half-term School holidays looming, we knew that for a couple of weeks, we would see a few people being away. So this week, Jon Gasson, Matt Kerby, Dean Murphy and of course Siamese twin brother in law Neil, Steve Shippey and Rhino would see the long arm of the mother-in-law calling! Despite this we still had 15 on duty. Or so we thought as unfortunately, Mark Fisher’s knee had not tackled anything in 5 days so went into rehab, Barry Grainger went somewhere but eventually it mattered not as it allowed the return of Jez Mooney for his first game of the season and on the morning of the match, a look at the goalscorers chart gave Alan a miracle cure on his hamstring. So we were back to a strong 15, which would be needed as this opposition are stiff opposition. Sorry got to get one in. Oh sorry there I go again!
The week had seen various deluges of rain but it was a relief to see that both games at the Guild were given the go-ahead. Thanks to Manager Damo who gave an early pitch inspection and all were pleased to see the thumbs up. Our opposition were also delighted as some of their players come from the other side of the river so wanted an early notification. The pitch was as expected heavy but had held up well and there was no standing water. It was a sliding tackler's dream conditions if not the kit man’s.
Usually we wait for chief cheerleader Mr McQueen to take his seat before scoring but he got there early as a result of son Gary returning from injury. We all looked a bit put out by this so what would we do? Well we waited for the 8th minute to take the lead. James Rutter playing in an unfamiliar right wing role put us ahead with a fine finish. Our opposition tried to play out from the back but they should know our athleticism is strong and they were hunted down, ball won and squared to James, who from the edge of the box, calmly steadied himself to drive a shot outside the reach of the keeper. A fine first goal for James and no doubt the first of many for the Guild I am sure.
Sean Blackwell had been holding up the ball and laying off to others in his usual unselfish manner and so 10 minutes later, a Si Davies shot was spilled by the keeper and Sean was quickest to tap into an empty net. No more than our play had deserved as we had not taken a few other chances, which those of us on the sidelines wondered if this would come back to haunt us. Changes were made after 30 minutes with James being replaced by Jez and myself giving Matti Wright a breather. Immediately we went on the attack and this is the first part of where the Morris family might want to turn off! We have all marvelled at Chris’s wand of a left foot at times this season but unfortunately, his right did not read this season’s script. From what appeared to be a simple side-foot finish from an excellent Jez Mooney cross, Chris inexplicitly leant back and the ball was high and wide. We all could not quite believe it and as much as Robin has asked me to really devote two pages to it, in the interests of team unity (not to mentioning Chris kindly building the top dugouts) I will politely decline.
So in true Guild style we like to play under pressure and from virtually the last kick of the half, a corner for our opposition they scored. The corner was played short to the edge of the area then back-heeled to the corner taker, who was so offside it was ridiculous, we waited for the inevitable flag to go up but the lino was chatting nicely on the halfway line and to be fair to ref Andy Cobb, he was looking more what may happen in the box to give the decision. His linesman’s hamstring injury must have prevented him from gaining any assistance on what would have been a routine offside but thankfully the injury did not prevent him from coming on for the second half!
So the half-time talk, through mouthful of Jelly Babies, was to not switch off. As Gary McQueen pointed out we should still have played to the whistle and not switched off when conceding their goal. He was right and so we needed to be more alert in front of both goals. Our third goal was one of the best I think I have seen in my time at Farnborough. From Si Davies winning possession and having a one-two with Sean, Si’s excellent cross was headed in by Alan Fines. It was a lovely constructed goal and the sort of cross any striker would love to have. It wasn’t long before Sean was rewarded for his part in our third when he side-footed in after excellently controlling the ball on the 18 yard line and opening his body to bend the ball into the bottom right hand corner. A super cool finish on what was turning into a slippery surface.
Our opposition would not retreat and Gary prevented any comeback with a brilliant stop from their lively winger, who tried to Bend it Like Blackwell, but Gary was alert and at full stretch turned the ball around the post. A super save in his lovely new pink goalkeeper's strip. Not long after, we were caught on the break, a bit of a slip and their striker was in on goal, despite a desperate lunge by yours truly, the striker hit the post and thankfully my slight touch on his ankle was not enough to bring him down. He screamed for a pen and if he had gone down I would not have complained so we admire his honesty.
So I’ve entitled this report “My Left Foot” in tribute to Mr Morris. We have all seen the film where Daniel Day Lewis loses his left leg in battle. Well the script is very much the same with Chris Morris playing the lead role. As I mentioned earlier, his right leg disappointed but we can always rely on his trusty lefty, or so I thought…It was one of those moments you do not see often from a gifted player such as Chris. We have however, all seen it on the TV when the player goes to shoot with one foot but the other actually slightly touches the ball and it results in a fresh air shot. Well this was Chris’s moment, a drop of the shoulder then head up, looked to pick his spot in the goal and a mighty swing of his trusty left foot and we all waited for the net to bulge but unfortunately the ball was in exactly the same place as three seconds before. One of those moments that all you can do is laugh and we all did but Chris is a determined man and whilst his left was not on form for once, this actually played a part in his goal. Running onto a through ball, he was pushed wide but swung again and the scuff of a left foot deceived the keeper and the ball rolled into the bottom right for our 5th goal. In all seriousness, despite the mickey taking, Chris did have a hard working game and obtained three man of the match votes and so by popular choice, he was not the winner on this occasion. Much as a result of Robin canvassing on behalf of others!
Our 6th goal came from an excellent Jez Mooney corner that was headed directly in by Alan for his second goal, both headers, which I guess if you cannot run then head! Their striker commented on what a big team we are, which was ironic for one: Jon Gasson was not playing and two: one of the smallest men on the pitch had two headed goals! No doubt the Shippey holiday break was ruined when news reached of the scorers of today’s goals. A great battle for top goal scorer is on!
So whilst we had a few people playing out of position, notably James Rutter and Jay Gasson, who provided a bit of a disappointment with his hamstring injury returning, we still fielded a strong side and kept up the high scoring ratio. Again we conceded but not due to bad defending but the tale of our season in that it has taken something unusual to breach Gary’s net. We recommend both Alan and Jay getting to see the club’s physio to avoid any long term damage as you can tell when players are not right. Alan ran more like messy pants than Messi but to come on, score two goals and put his body on the line shows his commitment.
It was great to have Gary McQueen back and look like he had never been away. Likewise Jez was a constant menace with his runs and setting up others. A shame he did not get the goal his performance deserved when the keeper spread well when one on one but goals will come. His role was one of provider today and this resulted in 4 MOM votes to jointly win with Sean Blackwell. Both had great games and could not be split. It gets harder each week (not just when we play Inter Vyagra) to vote and people genuinely take their time over it as with each player playing their part you could really vote for anyone in the 1 to 15. Tant was economical with ball and protected the left side, as did Damo when he came on and some of his crossing was excellent. Matti Wright was solid, especially with having a cuddle with the winger on the touchline, Robin captained the side in the absence of Jon and led from the back, Si Davies was again 8/10 as was Chris Morris, Gary Rosslee when called upon was faultless, Joe neat and tidy and defensively solid.
So we are now 8 wins on the spin and close to scoring 50 goals and only 6 conceded. Congrats to Alan, who played his 50th appearance for the Guild on Sunday. A nice way to celebrate, which he duly did with Sean and Joe post match if the WhatsApp pics are anything to go by!
One last comment, a big thank you to Georgia and Danny Saines for the post match drinks service. Your safe table service was very much appreciated by all.
Away to Tier 1 hosts next week; Riverside Vets. A sausage roll and chicken drumstick awaits from one metre!
Good week everyone.
Man of the match: Jez Mooney and Sean Blackwell