Monday, 15 February 2016

Frimley Green 1 v 1 Ash United

Saturday 13th February 2016
Recreation Ground, Frimley Green
Combined Counties League Division One
Admission: £6.00
Programme: £1.00
Attendance: 48
Match Rating: 3

With heavy rain forecast throughout the morning, I decided to head to south-west Surrey today with the possibility of a last minute diversion to the 3G pitch at Alton Town for a back up in case my intended game was postponed late on. Happily the game survived so that I could watch a game on grass today. This game would also have the added dimension that it would be a local derby, with less than four miles between the two clubs.

The Frimley Green Recreation Ground is about a 20 minute walk from Farnborough North train station. The football ground is fenced off from the rest of the recreation ground by green see through fencing. Behind one length is a grassy hill which makes for an attractive backdrop to the ground but also offers a good vantage point to watch the game from without paying. On this side of the pitch, an atcost all-seater stand straddles the half way line. On the opposite side there is a brick building attached to a rather less attractive breeze block building with a cast iron roof. In front of this building, there is a covered standing area, whilst to the other side of the brick building, there is a covered area with a roof but no wall to it. Around most of the rest of the ground there is just hard standing, apart from a small section between the seated stand and a corner flag. The 24 page programme covered the important fact but with almost half of the pages advertising, was very light on interesting reading material.

This was a game between two mid table teams, with little prospect of challenging for a promotion spot. Frimley Green went into this game in eighth places, with nine wins and two draws from 20 games, while Ash United were in eleventh place, with seven wins and four draws from their 20 games. When the two teams met over the Christmas period, Ash made home advantage count with a 2-1 win.

On a cold, overcast afternoon with occasional light drizzle, Frimley Green started the game strongly and took the lead on 13 minutes with a great strike driven in from 30 yards by Dan Milborrow. They should have doubled their lead within a minute when Ben Acton ran onto a ball over the top, but placed his shot wide of the goal. But after Ash had completely dominated the opening half hour, they equalised on the break. The ball was launched downfield and the striker ran onto the ball with two covering defenders, but he managed to eventually get his shot away to send the ball low past the keeper. Ash now assumed the ascendancy, and on 34 minutes saw a shot come back off the inside of the far post.

Into the second half, which started as the first half had ended, with Ash in the ascendency, passing up a couple of good chances to take the lead, but in the final 20 minutes it was all Frimley Green, and they will wonder how they didn’t score,  foiled by a combination of near misses and terrific saves. Indeed, after a shaky start by the visiting keeper, which promoted the Frimley Green bench to shout to his players "he can't catch, he can't kick, he can't save", he was in inspired form thereafter, and certainly had the last laugh as he denied his mockers the win, and certainly Ash would be the happier of the two teams to have shared the points here today.

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