OTFC Vets v Walton Strollers (H)
7th October 2017
OTFC Vets 4 - 2 Walton Strollers
Old Tiffs 4 Strollers 2
Scorers: Omo 2, Gardiner, Arlow
- Dave Smith
- Simon Burton
- Simon Baile
- Carl Naylor
- Pete Markham
- Pete Stephens
- Trevor Huggins
- Ali Rawlinson
- Oscar Omo
- Dave Gardner
- Louis Silva
- Keri Ryan
- Warren Arlow
The legend of Warren ‘Wazza’ Arlow took a new turn on Saturday as the big man, who has scored goals in four decades for Old Tiffinians, sealed the game with a sublime strike.
With the fixture hanging in the balance, the ball bounced to Wazza who eyed a packed penalty area and a highly improbable angle.
“I saw it,” he said afterwards with typical modesty, “and I thought why not go for it?”
And sure enough, a side foot lob arced across the face of the goal, and ended its journey in the far corner of the goal, with most people expecting a cross.
The strike made the score 4-2, and settled a fixture against Walton Strollers which Tiffinians have had the worse of, over recent years.
It is of course only the first of two games this season, and we can expect the purple-shirted Strollers will be up for the return leg.
Back to this one. Tiffs started with purpose against the team who inflicted their worst defeat – albeit in mitigating circumstances – last season.
If anything, Tiffs had slightly the better of the opening exchanges. Ali broke away on the left and fizzed one in. Simon Burton was linking well with colleagues further forward to make progress down the right.
And Oscar, who we will return to later, made one helluva hash of the best opportunity in the first half of the first half, bulldozing through then slicing way wide with the goal at his mercy.
What could manager Craig Walker do to convert dominance to goals? So few coaches would have spotted it but Walker is a class above. Off went centre back Pete Markham, on came centre back Pete Stephens and within a minute, the deadlock was broken.
Another foray down the left, a low cross and Dave Gardner was there to slot in from close range.
Though a few other half chances came and went, the 1-0 scoreline held until half time.
With Tiffs doing so well on the right hand side, Walker again confounded convention and changed it around. On came Markham at right back, the position in which he began his Tiffs career in the autumn of ’93.
And on came Louis at right mid, later to be replaced by Simon Baile.
The next goal came from Strollers. A dead ball was teased into the penalty area and bounced across the six yard box. Pete Stephens was as close as he could be to the Strollers striker but the ball arrived just right for a far post finish, 1-1.
They were on level terms for a very short time. The new right hand side by hook or by crook conjured up a couple of chances and the new, second-half Oscar made no mistake.
In one, Markham took a throw in which headed back in his direction. Control it or volley it into the area? Markham chose the latter, a defender miscued his clearance and Oscar made no mistake with the finish.
Simon Baile, who also went close with an opportunity himself, played big O through for his second, and Tiffs’ third.
Strollers scored another scrappy goal from a high ball set piece which could have been defended better.
Then it was the turn of Wazza Arlow.
A good win for Tiffs, their first of the season.
Two questions remained at the end. Could this good form be converted to three points in the league sometime soon?
And could Arlow dare to dream he might score in 5 different decades?