Sunday 5th October 2008
By Roger French with a second report by Chris Webb
Due to circumstances beyond my control I was unable to attend this fine victory in appalling weather conditions (much to my disappointment); instead I spent 4 hours in the Buzzone. Therefore this brief report is based on information supplied by Patrice Mongelard plus any other ramblings I have made up as I go along.
Following my late drop out we had a squad of 15 players ready and willing to brave the elements but I have no idea of team line up. We were playing against a team that in our only previous fixture had beaten us 6-1 and by all accounts were a pretty useful side (I missed that one as well last season). This week’s game took place on the main pitch which despite the heavy rain held up very well providing an excellent playing surface.
To quote Pat, “the weather was not clement” as it rained most of the game. We were always in control and were 3-0 up at half-time. It appears that the centre of midfield comprising of Paul Storkey and Paul Tanton were very mobile and full of running which is good to see now that Tant has returned from his out of body experience of last week. Not sure what happened for the rest of the game but the goals were spread through the team with Matt picking up his first for the Vets, George adding to his debut goals of last week, Smithy continuing to hit the back of the net and Tant grabbing two goals in what must have been a star performance. I believe number 6 was an own goal.
This win puts us in an almost unheard of position of having a positive goal difference after 5 games. Normally we would be looking at having a negative difference in double figures particularly in light of our opening fixtures. Next week will really be a big test as we are playing the Met Police at home and this is also a game that I will be missing so good luck to the Vets next week. I will also be hoping that somebody can provide a bit more detail for this game and for next week’s – I mean if I can provide a match report without even being there I’m sure somebody could provide something for one or two weeks.
This was a morning to remind all us ‘older’ players of the insanity of turning out every Sunday morning come rain or rain. It was grim alright. Cold, wet, windy and downright miserable to be honest, but nothing seems to dampen the enthusiasm of this fine bunch and out we went.
It was a familiar line up. Gary Rosslee was in goal, the back four Patrice Mongelard, Chris Webb, Steve Blanchard and Matt Wright, the midfield George Clarke, Paul Storkey, Paul Tanton and Colin Ebdon, with Paul Smith and Pete Harvey up top.
We kicked off and straight away our football was sharp, incisive and accurate. The oppos must have had a sinking feeling as we gave them the runaround for the first 10 or 15 minutes, resulting in a sharp give and go on the edge of the area leaving Paul Tanton a relatively straight forward chance, which, on his left foot, he finished with aplomb.
Chances started coming frequently and 5 minutes later, after a melee in their area, the ball came back to Tant and again he finished, this time a right footed shot giving their keeper no chance from just outside the penalty area. Shortly after, a Colin Ebdon corner saw Matt Wright rise highest at the near post to make it 3 and frankly, at that stage, with Wellcome beginning to self destruct, we looked like we could run up a cricket score. However, to their credit, they kept us out for the remainder of the half and we set about the half time oranges and, in some cases, jaffa cakes and jelly beans with relish and no doubt a good deal of contentment at how the first half had gone.
To no great surprise, our manager’s half time team talk worked wonders and sure enough, they were back in it within seconds of the restart. 3-1 was harsh on us as they hadn’t really created anything in the first 45, but Wellcome had clearly had some superior biscuits to us during the interval and for 5 or 10 minutes, they had a right go. We are made of stern stuff these days though and after riding that particular storm, normal service was resumed. It couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes after I’d reminded George Clark that he was in a rich vein of scoring form – after last week’s 2 goals, for which he was only credited with 1 – that he buried another to put us 3 clear again. Following good work down the left from Pete Harvey and a cross to match their defender was left in a mess and he duly despatched a fine finish past his own keeper for our 5th. They then got a rather sloppy second (no pun intended honest!) for 5-2 and indeed could have had a 3rd but for a generous decision against yours truly for a handball outside the area – well, it was difficult to see the white lines in such atrocious conditions! – which in all honesty was unintentional but certainly ‘close’ to outside the box. From the resulting free kick, the Jellybean Kid pulled off a wonder save to keep us from an uncomfortable finish.
At this stage, with only 10 minutes to go, a couple of us were discussing the absence of a certain Paul Smith from the scoresheet, despite more than a few efforts. As sure as eggs are eggs though, with the seconds ticking away, he got loose around the penalty spot and buried yet another to make it 6. We still found time in the dying seconds from an opposition corner to let the smallest player on the pitch rise like a whitebait to head their 3rd but shortly after, to the relief of 22 drowned rats, Mick Gearing brought proceedings to a halt.
Sympathies go to Simon Harvey for having to wash the kit after such a foul day. More sympathies to Pete Harvey and George Clark, who both rushed off to White Hart Lane and Upton Park respectively. Special mention to Toby Harlow for looking like a flowerpot man in his new manager’s get-up. Fool of the day to Paul Storkey for a) not thinking he was going to be subbed at some stage and b) not bringing his fags to the touchline with him in preparation for said event.
Final thoughts are with Roger French for it is he who usually writes these reports with such distincton and accuracy. How he remembers such detail about all the incidents is beyond me, I’ll be checking to see if he has a notepad and pen stuffed down his shorts next time he turns out.
Harlow for manager of the month? This time a few years ago he was having a Juande Ramos, so credit to him for his intuitive tactics, imaginative set-pieces and all-round fine-tuning of such a fine bunch of athletes. It’s the rozzers next week, reckon we can shake them up as we have the previous three sides we’ve played. Bring it on!