It was a tough week for OTFC across the board in terms of getting numbers out to some challenging grounds. The 3s ended up doing extraordinarily well for managing 14 on the day against a Woking side who we had beaten comfortably a few weeks earlier.

However, due to some VERY NAUGHTY players from the 5s, they were left short for their game in Guildford, and so, Chris Dandie, desperate to make his debut for the 3s was sent up the road to the Guildford mud-bowls to make his first OTFC appearance in a 13-3 defeat. He remains keen.

On to the football…

It was a very scrappy start to the game. VERY scrappy. You know when you watch amateur football as a spectator, and think to yourself “surely I don’t look this ridiculous when I play?” Well, that’s precisely what it looked like. The ball went straight up in to the air, straight out of play, off of peoples’ shins and unintentionally backwards. Admittedly, the pitch did not help. Woking aren’t well known for keeping fine pitches, but this week was frankly dreadful. Air kick anyone?

It didn’t take too long for Woking to take the lead. A man lost at the back post cut it inside, and the Woking number 9 finish emphatically past Hale in the OTFC goal. 1-0, and the 3s were not keen on coming all this way to be defeated.

Moments later, a wonderful move down the right hand side of the pitch saw Owen Kirk glide past the Woking left-back, passing the ball to Dwyer, who took it round a man, only to see his powerful near post shot saved by the moderately aggressive goalkeeper.

After some more controlled play, the 3s got the ball to Langers (on loan from the 2s) in the Woking box, back to goal. A push/wrestle ensued…resulting in a penalty to the Good Guys. Despite pre-match and on pitch insistence from 3s Captain Hogg, Frankie Kalogirou stepped up to take the penalty, ahead of the preferred Langers. Frankie now clearly settled in to his new captaincy role in the 5s. A bizarre exchange of words led to the aforementioned moderately aggressive goalkeeper telling Frankie to “watch his f*C$i£g mouth, or I’ll f*C$i£g bite you”, evoking memories of this chap ‘bounding over the hills’:

The penalty went in. The keeper guessed the right away, and seemed very displeased with himself.

Some more Tiffin pressure kept the ball firmly in the Woking half, we were well on top, and then a corner…drilled in towards the near post, debutante Jesse Seal (aptly named) leapt up and delicately cushioned a header past the keeper and the near post defender. 2-1 to the Good Guys…delightful.

Everyone loves to see an indirect free-kick in the box. Langers and Frankie were most excited. Woking were not. It took a while for the Woking skipper to lower his arms from Tiffin bodies, to get the wall back in right place, and for the referee to get control back. Well, turns out that the occasion wasn’t too exciting. A bit of a Pires/Henry on the penalty spot saw the ball sail over the cross bar, towards Woking residents’ back gardens. “Taxi!”, shouted the keeper. Little bit of banter. Nothing wrong with that.

Then things started to go downhill. A sin-bin on the stroke of half time. Though it was never confirmed, it was presumed that it was because of Frankie’s ‘gobbiness’. Ten minutes to play with ten men. Challenging. Three minutes in to the ‘power play’, a little bit of ‘gobbiness’ from the Woking CB meant that it was ten against ten. “In the bin, in the bin, in the bin!” shouted the Woking residents and other spectators at the Kingsmeadow Playing Fields. Sin bins are a bit funny. Frustrating, but still definitely funny.

Half time, and the 3s, despite leading, had not been good enough. It was a very scrappy game indeed. Disaster struck, shortly after Frankie came back on to the pitch. Failure to properly clear the ball meant that the Woking number 7 whipped the ball in to the box, leading to the equaliser. Shortly afterwards, it was 3-2…what the hell was happening?! Two goals conceded against ten men. Not ideal.

The Ts continued to push. Owen Kirk coming closest when smashing the ball against the Woking post. Then it was 4-2. WHAT. THE. HECK! This was one of the weakest sides in the division, and we had utterly controlled the game at Grists. Mightily disappointing.

No more goals came for either side. The 3s just weren’t quite up to the task this week. Onwards and upwards for next week.

Final score:
4-2

MOTM – James Khajenouri