Sunday 6th March 2011
By Gary Rosslee
After last week's collapse that had all the same hallmarks as a South African cricket team (c’mon England) Farnborough looked to get back to winning ways against Santos Vets. Firstly may I say on behalf of everybody in the squad a very big thank you to all of those who were involved in making sure the main pitch was in a playable state after the last few weeks' terrible conditions and secondly a big thank you to the person who invented SatNav as it had been so long since we had played at home you could have been forgiven for not knowing where ‘Farrow Fields’ was!
We lined up as follows
Gary Rosslee – GK
Danny Saines – LB
Paul Bailey – CB
Matt Wright – CB
Rich Davies – RB
George Kleanthous –LM
Neil Connelly – CM
Daragh Nott – CM
Jason Miller – RM
Paul Tanton – CF
Pete Harvey – CF
Although Santos were wearing what could only be described as a piccalilli type yellow kit it was the home team who started the brightest from the opening whistle and it didn’t take long for the OBG’s to open the scoring when George Kleanthous laid the ball back on the edge of the box to tee up Neil Connelly whose first time shot through the crowded penalty area left the Santos goalkeeper with no chance 1-0 OBG’s. Farnborough soon doubled their lead after a long throw from Miller was deftly flicked on not once but twice with Pete Harvey getting the all important last touch to head it over the Santos GK. 2-0 OBG’s.
Farnborough should have put the game completely out of sight by half time but squandered a couple of decent chances most notably Pete Harvey who with just the keeper to beat elected for placement rather than power and his curling effort unfortunately went the wrong side of the post to keep Santos in the race. After a change in personnel by the management due to Daragh taking a knock, Paul Bailey aka ‘Bodge’ who had been superb at the back was asked to take up a role in central midfield and Chris Greenhough was given the responsibility of playing sweeper for the remainder of the half. With Farnborough now sitting a lot deeper this invited Santos to press forward and they had a couple of chances that maybe on another day would have come off for them.
Santos’s first chance was a carbon copy of Pete Harvey’s header that Rosslee could only parry onto the bar and although the rebound dropped dangerously on the goal line it was cleared away to safety by a Farnborough player before Santos could react. The second effort was a fierce shot that was headed for the bottom corner but Rosslee went full stretch low down to his right and palmed it away brilliantly to keep the 2 goal advantage going in to the interval.
With the second half under way it didn’t take Farnborough long to find the net for a third time with George Kleanthous on hand to score an excellent effort into the bottom right hand corner again leaving the goalkeeper no chance 3-0 to the OBG’s. By now you could sense a rout was on the cards as Peter Harvey was played through with just the keeper to beat he unselfishly laid the ball square for Paul Tanton to roll the ball home into an empty net, now I will repeat that for those who may be still rubbing their eyes in disbelief HE UNSELFISHLY LAID THE BALL SQUARE FOR PAUL TANTON TO ROLL THE BALL HOME INTO AN EMPTY NET, to make it 4-0 to the OBG’s. Pete Harvey then grabbed his second of the game when he was put through one on one by George Kleanthous and again with just the goalkeeper to beat he placed it under him to make it 5-0 to the OBG’s.
It was good to see Farnborough playing with a smile on their faces as were knocking the ball around extremely well, it truly was a joy to watch and every outfield player remained disciplined despite comprehensively winning, well that was until Mark Friend decided to give away the cheapest of penalties! An innocuous corner swung over and Mark was deemed to have deliberately handballed whilst jumping in the air with the Santos towering centre forward and the same Santos forward neatly despatched the penalty to give Santos a glimmer of hope 5-1 OBG’s.
Farnborough rolled their sleeves up once again and this provided Pete Harvey with the perfect platform to score his third goal of the match and net his 3rd hat-trick of the season once again coolly slotting past the keeper when neatly put through one on one, 6-1 to the OBG’s.
No sooner had the 6th goal gone in when Neil Connelly was on hand to again to add a 7th with his second of the match, courtesy of another fine strike from distance and not to be outdone George Kleanthous then doubled his tally for the game rounding the Santos goalkeeper who by now had been more exposed than a playboy centrefold! 8-1 OBG’s. Santos to their credit kept playing and registered a second albeit a scant consolation goal again their dangerous big lad up front smashed the ball home as the ball sat up perfectly for him 12 yards out, 8-2 OBG’s. By now it was a question of who would get their hat-trick first between George and Neil, George came agonisingly close as his effort crashed off of the post and with almost the last kick of the game Neil went one better and cannoned a drive in off the bar that resembled “that Tony Yeboah” strike of yesteryears gone by to make it 9-2 to the OBG’s and thankfully for Santos full time.
A cracking result today and great “bouncebackability” after last week's second half horror show against Eltham Vets. There was a good feeling in the bar afterwards, mirrored by the fact that the older Vets had also recorded a home victory of their own. There was some cracking food laid on for all 4 teams (thanks Shirley) and with Pete and Neil both netting hat-tricks you could have been forgiven if you thought you had stumbled into a ‘Hooters bar’ with the amount lovely of jugs that were on display afterwards!!
Next week Edenbridge at home courtesy of some quick thinking to rearrange the Maidstone game, Cheers Toby.
MOM: close contest just edged by Neil Connelly.
Man of the match: Neil Connelly