Old Parmiterians

The Vets buoyed from victory against Globe two weeks previous were brought firmly down to earth with a tough game against a much fitter and I dare I say younger Parmiterians 5th side.

Preparations for the start of the season have been going well and with a good turn out at training the lads were clearly relishing the prospect of the big season kick off.  The new management regime of Barry and Kevin insist on all the lads arriving at the pitch an hour before each game, but frustration was showing on Kevin’s face by the lack of professionalism shown from Parms some of who were only getting on the pitch five minutes before kick off.  The greens were clearly chomping at the bit to get going, but Parms had other ideas.

It’s a pity Parms didn’t carry that carefree attitude into the game and it wasn’t long before the vets were being shown how to arrive into a game.

Strangely enough the game was in danger of not going ahead through lack of a pitch, but Parms managed to acquire a space at Low Hall Sports Ground.  The small pitch suiting Parms style though the middle and so it was to prove on a few occasions.

With Barry on his monthly holiday to Canada, Kevin was left to hold the reigns and again showed he’s not afraid to make some difficult decisions.   Starting with Darren Foss as captain Kevin left himself and Bill Howard on the bench along with new boy to the Vets, Danny Brown.  Choosing to start with the favoured 442 formation the vets were ready to go and prove themselves against the young side.

No sign of Gary Doodes in goal today, so Paul Walters dusted off the gloves, donned the all silver outfit and got him self ready.  Surely in the back of his mind knowing he was in for a busy day.  And how!

Dorian West, Hilary Francis, Martin Tribe and Trevor Burton making up the back four with Tony Graves, Halil Hassan, Darren Foss and Paul Obinkwo in midfield. Two front men of Martin Saggers and Taju Oyedeji finalising the starting eleven.  Even without regular goalkeeper Doodes this was a pretty strong vets team and one that should cause problems in the league when it kicks off in two weeks.

Early into the game and Parms were seeing a lot of possession and they had the first chance on five minutes to make it one nil, but for the outstretched leg of Hilary, followed by another great tackle by the defender.  The defence looked nervous and would soon pay for their shaky start.  Following a corner down their right wing, the ball bobbled in the box, Trevor stuck out a goal bound shot and deflected it into the net.  1-0 Parms.

The goal seemed to switch the vets on and less than a minute later a great piece of interplay between Martin Tribe and Taju created a glorious chance for H to strike from distance, but the ball landed somewhere between the goal and Wadham lodge.  Promising play from Hale End none the less.

Following this the vets had another good chance to equalise on twelve minutes as Parms failed to clear their lines giving Martin Saggers an opportunity to score, but he didn’t make the connection he’d like and the ball shot well wide of the target.  The Vets were struggling to keep in touch with Parms fast flowing game, being given little time on the ball, coupled with a very small pitch. Then on the fourteenth minute Parms had a free kick 25 yards out.   I’m not sure where the defence disappeared to but the Parms number 12 arrived at the back post unmarked and said “happy birthday to me”  What a gift.  The defence blamed Walters for not coming, but surely not down to him on this occasion.  2-0 Parms.

The ball continued to be played quickly from the back by Parms with T and Martin being pulled wide to chase the ball leaving a gaping hole down the middle.  The through ball causing all sorts of problems to the vets all afternoon.  The vets midfield were struggling to keep up with the pace and needed to close down quicker.  When would that second wind arrive?  Well not before Parms scored their third thanks to a cross come shot, which looped in over Walters.  3-0 Parms and the vets were staring down the barrel of a gun, but for the last twenty minutes of the half rallied and started to cause Parms a number of problems.

Hilary having a man of the match performance for the vets mopping up everything chucked at him.  Certainly now the vets were looking more confident.

A change of players on 32 minutes with an injured Trevor going off for Danny Brown and Martin Tribe going to left back.  Brown making an instant impact on the game playing a lovely ball through to H who delivered a first time ball to Saggers who couldn’t quite connect and their keeper gathered.

All round the pitch the vets were looking more assured both in defence and attack and after a lovely bit of play from Darren he skilfully played the balled to Martin Saggers who took on and beat two men before cutting inside to shoot and was cut down before unleashing.  The free kick about 25 yards out being taken by T just hitting the outside of the upright, but more signs that the vets had finally arrived into the game.

Parms popped up to remind the vets on 35 minutes that they hadn’t left the game just yet.  After a corner on the right a superb delivery caught the vets napping and the ball lashed just wide of the upright.  Signs of discontentment starting to show amongst the vets and rather than encouragement some silly arguments were breaking out around the pitch.  They needed to stay focussed and not lose their heads, after all, their opponents were certainly no pushovers.

Plenty of action in the last five minutes with Paul Obinkwo playing some good stuff with H down the right and T and Saggers linking up.  T just missing a lovely cross by Saggers at the far post.  The vets finishing the half the stronger of the two teams, but the scoreline didn’t lie, 3-0 to Parms.

Halftime was all about the midfield closing down quicker and giving each other encouragement.  Reminder ourselves that this was a young and fitter side and not to be too hard on ourselves.

Changes, Tony coming off with Kevin going on into centre midfield and Darren going on to left wing.

The vets continued where they left off in the first half by pulling a goal back in the opening 5 minutes.  A ball from Kevin eventually ended up at Paul’s feet.  Paul played a beautiful ball through to Martin Saggers who tucked it neatly past the keeper on the left.  Lovely play and could the vets build on this?  3-1 Parms

Sadly not, two minutes and two quick passes later and Parms restore their three goal lead.  4-1 Parms.

The vets still not giving up after 15 minutes and good pressure from Kevin and Darren giving H a chance to score but unfortunately he shot high and wide.   More great work from Paul down the wing taking on and beating his man delivering a lovely ball into the box but nicely cut out by a Parms defender. 

20 minutes into the second half and Parms starting to kick up a gear and had two corners back to back.  From the second corner, a great delivery into the danger area, Paul managed to get a fist on to the ball but guided it neatly towards the goal with a Parms player on hand to help it on.  5-1 Parms.  Now it was dig deep time for the vets. 

Substitution Billy Howard on at right wing, with Paul going off.

The vets continued to push forward with an inspiring run by Kevin resulting in a corner for the vets on 64 minutes.  Signs of tiredness on both sides all around the pitch forcing the vets to make another substitution with Hilary off and Tony returning to the play.

70 minutes in and the first bit of controversy of the game with the vets waiting for the ref to blow for a foul throw.  Parms didn’t wait around for the whistle slotting home from the edge of the box to make it 6-1.  Harsh indeed, but no reminder needed about playing to the whistle.

Kevin asking for more effort from his players and encouraging them to push on to the end of the game.  Saggers took him to his word and got stuck into the challenge.  Three free kicks coming in quick succession and lucky not to see yellow.  You just couldn’t fault his commitment though and surely a positive sign for the season ahead.

72 minutes, Paul back on H going the other way.

76 minutes T showing some great skill though the middle took a nasty knock to his shin and showed the defender just how he felt.  All a bit of handbags, but again the vets showing how much they were still fighting and the commitment that Kevin was asking for.

After another lovely though ball from Parms, their striker chipped the out rushing Walters to make it 7-1.  The vets looking at it as a training match now and hoping it doesn’t become too embarrassing.   Tony and Darren still competing and playing some nice football in midfield.  Martin still getting stuck in and from the resulting free kick the ball going in from 25 yards via another cross come shot.

A really hard game for the vets in conditions suited for October.  The vets had some good passages of play particularly the last twenty of the first half.  They never gave up and their fitness levels must be commended, considering the average age of the team being over 40 (compared to their opponents at about 25).

Next week a friendly against Ryan FC. 


Paul Walters, Dorian West, Trevor Burton, Hilary Francis, Martin Tribe, Tony Graves, Paul Obinkwo, Darren Foss, Halil Hassan, Martin Saggers, Taju Oyedeji,

Subs, Kevin Whitworth, Billy Howard, Danny Brown.


Final Score 8 - 1