Sunday 21st April 2013
By Gary Rosslee
Young Vets cruise to victory over under-strength Cudham
This was our first home game since the tragic loss of the much loved Vic Farrow and to be honest the whole place had a strange feel to it, a feeling that will probably hang over the place for a very long time indeed. Farnborough’s opposition today were local rivals Cudham who have always been a stern test for us; this time last year we were easily beaten 0-4 at home. However, we noticed as Cudham made their arrival at Farrow Fields they were missing a few of their key players from our hard fought 3-3 draw back in September of 2012 at the Beaverwood Club.
In the basking April morning sunshine Farnborough lined up as follows:
GK, Gary Rosslee
LB, Matt Wright
CB, Andy Cobham
CB, Paul Bailey
RB, Ben Clunn
LM, Paul Tanton
CM, Jim St John
CM, Danny Clark
RM, Jason Miller
CF, Barry Grainger
CF, Simon Davies
We were occupying the top pitch today as the Sunday team were at home again but to be fair the pitch was in quite good condition albeit noticeably bobbly in certain parts but considering it had been played on last week by the Sunday team (somehow the Senior Vets played on the main pitch?????) – (we kindly agreed to switch as the main pitch was in worse condition putting the league game in danger of being called off – Ed) it had held up well. Farnborough kicked into the ‘Oast house end’ with the sunshine beating down on their backs making long balls impossible to read. This enforced them to keep their passes nice and simple and on the floor and they were given their just reward for their intuitive play with no longer than 10 minutes gone on referee Andy Gable’s timepiece. Barry Grainger was played in on goal and he caught the keeper by surprise by taking the shot early down to the keeper’s near post to score his first goal since the 10th March and end his goal drought. I should however point out that we have actually missed three games due to the bad weather in that time so maybe drought is too strong a word, more like goal deficiency! 1-0 OBG’s.
With the early lead Farnborough grew in confidence and everything Cudham threw at them was either defended well by the OBG rearguard or simply broken down by Danny Clark playing like a man possessed in the middle of the pitch. And for their guile Farnborough soon doubled their lead on 15 minutes and again it was Barry Grainger who was on hand to coolly finish inside the box, 2-0.
A deflated Cudham then found themselves 3-0 down with no more than 20 minutes gone as Barry Grainger scored his third of the match and third hat-trick of the season and it was the pick of his three goals. Barry collected the ball out wide left and ran in on goal, the Cudham defender showed him the inside but he manoeuvred the ball onto his right foot and shaped an excellent curled effort past the dive of the Cudham keeper and the ball nestled nicely in the far bottom left hand corner, 3-0 OBGs.
Farnborough grabbed a fourth from a very unlikely source, Paul Tanton scoring directly from a corner kick although some suggested it was an O.G. however with yours truly having ‘Paul Tanton to score anytime’ @ 100/1 with Paddy Power I was relieved to see the goal awarded to him, 4-0 OBG’s. Cudham were now chasing shadows and it did their cause no good as they lost a couple of players to injuries and they had no substitutes on the line to replace the injured players. Farnborough made the numerical advantage count when Jason Miller scored Farnborough’s fifth of the match. Jason collecting the ball on the right jinking inside and unleashing an unstoppable effort that beat the keeper down at his near post again, 5-0 OBG’s.
It’s probably safe to say that complacency crept into Farnborough’s play. It’s so easily done when you are 5 goals to the good and Cudham managed to fashion a couple of very good chances. Firstly Rosslee saved well with his feet from eight yards out although later admitted he knew nothing about it and the resulting scramble then saw a Cudham effort ricochet off the post. Then Rosslee failed to collect a Cudham corner and Jim St John was beaten in the air by a player even bigger than him but the effort was cleared off of the line by Ben Clunn although the visitors were adamant the ball had crossed the line. Half time 5-0 OBG’s.
Farnborough then offered the services of Jason Miller, Liam Williams and Matt Wright to the opposition for the second half with John Delaney and Dean Wyatt entering the fray for Farnborough. Paul Tanton then shuffled the pack which saw Dean Wyatt at right back, Ben Clunn moved up to right midfield and Simon Davies playing at left back!
With Cudham now back to up to eleven players and with fresh legs up front they would be looking to pose a bigger threat then they did all first half but it was actually Farnborough who were the closest to scoring. Barry Grainger must have thought he had netted his fourth of the game only to see his effort excellent tipped around the post by the keeper. Then Simon Davies was played in one on one with the keeper but his hesitancy with the ball allowed the keeper to rush out and smother at his feet leaving Simon in a heap on the floor. Farnborough did manage to score a sixth to put even further daylight between the two teams; John Delaney neatly passing square to the unmarked Paul Tanton to get his second of the match, 6-0 OBG’s.
Cudham did eventually get into their stride and Rosslee did well to save a Liam Williams effort after he was easily played in on goal with only the keeper to beat. Cudham’s pressing and pressure finally paid off as they grabbed what would be a mere consolation goal in quite a fortuitous manner. A Cudham effort was lashed goalwards in the penalty area only to hit the arm of one of their other players thus killing the ball dead at his feet and enabling him to unleash an unstoppable shot past the unimpressed Rosslee. His pleas of handball to the referee were ignored by Andy Gable; however looking back it was the right decision by the official, 6-1 OGB’s.
Cudham went close with a couple of direct free kicks that were needlessly given away on the edge of the box and some hesitancy by Rosslee allowed Liam Williams to muster a shot that he managed to beat away at the near post, an effort that could have been avoided in the first place had Rosslee have come for the ball when it was only 4 or 5 yards away from him!
Some further resolute defending and again Danny Clark covering for the players that had given up the ghost of tracking back meant Cudham were unable to breach the Farnborough goal yet again. With three minutes left on the clock Paul Bailey found Barry Grainger with an excellent 50 yard cross field ball that Barry was able to take in his stride first time and run unchallenged through on goal, like all match Barry showed calmness personified as he stroked the ball home with ease to score his fourth of the game and make him top scorer for the season with 17 goals, not a bad return considering he and the other Buff members joined us at least midway through the season, 7-1 OBG’s.
The ref then blew for what all the players believed was full time but it wasn’t, however with that said Cudham conceded defeat and decided to call it a day as the players exchanged niceties in a match that was contested firmly but fairly and where the only tackle that had more bite than Luis Suarez was quickly defused and apologised for!
What a great result for Farnborough against their local rivals, that win means we are still unbeaten in 2013 and what’s even more impressive is that we are still unbeaten at ‘Farrow Fields’ so far this season. Now what an amazing feat that would be, to remain unbeaten at home and a fitting tribute to the man who shares his name with this wonderful, yet still strange feeling place!
Also I would like to mention that referee Andy Gable kindly donated his match fee to the British Heart Foundation in honour of Vic.
Shot of the match: Barry Grainger’s 3rd goal, his right foot curler that beat the keeper inside the far left hand post.
Save of the match: The Cudham keeper getting down well to his right to turn a Grainger effort around the post.
Man of the match: Barry Grainger for his 4 goal haul.
Moan of the match: 7-1 against Cudham, how could there possibly be anything to moan about? Although from a personal point of view I’m disappointed to break my run of 93 consecutive games for the Young Vets next Sunday against Orpington Vets (hopefully the game is called off)!
Man of the match: Barry Grainger