Sunday 20th April 2008
By Roger French
With the season winding down and a slight improvement in the weather (we didn’t have snow or hail this time) we managed to start with a squad of 14 players which saw one new face in George Clark (who last played for the Fourths in the year 2000) and the return of Paul “Smokey Bacon” Storkey following an absence of some seven weeks. It was pleasing to note that vets players still manage to adhere to a strict diet even when not playing to ensure they stay in peak condition. As Smokey Bacon informed us in the style of Jessie’s Diets – “these weeks I ‘ave been mostly smoking fags” – over a 1,000 ciggies had been consumed by him since his last appearance in Feb 08 according to the man himself.
To the game itself – the pitch was in perfect condition and we lined up with Gary Rosslee returning in goal, defence of Pat Mongelard, Chris Webb, Steve Blanchard and Roger French, midfield of Paul “smoke on the water” Storkey, Chris Ponulak, Toby Harlow and Colin Ebdon with Ian Shoebridge and Toby Manchip up front. We were supported by Ian Coles, George Clark and Trevor Stewart as subs with the familiar hands in pocket figure of Mark “whistle while you work” James acting as the man in the middle (NB to Mark – you don’t have to take this literally).
The first half on balance was a fairly even affair despite Avery Hill having scored two goals. The first had a definite suspicion of hand ball as Gary bravely dived at the feet of an oncoming attacker with the ball flicking up into the path of the forward for an easy goal. The second came from a corner with an unstoppable header crashing into the roof of the net despite Gary’s valiant attempt to keep it out. In between these goals we had plenty of pressure and the Avery Hill keeper made two very good saves to push the ball round the post for a corner then tipped it over the bar from the resulting kick. Both teams were playing the ball around well with Toby Harlow shading the aerial battle in the middle despite his diminutive stature.
Half-time came and gave Nick O’Teen the opportunity to get some fresh air in his lungs as he racked up number 1,001. Toby Harlow and Roger French gave way to Ian Coles and George Clark who was making his Vets debut. The game continued with opportunities at both ends but it was Avery Hill who extended their lead by following up on a lucky rebound off the post to run out 3-0 winners. An improvement on the previous game against Avery Hill but disappointing not to have scored.
We have two home games left to play so now is the time to think about an end of season bash. Next week we play an unknown quantity in Old Albany Vets with the season finishing against the all too familiar quantity of Cudham.