A F&O classic was won late on after the final goal keeping change as Wes Eason scored twice to break Skins hearts.
Just moments earlier he had made a string of fine saves to deny Skins as they pushed forward at 1-1 looking for what surely would have been the crucial goal.
The game started with conditions just about perfect on a still, cool evening. The teams looked fairly even on paper and it was a tight game, although Bibs could have been 3-1 up at half-time but instead had to settle for parity at the break.
Brench returning to his best form after last weeks MOTM scored another fine goal with his trusty left boot, leaving the keeper no chance. He was incredibly unlucky not to add to his tally but great saves by Tricker & Baker who both pushed fierce efforts onto the post kept Skins in the game.
It wasn't just Brench having chances, the KoW and Lamprell also going close. At the other end Skins didn't really test the keeper and their one early shot by Chaz went sailing over.
Bibs were made to pay for spurning chance after chance when Greenwood fired past a ruck full of players past the King for 1-1.
The half-time break came after much questioning of Pete's time keeping. It was a frenetic half, with some good quality football by both sides.
The second half saw Skins come much more into it and Tricker had two good chances, one of which hit the post. In a separate move it was Tricker again combining with Chaz to go close as Skins looked the more threatening.
Chaz enjoying more time around the opposition box than normal had a decent effort which just cleared the bar.
With 22 minutes to go Eason made his way in goal and Skins laid siege to the goal. His first and probably best save came when Chaz with oceans of space 10 yards out hit a fierce shot but Eason at full stretch tipped the ball onto the bar. He later denied Ridley from close range a tricker lob plus a Greenwood and Baker blaster.
Within 30 seconds of coming back onto pitch he had scored. A Lamprell long throw was flicked on by Brenchley and Eason with his best Inigo Calderon faced it in from a yard.
The goal was as much against the run of play as Greenwood's and Skins knew they had 10 minutes to save the game.The second goal seemed to calm Bibs and they retained possession much better after this, but skins were still a threat and Greenwood forced Beebee into a cracking save with his injured left ankle.
Eason looking for a second hit the post but he wasn't to be denied when Brenchley threaded him through and the white Carlton Palmer turned and finished first time past Virgo who absolutely lost it with his team mates. With time running out Bibs killed the game as much as possible by keeping the ball and dropping deep when they lost it. Ridley blew up and Bibs had won a really hard fought game.
MOTM - Wes Eason - 2 goals and a clean sheet win him the Timotei MOTM
The goal spree continued back this time at Brighton Uni as 12 goals hit the net in an 8-4 victory for Bibs.
Before the game Greenwood was concerned that Skins were the likely victors with many of the defeated team last week staying on the same team.
The game started fairly evenly and the pattern was that Skins would enjoy possession and Bibs would look to hit on the break.
The first goal came from a breakaway with Brenchley returning upfront finding Ridley who shot well on the run for 1-0.
Bibs were looking well organised and their midfield 4 were generally on top in the first half.
Eason made it 2-0 with a goal as Jason said was out of the 1995 copy book. He first took the ball past Hussain then dragged backed past Edwards before finishing past Tricker.
Not long after he made it 3-0 when Brenchley played him in and this time it wasn't the drag back but the trusty old toe punt again past Tricker for 3-0. Skins were reeling and a few cross words were starting to be muttered. Edwards was trying to get his team back in the game but his efforts were either blocked or just missed the target.
Curry tried a back heel on the back post but didn't get a good enough connection as Skins tried in vain to answer back.
Bibs were carving open the Skins defence at will with some good counter attacking. Green in particular was busting a gut to get beyond the Brenchley. It was Brenchley himself that scored the 4th and the best of the night with a superb volley which found the bottom corner.
Just before half time the Hat made it five and celebrated with his customary forward roll.
Bibs had played some good stuff first half and were ruthless in their finishing.
Skins looked more settled second half and Tricker with a good finish made it 5-1.
No sooner had they got a sniff, Greenwood at the other end made it 6-1 with a calm side foot finish.
Brench in the Bibs goal made a number of important saves and when he was beaten his old drinking pal Mitchell was on hand to clear off the line.
Hussain from a corner made it 6-2 before Matt Green and The Hat again made it 8-2.
Skins kept pushing and Bibs were getting sloppy. Curry done his golden boot chances no harm at all finishing for 8-3 before Baker smashed home from close range to finish the scoring at 8-4.
MOTM - Mark Brenchley - A strong all-round performance from the front man. Goal, assists and saves gave him the Utterly Butterly MOTM medallion.
After last weeks drab 0-0 it took the green, green grass of Waterhall to bring out the best in F&O goal scorers. The first grass game since a 4-4 classic at Wish Park on the 19th September 2017 both teams were keen to kick off to avoid the darkness.
Skins were all too happy to kick off with the Sandwich Man arriving late and they enjoyed a comfortable first ten minutes, stroking the ball around but not really testing the Bibs keeper.
With Chaz back on the pitch the game was far more even but out of nowhere Hunt capitalised on a under hit Ridley pass and he finished well for 1-0 to Skins.
An almost immediate response saw Edwards score past Greenwood and it took a good save from the KoW to deny Edwards a second soon after. Bibs were now creating the better chances and Curry lurking on the back post scored from an Edwards cross.
Still in the first half Greenwood crossed and Prosser inadvertently finished past his own keeper for 2-2.
Curry leading the way in the goal scoring charts scored his second for 3-2 and that was the half time score.
The game changed just after the second half when Brench scored his first of the game and then he played in a quick free kick for Greenwood to slot home and the game had turned on it's head for 4-3 to Skins.
Within 90 seconds Tricker finished well first time after a quick corner from Ridley for 4-4.
It was the key goal of the game as Bibs superior fitness took over.
Curry with a great finish completed his hatrick and then it was left to the unpredictable Colombian to deliver the final two blows. In between his strikes Brenchley grabbed his second. 7-5 with only a couple of minutes to go. Skins kept pressing and a late flurry of corners saw chances go begging for both Hunt and Brenchley who missed the target with headers.
MOTM - John Curry - Back out in the lead on the scoring charts with a match winning hatrick.
It had to happen one day and after 4 years and one week we finally had a goal less draw.
I had a brief conversation with Matt Green before kick off. “Has anyone dropped out I can play now” said the young 28 year old. “Afraid not but you could come along and watch it should be a good game and there could be an injury”. Replied the older cousin.
Young Matt Green dodged a bullet here as there were no goals and no injuries and I can only imagine what a painful experience it would have been to watch as it was painful enough to play in.
The early stages I’ve mainly blanked from my memory such was the paucity of quality on show. I recall two golden opportunities for the returning Tricker who fired over and wide after being played through.
The midfield battle was competitive with both sides going through an enormous amount of work and both protecting their back two’s well.
The congested midfield meant most shots were from range and there was barely a save either end in a gritty first half.
The second half was more open with a similar pattern to the first. Skins would keep the ball better, but the best chances fell to Bibs.
Beebee had a good chance in the early stages of the second half but he blazed over, electing to take first time when there was time and space for a touch.
A little later Eason turned like Beardsley but shot like Ableet as he fizzed a volley high on the turn. Not too long later a second diving header in two weeks was attempted, this time from an Edwards cross but his header went wide.
Further long range shots from Nyle, Chaz & Greenwood didn’t really threaten the goal. And the Bibs midfield of Ridley, Eason, Prosser, Edwards & Beebee were doing a great job of throwing themselves in the way of shots as they and Wilson & Mitchell made numerous blocks.
The best chance for Skins came when Baker got to the bye-line he crossed and a combination of Wilson in Mitchell managed to smother Hat as he lurked on the back post.
The closest any side came to a goal is when an Edwards effort deflected against the inside of the post across the line for Luis in goal to collect.
In the final stages Tricker went rampaging through but a combination of tiredness and heavy legs meant his effort was collected easily by the keeper.
The second half had more incident but it was far from a classic as both sides miss out on a win.
Phil now has a 37% draw rate!
MOTM – Kev Virgo – Didn’t put a foot wrong tonight. First to everything and distribution was spot on. He even made a save from my shot late on.
In the hottest Summer since 76 (Pete was a youthful 10 year old back then) F&O players are sweating off the pounds ready for the naked Christmas calendar for 2019.
Sunglasses and water were the biggest requirement on match day as a setting sun gave Skins major problems with vision in the first half. It was hard for Skins to get their passing game going with the blinding sun and some excellent pressing from Bibs.
Bibs were definitely pressing in the early stages and they were well on top. After a few early efforts one of which from Edwards rattled the post via a slight but important deflection , it was the midfield dynamo who opened the scoring, lashing home, bottom corner.
Bibs continued to play the better football and twinkle toes Luis was bamboozling the Skins defence with a full array of step overs and drag backs.
Brench and Greenwood were trying to get the game going for Skins but Chaz & Edwards were pressing intelligently and many moves were breaking down.
Out of nowhere Brench found space, centre field and a slow over lap from Eason was cut out by Ridley but the lanky midfielder put in a block challenge and the ball richoted in off his foot into the bottom corner for 1-1 against the run of play.
Skins looked threatening every time they went forward but some really poor defending gifted Bibs their second when Chaz finished well after numerous missed attempts to clear.
Again the lead didn’t last too long and Greenwood with his 16th of the campaign made it 2-2. Skins scarcely deserved parity but it looked like ending that way in the first half.
Bibs were able to mount one last attack with Edwards making it 3-2 as we went into half-time.
Skins felt with the sun woes behind them they would get back into the game but in truth it was a poor second half performance from them as Bibs dominated and could have won by a hatful.
An early penalty after Baker had assaulted Curry in the box, gave Curry the chance to reassert his lead at the top of the scoring charts. However the big frame of Bahrami got his right thigh to the ball and it went wide for a corner. He made a second better save from Edwards not long after this time his left foot deflecting a goal bound effort out.
Edwards was the driving force for Bibs and he made it 4-2 as the bibs pressure told.
At the other end Beebee had a few presentable opportunities but couldn’t hit the target. One came from an indecisive throw out from John the Hat.
When Edwards netted his 4th and Bibs 5th it was game over and Baker struggling with injury decided to take out Luis after the Colombian tried one step over too many.
Skins misery was complete when Brenchley put in a great cross for Greenwood but his effort was well saved by Wilson and then Bahrami skyed the rebound over the fence.
MOTM – Jac Edwards – One of the great F&O performances after a barren spell in terms of victories and no goals up to this point, this season.