An inspired change of pitch saw F&O enjoy their 9th location (I think) in their magnificent 3 year history as they celebrated their anniversary with another spellbinding encounter at Patcham Place.
Despite the late change the kick off was only delayed by 8 minutes, although crucially at 0-0 the pitch was made wider which played into the hands of Bibs who had a lot of runners.
Eason returning from a 4 week absence and back injury was concerned about the rabbit holes and made that point on numerous occasions as bibs, cones, soil amongst other things was used to alert players to the treacherous nature of the surface.
Bibs scored the first goal when Southwell via a slight deflection side footed home from 12 yards to get the scoring underway.
Win machine Maxmillion was hoping to keep his 100% record going and he netted the equaliser somewhat against the run of play.
It was Maxmillion who kept Skins in the game as he responded on three occasions with goals after Skins had gone ahead.
(Bald) scoring numbers 2 & 3 and already having a great game. 3-3 game on but it was here that a mixture of good finishing from Bibs and lapses in concentration from Skins created the first gap in the scoreline in the evening.
Southwell & Bald again on the scoresheet as Bibs started to play some lovely stuff on a great surface, assisted by a brief shower minutes before kick off.
Skins to their credit responded well and Edwards pulled off a number of fine saves to deny Skins a way back into the game.
These were big turning points as Bibs turned the knife with their 6th for 6-3 and the gap was starting to be concerning for the Skins players.
It was only Edwards in goal pulling off Worldies, Curry, Butler & (Bald) all took their turns to mainly deny Brench who was having one of those evening in front of goal. He had more chances than Nick Cotton but a mixture of Ridley throwing his ageing body on the line and inspired keeping meant the MOTM record holder was drawing a blank.
Ridley was the only keeper to blot the copy book for Bibs as he turned into a statue for a Russell goal which was probably a cross. At this point 6-4 Skins were turning up the heat and Butler was in the wars first a clash of knees with Eason then a elbow/chest injury as Brenchley used all of his considerable weight to try and force the ball home.
Butler needed treatment and in the end had to retire hurt as Bibs finished the match 7 vs 6. But it was they who scored the next when Edwards scored with his left foot 7-4 with only 15 minutes to go.
Brenchley at last registered a goal at the 18th attempt but only via a deflection past the otherwise impregnable Steve (Bald). Skins kept pressing but a mixture of manful defending from golden oldies Wilson & Ridley kept the lead in tact.
In the final stages Skins had their 2nd reasonable penalty shout after earlier Ridley had hacked down Maxmillion. This time (Bald) punched Eason in the boat race but once again the point was proven in F&O you need to commit GBH for a penalty to even be considered.
Another great game at a new venue which proved popular with the players and fans alike. If we play their next week, which looks favourite we should look to bring some soil or sand to fill the holes as Brench was tackled by one near the end!
MOTM - Steve (Bald) a sensational all-round display by the big striker. The white Paul Furlong took the game to Skins and with four goals and numerous saves is the Pantene MOTM.