Sunday 12th January 2014
By Gary Rosslee
Football resumes for the Young Vets...for now.
Finally, our first game of the New Year took us down to Stone in Dartford to face Princes Park Vets, and this was our first outing since our hard fought 3-5 victory over Wellcome Vets back on the 22nd of December so we were hoping that the combination of a lack of playing time and a certain amount of over indulgence during the Christmas and New Year break would not allow any ring rust into our game. Also we were going into this match riding on the crest of a wave with 3 consecutive victories, a feat that we had achieved earlier on in the season only to be brought back down to earth with a bump by Charlton Rangers, funnily enough who are next weeks opposition at Farrow Fields!!
We had at last 16 players at our disposal on the Friday before this match so Paul Tanton being the considerate, kind and caring man that he (that is what you wanted me to put, wasn’t it Tant?) allowed a few players the morning off knowing that they would be surplus to requirements so in the end we were able to take a squad of 14 for the trip.
Farnborough lined up as follows.
G. Rosslee ©
R. Davies A. Cobham P. Bailey N. Connelly
B. Clunn J. St. John D. Wyatt
J. Redmond B. Grainger P. Tanton
Farnborough lost the toss but it was the Home side that decided to change ends allowing Farnborough to kick downhill away from the low morning sun and into the mild wind. Now I’m not entirely sure how many games had been played on the pitch down at Stone Recreation Park since the southern part of the UK had been hit with the terrible weather over the festive break but it seemed to hold up ok today considering. The opening 15 minutes were an evenly balanced contest as in neither team had an attempt on goal, however had the Sky Sports team been in the vicinity with their hi tech equipment I think Farnborough would have edged the possession stats and most completed passes in fact there were occasional times where some of our play resembled that of the Spanish National side as we knocked the ball around in “Tiki-taka” fashion, all that was missing was the cry of Olé from the onlookers watching from the sidelines.
For all of Farnborough’s possession and probing it was the home side that drew first blood, courtesy of a goal that showed we definitely had bit of a bout of ring rust! The ball wasn’t cleared properly out wide which allowed the Princes Park wide man out left to get a cross in into the box that caught Paul Bailey flat footed and the PP forward was able to nod home unmarked from 8 yards out, 1-0 Princes Park.
To their credit Farnborough didn’t let this momentary slip affect them too badly and we were back on level terms within a minute of the restart. Barry Grainger playing an excellently weighted through ball to Paul Tanton who carried the ball goal wards, it seemed like the PP keeper had done enough to thwart him as he came out to narrow the angle and didn’t go to ground too early but you don’t become Farnborough’s all time leading goal scorer by luck do you? Oh no, Tant somehow had the presence of mind to play a neat one two with the goalkeeper and the ball ricocheted back off of his chest and rolled into the empty net, 1-1.
In the Farnborough goals Rosslee wasn’t called into too much action other than a couple of times where he had to be alert to come off of his line and sweep up as the last man, the most notable saw the PP forward come second best and unfortunately have to go off injured after a firm but fairly contested 50-50 tackle outside the box.
Farnborough thought they had taken the lead some 10 minutes later after Jim St John had rose unchallenged in the penalty area to head home an excellent Richard Davies free kick taken from the half way line but it was adjudged to have been offside much to the visitors dismay. Justice was however soon restored as Barry Grainger was played in on goal but before he could advance any further or shape to shoot he was hauled down by the PP defender which presented Farnborough with a direct free kick in a very good position some 20 yards out and just to the left of the penalty area D. Both Richard Davies and Barry stood over the ball but it was the latter who coolly wrapped his foot around the ball to send it over and around the four man wall and it nestled into the goalkeeper’s right hand side of the goal leaving him watching in awe! 1-2 OBG’s.
The ref blew for half time.
Farnborough reverted to a 4-4-2 formation for the second half that saw all 3 subs introduced to the fray at some point. The second half was not as plain sailing as Farnborough would have liked as they had to come to terms with playing uphill, into the sun and with the pitch starting to cut up under foot and get very heavy, in fact this was far more difficult second half than when we played against them back in October.
Princes Park had the first effort of the second half on target as Rosslee had to be alert to beat away an effort that was curling and dipping into the far right hand side corner to keep Farnborough’s slender lead in tact and then Princes Park laid siege on the Farnborough goal for the rest of the half. I must have counted at least ten corners for Princes Park that put Farnborough under immense pressure however speaking of immense it was Jim St John who was at the forefront in terms of clearing most of those corners to safety. Princes Park must have thought they’d equalised with 2 minutes on the clock after Paul Bailey made an excellent last ditch tackle on the edge of the box but the ball somehow ran loose for the on running and unchallenged midfielder but his low effort was pushed around the post by Rosslee to concede yet another corner. And with the final corner of the match it looked like Princes had grabbed a late equaliser courtesy for a Rich Davies own goal but Rosslee was alert again to get down to the front post and beat away to spare Davies’ blushes.
The ref blew for full time of a hard fought real backs to the wall victory which was now a fourth win in a row for the Guild.
Next week (as it stands) we are at home against Charlton Rangers whom we’ll be looking for some retribution against having been humbled 5-1 last year at their place.
MOM: Jim St John with a landslide of 8 votes!
Man of the match: Jim St John