Saturday 11th September 2010
By Colin Brazier
Family Reunion Fails to Fire Fourths!!
History was made at Farrow Fields on Saturday 11th September 2010 with the following squad selection:
Now I know what you’re thinking…”what’s different about that? It’s the normal way Des picks his teams – the first 14 available players on the club’s books.”.
Nope not that, nor the fact our opposition was, inevitably, AFC Bromley. The presence of THREE sets of fathers and sons in the same squad. The Silver Fox’s long term youth policy paying dividends at last.
The remaining members of the squad were (continuing in alphabetical order) Mark Edwards, James Foyle, Mark Friend, Mantas Gaiglas, Simon Harvey and Daragh Nott.
The side selected was a 4-4-2 with Jez in goal (good start!), Colin, Todd, Steve snr and Mark Friend at the back, Mark Edwards in front of the back four with Daragh in centre mid and debutants Mantas and Steve jnr on the flanks. Neil Barnes and Simon comprised our strikeforce. James, Luke Allen and Scott Barnes were the subs.
With Daragh unable to finish his morning opponent off in straight sets, we were forced to make a late change with another debutant, James, coming off the bench.
Having introduced each other in the dressing room and decided on our penalty taker (chance would be a fine…) we started off another new season. Unfamiliarity throughout the young players and rustiness among the more experienced campaigners were prominent as Bromley slowly gained the upper hand. The first goal came from one of our early attacks when a header was lost, the ball played upfield, another challenge failed and their forward was left one on one with Jez. Apart from our fine keeper, our biggest hope was the fact that the ball was bouncing around on the bobbly pitch like it was on cobblestones. Sure enough, the ball reared up to almost knee height just as the killer shot was taken. Unfortunately for us though, this just meant Jez was confused by the shinned miskick which floated over him and dribbled into the net.
This setback just made us try harder, perhaps too hard, in that tackles were flying in and players were committing themselves without the need. This resulted in two further goals against us, and just as we were looking forward to the shelter of the half time interval we had a break of a more unfortunate kind when the ball hit Colin’s arm in the area and the referee gave a pen. 0-4, and there was still time for a fifth before half time.
Daragh replaced the hard working James at half time, and Luke came on for Steve jnr on the right. We did a little better in the second half but couldn’t prevent the score reaching eight. Scott Barnes came on for Simon.
Mantas, unimpressed with Todd’s suggestion we call him “Manny”, showed good glimpses of skill when we managed to get the ball to him, and snaffled a very good 10 MoM votes. Luke and Scott both battled bravely in their first adult matches; Jez couldn’t be faulted for any of the goals (several going in off one post or the other; two own goals, Steve B. snr admitted his, Todd claimed the shot was going in anyway for his!).
AFC Bromley looked a useful side at this level but must surely expect sterner tests. The game was refereed well by Roy Seymour and played in good spirits throughout.
The overall feeling was that the older players had let the youngsters down, and that we really must have a couple of friendlies next season. At least we don’t have the burden of expectation that the Seconds have after their 9-0 romp. A bad mistake by rookie management there. Older hands like Des and Edd learned long ago not to start a season with a flood of optimism!
Man of the match: Mantas Gaiglas