Sunday 7th April 2013
By Gary Rosslee
As my opposite scriber from the Senior Vets rightly put it, yes I\'m certain the late Vic Farrow would have been watching and smiling down on us today in our away match to John Roan Vets and what a match he would have been privy to. Our past games against today’s opposition had always been close knit affairs, with the reverse fixture at Farrow Fields ending up 2-2 back in January and yours truly can recall on that occasion it would have been the visitors who would have felt hard done by not leaving Farnborough with a deserved victory as it was pretty much one way traffic that day. Fast forward a few months and it was pretty much the same again today, to give you a rough idea of the onslaught Farnborough faced; had this been a boxing match I think the referee would have stopped it in the first half.
With several players missing today Farnborough lined up as follows:
GK, Gary Rosslee
LB, Mark Friend
CB, Andy Cobham
CB, Paul Bailey
RB, Jason Miller
LM, Paul Tanton
CM, Jim St John
CM, Danny Clark
RM, Ben Clunn
CF, Barry Grainger
CF, Simon Davies
Sub: John Delaney
Having explained the tragic event that had occurred 24 hours earlier to the John Roan manager prior to kick off and telling him what Vic had done for the club and what Farnborough meant to Vic and vice versa I can still hear his words ringing in my ears today ‘people like that are one in a million’ and how right he was. John Roan duly obliged in our suggestion of a minute\'s science in memory of our beloved club secretary and this was carried impeccably by both sets of players. In fact I believe all clubs across the Bromley and District league both Saturday and Sunday carried out some form of mark of respect for him whether it was a minutes silence or a minute’s applause.
With the sun shining down on what was sunniest day of the year to date it was John Roan who started the brighter of the two teams as Farnborough seemed to lack any real shape but in their defence they did have a makeshift XI with some players playing out of position.
The home team had Farnborough on the back foot pretty much from the outset and controlled the tempo of the game and asked all of the questions and went close on a couple of occasions most notably a direct free kick on the edge of the penalty area that just whistled past the left hand post. It was however Farnborough who opened the scoring from an unlikely source. Paul Tanton played a short corner to Paul Bailey who curled one of those ‘was it a cross’ or ‘was it a shot’ type efforts that caught the goalkeeper out as it sailed over his outstretched arms, 0-1 OBG’s.
John Roan regrouped and carved out opportunity after opportunity after opportunity. Their left full back was played in on goal but the angle was against him as he fired straight at Rosslee, and Ben Clunn then needlessly gave the ball away on the edge of the box and the same John Roan full back then drilled an effort towards goal that narrowly missed.
Paul Bailey and Andy Cobham made some well timed challenges and important clearances to weather the storm and Danny Clark was tireless in his running and tackling. The John Roan centre forward who was giving Paul Bailey a real battle then went close to scoring a peach of a goal as he expertly controlled a cross with his chest on the edge of the box and volleyed it first time only to see his effort canon off the cross bar and bounce over to safety. The last piece of action in the first half saw Jim St John allow his man to ghost in behind him from a free kick out wide but his free header thankfully lacked accuracy as it sailed over the bar. The referee blew for half time with Farnborough’s slender lead still in tact. Half time 0-1 OBGs.
The second half started with John Delaney replacing Simon Davies up front but it was pretty much the same as the first half with John Roan constantly pressing and probing for an equaliser but again and completely against the run of play Farnborough doubled their lead as Jason Miller delivered a pinpoint cross to the far post for John Delaney to nod home from very close range, 0-2 OBG’s. With the game slowly slipping away the home side opted for a 4-3-3 formation as they introduced a 3rd striker to the match and they nearly grabbed a goal to reduce the deficit but Rosslee did well to parry a well struck shot onto the post from the centre forward who had been moved out to a more wide position.
However it didn\'t take long for the new John Roan formation to pay dividends as they scored with a huge helping hand from Farnborough’s joint top scorer Jim St John. Farnborough failed to clear the ball form their penalty area on at least two occasions and as the ball appeared to fall kindly to one of their players Jim St John facing his own goal unleashed an unstoppable toe poke that beat Rosslee from 6 yards out to bring the scores to, 1-2, OBG’s.
Within minutes of the restart a John Roan long throw-in from the left hand side was delivered into the penalty area and the ball was flicked on where it fell nicely to the fresh legged forward who was able to swivel and drill the ball into the top corner before anybody in a Farnborough shirt could react to draw the scores level at 2-2.
From there on Farnborough slowly got back into the game and enjoyed their best spell of possession and territorial attacks. Mark Friend was unlucky when he controlled an over hit corner and struck with an acrobatic effort but the ball sailed over and Ben Clunn was also early on target after the John Roan goalkeeper’s poor punch from another Farnborough corner saw the ball fall to him but his first time effort went wide of the upright. John Delaney did well to get in one on one with the goalkeeper and round him but his touch took him wider than he would have liked and his square ball back across goal was cut out by a covering defender.
Farnborough could have actually gone on to win the match as Danny Clarke played a perfectly weighted pass through to Barry Grainger who ran in on goal unchallenged and normally 9 times out of 10 would have scored however his effort went wide as the goalkeeper advanced from his line. John Roan also mustered a few more attacks but they were dealt with quite comfortably in the end either by the defence or by Rosslee and as Danny Clark was involved in bit of a nasty collision with their centre forward the ref thankfully called it time and blew the final whistle, 2-2.
John Roan’s post match hospitality was gratefully received as they treated us to a couple of very nice sandwich & sausage and chips/wedges platters as we were left to reflect on a very hard fought match against solid opposition; and once again the loss of a true Farnborough legend.
Shot of the match: The excellent chest and volley effort that hit the crossbar from the John Roan forward in the first half.
Save of the match: Rosslee’s near post strong hand that tipped the ball onto the post.
Man of the match: Danny Clark for his constant industrial midfield display.
Moan of the match: None whatsoever, we did ourselves credit against a stronger and superior team on the day who were not affected by absentees or playing players out of position like we did.
Next week we are away to Farleigh Vets (Venue TBC)
Man of the match: Danny Clark