Sunday 16th September 2012
By Gary Rosslee
Today was our 3rd game of the season and only our first match that wasn’t to be contested in Beckenham! We made the relatively short journey to the Beaverwood Club in Chislehurst home of the famous ‘Sandy’s over 30’s Disco’ and also home to Cudham Vets FC. We knew before kick-off that Cudham would prove to be our sternest test of the season so far; in fact this was a game that many of us were relishing ever since our 2012/13 fixtures were published on the club website.
This Sunday morning which was a lot cooler compared to last week\'s match against Orpington saw Farnborough missing a few players who had started the season so brightly in the form of Jim St John and Dean McCarthy who had both contributed 5 of our 11 goals scored in our first two games, and Daragh ‘Duracell Bunny’ Nott was also absent from the squad, there are rumours also that Paul Brett was unavailable as he was collecting his cheque from Harry Hill at the ITV studios after last week\'s antics!
With this said the Farnborough management were able to bring in a new face, known as John Delaney who came straight into the first XI and would play as the lone striker in an unfamiliar 4-5-1 formation, but if you are to get a result against a quality team like Cudham then sometimes you have to take risks and try something different. And seeing as we were comprehensively despatched in our last outing at Farrow Fields 0-4, there was nothing to lose!
Farnborough lined up as follows,
GK, Gary Rosslee
LB, Neil Connelly
CB, Andy Cobham
CB, Rowan Foggitt
RB, Paul Bailey
LM, Jerry Cogotti
CM, Danny Clark
CM, Matt Wright
RM, Jason Miller
SS, Paul Tanton
CF, John Delaney
I must also point out it was good to see Farnborough’s favourite thespian as Pete Harvey made an appearance as spectator on the touchline to offer his support / abuse!
Cudham\'s game plan after the first 5 minutes became very predictable, in fact it was like watching the teams of Barcelona and West Ham combined as they would roll the ball out from their towering goalkeeper to their defenders who would then completely miss out their midfielders and launch the ball upfield to the final third to their two centre forwards who were obviously both going to be a real handful for Rowan Foggitt & Andy Cobham at the heart of the visitors\' defence. It was actually Farnborough who should have opened the scoring early on when Jason Miller played an excellent weighted through ball for Jerry Cogotti to leave he Cudham defence in his wake and run on to but his first time effort was saved well by the Cudham keeper who had advanced from his line quickly (for a big bloke) to block at the edge of the box.
Cudham continued to hit the long balls up top and into the channels but the Farnborough defence coped well, I wouldn’t say it was done with ease as there were a few hairy moments most notably where Rosslee was called into action but he was able to get down low to his left to keep out (in fairness) an underhit first time effort by an unmarked Cudham player 12 yards out. That’s scare aside Farnborough continued to play with an air of confidence and debutant John Delaney and Paul Tanton were playing together like they had done so for years, with the pair seeming to cover every blade of grass in the Cudham half. The Middle Eastern betting syndicates were soon on Red alert on the 15 minute mark as Paul Tanton was on hand to neatly guide a John Delaney pass across the 6 yard box into the net to open the scoring for the visitors, 0-1 OBG\'s.
Farnborough continued to knock the ball around with the likes of Danny Clark and Matt Wright working tirelessly in the centre of midfield and John Delaney holding the ball up magnificently as the lone striker and they nearly doubled their lead but Matt Wright’s first time effort from another John Delaney pass inside the penalty area was saved superbly from point blank by the Cudham stopper, and the rebound was then struck against the upright to allow Cudham a respite. They say in football if you don’t take your chances they tend to come back and bite you on the ‘you know where’ and how right they are. Cudham got the ball out wide and their winger delivered an exquisite cross into the box towards the back post and their powerful ink covered centre forward was able to beat Foggitt in the air and head the ball back across the goal to nestle into the Farnborough goal leaving Rosslee no chance and levelling the scores 1-1.
Cudham were soon ahead courtesy of a gift from the referee who chose to give Cudham a penalty after he claimed Foggitt had bundled over the centre forward in the 6 yard box, albeit the referee spotted the infringement all the way back from the half way line! The subsequent penalty was despatched with precision and power to give Cudham the lead 2-1, Farnborough did muster a couple of other decent chances as Jason Miller saw his left foot curled effort neatly tipped around the post by the Cudham goalkeeper and then Rosslee had to be alert down the opposite end to make a smart save closing down the shot before the Cudham player could pick his spot. The ref blew for half-time and Farnborough felt they were still in the game.
After a rousing ‘spirit of Dunkirk’ speech by Danny Saines, Farnborough took to the field to search of an equaliser, however they were soon to be undone again by an even poorer refereeing decision than the first half penalty. Andy Cobham had timed a tackle to perfection inside the penalty area and as the ball was rolling out for a corner, Rosslee tried to prevent a Cudham corner as he made an attempt stop the ball from going out but was alas was not quick enough, however the Cudham forward ran into him and as the pair went sprawling to the floor, much to everybody’s dismay including the Cudham number 9 the ref awarded another penalty, even thought the ball had rolled down the hill and behind the goal prior to the collision! Again the resulting free kick was converted and Cudham now had some daylight between Farnborough, 3-1.
In times gone by I think Farnborough would have capitulated but they all rolled their sleeves up and continued to put Cudham under pressure, we also realised that as good a team Cudham are with the ball they sometimes lack discipline and shape when they don’t have it and this was to prove their undoing as John Delaney helped himself to his first goal in Farnborough colours to reduce the deficit to 3-2. John then saw his free kick go narrowly high and wide from 25 yards out with the Cudham keeper rooted. With the home team on the back foot now and with Jerry Cogotti also impressing today as linked up well on the left hand side with Neil Connelly and then Chris Rawley respectively who replaced Neil with 10 minutes to go.
Paul Tanton should have scored Farnborough’s 3rd but somehow shot over from a few yards out with the goal at his mercy, an effort that even Pete Harvey on crutches claimed he would have scored and then Jason Miller was unlucky not to steal an equaliser as he chased down a back pass to the Cudham keeper and probably couldn’t believe his luck when the Cudham #1 struck the ball straight to Miller; however Miller went for goal and his effort hit the side netting when John Delaney had made himself available in the box completely unmarked. Again Pete Harvey was on hand to say he would definitely have passed the ball. Hmmm clearly the drugs the doctors gave to him are still taking their effect! Now John Delaney’s second goal won’t go down as one of the all time strikes in Farnborough Vets folklore but it will go down as a very important goal for the visitors and it was a goal they more than deserved for their never give up attitude, John collected the ball and cut inside to the penalty area and tried his luck with a curling chipped effort that the goalkeeper appeared to have covered and clutched out of the air only for the ball to squirm through his hands and land in the far right hand side corner of the net, 3-3. Paul Tanton will probably think that he should have got the winner for Farnborough after a great cross from Jerry Cogotti out wide on the left but his certain goalbound effort was excellently blocked on the line by a Cudham defender.
The ref blew for full time and Farnborough’s unbeaten start to the season continued. This was an excellent performance by everybody in a red and yellow shirt today, and if we continue to play like that this season it will take something special to beat us.
Next week we are away to Ditton Vets, who again are a very organised and technically good football team.
Shot of the match: The Cudham forward’s bullet header to level the scores in the first half.
Save of the match: That last ditch block on the line by the Cudam defender when it looked a certain goal for Paul Tanton.
Man of the match: John Delaney, 2 goals, endless running and excellent hold up play.
Moan of the match: 4 penalties conceded in 2 games (and not one even saved yet).
Man of the match: John Delaney