There was controversy galore as well as yet another injury at the Uni tonight but at least a 4th draw in a row was avoided as Bibs took the spoils in another fine game.
With teams being changed twice in the build-up and some inexperience helping out, any result was possible.
Skins were definitely shading the first half by playing some neat passing in midfield and they had the games outstanding player in Southwell who ran the show for the first half hour. The only problem for Carl was that his finishing deserted him and he wasted a number of decent chances.
Controversy number one was when Bahrami shot and Greenwood flying in from point blank stopped the ball with his hand. There was a load appeal but play was waved on with Greenwood too close to be penalised.
Controversy number two was when Skins forced a corner and Mitchell using the old pro's trick of holding onto the ball as once again his team were playing a 3-0-4 formation. Southwell took the ball and looked up, he found Bahrami with a quick corner but the ball was the best part of two feet away from the quadrant and therefore the set piece had to be retaken.
Chaz, Southwell and Bahrami were linking up well and generally forcing the pace.
At the other end the Hat somehow missed an open goal from a yard when King Luis crossed.
It looked like 0-0 at half time but then against the run of play Bibs scored. Barnaby making his first appearance of the year miscued a clearance and Eason trying to prevent a corner played the ball back into the danger area and Greenwood finished sublimely to make it 1-0.
Hussain searching for his first win had a couple of decent runs but his shot just went wide of the post on two occasions.
During the Bibs resurgence Skins had lost Southwell to a hamstring injury and were temporarily reduced to 7 men.
Half time 1-0 to Bibs and Greenwood in a fine display of sportsmanship cajoled his team into leaving a player off and swapping every five minutes.
The second started and both teams had moments of dominance but when Greenwood finished first time past Bahrami into the bottom corner the game looked over and Skins with no rotation were looking tired and ragged.
Bibs were now missing chances with alarming regularity and Skins were now riding their luck to stay in the game. Out of nowhere Ridley halved arrears when his shot went in past John the Hat for 2-1. Skins were buoyed by this and continued to press, although they were leaving themselves more and more exposed at the back.
With 15 minutes to go two world collided as Brenchley looking for a give and go ran full pelt at Dallinger who fell down like a ginger sack of shit. Every single rubber pellet on the pitch jumped a good 12 inches in the air and the ground shook with Dallinger laying stricken on the floor heavily winded. The game was stopped as the big man struggled to his feet. Like a warrior he upped his game and work rate and was playing with a renewed vigour in search of the equaliser.
In the end time ran out for Skins but they had acquitted themselves well after losing their one galactico player.
MOTM - Jason Mitchell a 3rd summer MOTM for the ivorian Derek Mountfield who just held of two goal Greenwood by 6 votes to 5.
There has been a rare summer drought this year and there has been a drought of sorts for F&O victories in July as for the third match in succession, two teams battled to deadlock at Brighton Uni.
Before the game Adam Dallinger in his reporting capacity for SAT1 felt Bibs were big favourites as they carried the threat of Edwards, Brench and also golden boot contender Curry who heads this seasons goal scoring charts.
Skins were clearly motivated by this and they made a good start to the game, having decent spells of pressure. Bibs themselves tried to get into passing mode but they overplayed at the back with Brenchley and Matt Green gifting an opportunity for Eason to score a rare left footed goal past Curry for 1-0 with barely five minutes on the clock.
Could it be a high scoring affair? As within a minute Edwards rampaged down the right and his inviting cross was smashed in by Green on the run from 5 yards.
Whitey who had just conceded in goal was now on pitch and the midfield workhorse was on hand to make it 2-1 with a stretch and close range finish. Unfortunately for him though the stretch made his hamstring go pop and that was the last action he saw on the pitch as the brave warrior from Portslade went in goal for the final 55 minutes.
Skins continued to play the better football and Greenwood had a fine long range shot hit the outside of the post after Lamprell got a slight block in.
It was 2-1 at half time and Bibs were probably relieved to get in at the break just the one goal down.
There was always a risk with an injured keeper and no replacements on pitch that Skins would tire. The Hat who had an incredible first half, was one of the first to tire as he begun to run out of pitch a couple of times when in a good position.
The second half brought an immediate response from Bibs and it was top scorer Curry who was released by Brenchley down the left, his shot took a slight deflection of Baker and into the top corner for 2-2 with the best part of half hour remaining. The second half was much more even and chances were shared.
Brenchley had two golden opportunities but surprisingly missed the target each time. At the other end Beebee forced two decent saves for unrenowned keepers Lamprell & Wilson.
Virgo was having a great battle with Edwards and the game was hotting up nicely. Edwards hit the outside of the post from a difficult angle and Eason repeated the same feat from an identical position from the other end.
Skins were getting in decent positions but they were clearing the fence far too often. At the other end the stricken White was target practice for Bibs but they weren't hitting the target too often and when they did with a Brenchley flicked header from a corner, White was on hand with a fine reflex save.
2-2 at the final whistle and another great game.
MOTM - Kev Virgo - An outstanding display from the defender. Made several fine challenges and kept the Bibs danger men quiet for the most part.
The warning signs of a draw were there before the game. Firstly draws tend to come in two’s, secondly Phil was playing and thirdly Brench predicted a draw based on the 8 aside teams. With Dallinger & Youngman making it up to 9 we kicked off just after 7:30 after a minor pitch invasion when a tournament liked the idea of holding up F&O.
The goals were moved back and Kev marked the pitch giving Rich his ‘wet dream’ of a good length. Rich so turned on by the width would go on to score two a feat which nearly earned him MOTM.
Bibs started extremely well and were soon well in control. Patient build up and good movement from Tricker & The Hat upfront were causing untold problems for Skins who were reliant on Mitchell & Green getting them out of jail a few times.
The first goal came from an unlikely source. No not Curry this season’s top scorer but the penalty spot. Mitchell was adjudged to have fouled Curry in the box as both went up for headers. Mitchell pleaded his innocence, but the feeling amongst the majority was that the Ivorian stopper had gone through his man to compete for the ball. Curry picked himself up and drilled high into the roof past Greenwood who got a slight hand on the ball but couldn’t stop.
Bibs were now rampant and a goal of the season contender followed as Chaz & Southwell combined brilliantly with the former sandwich maker, teeing up Carl to drill home into the roof for 2-0. Bibs were brimming with confidence whilst Skins were in turmoil as Green departed his defensive duties with Ridley moving to the back.
Surprisingly the 3rd goal of the game went to Skins as for the first time they played some good football in the Bibs half and Lamprell finished from a tight angle through Virgo in goal.
Skins may have thought half time 2-1 great let’s get back in the changing room and get things sorted but a long range effort from the Hat went in past Ridley for 3-1. Bibs continued to press and forced numerous corners but 3-1 at half time was a fair reflection on the first half.
Skins came out much improved after the break with Lamprell, Beebee & Greenwood starting to dictate terms more in midfield. Bibs cause wasn’t helped when Tricker with a shimmy and turn hurt his side and spent the next 10 minutes in goal until he had to conceded defeat and leave the pitch to a standing ovation from the Bibs fans packed away at the Amex side of the pitch.
The numerical advantage for Skins seemed to spur them on and Bibs were dropping deeper and deeper with only Curry has an out ball. Lamprell made it 3-2 when a cross went straight in as Mitchell may have unsighted Hat in goal. Skins were on the charge and it took some good defending from the back 3 and a few slices of luck to keep the lead.
At the other end a rare foray into enemy territory for Bibs saw Prosser make a fine save from a Chaz header.
The equiliser came as Lamprell with two bites of the cherry saw his 2nd shot deflect in off Greenwood for 3-3. Still around 20 minutes left and Skins were now looking the likely winners.
Southwell now injured as well made a series of decent stop as the pressure ensued. Youngman was also a casualty as the pace of the game was taking its toll and he spent the final 15 in goal with a hamstring pull.
Bibs pushed back were making it difficult, although they were almost architects of their own down fall when first Wilson tried a back header but this was read and Southwell was out to smother. Moments later Virgo tried a risky back hill about 3 yards from his own goal but somehow Bibs got away with this and cleared their lines.
9pm and the whistle was blown for a 3-3 thriller.
MOTM – Carl Southwell – A great first half performance on the pitch and then a fine 20 minute goal keeping masterclass, reminiscent of a young Bobby Mimms.
After last week’s 6 aside it was a case of fitting everyone in as we stretched the pitch to accommodate 18 F&O players with 1,664 caps between them. There was also 128 caps of official as Brenchley took the whistle as he continues his recovery from a bad back and now a hamstring strain.
With a lot of pre-match discussion revolving around the old famous ‘lack of balance’ it seemed somewhat inevitable the match would be tight. And that it was as we witnessed an attritional match, between two competitive sides played in a good spirit.
Skins started the better and seemed to be getting a grip in the midfield, again against the general jist of the pre-match comments. The 9 aside also meant tactics were important with Bibs playing two at the back and packing the midfield with Skins opting for a back three.
The very first opportunity of the match fell to Andy Beebee who smashed the ball over the fence and almost into the houses behind the goal. At the other end Ridley was running the channels and Chaz was having a strong first half as Skins become more and more of an attacking force.
The first goal came from a corner which Bibs failed to clear. Wilson with one final attempt to hack found his clearance hit Eason’s slide challenge and the ball went straight in past Tricker in goal.
Skins were now playing some nice football and midfield quartet of Lamprell, Sandwich, Eason & Southwell were keeping the ball well.
Southwell almost scored a wonder goal when he pulled the ball out of the air beat his man but some good goal keeping denied him.
Ridley with half of East Brighton to himself raced clear, but the 51.5 year old veteran took about 20% of his life time to attempt a shot. In that time Hunt done well to get a challenge in. Queue disgust from Ridley who was angry none of the younger members of the team made him aware of the incoming challenge.
At the other end the much maligned keeper Rich Lamprell pulled off two wonder saves. First from Dallinger with a near spectacular own goal and then a miraculous save from Beebee as he pushed the ball over the bar with the ball already behind him.
Just before half time Bibs managed to get on level terms as for the first time Skins defensive shape was lacking. Greenwood nipped in at the back post to fire home and 1-1 at half time.
Straight back into the second half and the game continued to be end to end with both teams showing great desire and commitment. Bibs were now starting to get more of a hold in the midfield with Curry his usual industrious self as he stretched the play by starting slightly wider right.
Wilson was a threat from the back as Skins were now giving ground and his long range pings were both accurate and dangerous. A Wilson cross hit the post and then a big scramble ensued as Skins through a mixture of brave defending and good keeping, kept the score line level.
Southwell showed his fine keeping skills by denying a Bibs attacker as they went through 1-1.
Skins weren’t offering a huge amount going forward until Eason AKA ‘The white Mark Walters’ decided to run Mitchell down the left. I’m not sure who was more surprised Jason or Eason’s team mates as when he got in a left foot cross on the bye-line there was little in the way of support.
With the clock running down the 9pm players took to the field with 3 minutes of play remaining. The early finish probably benefited Skins who were holding on slightly towards the end.
MOTM – Tom Green – Nothing got past the pacey defender as he marshalled the back line well and consistently thwarted Bibs attacks.