Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Farnborough Town XI 3
Cherries Reserves 2

Date: 2 November 2004

Farnborough Town was the venue for this Hampshire Senior Cup match, watched by 180 people. An eccentric place in more ways than one. First, there were the caterers who didn't turn up until half way through the first half, and then put up a sign explaining that the delay was because "we weren't informed about this match." There was the AA advertising hoarding along one side of the pitch which read "What's the quickest way to Division 3? Just AAsk." Division 3?? And best of all there was the commentator who, before giving out the half time results of European matches, advised that people might want to put their hands over their ears "if you're recording the match at home on a video or on one of these modern - er - um - er - um - DVSs." DVSs??

Why am I writing about the ground rather than the match? Well the match was pretty dull; there were more fireworks going off this night away from the ground than on the pitch. Farnborough met their commitment to this Cup by putting together a mix of normal first and second team players - utilising squad numbers and wearing 'Croatian' style white shirts with small red squares on them. We took virtually a reserve team (although the six players who at some point or other played in the back four were the only players with no first team experience at all), we utilised shirt numbers 2 through 11 with only team captain Stewart and unused reserver keeper Scriven wearing their squad numbers, and we wore sky blue strip.

What made the match uneven was that Farnborough's three strongest players were all up front together - Hamilton, Chabaan and Kightly - and our weakest players were at the back, albeit doing their best. Chabaan scored two goals (on the 15th and 57th minutes) and Kitely one (on the 44th). We responded via Holmes (deep into stoppage time at the end of the first half) and Rowe (three minutes before the end of the second). The latter came at the end of a good passing sequence that had involved Rowe (twice), Coutts, Holmes and Ryan Moss. But the goal attempts were strongly weighted towards Farnborough and any different result would have been unfair to them on the night.

Coutts made a number of shots through the match (the earliest in the third minute) because he got forward well. He also made some good crosses to Connell, who himself had one disallowed goal. Andrade also looked impressive - quick, always challenging 'Boro defenders, nice ball skills, holding the ball up - but was selfish. He would never pass the ball back to Hubbard even when the latter had got into an excellent position behind him and was calling for it. With training, Hubbard and Andrade could perhaps be emulating Young and Elliott, which would be good to see as Hubbard got in some good crosses. The starting line-up (with my scores out of ten) was :

Stewart (7);
Hubbard (7), Sutton (6), King (6), Cannon (6);
Andrade (6), Rowe (7), Browning (6), Coutts (8);
Connell (7), Holmes (6).

By the end, the team line-up was as follows (interestingly the midfield trio were now lined up exactly the same as in the latter stages of the first team match at Brentford in September):

Krauss, Whisken, Sutton, Cannon;
Rowe, Browning, Coutts;
Connell, R Moss.

My 'man of the match' : Coutts.

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