Sunday 23rd September 2012
By Gary Rosslee
This was our 4th consecutive and to date furthest away match of the season as we faced Ditton Utd Vets.
Ditton is a large village and civil parish in the Tonbridge and Malling District of Kent, England. The village is about 5 miles (8.0 km) north-west of Maidstone town centre and 1.8 miles (2.9 km) east of West Malling. The parish, which is long and narrow, straddles the A20 (the old Dover to London road), with farmland to the south and industry to the north. It lies in the Medway Valley, on the northern edge of the Kent Weald, and adjoins the ancient parishes of Larkfield, Aylesford and Barming.
The origins of the village can be traced to the stream which runs through the parish and gave rise to a number of corn mills along its length. The earliest recorded mention of the village is in the Domesday Book of 1086. The village contains a number of listed buildings, which include a 12th century church, an old mill house and two oast houses.
More recently, ragstone and newsprint industries have developed and become important sources of local employment. The population of the village grew rapidly with the overspill of housing from the nearby town of Maidstone. Today Ditton has a mixed agricultural and industrial economy, with a wide range of social and leisure facilities. In 2001 it had a population of 4,753.
Ditton has extensive transport links, being close to the M20 motorway and the national railway network with its regular connections to London. The Channel Tunnel is within easy driving distance and the village is twinned with Rang-du-Fliers in the Pas-de-Calais department of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.
However from our squad of a minimum of 21 registered players at least 11 of them will never know or appreciate this information or as the Farnborough management team described it there was an outbreak of Dittonitus! After some frantic activity in the emergency loan departments by Paul Tanton and Gary Rosslee they managed to drum up a couple of extra bodies at the last minute, one being Farnborough’s favourite Carl Froch lookalike Aaron ‘Cobra’ Carpenter and local lad Chris ‘don’t call me pikey’ Morrison.
Farnborough lined up as follows,
GK, Gary Rosslee
LB, Chris Rawley
CB, Paul Bailey
CB, Rowan Foggitt
RB, Mark Friend
LM, Jerry Cogotti
CM, Daragh Nott
CM, Matt Wright
RM, Chris Morrison
CF, Paul Tanton
CF, John Delaney
The game was a passive affair for the first half an hour which was played out on one of the most unusual surfaces yours truly or the majority of Farnborough team had ever encountered. The pitch was as green as a bowls green but the grass was shorn so short and the ground was so hard, and with the added zip courtesy of the Kentish rain it was more resemblance to an ice skating rink, this would not help either side\'s smooth passing styles, so much so that cries of ‘this has got nil nil written all over it’ came from the direction of Richard Davies who was running the line after no more than 10 minutes had passed on the ref\'s watch. Farnborough did have the better chances in the first half as Chris Morrison found himself in on goal but his effort which was more placement than power was saved by the feet of the Ditton stopper, and this wouldn’t be the first time he would make an important save with his feet in this match. Matt Wright got his head to a couple of Farnborough corners (I must have counted at least a minimum of 10 corners for the OBG’s in this match) but was unable to direct any of them goalwards to trouble the Ditton defence any further.
Rowan Foggitt and Paul Bailey did an excellent job in the first half shackling their men albeit in difficult conditions so much so that Ditton rarely had a decent chance on goal, could a first clean sheet of the season be on the cards for Farnborough? With the referee blowing for half time they were only 45 minutes away from recording it – Half Time 0-0.
Farnborough kicked up hill in the second half and it’s safe to say they found keeping hold of the ball a bit easier, and they soon took the lead courtesy of Matt Wright’s first goal of the season. Paul Tanton was fouled on the edge of the box on the right hand side of the D and Matt Wright curled his effort around the Ditton wall and the ball zipped off of the surface to leave the keeper with little chance of saving the effort, 0-1 Farnborough. They say no matter what level of football you play the next 5 minutes after scoring a goal are always crucial. Ditton won a free kick out wide on the right hand side of the Farnborough penalty area and they whipped in a right footed cross that was met by the head of an unmarked Ditton player who seemed leave 3 Farnborough defenders in his wake to level the scores 1-1.
Farnborough enjoyed further spells of the play and should have retaken the lead when Paul Tanton looked destined to score from a few yards out only for his effort to strike the outstretched foot of the Ditton goalkeeper who appeared to be beaten “all ends up” and the follow-up by Jerry Cogotti was lashed horribly wide. Chris Rawley saw his long range effort tipped around the post by the Ditton stopper for yet another corner that Farnborough were unable to convert or create anything decent from. Ditton then helped themselves to another goal and again it was lacklustre defending resulting in an unmarked header, the Ditton player rising above a number of red and yellow shirts on the 6 yard box to head the ball downwards and the effort sneaked just inside the post, agony for the OBG’s and scenes of joy for the home team with 4 minutes on the clock remaining, 2-1 Ditton.
2-1 would have been a flattering scoreline and harsh on the Guild so imagine their dismay when Ditton grabbed a 3rd with almost the last kick of the game. A speculative 40 yard ball sailed over the head of Mark Friend on the centre circle and the Ditton midfielder peeled away to latch on to it, Rosslee rushed out from his area and went to slide tackle the player only for the ball to zip up off of the wet surface and leave him lying on the floor helpless as the player then rolled the ball home into an empty net, 3-1 Ditton. And full time.
Today’s game was played in good spirits by both teams; I did not see one malicious tackle or bad challenge and credit to Ditton who laid on some hot food for us in the bar area, this was just what the doctor ordered after playing in the cold rain for 90 minutes. It’s just a shame that the food was not as warm as their hospitality as somebody had actually forgotten to warm up the pre-cooked chilli con carne alas it was stone cold! .
Shot of the match: Matt Wright’s second half free kick right out of the Alexander Kolorov school of free kicks
Save of the match: The outstretched size 15 boot of the Ditton keeper to keep Paul Tanton’s effort out
Man of the match: Matt Wright, closely contested by Rowan Foggit (6 votes to 5)
Moan (s) of the match: The 2 sloppy headers we conceded, the players who Ditton want to play today (you know who you are) oh and that CHILLY con carne!
Man of the match: Matt Wright