OCCFC v GSGFC Match Report - 2nd Dec 2018 - THE REMATCH

Please find the below match report of OCCFC’s game, taken from the Green St Green Gazette.

 

2nd December 2018 marked Orpington Cricket Club Football Club’s return. After a yearlong absence, Captain Page and Gaffer Robinson returned with their battle-hardened warriors, seeking revenge for last year’s controversial 2-0 defeat to Green St Green.

A youthful hungover looking OCCFC squad arrived at the “café with no name” for a pre match fry up, demonstrating what a truly makeshift side they are. Meanwhile, the professional outfit of GSGFC, led by OCCFC reject Alex Watts, had a far more structured pre-match build up (even consisting of a warm up!). Surely the unthinkable couldn’t happen?!?! Surely it was a case of damage limitation for the drunken bunch of cricketers…

30 minutes before kick-off, the OCCFC misfits were still rummaging round cars/vans/bags exchanging various pieces of kit. Star striker Freddie Horlock had to make a desperate call back home to his Mother, trying to locate some football socks, before a mad dash home. GSGFC in their matching kits, were beginning to wonder why they even bothered turning up for such a formality of a victory…

The team news broke, with OCCFC’s twitter account getting the scoop. Once the names were announced, expectations started to rise. The team was: A. Lessey, D. Grover, A. Page (C), G. Fuller, R. McElligott, S. Cole, D. Robinson (M), J. Rotheringham, M. Knight, L. Markell, F. Horlock - Subs: J. Stringvojevic, A. Smith, P. Robinson - Absent P. Sterling.

The familiar looking referee called both captains to the middle for the coin toss, without a coin as he forgot. It would later become apparent that he certainly hadn’t forgotten his whistle, or cards... OCCFC won the rock paper scissors, and elected to use the wind in the first half. GSG to kick off.  

OCCFC started brightly, with Horlock fresh from his early night, sleeping in a Maidstone nightclub booth, running on the copious sugar in his WKD’s, forced the GSG keeper into a couple of early saves. This was soon followed up by player manager Robinson testing the keeper with a looping volley. Meanwhile, the crowd congestion outside the turnstiles was starting to ease and the OCCFC Flat Cap wearing Ultras were all beginning to make themselves heard on the side line.

After a barrage of OCCFC attacks in the first 10 minutes, surely a goal was imminent. Once again Horlock broke through and forced the keeper into another save. Corner to OCCFC. Corner swung in from Cole, ball breaks to Captain, Leader, Legend Page at the back post, who heroically throws his head in the way of a flying boot. Penalty to OCCFC. A bloodied head didn’t stop our captain carrying on though! OCCFC’s designated penalty taker Mr Knight stepped up. SAVED! Rebound, surely? HITS THE POST. Unbelievable let off for GSG.  

OCCFC’s internal lager fuel tanks were starting to run a little low, Fuller helping gain those extra few seconds of breath with a great clearance into a tree. “NEW BALL PLEASE”. GSG were starting to have some more of the play, but some excellent sweeper keeping from Lessey stopped them in their tracks. How would they break down this OCCFC back line was proving quite the conundrum for opposition manager A. Langford, so he tried the underhand tactic of making subs and leaving 12 on the pitch. Was it deliberate or not? Anyone affiliated with OCCFC would never suggest so, but perhaps OCCFC Assistant to the Manager Frank should have a recount of Mr Langford’s Sunday pint consumption, if he’s that bad with numbers…

Halfway through the first half GSG realised they were in a proper game, and decided to make a few substitutions, including replacing keeper Langford Jnr. They’d clearly tinkered with their starting line-up, thinking it would be a walk over. This didn’t help the OCCFC cause. But this didn’t stop the tika-taka football from the likes of Knight, Robinson x2, Horlock and Cole. Poetry in motion, with Assistant to the Manager Penfold left purring on the side lines about his triangles. These beautiful passages of play led to another couple of chances, one for Smith and one for Knight, which were both spurned. How many more chances could OCCFC waste?

Then came the unexpected heartbreak, as in any great film. Against the run of play GSG took the lead. OCC man D. Game with the shot, great save by Lessey in goal but he could only parry to the GSG winger who lashed home the rebound. Right on the stroke of halftime. Still enough time though for the referee to make himself relevant, with a booking for Rotheringham. “Dissent” was the official explanation.

At half time, Assistant to the Manager Penfold rallied the troops along with Captain ‘Terry Butcher’ Page and Manager Robinson. The game was still there for the taking.

The second half started as the first did, a brace of chances for OCCFC, both for Cole, who couldn’t find the target. Stringvojevic was starting to make his mark in the middle of the park, putting in some robust challenges and making some neat passes. Certainly providing him something to talk to Abi about on his next Nando’s date.

Then came a moment of contention, an offside call against Rotheringham, who made his feelings known. The referee made full use of his £1.99 sports direct referee starter kit, blowing profusely at the OCCFC man, before instructing the Assistant to the Manager to sub him or he’d be shown a red card.  

Another corner to OCCFC on the hour mark, Knight floated it in, Captain Butcher Page rose like a salmon at the back post, but couldn’t direct his header down, close again for OCC. The Captain wasn’t out of the action for long, as he joined Rothers in the referee’s £1.99 book. Shown a yellow card for a late challenge on the breaking GSG striker. It was noticeable that the referee put in a 50 yard dash to award the card, taking his total yardage for game to date, up to 65 yards.

The lungs were starting to burn, legs becoming more and more like lead for the part time footballers, the boys were giving it all they’ve got for the badge, but could they make it pay? Once more Alex Watts the GSG captain showed why he was dropped from the OCCFC squad 5 years ago, to let Horlock through, surely he would take one of these chances, but again the keeper was up to it. Pressure was starting to build again. Corner to be taken by Knight. Swung in, “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL”. Bedlam on the side lines as Adam Smith wheeled away in celebration and slid in front the OCCFC Ultras to celebrate the equaliser. The goal going in off Smith’s shoulder after he lost his marker Alex Watts in box, but they all count! 10 minutes to play. Could they???

GSG started to take game to OCCFC more, Lessey being forced to show his aerial prowess with punches and catches. "Sam Clarkson who?" one onlooker remarked. A free kick to GSG after a D. Robinson foul on the edge of the area. The GSG player fired a hard, low shot which cannoned off the post. Lessey standing cool as a cucumber in goal as he had his angles judged to perfection. A real let off for the boys as the score remained 1-1.

86 minutes gone, Langford the GSG manager was out of ideas, his only underhand tactic left was to try and get 14 players on pitch, but the referee was having none of it. OCCFC broke again, Smith putting Knight through, but the ball seemed to be running away from him. But then the GSG keeper inexplicably misjudged the ball and allowed Knight an open goal… “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL”. Pandemonium on the side lines once more, as fans, subs and the Assistant to the manager were all on the pitch in wild celebration. (OCCFC would like to state on record that we do not condone this type of behaviour and will co-operate fully with the authorities to identify and ban the individuals who encroached on the pitch).

4 minutes to go, plus added on TubbyTime, could they hold on for a famous victory?

GSG started to go long, putting their centre back up top. Captain Butcher Page and Fuller remained like colossuses at the back, putting heads and feet everywhere. GSG could have fired heavy artillery at them and they’d have headed it back.

A number of long throws and long balls, which seemed to go on for an eternity. The referee’s £1.99 starter pack obviously contained a faulty watch, as we approached what felt like the 57th minute of added on TubbyTime. The ball broke to GSG forward, 8 yards out, would it be heartbreak for OCCFC once more? No! Somehow Captain Butcher Page threw his body in the way and pulled off a miraculous booming block which sent the ball forward beyond the halfway line.

One last throw for GSG, confusion reigned, and a goalmouth scramble ensued, Lessey dived and somehow clawed the ball away when it appeared behind him. There were huge appeals from GSG for a goal. The ref made his way over to the Russian linesman, who fortunately confirmed that the ball did not cross the line. A great piece of linesmanship, Hawkeye has since proved that 0.00001mm of the ball was not over the line. A very lucky escape for the boys.

Then, at last, the magical 3 whistles sounded (well, 2 and half due to the pathetic whistle the referee was using). They’d done it! Against all the odds!! Victory for OCCFC. Remember the date, this one will be talked about in years to come!!!

A big thank you to GSG for playing their part in a great game.

Man of the Match - Mike Knight

 

Player ratings –

  1. A. Lessey - 9/10 - A towering presence that would have made Shaka Hislop proud.
  2. D. Grover - 6 - Should probably take up javelin, and invest in plasters.
  3. R. McElligott - 8 - Full commitment from the portly, no-nonsense full back.
  4. G. Fuller - 9 - A beast at the back.
  5. A. Page - 9 - Further cementing his reputation as OCCFC’s greatest ever player.
  6. S. Cole - 8.5 - The engine of the side doing the hard yards. Extra 0.5 for bringing Poppy.
  7. D. Robinson - 8 - Still life in those old legs.
  8. J. Rotheringham - 4 - An angry young man.
  9. L. Markell - 7 - Some nice touches, a great OCCFC prospect for future years.
  10. F. Horlock - 6 - Just like his uni nights out, lots of graft, but terrible conversion rate.
  11. M. Knight - 9.5 - Majestic touches, winning goal. Loses 0.5 for the penalty. MOTM.
  12. J. Stringvojevic - 8 – Powerful and energetic in the middle, just how Abi likes her men.
  13. P. Robinson - 8 - Cultured left peg from the debutant.
  14. A. Smith - 7 - Goal and assist, not a right back.