Sunday 15th September 2013
By Gary Rosslee
Honours even in Young Vets local derby with Cudham
So the 3rd game of the season and a nice early “local derby” to quench the football thirst as Farnborough Young Vets faced Cudham Vets at the Beaverwood Lodge in Chislehurst. Contrary to belief Cudham had not folded and although they seemed to be missing several influential players who had been a thorn in the Farnborough side over the past few seasons we still knew we would be in for a difficult morning and the game would not be as easy as the last match in which the Guild ran out comfortable 7-1 winners.
Farnborough saw the return of Andy Cobham to first team action and Judith Chalmers\' illegitimate son Jim St John was back from yet another break in the sun topping up on Vitamin D, but with several first team players still absent due to work, injury, or getting hitched Farnborough lined up as follows.
G. Rosslee ©
R. Davies A. Cobham B. Cheesman M. Friend
B. Clunn J. St John P. Bailey D. Wyatt C. Rawley
The pre-match tactics were given by Paul Bailey who was standing in for the newly married Paul Tanton as we opted for a 4-5-1 formation for a second week running purely due to having another bare bones team. After the team talk was given the hot topic thereafter mainly consisted of laughing at new boy Paul Aitken’s brand new boots as unbeknown to him the Sports Direct sales assistant had not only provided him with 2 different boots (one World Cup, the other Kaisers) and in 2 completely different sizes, the only saving grace was at least they were both black!
The pitch at the Beaverwood is that of a very good maintained one and given the amount of rain over the 2 previous days it held up extremely well, and if anything maybe the rainfall on the Friday and Saturday had caused the grass to grow even more as it was rather on the long side and with the morning dew it caused the ball to drag when playing it along the floor, so maybe that was the reason why Cudham felt the need to play the long ball every time?!
The opening 10 minutes or so consisted of Cudham playing route one football with their goalkeeper at the heart of many a long ball (he kicked it further than some people go on holiday) so the Farnborough defence had to be on their toes and have their wits about them and to their credit they did and this meant the Cudham attempts on goals or real goal scoring chances were minimal, the first sniff of goal Cudham got was a where Cheesman had been pulled out wide allowing another player to run in on goal unchallenged as nobody from midfield had gone with him but Rosslee was off of his line quickly to prevent an opening for the Cudham attacker. I do not think we drew the Cudham goalkeeper into making a single save in the first half but our best chance came when Barry Grainger neatly pulled the ball back for Dean Wyatt inside the box maybe 8 yards out and as Dean was about to pull the trigger a last ditch block tackle was made to keep the scores level. A further bout of Cudham pressure eventually resulted in a corner out on the left hand side which saw the home side take the lead, Jim St John guilty of not marking his man allowing the unmarked 6ft 4 centre back to head home, 1-0, Cudham.
Rosslee tipped a 20 yarder rather unconvincingly on to the crossbar from the Cudham midfielder Freddie (of ex Lloyds Golden Oldies fame)’ to keep the scoreline at 1-0 but could do nothing about Cudham’s second goal. Farnborough failed to clear the ball inside their penalty area and the ball sat up nicely for the Cudham player who struck the ball sweetly and with Rosslee completely unsighted by at least 4 bodies the ball fizzed in to the back of the net unchallenged. 2-0 Cudham and the ref blew for half time shortly after.
Farnborough rang the changes at half time introducing Tony Sanders for Ben ClunN on right midfield and Paul Aitken came on for Paul Bailey as Farnborough adopted a 4-4-2 formation. New boy Paul Aitken looked a decent player as he linked up well with Barry in midfield and played some decent balls around. Our best passage of play in the second half resulted in Chris Rawley stinging the palms of the Cudham keeper as he got down well for a big bloke to parry a shot away for a corner after some intelligent passing between him and Barry on the edge of the box. Farnborough continued to dominate the possession and looked more galvanised in their new formation and they soon grabbed a goal to halve the deficit. A throw in from the right hand side parallel with the 18 yard box was flicked on by St John and the ball found the bottom right hand corner, 2-1 Cudham.
Farnborough continued to probe forward as forward Paul Aitken knocked the ball around the advancing Cudham keeper but as he tried to sprint around him onto the ball his hamstring went and that was the end of his morning, Paul Bailey was reintroduced and replaced him up front.
Farnborough were then awarded a penalty for handball inside the Cudham penalty area, I might add that this was the third penalty appeal after the referee had waved away a number of other dubious looking penalty claims! Richard Davies stepped up and converted the kick although the keeper got a hand to it, he couldn\'t do enough to stop it hitting the back of the net. 2-2 and Farnborough were right back in the game and controlling it by now.
Farnborough then showed a lapse in concentration or should I say Ben Clunn showed a real lapse in concentration! Ben who was now running the line missed a clear offside appeal as he was too busy messing around young Frankie Cheesman on the sidelines which allowed Cudham to score a third goal of the match with no more than 10 minutes remaining but credit to the Guild their heads did not drop as they dug deep and continued to press forward. Farnborough got what they deserved with a minute left on the clock as Barry Grainger whipped in an exquisite free kick that Mark Friend rose the highest to head goal wards, the keeper to his credit pulled off a fine stop but could not prevent St John from bundling home the rebound at close range to spark scenes of joy within the Farnborough camp.
The ref blew for full time and both teams admitted they were more than satisfied with a draw, it had been Cudham all first half and all Farnborough in the second half, a complete reversal of last week\'s 2-2 draw with Metrogas where it was the OBG’s who bossed the first 45 minutes only to be outplayed for the second 45. If only we could have put both halves together from the past fortnight no team would have lived with us.
Man of the match: was a draw with Mark Friend and Jim St John both picking up 4 votes each with Dean Wyatt picking up 3 votes for another impressive display.
It is with regret that whilst yours truly is typing out this match report it looks like ‘Dittonitus’ has struck again with our away fixture to Ditton Utd being called off already due to the high number of absentees for next Sunday.
What is an even more alarming fact is Farnborough consisted of no fewer than 5 ex-Buff players against Cudham so had the Buff not folded their team last year we would not have even been able to field a team in only our 3rd game of the season which is pretty pee poor when you think that we have at least, at least 20 players registered with us. Oh well it’ll be interesting to see how many players we have at our disposal come week Sunday when we have our first home game of the season up on the main pitch (as it stands). Still that will be a headache for the newly wed Mr Tanton to worry about!
Man of the match: Mark Friend & Jim St John