Saturday 1st February 2014
By Luke Johnson
You won't believe a word of this, but...
...I promise there are no lies.
What a ridiculous game, for so many reasons. I'm gonna have to run through it chronologically to fit all the nonsense in.
The day began with me attempting to find out whether we were playing or not. This included ringing a bloke called Duncan, waking his Mrs up and confusing her as I had the same name as her son. When I finally let everyone know that we were taking part in the only amateur game in the whole world that was going ahead, the excuses came. A few had wrongly assumed that it would be off and had to be called back from various locations, including DFS. Stu let me know he was at work, but could play if he was needed. I told him he was needed. He turned his phone off.
3 minutes before kick off we had 12, although Rich Pile couldn't play due to injury, so 11. Last week we had 17. This was the biggest game of the season against an unbeaten Long Lane side. Not ideal preparation.
It was freezing as we "warmed up" (ran about a bit, moaned about the weather and pretended to stretch). The other team had specialist warmer uppers and a team of physios. We had Pat's brother and a size 4 football.
Even before the game got going we knew it was gonna be a long one, the ref threatening to book Russ for saying "Good afternoon".
1st half we had the considerable wind behind us. This laid way to the Gibbo Show. Our first goal was a 70 yard free kick that our keeper smashed straight in with one bounce. Earlier on in the season Stoke's keeper scored and didn't celebrate out of respect. Gibbo didn't follow suit. In fact he celebrated for so long that I thought it was half time when Long Lane finally kicked off again.
They equalised a few minutes later, before Gibbo, the attack minded keeper struck again. I think it was a kick straight out of his hands that bounced over their keeper. Ridiculous. For the rest of the game their keeper physically shook everytime Gibbo had the ball.
I had to come off injured at half time to make way for Ad, who was late coz he was buying a sofa. Obviously didn't want to miss those sales that are hardly ever on at DFS.
Few minutes into the half something else weird happened, Pat scored a header. I've played football with Pat for a few years, never seen him head it. So a very pleasant surprise. Great turn and cross from Barnesy set it up. No-one will thank me for saying this but Al has been class the last few games, just needs a goal now!
At 3-1 we were looking good, but had a mad 15 minutes where we went chasing a 4th as if we were losing. In this period Long Lane went 4-3 up and we were losing.
Going behind livened us up and we were camped in their half for the rest of the game. In the last minute we won a free kick and after a bit of a scramble Joe smashed in an equaliser, his first goal for Farnborough. A decent point all things considered, always gutting to lose a 2 goal lead, but not losing a second on the spin was a must.
Joe picked up MOM on a day where the whole team put in decent performances, which we needed after last week.
So our keeper got 2. Pat scored a header. Our left back got a last minute equaliser. We played on a weekend when loads of professional games were cancelled. Al Barnes crossed a ball successfully. The ref asked me to punch him. Russ invented a new position (defensive, non shooting, striker). Ad got a new sofa. And Long Lane unveiled the world's angriest young man.
Team: Lee Gibbs; Joe Slater, Luke Johnson, Lee Cross, Richard Tapsfield; George Belchamber, Lou Hussey, Matt Reynolds; Pat Harvey, Russell Nethercot, Al Barnes.
Sub: Ad Ellson
Man of the match: Joe Slater