Wed 5th October 2005 Garnett A 3 (2) vs. (0) 1 Garnett B

The long awaited Wednesday season kicked off again and just like the opening day of last season the top two Garnett teams had been drawn for an opening day battle. New management had been appointed at both teams with a Roy Evans/Gerard Houliler style in the A’s with Kev Harty and David Mullen and a Harry Rednapp with a bit of Clive Woodward guidance in the B’s with James Royal and Chris Nunn respectively. The B’s had tried to keep together the 2nd division championship team of last season, and despite Ben Brown, Rich Swigg, Mark Davey, George Barker and Big Gaz leaving for various reasons and Chris Peace being poached by the “higher rung of the ladder,” seven champions still remained. This was reinforced by existing Garnett talent Lee Marshall and Luke Lavery and five “freshers” who had impressed in the preseason trials.

There was no doubt the A’s had a strong line up and there was no doubt that they would not be complacent on an opening day of the season. The B’s however knew there team wasn’t too shabby as well and with determination and hunger an upset may just be on the cards. Once again a no show from a referee meant spectator Rob Scott aka VDS stepped into the role.

The B’s made a shaky start at the back, a failed clearance, and a miss fired shot meant an early let off for the team. As the game progressed both teams started playing some football, however even though possession was fairly equal, the A’s were creating more chances in front of goal, with Craig Allen and Dave Mullan having early strikes. It was the breakthrough goal which came to a shock to both teams and unfortunately for the B’s it was against them. A long ball lofted down the centre of the pitch from Andy ‘Rooney’ Smith was too long for the strikers, yet on its bounce completely bamboozled keeper Kroon and lobbed over the bewildered keepers head. The B’s didn’t believe it, the A’s didn’t celebrate it, but nevertheless it was 1:0 Despite attempts by captain Lavery to keep the troops motivated, the shock of the goal was amplified soon after when from a corner poor marking led to A’s centre back Hoddy to side foot in from close range. The B’s were suddenly under pressure and
to try and stabilize the team Marshall moved back into midfield to try and help protect the defence. The last ten minutes in the first half saw the B’s gain in confidence again, with Marshall forcing his way through the defence only to fire wide and what seemed like a clear penalty being waved away. Despite the series of attacks in the A’s box no goal came before the midway break.

At half time, new players Johnson and Cowles came on for the injured Royal and Nunn. The formation switched back to 4-4-2, with Marshall moving to the right wing and Cowles joining Jimbo Bradley up front. These changes appeared to have a positive affect with the fresh legs in the team keen to impress on their debuts. Cowles made several promising runs and attacks on goal linking up well with Bradley, giving Kev Harty in the A’s goal a more active part in the game after a fairly untroubled first half. A Bradley strike was blocked from close range from Harty and several other chances went close. It was therefore heartbreak for the B’s when a third goal came on the break with Hoddy firing in an unstoppable strike from close range. The B’s however kept fighting and a deserved opening day goal coming through new boy Steve Cowles and an excellently taken overhead kick, to give the team a consolation to smile about. The final whistle went with the A’s taking first blood with a 3:1 v victory. Despite the defeat the B’s were encouraged by the new players’ performances and there was a belief the team had enough to hold their own in what appears to be a very tough division.

Author: Jambo

Team: R.Kroon, J.Mills, E.Chymera, C.Nunn (S.Cowles 1), P.Elia, L.Lavery (MoM),
J.Royal (W.Johnson), C.Normington, J.Bradley, L.Marshall, J.Atkinson

NB: The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the
views of the Gosforth Garnett Bohemian Football Club as a whole.