Sunday 15th April 2012
By Gary Rosslee
On a bright April Sunday morning the Farnborough Young Vets made their way to Goals in Beckenham, formally known as the Nat West Sports ground to take on their fierce local rivals The Buff from Orpington in a match that carried more bragging rights than the ‘El Clasico’, the ‘Derby Della Madonnina’ and the ‘Auld Firm’ derby all put together!
Farnborough, again depleted in numbers as they always seem to be at this time of the year lined up as follows.
Gary Rosslee, GK
Danny Saines, LB
Rowan Foggitt, CB
Mark Friend, CB
Simon Hunt, RB
Pete Harvey, LM
Neil Connelly, CM
Jim St John, CM
Jason Miller, RM
Paul Tanton, CF
Simon Davies, CF
What was unclear until we had all got changed and warmed up on the far right hand side pitch was just how much of a wind trap the Copers Cope Rd ground was, with gusts of wind up to at least 40mph which were sure to make life difficult for both sets of teams. However on this Grand National weekend it was Farnborough who were out the traps the fastest as Simon Davies intercepted a poor ball across the Buff penalty box from the left back and took one touch before neatly tucking the ball away with no more than 2 minutes on the clock, 0-1 OBG’s.
Farnborough took a matter of minutes to double their lead, this time a long Jason Miller throw-in was flicked on at the near post and Jim St John was on hand to bundle the ball home at the far post which meant he had now scored consecutively in his last 3 games, 0-2 OBG’s.
Jason Miller was clearly enjoying his time out wide on the right wing today unlike his first half display last week against the Old Tamponians and once again he beat his man with ease to deliver a cross into the box for Paul Tanton to guide his header unmarked leaving the Buff keeper with no chance, 0-3 OBG’s.
The Buff to their credit could have capitulated but they rolled their sleeves up and tried to press for a goal that would reduce the deficit and they nearly grabbed a goal with their first effort on target, Brett Cheesman’s shot from 18 yards nearly catching Rosslee out as the wind took it from right to left but the latter was able to adjust himself and make the save to preserve the 3 goal cushion.
Jim St John was then on hand to bag his 7th goal of the campaign as once again The Buff struggled to deal with a Jason Miller long throw in to the box and ‘Jumbo’ leapt the highest to head the ball into the ground which then seemed to take an eternity to beat the keeper and nestle into the net, 0-4 OBG’s. The Buff managed to register another effort on target just before the half-time interval but Rosslee did well to save with his legs and Farnborough went in to the break four goals to the good.
With Farnborough seemingly coasting now the second half started off a complete different story, as The Buff pulled two goals back in quick succession. Firstly a ball into the box saw Rosslee’s punch get more height than distance on it as he also collided with Mark Friend leaving Barry Grainger the simplest of tap-ins, 1- OBG’s.
Farnborough then lost possession in a dangerous position just outside the penalty area and although Barry Grainger still had a bit of work to do he grabbed his second goal with a very good finish from a tight angle, 2-4 OBG’s and The Buff had the visitors against the ropes.
The Buff pressed for a 3rd goal that would have got them right back into the match and Rosslee had to be alert to keep out a curling Brett Cheesman free kick that could have gone in off the slightest of touches inside the penalty area. Ben Clun then had a chance to go through on goal but his heavy first touch meant the ball went safely out for a goal kick, and the same player moments later found himself in a glorious position through on goal after some neat touches on the edge of the box but Rosslee was quick off his line to save at his feet and repel the Buff comeback.
Farnborough tried their hardest to put the game beyond any doubt as Jim St John saw two of his efforts kept out, the first was a header that struck the upright from a well taken corner and the second again from a header was cleared off of the line. So it was down to Paul Tanton to finally kill the game off and end The Buff’s resolve as he was played through on goal on the left hand side and he opted to strike the ball early with his left foot which fizzed past the Buff goalkeeper to give the Guild a three goal cushion once again.
There was still time on the clock for Simon Davies to draw a smart save from the Buff keeper and Paul Tanton was on hand to surely grab the hat-trick his display deserved today but the Buff stalwart was able to save the second effort also. The referee blew for full time and Farnborough ran out deserved winners and restored some pride for the Senior Vets who had been beaten quite comprehensively by The Buff the previous week.
MOM was very tight today with Paul Tanton and Jim St John sharing the honours, both of them grabbing a brace each and working tirelessly for the full 90 minutes. Today was a great first half performance and more importantly we have only lost one game in 2012, let\'s hope that continues next week at home to Cudham when apparently we have 15 players available, however as we all know 7 days is a long time!!
Man of the match: Paul Tanton and Jim St John