Sunday 13th November 2005
Most of the team had obviously not read the weekly newsletter closely this week as we had overlooked the fact that kick-off was delayed until 11:00am at the request of the vicar from the village church being Remembrance Sunday. However, this was just as well as it gave us plenty of time to try on both our yellow and grey/blue kit when we realised that Baltic play in yellow shirts. As usual the surplus squad of 14 players had reduced to 12 by Sunday morning but as the team formation was written up on the board it was pleasing to note that the we had four defenders across the back with four in midfield and two up front.
The team included two new faces in Neil Smith and Paul Scotter and both figured highly in the man of the match scores rightly so. The remainder of the team consisted of Toby Manchip in goal, Richard Cawker, Steve Blanchard, Pat Mongelard and Glyn Farrell forming a back four (yes....four at the back!!!) Toby Harlow, Chris Ponulak and Kevin Moynihan with Paul Scotter in midfield and running around up front was Chris Bourlet and Neil Smith.
From the start the team had a better feel about it being more organised and kept to the formation. This resulted in passes being put together and more support going forward. Neil Smith was holding the ball up very well in attack and was well supported by the midfield. The game was evenly balanced and actual chances on goal were limited for both sides with Toby Manchip in goal putting in a confident display. What was good was that although Baltic took the lead we didn''t cave in and in fact upped the tempo which resulted in Paul Scotter running wide into the Baltic box and scoring an excellent goal to equalise. We even took the lead just before half-time with a hotly contested penalty decision given by our referee and former manager Micky Gearing (returning to help us out due to reduced number of players). Now I know how Arsene "I didn''t see it" Wenger feels when asked about these decisions because I didn''t see it from where I was standing! Anyway the resultant penalty was expertly put away into the top left corner by Chris Ponulak despite the keeper getting a hand to it. We were in the lead....something we haven''t experienced for a long time and the half-time whistle blew.
The second half saw Baltic apply more pressure and fitness or lack of it began to tell for FOBG. They equalised shortly after the restart with an unstoppable shot that Toby in goal could do nothing about. In previous games this would probably have signalled a collapse but we held on it there and continued to defend resolutely. The rallying cry of "we don''t want to lose this one" was heard throughout the second half and it paid off much to Baltic''s bemusement. If they had a record like ours they would understand - a draw was a very good result for us but at least we know we played well enough not to lose. One step at a time....onwards and upwards.
FOUR at the back what was I thinking of? Well we only had one forward, so my hand was forced, and to be honest it suited the personnel we had available. But on another day in different circumstances it may be different – so watch this space.
A good hard working performance on Sunday “they will be happy with a draw” echoed Baltic. Effing right it beats getting beat for sure!
A debut for Neil Smith who worked cleverly up front, only to be let down by his hideously coloured socks. A good addition to the team, but as he is a member of the ICF he won''t be available when West Ham play at home. Also a home debut for Paul Scotter who has overcome illness to play again after 5 years, congratulations to him.
A word for someone on the opposite side of the coin, 36 years at the Guild, Glyn had a very steady game. The rest of the team played with a good spirit and a draw was the very least we deserved. Baltic’s manager said we were the best Farnborough Vets team they had faced, so that can''t be bad.
Toby Vets on Sunday and with a name like that a win is a must!
Thanks to Mickey for reffing fresh from his night out on Friday, a great night enjoyed by all. Well done to Chris Ponulak.
Don’t forget to order training tops. See Richard for details.