Sunday 27th November 2011
By Gary Rosslee
Today’s away fixture to Charlton Rangers at Queen Mary’s University ground in Perry St, BR7 was a breath of fresh air on our whistle-stop tour of 6 consecutive away games and I have to say it was one of the nicest away pitches we have played on to date. There was a real element of excitement throughout the team at the prospect of playing at this ground today, so much so that Paul Bailey admitted to driving past it in his taxi at least a couple of times during the week to make sure it was definitely the right ground – much to the frustration of his fare who clearly hadn’t asked to go ‘Sarf of the river’.
Farnborough lined up today as follows
Gary Rosslee – GK
Matt Wright – LB
Andy Cobham – CB
Paul Brett – CB
Paul Bailey – RB
Neil Connelly –LM
Danny Clark – CM
Jim St John - CM
Jason Miller – RM
Paul Tanton – CF
Pete Harvey – CF
From the outset Farnborough were almost playing with 10 men as Rosslee in the OBG’s goal was clearly struggling with a thigh injury that he has been unable to shake off in recent weeks and therefore his movement was restricted, this also meant that he couldn’t kick the ball either (not much change there then) and with this in mind the whole defence did a sterling job in the first half of not only clearing their lines and mopping up any long balls that a 100% fit Rosslee would have come and collected but they were always on hand to receive the ball from a Rosslee throw out. In fact it is safe to say that Charlton did not register one attempt on goal in the first 45 minutes. The closest they got to a sniff on goal was excellently blocked by Paul Brett from 12 yards out that went out for a Charlton corner.
This new tactic of playing the ball from the back had all the hallmarks of the current Barcelona FC playing style...well to a degree but alas Farnborough lacked any real end product, with Danny Clark in the middle and Paul Tanton and Pete Harvey up front all running tirelessly for the first half. Pete Harvey was unlucky not to trouble the Charlton goalkeeper with a curling free kick and Jason Miller leaning back too much on a couple of speculative long range efforts that had the keeper scrambling all the way behind the goal in order to retrieve the ball! Half time reached with neither goalkeeper tested: 0-0.
Farnborough kicked downhill in the second half and against the high mid morning sun that looked like it may cause the Charlton defence some problems, so much so that the Charlton goalkeeper called for the lend of a cap from his teammates on the sideline only to be thrown a Danny Dyer-esque cheese cutter / ‘Gawd blimey Guvnor’ type cap (only in Chislehurst). Neil Connelly had the first decent strike on goal from 25 yards out but the Charlton goalkeeper was equal to it and parried it out for a corner. He then made a decent save with his feet low down at his right hand post to deny Pete Harvey and the pick of the saves was from a Jason Miller effort through a crowded penalty box that he did well to tip away for a corner.
Charlton nearly took the lead from a speculative shot out on the right hand side of the penalty area after a short corner was not closed down quick enough the left footed effort cannoning off of the upright with Rosslee clutching at air. The same left footed player was however on hand to score 15 minutes later with a curling free kick that Rosslee could only parry onto the bar and the ball unfortunately bounced off of his head and into the net. 1-0 to Charlton Rangers. Paul Brett was unlucky not to draw Farnborough level moments later as his header miraculously stayed out of the Charlton goal. Paul was then more unlucky not to double Charlton’s lead after the Charlton forward was through on goal but his slight hesitation on the ball allowed Paul to slide in and get his foot to the ball but he inadvertently deflected it towards goal drawing Rosslee into a save low down to his right to spare his blushes.
The ref blew for full time and you could see what it meant to some of the Charlton players as they let out a chorus of joy. Farnborough had not done themselves any real justice today and had themselves to blame. Fair play to Charlton though who clearly came with a game plan and they stuck to it.
Man of the match: Paul Brett