All the fun of the fair
By Dave Bridges
V's win 2-0 away at Storrington
The last time we played away at Storrington Reece Gayler had trouble finding the pitch and arrived across an ajoining field, in his car, between the dug outs. Thankfully a fun fair was in the way this time and all players arrived in the car park.
The V's have returned to their earlier season form and this is be largely down to a fit squad, the introduction of Charlie Farmer in defence and coach Bryan O'Toole, who has demanded increased levels of fitness and focus.
Storrington have a decent set up and always put out a competitive and well drilled side. The pitch was deceiving as at first sight it looked flat but as the game commenced, it became apparent it was difficult to string passes together. This is not to criticise Storrington's pitch as most surfaces at this time of year are a 'bit bobbly', including ours at Withdean.
The first half drifted by with the V's having more possession and a few half chances but nothing to write home about. Storrington counter attacked with some effective long balls forward, however, the defensive partnership of Farmer and Pearson is like Hadrian's wall... falling apart and very old... sorry I mean impenetrable.
We had a few chances which didn't really come to anything and Storrington appealed for handball when Tom Bradford used his increasing stomach to clear the ball. The first half finished with the sound of the fun fair in full volume and Gary Croydon's grand daughter proudly showing me a unicorn she had won, which actually was the highlight of the half.
Our vice chairman's eyes widened at half time when he saw all the food on show. He is currently training for a 50km bike ride and this must involve eating chicken sandwiches and copious amounts of cake as he devoured most of the buffet and then declared later in the day that he thought he may have over done it as he didn't feel very well.
The second half proved a better 45minutes for the V's as we produced more incisive football with Luke Manley on the left causing the opposition plenty to think about. Bafta nominee Ollie Blackman called for a penalty as he was nudged from behind, but his over reaction, out stretched appealing arm and cry of penalty before he had even hit the ground made the decision of no penalty an easy one for the ref. It probably was a penalty and the next day I had much merriment in seeing that he couldn't move his neck and had a stinking hangover.
In the 70th minute we managed to break the deadlock, after a melee in the area, the ball dropped to Andy Pearson who volleyed home into the bottom corner. My dad always said to me 'live life with no regrets' however only Andy knows why after scoring he stepped into the goal and proceeded to shadow box with the net. I could only think that with the sound of the fun fair in the background he fancied boxing the travelling shows star pugilist and was warming up. A club fine will be coming his way.
Our second goal came from a familiar source Matt Waterman, who controlled the ball on the outside of his foot with all the delicate grace of Rudolf Nureyev in Swan Lake and then cleanly connected with the ball. Thankfully his celebration didn't involve any show time extravagance.
With the game drawing to a conclusion I looked across as Bryan O'Toole in the dug out and for some reason wondered if the fun fair had a coconut shy. Roll up roll up the game was over with a blow of the whistle, 2-0 to the V's