Sunday 6th February 2011
By Gary Rosslee
Today the Farnborough tour bus took us to Oxford Road in Foots Cray to face Old Albany Vets. And as you all know this particular ground is the hallowed turf of the “second oldest football team in the world” Cray Wanderers. It kind of makes you think that if they were the second oldest team and Sheffield FC were the first ever formed team then that must have been a real git of a journey every weekend for the 2 respective teams, and maybe this could be a reason why the oppo who currently base themselves at this ground are continuously late for very fixture!!!
So with that said we lined up as follows.
Gary Rosslee – GK
Robin Lipscomb – LB
Paul Brett – CB
Chris Greenhough –CB
Mark Friend – RB
George Kleanthous - LM
Neil Connelly – CM
Grant Gable – CM
Jason Miller – RM
Paul Tanton – CF
Pete Harvey – CF
Farnborough lost the toss and had the difficult task of kicking uphill for the first half, to say the pitch at Oxford Road is uneven would not do it justice and what is even harder to believe is that Cray Wanderers actually played here and to a high standard I might add; the only reason they were forced to move from their ground was due to the fact they were not given permission to put up floodlights and not the fact that it resembles Ben Nevis!
Old Albany put us under immediate pressure and their tactic was apparent from the start as they constantly played 60 yard wind assisted balls over the top of the defence to their mobile forward players to latch onto. Their continued pressure soon paid dividends as they took the lead on 15 minutes when another telegraphed ball over the top caused some confusion at the back and Chris Greenhough allowed his man to get goal side and toe poke the ball early past Rosslee, 1-0 Old Albany Vets.
For the next 10 minutes Farnborough appeared to panic on the ball and continually gave away possession cheaply which put the defence under pressure and they were lucky not to go 2 down, again an opportunity fell to the Albany goal scorer who was clean through one on one but his effort was deflected just past the post after a crucial save from Rosslee with his foot to deny him his second of the game. This thankfully gave Farnborough a bit of a kick start and they started to get the ball into the channels where George and Jason would make some excellent runs and deliver the ball into the box.
Farnborough continued to create some good chances and had at least 3 decent shots on goal but alas the Albany keeper was equal to all of them; and when the Albany keeper was beaten they had their solid defence to thank as Pete Harvey’s open goal effort was cleared off of the line. To their credit Farnborough continued to press but the elusive equaliser wouldn’t come and Farnborough nearly found themselves 2-0 down when an Albany effort crashed off of the bar from a direct free kick on the angle of the penalty box which again was a cheap free kick to concede given our current predicament.
Farnborough went in at half time just the one goal down but remained optimistic we could pull this back as we knew it was all downhill from here; quite literally. All 3 substitutes featured in the match, unfortunately for Robin Lipscomb his participation in the game lasted only around 10 minutes and the word back from the locker room is that he will be out for a fortnight. This has caused the management a selection headache seeing as we are short of bodies already. The management have also concluded that this is a regular occurrence due to players not warming up correctly and just wanting to take shots prior to kick off!
With the wind now behind the OBG’s and having the advantage of kicking downhill they laid siege on the Albany goal in search of the equaliser but time after time we were wasteful with our chances, and many a wild shot would end up in the horse’s fields behind; with that said the link up play that created our chances was very encouraging.
One of the best passages of play saw Neil Connelly’s first time strike from the edge of the box continue to rise on the way towards to goal and again end up in the field behind but the three of four passes that led up to the effort were a joy to watch. Then Farnborough’s best chance of the game came courtesy of a goalkeeping error when the Albany keeper who had up to this stage had had a very solid game fumbled a routine free kick that maybe had too much power on it and the rebound fell to George whose first time effort clipped the bar and went agonisingly over. We started to think to ourselves this was going to be one of those days where nothing would come off!
Then MOM contender Grant Gable who I must add received the Young Vets ‘FIRST EVER’ booking pulled Farnborough level with a well timed curling effort in to the bottom post that the goalkeeper was unable to stop, a well deserved goal for Farnborough who had by now been parked in the Albany half. 1-1.
As is the case with football that goal then sparked some life back into Albany and they proceeded to create a couple of decent chances for themselves, one effort hitting the Farnborough upright and a free kick from a precarious position that was gratefully tipped over by Rosslee to keep the scores intact. The final ten minutes became a far much more open game with both sides searching for the winner so when the ref blew his whistle for full time honours were even and a draw seemed a fair result. This had certainly been a game of two halves with the wind and the pitch doing their best to help and hinder both teams.
We came away with general consensus that Albany Vets are no push overs as we have yet to record a victory over them in 4 games however had we had taken a third of our chances we might have finally recorded a victory over them
MOM award was joint this week with Grant Gable and Jason Miller sharing the accolade.
Next week we are away to the teachers of Avery Hill at Old Roan playing fields, where hopefully we can give them a lesson in football.
But in true teacher pupil fashion please can you all stay behind today and write on the board one hundred times, until it sinks in to that head of yours...
I promise to warm up properly before each game, I promise to warm up properly before each game, I promise to warm up properly before each game, I promise to warm up properly before each game, I promise to warm up properly before each game, I promise to warm up properly before each game, I promise to warm up properly before each game, I promise to warm up properly before each game…………………………………
Man of the match: Grant Gable & Jason Miller