Sunday 3rd September 2017
By Mark Harrington
So the 'friendly' friendly was over and now it was time for the er......real friendly against Metrogas, which is traditionally our season opener. Anyone who knows anything about gambling would know that if you put a tenner on Farnborough winning this fixture at Avery Hill, you would........ lose a tenner. Not being an avid Twitter I've never really known until today why it's called Avery Hill but I swear I did observe quite a few Tits during the 90 minutes. Only joking lads and I am really grateful for the vote of confidence before the game had even finished!
Due to a mixture of injuries, holidays, a honeymoon and general cowardice, step forward our 6th choice custodian; Neil Pearce who looked every inch (under 6 foot) a solid keeper. Neil straight away put his hand up when a volunteer was required to keep goal and so we knew we had the right man despite hurting his Rotator Cuff in the week whilst doing a bit of Titchmarsh.
Despite dominating possession we could not find a breakthrough and when the moment came for Tant to slot in his 400th goal for the Club the Metrogas keeper pulled off a wonder save to smother the ball. Alan Fines saw a couple of efforts blocked or go narrowly wide and the final ball just did not come off, perhaps a bit of early season rust.
Metrogas broke and after some brave goal line blocks by Sunil, Jon Gasson then Neil the ball cannoned onto Sunil's arm for a rightly deserved penalty that the number 9 casually stroked in. The response to going a goal behind was fantastic and we came close on a number of occasions to equalise immediately and it was no surprise when Alan Fines made a tricky run into the box and cleverly brought a challenge from the Metrogas defender for the award of a penalty which he duly despatched to make it two in two for him.
The cries for Simon Davies to be more selfish in front of goal were heard as he picked the ball up 25, 30 or even 40 yards out (the distance has got longer the more we tell it) to smash a wonder strike into the top right of the Metrogas net to take us into the break with a deserved lead.
I've heard of performance enhancing drugs but never under-enhancing performance drugs. The half time oranges, water and isotonic gels really must have been spiked as the second half performance was a complete contrast to the first. Early season rust seem to set in and Metrogas sensed blood and their midfield broke on a number of occasions to set up their forwards for three goals during a mad 10 minute spell to take a 4-2 lead. FOBG had shots blocked and their keeper made a great double save from Jon Redman and Dean to keep their lead intact. As we pushed forward against a good passing side who let the ball do the work they punished us with a fifth.
Whilst the second half belonged to Metrogas there was enough in the first half from us to suggest that we will win more than we lose (hopefully!). Much to celebrate being the performance of newbies Joe Champ and Alan Fines. The return of Daragh Nott who came on to provide energy on the right. The versatility of James Clarke who had a fine game with some meaty tackles at right back then centre half. Full credit to James who turned up despite his car being broken into and his phone stolen.
Neil Pearce was voted Man of the Match which for a goalie conceding 5 goals is some achievement. Well done Neil and thanks for stepping up.
Last word goes to the comestibles on offer at Metrogas. Lovely sarnies in bloomer.
Wickham Park FC Vets next week where we hope the buffet is just as good.
Captain of the day: Jon Gasson
Supporters: Barry Grainger, Mrs Nott and little Notts, Little Redman
Man of the match: Neil Pearce