Fringe Box



Onslow Dads Fundraiser Match for the Boys & Girls

Published on: 31 May, 2021
Updated on: 31 May, 2021

The Golds – which knee goes where?  Back row, left to right: Jonathan Dockett, Rich Hanley, Kai Crayford, Mike Green, Peter Watts, Maciek Stefanski (gk). Bottom row: Jonathan Mills, Sam Prentki, John Harmer, Lloyd Davey, Christopher Ayers, Colin Smillie, Rob Cray Photo Julian Cooper

By Julian Cooper

Normally children are meant to follow their parents’ example but not at Onslow Football Club.

Around 50 fathers and Christina Philippou (come on you other mums) whose children either are or were playing for the Onslow Boys and Girls have come together to form “The Onslow Dads”.

On Tuesday (May 25) at Aldershot Town Football Club, the “Onslow Dads” created two teams to contest a match over 90 minutes and raise some funds for the club.

They normally meet once a week at Surrey Sports Park, hiring a 4G pitch. Any extra subs collected on these evenings are donated to support the youngsters. Tuesday was to be an end of season treat for them all, having the opportunity to play on grass and a pitch that famously was said to be the largest and squarest (being almost the maximum 100 yards wide) in the Football League.

The Blues – more knee indecision – probably the different colours socks caused confusion. Back row left to right: Glen McMillan, Jorge Bastos, Christian Gallagher, Mark Bray-Parry (gk), Toby Palmer, Simon Perrin, Alex Shipp. Bottom row: Kostas, Christina Philippou, James Philpott, Sean Beight, Colin Walkinshaw, Gary Beight, Phil Bowe Photo Julian Cooper

The conditions were perfect, there had been some light rain during the day that had left the surface with some zip to it. Two teams were formed, “The Blues” and “The Golds” and whilst I settled down in the directors’ box, they kicked off in the late evening sunshine.

This was an “under 60s” match with ages ranging from early 30s to late 50s. I wondered how some of the players were going to cope with the vast area that they were to cover.

Five minutes in and I could see the commitment was there with some good passes and strong tackles being made.

But not much later my fears were realised. A player from the blues asked the referee “How long have we been playing?”

“Nine minutes.” came the reply. This was going to be a long match for some of them. I couldn’t resist a chuckle from my sedentary position.

The Golds were edging it in the first half. Their striker was clean through on 28 minutes only to have boots that must have been shaped like a spoon, the struck ball sailed a good 15 yards over the bar when hit from close range. The same player came closer with his next attempt forcing a fingertip save, the ball parried over the bar by coincidentally named Bray-Parry, the Blues’ keeper.

On 40 minutes the deadlock was broken, The Golds number 11 found himself some space in the box and fired the ball home to the keeper’s left. Half time score: 1-0.

The second half was a close contest, Blues’ number 10 was showing a great turn of pace regularly down the left-wing. When he was clipped, it brought a free-kick that and a great chance at the back post for a strike. But it wasn’t taken.

Great free-kick. If someone had put it in it would have been a goal!

Then came an almost classic one-two move. The first player passed the ball to his teammate, who passed quickly back. Impressive, or it would have been if the first player had not decided to sub himself off mid-manoeuvre. They were definitely beginning to tire.

Then, at 60 minutes, there was a nasty injury. John Harmer fell awkwardly and dislocated his shoulder. Ouch! It meant a trip to A&E to get help. I’m sure we all wish John a speedy recovery.

But the match must go on and one last chance came to the Gold’s. A threaded pass received by the left-back saw him put his laces through the ball, only for Bray-Parry to again make an excellent save at his near post. So the score remained just 1-0 to the Golds.

The evening was a great success, well perhaps Hohn Harmer was not so sure but overall, I was impressed with the standard of the football, energy levels and the all-round fitness of the dads.

Most importantly though was the fact that after the expenses of hiring the facilities at Aldershot Town FC a considerable amount of money was raised to ensure that Onslow Boys and Girls football continues. So well done to everybody involved.

A good time had by all and, importantly, funds raised.

Club info: Onslow Boys and Girls FC matches are played on Saturday mornings. Home matches are normally played at Surrey Sports Park (Richard Meyjes Road, Guildford GU2 7AD) or Queen Eleanor’s School (Queen Eleanors Road, Guildford GU2 7SD). When there are no matches they train on Saturdays at Onslow Rec (Wilderness Road, Guildford, GU2 7QP). New players are always welcome.

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