OTFC IIIs 1-4 Old Guildfordian IIs
The IIIs arrived in Guildford after an extremely positive team performance last weekend. Despite the team having an early scare of being down to 10 men, due to severe “fibre vomiting”, they were fortunate that one Lewis Baister agreed to serve as our saviour. Even still, 11 men on a potentially bowl shaped/upside down bowl shaped pitch in Guildford was a bit of a worry.
After the 10-minute walk to the pitch (which conveniently served as a warm-up exercise), the Tiffs started to warm up, practising laid off shots from the edge of area, in an attempt to rectify our poor shot conversions from last weekend.
When the whistle blew, Tiffs looked well organised and comfortable on the ball. Baptiste Reynaud and Tom Myatt closing down Guildford’s midfield quickly, and creating enough space to pick passes to Lewis and Fardeen Nariman up top. However, soon after settling into the game, the Guildford winger took a speculative shot from the outside right of the box. Convinced the tame shot had been dragged well wide, the Tiffs switched off for a moment. One of the two Guildford number 10s seized the moment and slid onto the end of the shot to put it in the back of the net.
Not to worry, Tiffs were playing well, and we knew we could create some chances of our own, but after a kick from keeper Andy Johnston’s hands, the Guildford right back controlled it just inside the Old Tiffs’ half, spotted Johnston off his line and lofted the ball over his head.
Still nothing to worry about! Two goals which were both really quite fortunate early in the first half. Plenty to play for. Towards the end of the first half, Tiffs got Bernard Knuchel-Takano on the ball a bit more. The leggy debutant calmly took it past Guildford players on a number of occasions, but couldn’t quite get his final ball into the feet of the strikers.
Half time came, and despite trailing by two, there were certainly positives in the performance. The Guildford midfield weren’t tracking our players, so when we got on the ball, there was plenty of space around the pitch.
The second half was going to be hard work without any substitutes and having to play on a slight incline. However, the Tiffs drew first blood of the half. A nice passage of play got Fardeen on the ball, who elegantly flicked the ball onto Lewis and led to the OTFC IIIs first goal of the season. I can’t really describe the goal, as I was focused on Fardeen who was clattered in to and had collapsed in a heap, but no doubt it was a perfect finish from Tiffs’ saviour. As our fallen comrade hobbled off the pitch the Tiffs knew that we had a lot of work to do, and being down to 10 was a bit of a worry.
We just needed to be controlled and patient across the pitch. Well, the control didn’t last for long. A high kick from the Guildford keeper led to a shout of “DAN’S!” The ball did make solid contact with Hogg’s head, though it sadly travelled in the wrong direction, right into the path of Guildford’s striker, who lifted the ball calmly over Johnston in goal. Soon after a very, very tame pass back from the aforementioned Tiffs defender played in the same Guildford striker again. One on one with Johnston, the striker kept his cool to give Guildford a 4-1 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
Fardeen had come back on at this point, despite having a completely numb foot, to try and get Tiffin something from this game. Alas it wasn’t to happen. Tiffin had worked hard, and having subs really does make a big difference. We were absolutely exhausted, which led to GG complaining that he absolutely “can’t run any more”.
The Tiffs put in a good performance, and the scoreline was flattering in Guildford’s favour, but some silly errors had cost us the game. Congratulations go to Bernard for a very solid debut for the Tiffs and to Tom Myatt for winning MOTM.
Personal favourite fines:
Dan Hogg – opposition assist x 2
Ciaran Morris – questioning GG’s sexuality
Lee Orchard – being out shouted by Harry Harman
Harry Harman – out shouting Lee Orchard