OTFC IIIs match report – vs. @dorkiniansFC IVs in 7 South league:

The teams gathered at Grist’s on a fairly cold and windy day for this highly important Old Boys Division 7 South fixture, with Tiffs trying to win two on the spin. The bright yellow and green strip of Old Dorkinians clashing pleasingly with the “crushed raspberry” hue the Tiffs are wearing this season.

The first incident in the game came very early as Tiffs left back Andy Dickenson was force to retire from the game with less than 10 minutes played, due to over exertion in the warm up. Luckily OTFC stalwart Nick Dempsey was on the bench, so came on to take over this role and to ably demonstrate his niche throw-ons throughout the game. Tiffs started brightly and were applying the pressure when they took the lead with a well worked goal after some good work on the left between Ciarán Morris, Henry Davies and then Mike Lutz the ball fell invitingly for Jon Angell to smash a left foot screamer past the Dorking keeper. This should have been a sound basis to build from, but Dorking hit back twice! Firstly their left winger outpaced a static Lutz and calmly steered his effort around Ralph Stadie in goal. Secondly a large punt from back line found the Tiffs centre backs Conrad Bell and Lee Orchard having a chat, which allowed the Dorking striker to run on and again leave Ralph with no chance.

The spirit seemed to have been sapped out of Tiffs – they needed to turn it around … and they did. A free kick was awarded out on the right and the elderly Bruce Houghton sent a good cross which Charlie Hughes, who was facing the wrong way, managed to back header beyond the despairing Dorking keeper. 2-2 at half time.

The second half started fairly evenly until about halfway through when probably the best team goal seen for many a season was scored. A pass out from defence to the left saw Nick play it on to Bruce in the centre, he turned and fed Ciaran who passed it forward to second half sub Warren Arlow, who turned majestically around his marker, Henry ran on desperately calling for it, though Wazza chose to lift it up and over to Charlie making his way into the box, whereupon Charlie cushioned it back to the onrushing Henry who crashed his shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the area. A truly wonderful team goal with possibly more passes linked together than ever before by a Tiffs team.

Even better was to come a few minutes later when Bruce claimed the ball just outside the D – he knocked it out left where Wazza latched onto it just inside his half, outpaced the opposition right back, cut inside their centre back, dropped the shoulder to send the other centre back the wrong way. Ciarán was calling madly for a pass, but Wazza chose to hammer an unerring shot from the edge of the box into the bottom right-hand corner of the Dorking goal … it was just like the early 90s glory days all over again, and gave Wazza the honour of having scored in competitive fixtures for the Old Tiffianians in four different decades. (80s, 90s, 00s and now the 10s, catching up with Ted Wightwick, Bill Seabrook and Dave Harry).

4-2 up with 15 minutes to play … but things are never simple with the Tiffs. Dorking were awarded a free kick on the Tiffs right and swung a big kick (wind assisted) into the area, it managed to avoid everyone, including the flapping Ralph in the Tiffs goal, and somehow finished in the net. This galvanised Dorkinians and they pressed forward again and from their right they worked a chance which they converted after some uncertainty in the Tiffs defence, with only a couple of minutes left on the clock. The final score was 4-4 and a thrilling spectacle for the amassed fan.

Henry won MOTM, with other nominations for Warren, Bruce, Charlie and Jon.