Saturday 4th April 2015
By Jez Allen
The Fourths welcomed Kingsdale to Farrow Fields today. Kingsdale are managed by former FOBG player and manager Neal Barnes, so there was an extra "edge" to this game. Farrow Fields is becoming something of a fortress in the league for the Fourths this season - our home record now reads played 8 (not including the "home" game against Junior Reds that was played away), won 7, drawn 1, lost 0, goals for 35, goals against 1.
Today was our 10th clean sheet - another record for the Fourths?? It's certainly a record for the 4ths player / manager, Jez Allen - in all of his nearly 40 seasons of playing in goal, he's never kept as many clean sheets in one season. The main reason for this is the outstanding performances in defence this season. Today James Pyne and Chris Francis in the middle of defence were formidable and the full backs, Scott Barnes and Paul Edmonton, were unbeatable. Scott Barnes in particular having an outstanding game today, deservedly picking up man of the match. Jez did manage to contribute to the clean sheet today with a great left handed save from close range in the second half.
With the Fourths used to having a match day squad of 15-16 players, we only had 12 today with four of the normal squad away, two sick and one injured. This season the Fourths have benefited massively from having a large squad. We started slowly today and struggled at times to dominate the play - this was mostly down to some robust and very physical play from Kingsdale; however we went in at half-time 1-0 up with our goal coming from a Harry Tanner free kick which the keeper spilled and was followed up by a combination of Rob Osborne and Dan Herbert - somehow Rob managed to get the last touch to claim the goal.
The second half again started slowly for the Fourths but we continued to battle for every ball, again despite some rather robust tackling from Kingsdale. We made it 2-0 after about 20 minutes with some good passing down the right hand side with the ball eventually falling to Gary Harrigan in the penalty area which he neatly slid under the keeper.
As the Fourths started to see the game out to ensure the 3 points (something that we have learnt to do this season), and with a few minutes remaining, Harry Tanner picked the ball up in his own half and ran at pace at the Kingsdale defenders. He got the ball into the penalty area and passed to Gary Harrigan who just had to tap the ball into an empty net - 3-0.
We could quite easily have scored five or six today, but we were satisfied with the result, a clean sheet and the three points which continues to keep the pressure on Beaverwood at the top of the table, who we play in our next game on Saturday 18th April.
Man of the match: Scott Barnes