Sunday 13th April 2008
By Roger French
A four week lay-off due to Easter, waterlogged pitch, opposition unable to field a team and snow did us no favours at all. Despite having a 14 player squad shown in the newsletter only 11 players were available to start on the day with a guest appearance by Mark Edwards in goal. The team lined up in front of Mark with a familiar back four of Pat Mongelard, Steve Blanchard, Chris Webb and Roger French, a midfield quartet of Trevor Stewart, Chris Ponulak, Toby Harlow and Colin Ebdon with a strike force of Ian Shoebridge and Paul Smith. Mark James eventually turned up as 12th man/linesman but not in time to see the Lynwood offside goal! The weather was ideal for football (as somebody remarked) with a mixture of sun and cloud and the pitch was in fine condition – how this changed during the course of the game!
The lack of match practice was evident from the kick-off as Lynwood played the ball around with comparative ease whilst Farnborough’s attempts at the passing game fell short. Lynwood had racked up a 2-0 lead from a shot outside the box followed by a blatantly offside goal (even without linesmen) before Farnborough managed to get their act together. We were rewarded with a penalty for a handball which Paul Smith put away to bring us back into the game. The game was a much more evenly contested game now with good saves being produced by Mark in goal but despite creating pressure we still displayed a reluctance to have a direct shot on goal and all too often tried to pass our way into the box – we need to think of crossing the ball more and getting people in the box. Just before the half-time whistle Lynwood got a third following a corner and a mix up between keeper and defender on the post.
The second half continued in typical spring weather with the game flowing end to end. Unfortunately for us Lynwood grabbed a 4th and the storm clouds gathered. First came the icy cold rain which then changed to piercing needles in the form of hail stones which when you are a bit short of the follicles really does smart. It was horrible – freezing cold and the pitch had an inch of standing water – glad I didn’t have the kit this week. We were again awarded a penalty for handball and once again Paul Smith tucked it away to give us hope. They ran in another two goals but I think it was just a sense of relief when the final whistle blew.
An excellent team to play against with the whole game played in true sporting spirit – shame we only have the one game against them per season. Toby Harlow deservedly got the man of the match votes and once again thanks to Mark in goal for helping out. Three more games to the end of the season and all at home so let’s hope the rain and snow disappears and we can get back into the groove of passing and winning.