OT Vets 4 - 0 Salopian Vets
Cobb x 3, Elliott
MOM : Ashfield
The OT Vets gathered on a sunny but breezy Sunday morning to record their first win of the season and advance to the semi-final of the Derrick Moore Veterans Plate. Going from a 14 man squad on Saturday night to 11 players when we arrived at the Kings House Sports pitches did not faze a buoyant and plucky Vets squad.
Guy Howe, a natural all rounder and ‘excellent communicator,’ kindly stepped in at the last minute to do the refereeing duties. Never one to shy away from being the centre of attention, he officiated the match flawlessly.
We lost the toss and faced a stiff wind into our faces during the first half. Thankfully we were up to the task, particularly the back 4 with Mitchell in goal marshalling them and playing controlled football from the deck. Our tireless full backs, Durling and Smith, provided width and covered a lot of mileage throughout.
The centre of midfield was where the game was won. The David Batty-esque Ashfield brought a military level of command and fight which meant we could compete against Salopians best two players (both of them multiple Arthur Dunn Cup winners of the late 90’s early 00’s). Paul Schofield, more in the Cesc Fabregas mould, provided the attacking and passing threat that led us to a hatful of chances during the 90 minutes.
The clubman of the side, Stu Rowe, controlled the right hand side of the pitch and worked well with the ever running Duncan ‘Pat’ Elliott up front.
The first chance for the OT’s came after about the half hour mark when ace marksman Tom Cobb made space to cross from the right with Cook rattling the post with a header. The hard work of the opening period paid dividends when Cobb pounced on a loose ball at the back post after good work from Rowe to make it 1-0 going in at half-time.
With the wind behind us, the second half was a delight and some excellent attacking football was played. Elliot made it 2-0 with an assured finish when he was put though after some crisp interchanges. The goal of the game quickly followed making it 3-0 when the clinical Cobb latched onto to a fine ball from Schofield and rifled his shot into the top corner from 18 yards.
Despite protests from the otherwise solid OT centre backs of Phil and Steve, the headmaster like Howe correctly awarded a penalty to the Salopians on 70 minutes which gave them an opportunity back into the match. Step forward James Mitchell. Having already pulled off an acrobatic worldy 10 minutes earlier, he leapt like a Carp from the river Medway to turn the ball around the post and protect the clean sheet.
The fourth came after Cook ran clear and wasted a one-on-one chance only for Cobb to sweep home the rebound and claim the match ball.
An excellent team performance with Salopians sportingly buying the pints and grub in the pavilion afterwards. The semi-final, potentially on Sunday 1st Match, will be against the winner of the Bradfieldians Vs Wellingtonians or Aldenhamians tie.
We still need more players, so please put yourself forward and help us get to the final!