With a small heat wave hitting Surrey over the weekend, The Old Tiffs wanted to shine bright and grab another 3 important points to aid their mission to avoid relegation. After a lot of chat about the OTFC Tour and Chloe’s assets (8 is the magic number), The Tiffs went out on to the pitch with their heads held high. Dan Allen, making his debut for the ones, was ecstatic to be picked and raring to get a game.

Tiffs started the match playing very deep and inviting the opponents on to their loose back
four. With some great through balls delivered by the Dorkinians midfield, Seb Rose made some outstanding saves to help keep the score at 0-0. As the game intensified, a three-way combination of an advancing Tom Wightwick (normally known for his clean play), a heavy touch and a zesty challenge on one of the Dorkinians forwards, the ref produced his little black book for the first time. Still playing deep and getting dominated across the pitch, Tiffs finally began to throw a few passes together. Despite Pete Osborne’s quick turning and the evergreen Dave Harry’s trademark hold-up play, we couldn’t get through the Dorkinians solid defence. After a quick touch-and-turn from one of their midfielders, Sam Lewis made a crunching tackle which showed that Tiffs meant business.

Due to some recent games going against the Tiffs the team morale was at a low and this affected some players more than others. After some bad passes and a period of frustrating play, the turbulent Tom Ridgeway decided to go AWOL and disgracefully left the field of play. Apparently, the Fines and Disciplinary Committees are still pondering his case. Amongst the confusion, captain Rose made a dodgy substitution in which the ball was still in play. Much to the despair of a protesting Dorkinian midfield, the ref let it go ahead and play continued.

With most of the team struggling for breath at the foot of Box Hill and the thought of half time on most players minds, John Owens was having other thoughts. After a brief confusion in the box, the Dorkinians player pulled out of the bag an amazing overhead kick. To everyone’s surprise, Rose dived and managed to get his fingers on the ball – perhaps his best save this season – paddling it round the post for what was meant to be a Dorkinians corner. Instead, next came the flashpoint of the match. Temptation got the better of Owens and as the corner was given, rumour has it a finger went in an inappropriate place. As everyone turned around, Owens was caught flirting beside the goal with the Dorkinians centre back… A few handbags later and the pair were scuffling suggestively on the deck with no protection. Keen to put a stop to proceedings and get on with the match, the ref called both players over, along with their skippers, and brandished the yellow card at the offenders / victims (delete accordingly). Shortly after, the ref ended the half with the scores level at 0-0.

With an inspirational speech given to the team, most thought the Old Tiffs would come out much stronger for the second half. This expectation was quickly ruined and it was clear nothing was changing. After some great passes and some shocking offside play, Tiffs went down 1-0 shortly into the second half. Tiffs momentarily woke up with the team playing less deep. This was quickly halted as the Dorkinians right back ripped through our midfield and then played a quality ball into the middle. Debutant Allen came across and made a clinical sliding challenge, before recovering to his feet to make a second tackle and distribute the ball to a surprisingly lively Jon Youl. Joe Matthews was then given the opportunity to get on the score sheet and level the scores from within the 6 yard box, but he headed far, he headed high and he headed wide.

As the match continued, Tiffs were looking very unstable at the back and shortly after an awful ball managed to get through the back four to the Dorkinians striker. Thankfully, the ref blew the whistle and all understood that offside had been given, but the player continued to take a shot… Unfortunately for Rose, the ball bobbled before him and slithered into the goal. Even more unfortunately, he did not realise the offside had been given and angrily kicked the post in frustration. Both teams agreed for the first time in the day that this was a hilarious moment, as Seb slowly realised it was in fact an offside.

Quickly after, Dorkinians hard work had paid off with them scoring a well passed goal (2-0). After no response from the worn out Tiffs side, a free kick was given to Dorkinians on the edge of the box. The opponents player managed to perfectly place the free kick around the wall and into the side netting with no one having the slightest chance of saving the ball. With an interesting decision to have Youl as right mid, a few chances came Tiffs way. Youl had a one-on-one with the ‘keeper and unfortunately didn’t come out on top (a bit like Owens earlier in the match).

Dorkinians kept on attacking and managed to catch the Tiffs on the counter attack and get a fourth goal. With Lewis and Greg Nutt overworked in midfield, flanked by Matthews and Rhys Parker, there was little that even the experienced Sniffer could do about the youthful Dorkinians midfield. Tiffs sort of kept the score line from being embarrassing and somehow held out for a 4-0 loss.