Date: 14 January 2017
Scorers: Gardner 2, Sprunt 1, Omo 1
The vets continued their fine start to the year with an excellent win against Hersham.
It may have been a friendly on paper but – like most of the vets so called friendlies – it was pretty damned competitive with both teams well up for the fight.
Tiffs began playing these opponents last year and before this fixture had a record of played 3, lost 3, goals scored 4, goals conceded 13. So a win was a right result, and to score four was particularly satisfying.
All this was achieved with a stand in goalie between the sticks, Oscar and Simon Baile being the heroes in green in the first and second halves respectively.
The game started in lively fashion, the first ten minutes characterised by Hersham possession and Tiffs feeling their way into the game.
But gradually we took a foothold. Roving Ali Rawlinson’s retrieving was key to disrupting Hersham’s flow, and passes began to go astray. Meanwhile Tiffs had some decent spells in possession themselves and carved out the odd chance.
It wasn’t totally out of the blue then, when right back Simon Burton curled a pass into a dangerous area from which Dave Gardiner profited from some goalkeeping indecision, and slid the ball into an empty net.
When you take the lead against a strong opponent, the last thing you want to do is give them an easy way back into the game.
It wasn’t so much that we invited them back into the game. Sent them a gold embossed invite, then carried them on a sedan chair shoulder high back into the game more like.
Minutes later, instead of taking a conventional corner and creating some panic in the opposition box, we decided to pass the ball half the pitch back to a player who had just come on as sub.
That player was dispossessed quickly by a fast lad who bore down on goal, then let fly from outside the area. Remember I mentioned stand in keepers? It flew in between Oscars gloves, and won’t be the big mans favourite memory of the match.
It was 1-1 at half time but the arrival of Oscar in central midfield tipped the game in our favour.
He and his fellow midfielders had a storming second half, and gradually Tiffs took control.
Dave Gardiner added a second about ten minutes into the second half, Nigel Sprunt succeeded in a 1 on 1 with the keeper having missed an earlier opportunity, and Oscar completed a superb passing move on the break to make in 4.
Second half goalie Simon Baile looked solid in the second half, until a miskick was cruelly punished with an accurate long shot. But it was too little, too late for Hersham and they didn’t seem to take much heart even from this second gift.
Well played Tiffs. A good day, and one to remember.