OTFC Vets 1-0 Claygate Royals

A 1pm kick off meant the Vets had their pick of the changing rooms for Saturday’s derby clash with rivals Claygate Royals. Quite why skipper Tiny Ted Wightwick picked the smallest one is anyone’s guess. Is it because he feels at home with small things? Or perhaps to bring the team closer together?

If it was the second one, perhaps the decision was a masterstroke because, when it came to the game, the Tiffs pulled together to put on a bravura team performance.

The Vets class of 2015 is a large one, and there were five subs cheering the side on when the game started. The upside is a plentiful supply of fresh legs – the downside is the potential lack of cohesion when the cast keeps changing across the pitch.

Tiffs managed well in this respect though, remaining organised at the back despite several defensive switches and playing the ball nicely further forward, whichever marauding midfielders and striving strikers were in the 11.

During the first half both teams probed, with Tiffs perhaps edging things on possession and territory without carving out too many gilt-edged opportunities. The second period followed a similar pattern, and may have concluded with a rare stalemate had a defensive mix up not presented the ball to the feet of the Tiffs forwards around the 75th minute.

Steve Reid saw their goalie off his line and needed no further invitation to chip the ball into an unguarded net. Cue a dramatic Robbie Keane style celebration… 1-0 to the home team.

The Vets remained solid as Claygate came at them, and deserved the clean sheet. On a day when everyone did a good job, special mentions go to Ally and Craig in central midfield, whose endeavours allowed us to maintain a decent share of possession and made everyone’s day easier.

Unusually, having won Tiffs dropped down the table to second place, on goal difference. They will settle for that.