There was a tense pre-match build up with the media frenzy surrounding the debut of Go-Karting star Barnaby Pittingale who once beat a young Lewis Hamilton on the track. The formula one star was rumoured to be in attendance watching his former foe dip his well manicured toe into the F&O pressure cooker.
Whether it was the threat of the gypsy's or Mitchell's head band the former Sports Personality of the Year didn't make his way to a packed out Waterhall.
The usual cagey opening didn't materialise tonight with both teams going for it as Pete measured a far wider than usual pitch with added dip.
It began 9 vs 8 with Harley turning up after 7 minutes of play and just avoiding a ban. It was great to see the old war horse back and in typical Colin fashion his first pass saw his boot travel further than the ball, as his size 9 travelled dangerously into the Bibs penalty area. It was just a shame for Skins his cross didn't beat the first man!
Both teams made use of the additional space with some excellent passing. Thai had the first crack on goal forcing Curry into a magnificent save against the post.
However the next shot from young Beebee sped through Curry into the net. Thai was looking in ominous form and as quick as a flash he had made it 2 then 3-0 with powerful finishing.
Rocked but not deterred Skins continued to play their football and when Brench came galavanting up from the back he finished past Lamprell for 3-1. Eason's shot was parried out by Lamprell and Green pounced for 3-2 after being denied in similar circumstances by the flame haired keeper.
The comeback was complete when Ridley taking no chances claimed the goal like a heroin addict claims methadone as he roared fist clenched back to the halfway line.
3-3 and the tide had turned. It was Ridley again who felt he scored the 7th. A shit cross seem to go both over and wide but Pete was certain it had lobbed Lamprell and so the inquest begun. 13 cap Dallinger got into the act as both men verbally joust and argued over the goal. In the end much to Ridley's utter disgust the goal was ruled out.
3-3 at half time and it was Skins who came out of the blocks the fastest. Brenchley & Green combined to set up Brench who's volley just whistled past the post. At the other end Southwell having another good game hit the outside of the post as the score remained at 3-3.
Skins would rue some profligate finishing when Thai waltzed past the defence to net his 4th of the game. It quickly became 5-3 as Bibs took a foot hold once again in this crazy match.
At 5-3 Skins had some great chances to reduce areas but a combination of dog shit finishing, wanting to walk the ball into the net and Lord Barnaby in goal they couldn't reduce the deficit and predictably they were made to pay as bibs went out of site through Thai again with Southwell & (Bald) also joining the goal scoring party.
Ridley was still incensed by the award of two of the bibs goals and was still trying to claim his second deep into injury time despite the score moving to 9-3.
Hunt via a Wilson deflection made it 9-4 but two goals at the death gave the scoreline a rather lopsided 11-4 win for Bibs. No doubt they deserved the win but the margin of victory was harsh on Skins who contributed to a high quality game.
MOTM - Thai Beebee - Fucking lethal - Special mention to the ginger Pirlo (Lamprell not Dallinger), White & Southwell. Wilson & Virgo were solid at the back with (Bald) being a lively focal point up front, young Barnaby Esq played well in goal too.
A late 7:15 kick off to allow additional gypsy's through the turnstile and Southwell & Eason to turn up, both delayed by father duties was a slow burning late June sizzler.
Not huge amounts in the early stages with Skins having the majority of possession but not creating huge amounts whilst Bibs had the direct running and high intensity football as they pressed Skins well and got some decent balls in the box.
The late arriving Southwell had the first chance and his excellent header was only marginally over.
Curry down the right put in a great cross on the run and Ridley had to use his experience and know how to divert the ball away from a Bibs head and a certain goal.
Lamprell was orchestrating well from defence and there was some neat build up play by Skins but they didn't really test any of the Bibs keepers.
In memory the first ever half time where it was goal less. Whilst not huge amounts of incident the match was engrossing and both teams were looking in good shape at the break.
Bibs made a very fast start and a goal mouth scramble resulted in a first F&O goal for Craig Butler who was having a good game out wide for Skins. He struck the ball well and the ball deflected off Ridley and past Mitchell.
Moments later Curry had a great chance for 2-0. Wilson played a beautiful cross field pass and Curry killed the ball well with his first touch but saw his effort saved by Mitchell who went down after with an injured foot.
Mitchell minutes later took one in the mush as Craig again went close with an effort which hit the head banded keeper on the Axel Rose.
It didn't take much longer for Bibs to hit their second. Eason was robbed centre field by Green and he played in Curry who scored past Southwell for 2-0.
It was no more than Bibs deserved as they had the game by the scruff of the neck and it seemed a matter of how many now.
Ridley began to push up and slowly but surely Skins edged back in. Ridley squared the ball across and Eason arriving a'la Jeremy Goss style slid in for a first time finish for 2-1 and game on.
A big turning point was a save made from Bahrami when Tricker was played in across goal. The front mans first time shot hit the Iranian stopper and the chance was gone.
Lamprell put in an inviting cross and Ridley unmarked at the back post volleyed over from 4 yards with just the keeper to beat.
The veteran quickly atoned when Bald won the first header and Ridley took a touch and placed the ball past Virgo. 2-2 and a dramatic turn around with fifteen to go.
Some good chances for both teams but none better than when Ridley just rolled the ball wide at the back post when the whole of Waterhall held their breath including the Pikey's.
Ridley was heavily involved and spent large chunks of the game on the deck with a variety of injuries. The bitch Tom Green turned his ankle after chasing down Southwell.
Curry and the Sandwich Man were having a great tussle in midfield as the game was getting ultra competitive. The first ever F&O drop ball was awarded when both men got the ball tangled in between their legs.
Ridley brought the game to a close for the first draw on the grass this Summer. Probably a fair result on balance although Bibs will feel they could and maybe should have killed in a 2-0.
MOTM - John Curry - An all action performance from the winger turned striker tonight. Caused problems throughout with direct running, good crossing and a crucial goal. Also worked hard off the ball.
Shout out to Craig Butler & Kev Virgo for Bibs and Rich Lamprell & Sandwich Man for Skins
Mitchell O.G 7 mins
Tricker 14, 43 mins
Deen 84 mins
Thai 40, 65 mins
Steve (bald) 11, 55, 81 mins
After speculation over the venue after Brench leaked some photo's of the Varndean School playing fields, officials at Waterhall cut the grass to continue hosting the F&O all-stars. Extended to 9 aside due to the top cap holders all being available the game kicked off at 7:02.
The usual cagey start didn't materialise as within seconds Greenwood when well placed to shoot tried to roll Deen in and the chance was gone.
It was all bibs in the opening spell and when Wilson's long ball found Eason on the back stick, his goalward effort was deflected past Curry in goal by the unwitting Mitchell.
Skins were struggling to retain possession and bibs kept pouring forward in search for further goals. Deen in particular was tormenting the skins back line.
Surprisingly it was skins who equalised when the returning (Bald) converted from close range. Seconds earlier he just put a chance wide after a mix up between Ridley and Tricker allowed the big man a shooting chance.
A carbon copy goal at the other end was converted by Tricker with his first touch after just conceding between the sticks.
The returning Thai Beebee scored Skins second equaliser of the night when he finished well.
2-2 and Skins really hadn't been in the game much up until then. Once level at 2-2 they contributed to another thrilling encounter with both sides creating chances and playing good football.
Tricker was on hand from a yard again to finish for 3-2 and bibs were back in front.
Eason had a couple of chances just after first a header went wide and then Bahrami saved well after he had beat Virgo.
Half time and a brief rest as the teams changed ends.
White got in down the right and crossed for (bald) as Skins equalised for the 3rd time with plenty of time left in the game.
The game was really hotting up now and chances were created at will by both teams.
Bibs made a defensive blunder when two players converged on the ball and left it for Thai to waltz in behind the defence. Was there super glue on the goal line? It certainly looked that way as Ridley played musical statues whilst Thai finished from 8 yards for 4-3.
Bibs were rocked and the autopsy had already begun. Seen having a fine game was struggling with an injury and went back in goal for ten minutes to recover.
There were chances for bibs to equalise but when well placed they couldn't hit the target.
They were punished when (bald) headed in for the perfect hatrick and from 3-2 down they were now 5-3 ahead with 8 minutes to go.
Deen back on pitch caused some panic converting from close range for 5-4 and Bibs pushed hard for a leveller.
The returning KoW missed a glorious chance from close range, Brenchley too was guilty of missing the target from a yard and Thai made an unbelievable save to deny Ridley to maintain the lead.
Bahrami was killing the clock in the corner with some hold up play and Curry and Bald were running at the bibs backline keeping them occupied.
A great game tonight with some fine displays from players on both sides.
MOTM - Steve (Bald) Took 7 votes from 17 beating Virgo in 2nd place with 4. The returning front man was the difference with some fine finishing and hold up play.
Eason 24 mins
Greenwood 65 mins
Green 74 mins
Beebee 58 mins
Travellers once again tried their best to disrupt F&O's traditional Thursday fixture by parking up at Waterhall minutes before kick off. Virgo & Tricker F&O's gypsy lookouts spotted the pikey's and were on there way to Braepool to look for another pitch. In the end the game went ahead at Waterhall kicking off slightly later than usual 7:05.
The teams looked even on paper and that's the way it played out on grass. Not huge amounts of goal mouth action with Curry & Tricker mainly redundant in goal.
Bibs were keeping the ball slightly better but Skins were able to break at times and in Bahrami, Beebee, Brenchley & White they had a goal threat going forward.
Around 15 minutes in a sickening collision off the ball between Beebee & Eason left the white Carlton Palmer on the deck as they clashed heads. Eason's right cheekbone swelling up quickly as the game resumed.
Not perturbed the lanky midfielder reacted first to the ball went Hunt and Deen challenged near the goal. He nipped in ahead of Brenchley to powerfully toe poke home first time past White into the roof of the net.
Curry was looking a threat wide and getting into some good positions and Bahrami had a couple of efforts one tipped over by Deen as the first half was coming to an end.
Greenwood made an excellent save from Brenchley as he got the ball on his trusty left foot.
Bibs finished the half better as both Curry & Mitchell appeared to be struggling with injuries as the half came to a close at 1-0 and very little in the game.
Virgo and Wilson were both having strong games at the back and limited most efforts to long range. Again Bahrami testing the finger tips of the goal keeper on a couple of occasions.
Bibs were defending well and keeping a good shape with Greenwood, Sandwich & Eason covering ground to protect the back two. It was somewhat of a surprise when for once they defended a set piece poorly and Beebee rifled home from 5 yards.
Skins were now on top buoyed by that goal. Beebee had a powerful effort which smacked the post and went wide as they looked to turn the tide.
They hit the other post when a dangerous cross came in and Eason almost scored his second but much to his relief the ball went wide.
Fifteen minutes to go and it was still 1-1 and both teams were well in it and looking for the win.
Bibs scored the important third goal when Greenwood got towards the byline cut back and finished well for 2-1.
Bibs had a glorious chance to seal it minutes later but Deen clean through 1 on 1 was denied by a fine Bahrami save who managed to divert the ball against the post and out.
That miss could have been costly when Wilson got the ball stuck under his feet and was robbed by Brenchley. Brench 1 on 1 with Eason tried to take the ball round the big keeper but somehow Eason got his left arm to the ball and clawed it away from the Brenchley jackhammer. He then had to react again to deny Hunt on the rebound.
The Brenchley miss proved costly with Green finishing the scoring after a tremendous break started by Deen before Green was played in by Tricker.
Eason made another save towards the end from Beebee and the game finished 3-1.
Deen 33, 35, 48
A late Virgo goal sealed bibs and his 50th F&O victory on a glorious night at Waterhall. With everyone arriving early we had a prompt kick off with temperatures just holding on to the twenties.
With the heat quickly sapping player energy the tempo was even slower than usual as both teams failed to muster many efforts on goal. In fact Bibs first shot wouldn't come until the 30 minute mark.
Skins were definitely dominating play possession wise, but although Bibs were giving the ball away far too cheaply they did keep a shape which limited Skins to long shots. Whitey getting down well to save although it may well of gone wide.
Bahrami had a dig but Deen pushed the ball over and Skins continued to press with a flurry of corners.
Predictably they did break the deadlock with Greenwood being played in by Beebee. Virgo's starting position was too deep and when he got across to the curly haired frontman he could only deflect the shot a'la Paul Parker in 90 past Deen who despite getting a hand couldn't prevent the opener.
The pressure continued and Bibs were really struggling. The keeper change on the 30th minute was a big one with Hunt who was dominating midfield going in goal at the other end Deen came back on pitch and went up top, with Brenchley reverting to midfield.
The change paid dividends Brench immediately won a couple of 50/50's with some big challenges which raised the noise levels of Bibs fans on the A27 terrace. The momentum had shifted slightly and when Brench released the last two weeks MOTM Whitey down the left he found Deen with a perfect cross for the F&O bad boy to head past his mate Hunt in goal. One shot one goal for Bibs.
It was two shots two goals minutes later when Deen again fired past Hunt.
2-1 at half time a surprising score line after Bibs had only started to play in the final ten minutes.
The second half was a tighter affair but Skins were rattled and seem to lose shape and composure. It was that man Brench again who released Deen with a John Elway like quarter back pass and the youngster nipped in ahead of head bandless Mitchell to make it 3-1.
Skins were now imploding and at one point were playing a 1-2-4 formation in search for a way back.
Bibs had some golden chances to seal it. Deen missed two sitters and Ridley made a fine treble save to deny Skins a clincher.
The clincher did come in the last ten minutes when Virgo steamed up from the back to nutmeg Ridley for 4-1.
Skins were now a spent force but they did get a late consolation with Beebee scoring his second.
MOTM - Luke Deen - Hatrick hero and all-round strong game from the youngster