Sunday 14th January 2018
By Mark Harrington
Supporters: Jon Redman & Son, Senior Mr Murphy, Mrs H, Sasha the Dog, Grace the puppy, Mrs Scouse, Otis the Dog, Connor (slightly smaller Scouse).
Team: Gary Rosslee, Simon Davies, Marcus Allen, Jon Gasson, Matti Wright, Joe Champ, Dean Wyatt, Dean Murphy, Damien Preston, Alan Fines, Paul Tanton, Tom Naughton, Steve Shippey, Barry Grainger.
It’s not often you come off a pitch having lost 0-4 and smiling….well today was that day. Too often we concentrate on results rather what we are all here for in our twilight football years, which is to compete, put in a shift and know that we left absolutely nothing out there. Despite being our second defeat on the spin, I could not be happier with the spirit and effort the FOBG boys put in this week. These are the games you want to play well in and whilst last week left a sour taste, as we knew we could all do better, this week every man gave their all for the cause.
We had a fabulous response for availability with 21 players raring to go so my thanks to James, Frank, Jez, Neil, Justin for standing down. A place for you awaits next week. Unfortunately, man flu accounted for Jason Miller and Robin Moody and injury meant Redders and Rob Mullen not fit to play yet but we still had 14 on duty.
Charlton Rangers are a good side and despite the scoreline they knew they had been in a game. We had no recognised right back so Simon Davies, as usual, when asked, played out of position and again, as we are accustomed to, did not let the side down. Steve Shippey played left and right wing (not at the same time!) as well as upfront, Damo Preston covered left wing and then centre midfield and Tant again covered ground in a variety of positions as well as providing the comestibles, which we are grateful for. Joe Champ performed more positions than the Karma Sutra and so my thanks to all the players for forgetting personnel preference and putting the team before themselves.
Our oppo are probably the only team we play that can match us in physicality and this proved decisive in the first half when, for the only time in the game, their big number 17 eluded our back four to head in a cross from the right to put them in front. A couple of chances went begging for us to level and we were then caught on the break 10 minutes later when their midfielder hit a shot that ballooned off our defender to loop and give Gary no chance.
Changes were made at half-time and Barry Grainger brought a calmness and control to our front line and we posed more of a threat and we were unlucky not to get a goal back when Marcus shot was blocked from a corner and Tant’s shot rolled wide. With 20 minutes remaining we threw caution to the wind and went with a three-four-three formation and despite testing the oppo goalkeeper, who made two good saves, we were undone on the break twice to complete the 0-4 score. The last two goals are completely down to me, I never accept defeat without having a right good go so will always believe that attack is the best form of defence especially, with the players I have at my disposal.
Despite the scoreline our defence were magnificent and Gary, Marcus, Jon, Matti, Joe were absolutely superb against the constant oppo threat. Simon, out of position, as a make shift right back when usually a striker played like a seasoned veteran and this being up against the oppo’s best player. Both Dean’s ran their legs off and Damo, Tant, Alan, Tom and Shipps gave everything to try and rescue a game against such strong opposition.
Our performance today would have been good enough to beat most teams and playing like this will mean we shall always win more than we lose. Disappointed in the result but not the effort of the boys. Marcus and Jon battled it out for Man of the Match with all votes being shared by both men with Marcus taking it 10-4. This shows how well our big lads at the back performed today.
All agreed over numerous pints in the Club that it is always better to play in games like this rather than big victories where you learn or earn nothing. Thanks to Leanne for keeping the bar open so we could drown our sorrows and also thanks to Danny Saines for reffing the match.
Local derby next week at home to Orpington Vets and a chance to perform as well again as we did today. I am aware Redders, Tant, both Deans, Tom, Shipps not around so a good chance to use the squad who missed out on this game.
Have a good week.
Man of the match: Marcus Allen