In what was billed as the final game at BACA to evenly matched sides on paper looked to end the 'theatre of comebacks' era with a victory. After the warmth of last week it was back to the usual chill as a fair Westerly blew across the artificial turf.
Bibs were bang on it first half and Whitey with a great save and Eason off the line from Tricker, keeping the scoreline level as we made the first keeper change at 10 minutes. Here it all went horribly wrong for skins as Lamprell, one of the more shaky keepers had a night to forget between the sticks.
The first goal he couldn't do too much about and was a bit unlucky as Trickers effort struck the post before Rich got the ball tangled in his legs before it trickled over the line. The goals rained in as Lamprell fresh from his stag do could only watch as the net continued to bulge faster than Bill Cosby's trousers. There were a few good finishes and one that went straight through the worst ginger goal keeper since Mike Hooper.
Whitey had earlier equalised for 1-1 but 5-1 at 20 minutes and the game looked up.
Worse was to come Virgo scored the goal of the night after a delicious cross from Tricker was headed home. Then it was Brenchley's turn to go in goal and he let a Greenwood effort go straight through him for 7-1 and it looked like a real beating was on the cards.
Half-timebrought some welcome relief to Skins who re-grouped. It was role-reversal second half as Bibs took a half off and Skins started playing a whole lot better.
Brenchley was pivotal to the comeback and he scored 3 crackers. One set up wonderfully from Lamprell who ran the length of BACA to play in the Winter top scorer. The scorer turned provider when he set up Whitey for his second. He almost assisted Whitey again but he and Bald got in each others way to really put the pressure on.
In the end the theatre of comebacks couldn't quite produce one final hurrah as the game ended 7-5.
MOTM - Jason Mitchell with a resolute display at the back partnered well by his trusty buddy Kev. Perhaps the best partnership since Cagney & Lacey? The Ivorian defender just held of Greenwood for the MOTM bottle of Hoffmeister.
Pete’s pitchside reporters notes from last night. Another goal fest despite there being only one goal at half time.
4 mins - Amir back heel side netting.
8 mins - Steve turn and scuff wide from 4 yards.
9 mins - GOAL skins. Kev pass into Steve. Lay off to Whitey who finished top corner past Curry.
13 mins - Kev deflects Southwell shot over the bar.
16 mins - rasping shot from Beebee hits the post with Whitey beaten.
23 mins - low shot from Tricker beaten away by Voss.
25 mins - Tricker lay off to Bald who shoots just side from tight angle.
27 mins - John the Hat arsed the ball wide at the back post
28 mins - firm shot from Eason easily held by Green
29 mins - Eason blocked Greenwood’s close range effor
29 mins - Poor throw by Kev puts Southwell in but Green saves
30 mins - Amir shoots wide
Half time 1-0 skins
39 mins - GOAL tidy finish from Southwell after Curry put him in.
42 mins - Curry robs Chaz and smashes home past bald.
46 mins - John the hat shot saved by Brench.
50 mins - Lamprell puts Beebee in but shot deflected over the bar.
52 mins - bibs passing beautifully. Voss missed back post chance after 58 pass build up. Plenty of ole’s.
54 mins - White effort palmed away by Southwell in goal.
56 mins - John the hat arses another cross shot but Southwell saves well.
61 mins - long range White effort saves by Carl’s feet
62 mins - Voss effort hits the post.
63 mins - Goal 4-1 Andy robs Kev and smashes home.
65 mins - White robs Voss but blasts wide.
68 mins goal 4-2 Danny powers a header after a peach of a cross by Tricker.
69 mins John the Hat saves in top corner after Southwell shot.
72 mins - Greenwood OG calamity as the ball ricocheted about with bibs pressing forward.
73 mins - goal - 6-2 Curry scores knocking in Eason’s cross shot.
76 mins - Eason heads over.
77 mins - more pin ball in skins box but bibs can’t put it away.
78 mins - goal 6-3 consolation for Skins. Danny puts in Whitey who sweeps past Amir.
79 mins goal 6-4. Whitey smashes home after Brench inexplicably blocks back to Whitey.
80 mins - goal 7-4 Curry scores after Southwell assist.
Full time 7-4
MOTM John Curry - A scintillating display from the midfield work-horse
The F&O injury list lengthened last night as injuries rocked several star players and we even had only the second substitute appearance in F&O history.
This shouldn't over shadow an extraordinary 6-6 thriller which with 12 goals is the highest amount of goals since BACA was introduced as a venue in late September last year.
Bibs started the better and their general sharper play, paid dividends eventually when Brench went arse over tit the ball broke and after some Columbian flair down the right Gil crossed for White to toe punt home for 1-0.
Not long after, last weeks MOTM and hat-rick hero Bahrami made it 2-0 from close range. And when Beebee danced past some challenges to finish it was 3-0 and the game was looking up already for Skins.
By this time Wilson was struggling with a calf injury and Eason who was running laps of the pitch was called into action. Whilst he was changing his running shoes for boots Macleod scored his first outdoor goal since dooms day, when he finished smartly into the bottom corner.
The substitution was made and on came Eason after 5 weeks out.
3-1 at half time but the goals would come thick and fast in the second half.
Wilson who was off the pitch was having a major impact on the game still. He started talking to Amir about his favourite pastries and the keeper's mind was temporarily absent as he was busy comparing Ginsters to Pukka. Brenchley ceased on this lapse and finished well from 25 yards.
3-2 and Skins were looking good to get back in the game.
Unfortunately for them some poor defending saw Beebee score to re-assert their lead.
It was now resembling a basketball match with both teams streaming forward. Curry was rewarded for his energy as he reduced arrears for 4-3. But no sooner were Skins back in it, they threw it away again. This time Nik parried straight to the onrushing Bahrami who kept his focus to net his 5th of the season.
Baker made a key save minutes later when he deflected a goal bound shot onto the post.
Back Skins came and fellow pastry love Dallinger made it 5-4. Baker then scored to make it three goal scorers in a row in excess of 17 stone (a F&O first). The lightweight Columbian Gil ruined the 'big man only' party as he finished on the goal line. Lamprell made a fine one on one save to keep the Bibs lead but he made way for Mitchell who let a hat shot through him breaking his finger in the process. With Baker carrying an injury the physio decided to go off and tend to his mate.
7 vs 7 and the game was stretched Brenchley now in goal made some decent blocks one coming out to deny Gill. Bibs were finishing the stronger and Beebee and White in particular were really ramping up the pressure but they couldn't find a way through and the match ended 6-6 with three players off the pitch injured.
MOTM - Neil White - Energy personified as he ran the show in midfield.
There is an old Iranian fairy tale that goes a little something like this
Once, there was a wandering dervish of great piety and faith who was starving and lost in the desert. As he was walking along an old pathway in search of something to eat, he found an empty fruit sack that had been thrown by the road by a previous passer-by. The dervish picked up the sack and swung it over his shoulder while praying loudly, “Thank God for giving a starving man an empty sack of fruit,” as he continued to walk.
The dervish in case you are wondering is Amir who was starved of a hatrick since before he had pubes and on his 100th cap picked up a bag full while praying loudly "thank god I've won on my 100th cap and thank Allah for the match ball".
See fairy tales do come true, even in the harsh and cruel world of F&O.
It was the start of the summer season but the weather still had a very wintery feel about it. Both sides were keen to start the season well and it was bibs who edged the opening minutes with Brench forcing good saves from Greenwood, Southwell & Baker. Skins were looking the more assured in possession and in Southwell & Greenwood had two obvious match winners.
The first goal came after Chaz dropped a shoulder down the left and crossed for Bahrami's first of the night. "get in" was the cry as wheeled away in delight. The miracle of BACA continued and not long after the Iranian marksman had his and Skins second as he finished first time into the bottom corner.
And the prayers of the starving man were answered for sure when the Iranian carb-loader got on the end of another cross to make it 3-0.
Half-time and the whole of BACA, Falmer and beyond were in shock. The teams turned round and not soon after the restart Beebee stooped to head home at the back post for 3-1.
Bibs had a good spell and were it not for Hunt in goal who made a string of fine saves to deny notably Curry & White.
With bibs pushing forward it gave some of the flair Skins boys too much space. Southwell danced through and finished as the ball trickled home.
But bibs weren't completely done yet. Beebee again volleying home at the back post for 4-2.
Bibs looked like they may pull a miracle of their own, especially after Greenwood hit the post and the luck seem to be going Bibs way.
In the end they couldn't score the crucial 7th and when Greenwood scored the game was up.
The scoring was completed when the whole of the stadium was calling for Gill to shoot after he had passed up earlier opportunities. This time with an open goal he broke his F&O duck and became the first Columbian on the score sheet for F&O.
MOTM - Amir Bahrami - The Iranian Mick Quinn was on fire as he found himself in the right place at the right time, showing a cool head to finish and intelligent build up play throughout.