Scorers: John Aikin and Pete Bowell
MoM: Tom Parkin and Chris Ward
ON THE BACK FOOT FOR 70 MINUTES
Back to Gravesend which is not the happiest of places for Friars – whether its rugby balls landing on the pitch from Gravesend Rugby Club, a better half preferring to go shopping in Gravesend High Street rather than watch us (heaven forbid) or past years memories of a surfeit of cards (4 in total at one match) including a brace to a very prominent present Polo official! Still the Friars are better behaved these days…… anyway onto the present day …
Only scraping up to 11 at the last minute – thank you to Pete Ratcliff who probably was a lot of the difference along with Dono between a 5-2 loss and a 10-2 loss – The Friars were 3 down inside 12 minutes partly due to their own making and partly because of Gravesham’s midfield engine who had skills above the Friars pay grade. However on a pitch thankfully recarpeted after past years algae deep horrors Friars dug back into the game and were rewarded with a fiercely struck John Aikin goal at a short corner. There were glimpses of a comeback with Paul Donovan in the thick of it – some good practice for his day job ! and his defence of Ratty Senior, Mike Barton and Chris Ward, the latter picking off many a Gravesham insertion.
There were some interesting innovations not least between Hayward and Aikin that nearly bore fruit and with Captain Jonesy having got himself warmed up the Friars briefly controlled after half-time resulting in a well taken Pete Bowell goal from Aikin. Tom Parkin seemed to be everywhere on the pitch which helped; his enthusiasm and fitness knows no bounds. However Gravesham rolled their 4 subs and in the latter minutes took back control claiming 2 more goals and a well deserved win.
The lights having fused in the changing room, cold spaghetti, sozzled and bellowing rugby players and the need for a Gadds No 5 and some caustic chat from “The Three Wise Tea Ladies” took us away and back to Polo fast and looking forward to the next match at home!
The photo below shows a pic from last week of 1st team manager Gary Wyver when he turned out for the Friars (Claire Gent copyright!) in his other job – one for the family scrapbook.