Sunday, 2 September 2012

Putting the Cobb in Cobham

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Sunday 2 September 2012 at the Reg Madgewick Stadium, Leg of Mutton Field
Cobham 3 Oakwood 2 after extra time
FA Vase 1st Round Qualifying
Number 476 on the lifetime list.  The game is on Sunday because groundsharing tenants Mole Valley SCR played (and won) their home tie in the same competition yesterday.  My own hopping “rules” are that I will choose to watch landlord rather than tenant but I have a couple of anomalies on my list – for example, Team Bath v Bath City was a tenant v landlord fixture where the landlords were technically the away side and were not the programme issuers.  I still worry about Bournemouth of League One whose pitch was rotated through 90 degrees when Dean Court was redeveloped.
Pre-match preparation
Cobham are without a win in their league – the step 6 Combined Counties Division One – after four games.  Oakwood have had a mid-table start in the Sussex County League Division Two, which is also a step 6 league.  The FA website is running a “story” about Chelsea’s Gary Cahill (who lives locally, as Chelsea’s training centre is nearby) walking his dog past the Cobham team earlier in the week while they were training.
This match in one sentence
A missed first-half penalty was part of the reason why we had to wait until extra time of this entertaining match for Cobham to score the goal that gave them their first win of the season in any competition and that is still only one sentence.
So what?
Cobham get £500 and will entertain Southwick in the next round.
The drama unfolds
Sam Merison’s header went in off the post after 12 minutes to give Cobham the lead.  1-0

They should have doubled the lead after 20 minutes.  Ricardo Ramsay hit a penalty kick to the left but it was at just the right height for Jess Grinstone to push it out.

Again, within minutes, Ramsay should have scored.  This time his neat right-footed flick up and over Grinstone came back off the bar.  The keeper reacted well and went down bravely to smother the ball as Merison steamed in.  The assistant waved so vigorously that his flag fell off.  With parakeets flying around (as often happens at the grounds in this area) and a model aircraft buzzing around (rarer), it was hard to keep up with all the action.  Here is a clip to set the scene and show that I am not making it up about the aircraft.  Oakwood are in blue.

Oakwood came back into the game and had several chances to equalise.  Fullback John Dowling made a great headed clearance off the line, and then two headed chances went very close.  The goal eventually came after 38 minutes, a lovely chipped finish from right to left by Tom Tolfrey as the keeper came out to narrow the angle.  1-1

There was no further scoring before the interval, although the ref had strong words of warning for Cobham’s Connor McLaren.  There was a good deal of simultaneous shouting going on in the home dressing room as the teams went in.  1-1 at half-time

Here’s the goal, a header from Clinton Moore, that gave Oakwood the lead after 54 minutes.  1-2

The teams started to wind each other up, and yellow cards started to appear regularly.  One altercation broke out while the ref was dealing with another, and two more cards were waved after the lino came on the pitch to help out.  After 70 minutes, Ramsay finally got his goal for the day with a deflected direct free-kick that hit the wall and looped up and in.  2-2

The only other action of note in the 90 was a clearance which came down out of the sky directly towards me – I positioned myself carefully to take the catch – and, it has to be said, spilled it.  Absolute shocker.  I will have a word with myself.  2-2 after 90 minutes

Ties in the FA Vase go to extra time (but not penalties until the replay if required) – here’s a short clip from the first period.  Cobham were looking to make the most of the last 30 minutes of home advantage.

It was looking like a replay, but with five minutes to go the ball broke kindly for Cobham substitute Harry Cobb.  His neat top-corner finish won the game for the home side and gave me the blogpost title.  Thank you, Harry.  A good game for the passing neutrals, of which there were several.  We like Sunday matches.  It gets us out of the house.  Final score 3-2 after extra time
The programme

Something random
The Reg Madgewick Stadium is the secret graveyard for old Crystal Palace minibuses and the gents toilet is known as the Gomez Suite.  I have no rational explanation for either of these things.

Hopping for Moorfields Update
Five goals added, so that’s 46 goals from 11 games, pretty much in line with predictions.
What Next?
Unless I manage something local this week, likely to be Newport County v Stockport County next Saturday to restore my 116 (that is, the 92 plus the 24 of the step 1 Conference).  Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter if you’d like to be among the first to know.

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