Saturday 17th February 2007
By Paul Parsons
Ed needed to shuffle the pack as the team selection provided a late comer, an excuse, a no show and an injured sub!
However we started the best I have seen all season, although saying that Charterhouse came down the wing from the kick off and I think Mark needed to fly off his line and boot the ball into touch! After that though we settled down with some neat crisp interplay down each wing, particularly Colin and Aaron on the left providing the Charterhouse fullback with plenty to think about. Jay Blay was part of Ed’s rethink and was pulled out of midfield and into the centre back role as Todd was carrying an injury. Jay commanded his playing area and was strong in the tackle and his positional play and astute reading of the game really made it easy for me and Joe to work with at the back.
Simon upfront, won everything in the air and held the ball up when needed, so that Antony at centre midfield and Simon''s strike partner, Paul T were able to support and attack at every opportunity. We had the majority of the first 30 minutes and as we were beginning to settle into a rhythm and create chances we were reminded that the Charterhouse team possessed three very quick and agile forwards that were a constant threat, however the back four was marshalled at the back by me, and Colin, Joe and Jay were quick in catching the Charterhouse players offside, our best chances falling in the first half during this good spell of football and ability to pass the ball around with fluidity. First Simon Davies making a powerful run between the two central defenders from a Djan pass only to see his flick over the keeper saved. Then the next chance squandered by Paul T after a great cross by Simon allowed a crashing effort to be seen shooting over the bar. At this stage it was all going our way, then Mark needed to pull off a great save with his left foot that was goalbound and we all realised we needed to continue our pressure and make the most of the chances.
Again and again we put pressure on the Charterhouse back four, with Simon and Anthony winning aerial contests and forcing corners from all this pressure. Joe delivered a delicious corner for me to rise up and narrowly see go wide off a deflection from the back of the defender''s head. From the resulting second corner Aaron found the ball half punched to him and smashed it over from all of 7 yards out. Another great effort but no result. Djan then had an easy opportunity for us to still go in a goal to the good but steered the ball past the post after meeting the ball perfectly at the far post with no one to challenge him. With just 3 minutes left on the clock of the first half, a long punt upfield found the nippy forward squeeze past Joe and Jay, then past me and Mark, and as we collided on the edge of the area, the little forward was still upright and rolled it into an empty net.
Such a cruel game and 1-0 it was in Charterhouse''s favour at the half time whistle.
Ed was pleased with the first half performance and it was up to us all to continue the way we were playing, we started the second half well and there was a renewed vigour to get the equaliser. Simon and Paul T were still holding the ball up well, and Steve was being combative in midfield with Antony by his side. However this half we were unable to get the shot away and get into goal scoring opportunities as much. The back four of Farnborough were still holding an excellent line and Jay''s (MOM) pace, when needed, was snuffing out any chances of a Charterhouse attack.
Again and again we were playing the offside to perfection and from the ensuing free kicks we were raining the balls into the penalty area but were just off the pace to get anything else. Ed decided to change things with about 20 minutes to go and on came Rod to add an attacking presence down the right wing. So 1-0 down and all the cards had been dealt, it was for all of us to be up for the challenge. I was certainly up for it and the referee was able to understand the advantage rule, and saw the game of football as a contact sport, which it is by the way! With 15 minutes to go we went 2-0 down, after a mistake in midfield by me not clearing the ball, which allowed the Charterhouse winger to dance down the line, skip inside two despairing tackles and net in at the far post.
How he did that I am not sure, but goals win games and they scored two...