In potentially the last ever game at Brighton Uni saw Skins win the final Summer game of the season giving John Curry a much needed win on his 100th cap.
Kick off was delayed by ten minutes as Deen (5 mins) & Brenchley & Green (10 mins) were late as a professional Skins outfit led by Harley coaching John 'The' Hat continued to prepare like winners.
It was bibs who possibly started the better although the game was pretty tight with few chances either way. An excellent Ridley header beat Matthew Green in goal but the ball struck the post and rebounded out.
Minutes later Beebee was played in one on one but his effort also hit the post as things began to hot up.
Not soon after it was Ridley again with a powerful strike which was expertly tipped onto the post again by Green in goal.
Curry who started in goal was making some strong runs from the left hand side and 5 minutes before half time he cut in and fired a powerful effort past Deen into the bottom corner.
Brenchley who was having terrible problems with his boots decided to change his again and half time was taken at 40 minutes with 50 minutes to be played in the second half.
Wilson who heads the axis of goal keeping evil alongside Voss & Virgo began his stint in goal. He started promisingly when he hoofed the first shot on target out but minutes later Harley who had been playing well gave away possession cheaply and Brenchley turned Matt Green before firing straight through Wilson who took an air shot. 1-1 and game on.
The goals were coming thick and fast now and Matt Green with his first F&O goal made it 2-1. Within a minute Brenchley threw long for Tom Green to head home past a shell shocked Wilson for 2-2
Challenges started to intensify as first Harley put in one of the poorest challenges in F&O history as fellow 50 year old Ridley screamed in agony before toughening up and saying 'give me a minute' before carrying on. Curry then caught Mitchell on the foot as the returning Ivorian hobbled off after a few choice words. With 9 vs 8 for a few moments Skins piled it on and when the Hat found Matt Green the youngster made it 3-2 from close range.
Bibs had lost their way at this point and Skins were now dominating possession orchestrated by the brilliance of Greenwood in midfield who continued to unlock the Bibs defence.
He added a 4th towards the end to seal the deal and despite a few late efforts from long range by Deen. 4-2 and a fair outcome as Skins once they edged ahead 2nd half were much the better side.
MOTM - Danny Greenwood - Loving the pitch at Brighton Uni he's probably been the key player across the past 4 weeks with goals and assists galore.
Skins will rue missed chances as they let a two goal lead slip at Brighton Uni last night, as a Hunt leveller broke skins hearts with only 8 minutes remaining.
The draw does nothing for the 16 players on show, although Mitchell, Deen and the other absentee's will have enjoyed the result.
The game started evenly with both teams playing some decent football. The pattern of the game looked from the outset as though Bibs would control possession but Skins would break with more purpose and test the keeper on a more regular basis.
Brenchley starting the game like an eager 20 year old version of himself was bossing the midfield and he stung the 53 year old fingers of Old Man Bill who pushed over the bar. Unfortunately for Skins the 38 year old version was soon back on show as he was asking to go in goal after 20 minutes.
Minutes later the big veteran Bill had a senior or perhaps early Alzheimers moment as he inexplicably allowed Green's back flick to roll in at the near post for 1-0.
Skins were playing some decent stuff with good hold up play from Bahrami playing in Green and the midfield runners.
At the other end the Skins keepers were often unemployed as Green & Harley performed well and were well protected by Eason, White & Ridley.
Hunt, Greenwood & Beebee were probing but disciplined defensive setup repelled any major threat.
Just before half time Eason had a great chance to double Skins lead but he blazed over when well placed centre goal just 8 yards out.
A quick change at half time and Bibs started with purpose and again had the majority of possession and territory. Bibs were defending well and it was they who scored the second with a fantastic team goal. Brenchley released Bahrami who centred for White running in unopposed at the back post.
2-0 and an uphill task for Bibs who up to this point had offered little in the way of attacking threat.
Matt Green who was playing well at the back almost scored a spectacular own goal as his clearance just missed the top corner.
Could Skins continue to hold out? The answer was no as Tricker was released on the right hand side and his cross was met by Bill who went some way to redeeming himself as he finished smartly.
Skins will rue to great opportunities first Ridley thrashed over the bar when he looked odds onto score and then Bahrami performing well missed a great chance from a few yards.
Skins were made to pay as Bibs pressed forward. An inspired move saw Bill playing upfront and he started to bring others into the game and occupy the back two with his presence.
Curry had a volley which was well struck but straight at the keeper but they weren't to be denied for too much longer. Wilson and Greenwood played a nice one two and the ball fell to Hunt who finished past Bahrami for 2-2 with 8 minutes remaining.
Both teams went for it and Virgo and Brenchley were having a great tussle as the game become stretched. With one minute on the clock Skins broke again but Green with a great piece of sportsmanship stopped the game with Curry down after injuring himself making an heroic slide challenge to deny his mate.
Greenwood tried his luck from just inside his half but the game was over and 2-2 a fair reflection on another Brighton uni cracker.
MOTM - Amir Bahrami - The Iranian Mark Hateley lead the line well and provided an assist for White.
Bibs 4 - Blackwell x 2, Green, White
Skins 4 - Edwards, Greenwood, Lamprell, Hat
The late, great Brian Clough once said; 'If God had intended for football to be played in the air, he would have put grass in the sky'
Clough Senior would have nodded his approval if he had been looking down at Falmer tonight as both teams embraced his philosophy in an entertaining display of pass and move football.
The early stages of the match were dominated by Skins with a number of decent chances going begging. Edwards, Greenwood and Hunt looked a strong central 3 and were bossing the game. The deadlock was finally broken 25 minutes in with Edwards finding space on the right before rifling home at the near post.
Bibs slowly started to get a foothold in the game and Greenwood made a fine save low down to his left to deny the debutant Blackwell. Virgo made several telling interceptions to repel Bibs attacks towards the end of the half.
The teams turned around at half time with Skins still holding a slender 1 goal advantage but this was quickly doubled early in the 2nd half when Dallinger intercepted at the back and found Greenwood with a raking pass which was taken down well by the latter and finished with aplomb.
2-0 quickly became 3-0 with Lamprell trying his luck from 20 yards out and whilst it was a decent ping, Wilson will be disappointed that he let it through his body.
Bibs heads could have slumped at this point but credit to them they suddenly seemed to find an extra gear with Blackwell, Green and Brenchley starting to look more dangerous in the offensive third.
They pulled a goal back when Blackwell squared to Green who knocked it in from close range and instantly scored a 2nd with Blackwell beating Ridley at the near post with a powerful effort.
This perked Green up who barked encouragement to his team mates 'Look at them lads, their arseholes have gone' was the rallying cry.
10 minutes of cat and mouse followed before Skins regained a 2 goal advantage. A goalkeeping fumble by Bibs allowing John the Hat to finish from a few yards out.
Back came Bibs and they reduced the deficit to 1 somewhat fortuitously when Virgos goal line clearance smashed straight into White and rebounded into the net.
The teams were level shortly afterwards following good work from Green who played in Blackwell who finished well into the bottom left corner.
As the clock moved into the last 5 minutes a defensive error from Bibs gave Greenwood the chance to snatch the win but the post came to Bibs rescue and shortly afterwards Ridley brought the game to a close and on balance a draw was a fair result.
MOTM - Kev Virgo
A number of decent performances with mentions going to Blackwell on debut as well as Hunt and White but the pocket rocket reminded me tonight of a young Kenny Sansom making several telling interceptions throughout the game as well as supporting the attack on a number of occasions
It was back to Brighton Uni this week as the freshly re-laid pitch hosted a cagey cat and mouse affair, as both teams offered very little attacking force and refused to commit bodies forward.
The first twenty minutes were relatively open before the contest decended into a late 80’s Serie A affair with defences well on top and chances and action at a premium.
It was Eason vs Bahrami for the first twenty minutes as they were the only two players to work the first two goal keepers with two efforts apiece.
Bahrami forced two saves from debutant Green, the second effort a fine header which required a tip over by the cricketing specialist.
Around the half hour mark it seemed both teams realised that the first goal was going to be key and both refused to commit bodies too far forward.
Minutes ticked by with the ball retained in midfield with plenty of huffing and puffing and very little quality.
The wind was picking up at this point but both teams demonstrated patience and a desire to keep the ball on the deck.
The teams turned round with Skins taking an age to refuel whilst the bibs players were primed and ready.
Bibs started the second half well, whilst skins appeared to be running out of ideas and on successive occasions gifted the ball back to Bibs with over-hit goal kicks.
The 5th goalkeeper then the 6th & 7th all went in and were pretty much untested apart from the occasional high and wide effort.
Bald rose like a salmon at the back post and his header went reasonably close but never really threatened the goal.
After all the Wish Park/Waterhall talk of we need proper goals, these one’s were rendered redundant for 72 minutes, until Greenwood slowly losing patience went further forward.
His first foray into enemy territory saw him drop the shoulder past Harley before striking a powerful shot which seemed to go through Wilson. 1-0 and it felt like a crucial goal.
Bibs pushed forward but didn’t produce any clear cut chances. Green had a couple of long range efforts but couldn’t test the keeper. At the other end the 18 year old Josh Mitchell was denied a break away goal but the 52 year old Harley who made a great last gasp challenge to deny the youngster.
It needed one final chance for Skins to kill the game and it was Steve (bald) converting from close range who finished the scoring.
In what was always going to be a low scoring affair with Brenchley, Green, Beebee and most importantly the KoW missing we were only 8 minutes away from the first ever 0-0.
MOTM – Danny Greenwood – Made the difference pushing forward and a piece of quality in the final third was the difference tonight.
It was all back to Wish Park for one final grass game of the season as the old girl hosted a crackerjack affair with both teams sharing the spoils on Whitey's 100th cap.
He can thank John Curry for preserving his unbeaten run, as the winger netted from close range with only 4 minutes remaining.
That was the final goal of a pulsating match which saw both teams lead at different times.
Skins probably settled the better, but they were undone when the returning Greenwood showed his class with a inch perfect ball releasing Deen who finished past Tricker for 1-0.
That goal was cancelled out ten minutes later when a simple passing move resulted in Beebee sweeping home from a White centre.
Bibs were a little rattled at this stage and couldn't retain possession. Skins forced a free kick and Trickers effort deflected off Wilson and beat Virgo in goal for 2-1 skins.
Just before half time the diminutive Virgo handled the ball close to the goal when back out on pitch. The ball was sailing high and wide and the benefit of the doubt was given and no penalty awarded.
The briefest of change arounds at half time resulted in immediate dividends for Bibs who levelled within 30 seconds without one Skins player touching the ball.
The time it was Green who finished well past Hunt in goal.
2-2 and what followed was bibs best spell of the match as they pinned Skins back.
The KoW added to his impressive recent tally when his long range shot took a slight deflection and went in for 3-2.
Minutes later the King put in a ridiculously poor challenge on Curry when he slid in and missed the ball by five yards!
Eason had to pull off a save out of the top draw when a cross come shot was deflected by Harley and the big keeper was able to readjust and get a big hand to the shot deflecting it off the post and wide.
He almost blundered minutes later when spilling a simple cross and Ridley was on hand to poke the ball goalwards but the giant arm stretched back and clawed it off the line to keep the scoreline close.
Green having a fine match was played in by Deen also playing well and he finished corner of the net for 4-2 with only twelve minutes remaining.
At the other end Beebee had two great opportunities one where he completely air kicked and the other he hit the post. White also hit the post and Skins were starting to feel it wouldn't be their night.
The game changed when Hunt surging once again from midfield again hit the post from 15 yards but this time the ball rebounded in as the youngster ran into the Wish Park bushes to retrieve the ball, fist pumping encouraging his team mates.
Minutes later a roar that woke much of Wish Park and the surrounding well off BN3 neighbourhood came when Whitey on his 100th cap raced down the right, his inviting centre was tapped home by Curry as grown men started cheering like Scousers on Giro day.
4-4 and the drama hadn't finished yet. Deen roasted Eason with ease and crossed centre goal. A scramble ensued with Skins unable to clear fully, the ball hit the inside of the post and straight into the relieved Beebee's arms on the goal line.
Bibs looked the more likely and when time keeper for the evening Ridley hit a reasonable shot which cleared the bar by 4 inches he wheeled away in orgasmic celebration fist and jaw clenched. Unfortunately for him the other fifteen players saw the ball went high so quickly the goal was ruled out. Pete tried to play there was a shot in 2014 that was that height and it was in trick, but no one was falling for it this time.
A fair result and definitely a contender for match of the season this Summer. The next four are all 7-8:30 at Brighton Uni £5 per person 8 aside.
MOTM - Another tough call between the Tom's. Hunt edges Green just but call outs to Whitey & Deen who also starred this evening.
Hunt takes it for a dynamic all round performance in particular the first half where Skins had more of the play.