Sunday 30th October 2011
By Gary Rosslee
Farnborough Young Vets failed to serve up a “spooktacular” at home against Ditton United Vets on this slightly chilly Halloween weekend, one which had seen the clocks go back an hour to bring an official end to the summer……….and wow what a day that was, right? Today’s oppo ‘Ditton United’ (from near Maidstone) were the 3rd team in a row that the Young Vets had never faced before and with at least 8 of their players missing today Farnborough managed to line up as follows against the unknown visitors.
Gary Rosslee – GK
Danny Saines – LB
Dave Rainsbury - CB
Paul Bailey – CB
Richard Davies - RB
Paul Tanton - LM
Jim St John - CM
Grant Gable - CM
Jason Miller - RM
Simon Davies - CF
Pete Harvey - CF
Subs (both carrying knocks)
For this Halloween weekend only, Farrow Fields was renamed ‘Hallow Fields’ and Farnborough played into the howling wind for the first half. The first 10 minutes saw them under pressure as Ditton stamped their authority on the game and showed that they had some very good players, some very comfortable with the ball and others equally good off of the ball as the Farnborough back four at times seemed to be pulled all over the park. Danny Saines and Dave Rainsbury or ‘Sainsbury’ as they have been affectionately nicknamed took a while to get into the flow of the game; Dave’s excuse was courtesy of a late night at Beckenham’s favourite “haunt” the ‘Bridge Bar’, Danny’s excuse was he had been up all night having nightmares about a strange red jacket, however some would have suggested they were more like a premonition!! (For those who are not aware; the Red Jacket is a special, very special coat that the team have introduced as an award after each match for the player who in Lehman’s terms has a proper Titus Bramble and must be worn in the players\' bar after the game).
It was actually Farnborough however who nearly broke the deadlock as Jason Miller delivered one of his trade mark crosses from out right but Danny Saines’s unmarked header at the far post went just wide amid claims from Danny of a ‘slight nick off of the defender’s head’ this left Danny staring at the prospect of receiving the Red Jacket after the match! Farnborough rode their luck for a while as they struggled to string a few passes together and opted for the optimistic balls over the top for Pete Harvey to try and latch on to but for all his efforts and chasing it rarely led to a decent opening for Farnborough. Jim St John saw his involvement come to a premature end (and not for the first time, fnah) as he hobbled off and was replaced by Daragh Nott. Paul Bailey during the first half then tried his best to wrestle the Red Jacket away from his teammates and make it his own as the Ditton forward intercepted his underhit back pass to Rosslee however the Ditton forward dragged his shot wide with just Rosslee to beat. Ditton did take the lead eventually as a goal kick was easily won by the mismatch of the day, Richard Davies marking a 6ft 2in (minimum) player who headed the ball back into danger and as the ball was swept out for a throw Farnborough went to sleep to allow the centre forward the chance to take the throw in his stride and smash a wonderful effort past the hapless Rosslee. 0-1 Ditton United,
In the past few weeks that would have been the “nail in the coffin” for Farnborough but to their credit they came straight back and Jason Miller “skinned” two players out wide on the right and delivered a cross that even Dracula would have liked to have got on the end of and Simon Davies neatly dispatched a low left foot shot that the Ditton keeper had no chance with. 1-1.
Ditton pressed on Farnborough to restore their lead and were making the most of the wind behind them, the Ditton goalkeeper punting several long balls down field that were now being equally dealt with by the OBG defence. Ditton did draw a save from Rosslee low down to his left from quite a way out as the ball moved from left to right and back and they also hit the bar after they had swung a corner in that was only half cleared. Thankfully Mickey Gearing blew for half time and Farnborough had a chance to regroup.
Second half soon restarted and saw the inclusion / return of Andy Cobham and with the wind behind them Farnborough were the better team and playing some decent football. Pete Harvey was the recipient of a couple of over zealous challenges and should have had a penalty awarded against him but referee Mickey Gearing failed to see the blatant shove in the penalty area; much to Farnborough frustration. Grant Gable produced the first (and only) save out of the Ditton #1 as he fired straight at his legs. Grant was on hand to enjoy several other good chances, a side foot volley unmarked that sailed over the bar and a couple of decent headed efforts that didn’t end up troubling the visiting goalkeeper.
With Farnborough pressing for a winner they were prone to the counter attack and Danny Saines to his credit did a wonderful job at left back today, winning every ball that was hit down his side and leaving his man wondering what he must have needed to have done to get the better of him. The best second half chance for Ditton was with around 10 minutes to go as Rosslee who up until now had been a spectator was pulled into a smart double save at his near hand post to keep the scores level. Mickey Gearing\'s full time whistle echoed out and was just like a tonic to some players out on the pitch today. 1-1.
On a downside today the game saw a slight element of unsporting behaviour and some handbags that even Posh Spice would have been proud to own but that was probably down to frustrations and some from a certain Farnborough player who shall remain unnamed.
Next week sees the Farnborough Young Vets embark on their annual winter tour as they play 6 consecutive games away from home, starting with AFC Greenwich who I believe play at Shootershillians Rugby Club and judging by the AFC Greenwhich website have been on a bit of a recruitment drive.
MOM today was Danny Saines by a landslide, and the winner of the Red Jacket was Pete Harvey. Although I’m not sure he even stuck around afterwards to get acquainted to it, ‘BOOOOOO’ what a bad sport!!!!
Man of the match: Danny Saines