THANK YOU to Andy Thomas OM06-11 for organising the OMs vs. Monmouth School Football match and his captaincy towards the first OM victory in 5 years!
Check out Frank’s Arentz Photography Facebook page for some excellent Football Pictures
Match Report: Old Monmothians 1 – 0 Monmouth School 1st XI
The Old Monmothians turned up for this year’s fixture against the 1st XI looking to overcome their poor recent record, having lost the last five fixtures against the school. There was some cautious optimism in the canteen and the dressing room prior to kick-off, with tried and tested combinations (Andy Thomas and Michael Asprou) as well as new talent (Harry Southall and George Farrington) giving the OMs hope that maybe 2017 was our year.
Mercifully there were no pre-match injuries this year, so each side started with 11 players on the pitch and the opening ten minutes were played at a blistering pace. Ryan Turner and the OM defence were under assault from an early stage but managed to keep the scores level. The tempo of the game was dictated by the 1st XI, in particular Dan Taylor bossing the game in the middle and playing some brilliant cross-field balls towards the corner flags, delighting the onlooking Mark Tamplin.
As the first half progressed the OMs were able to get themselves into the game and put together some nice passages of play, especially through Mitch Evans and Dan Rees down the left flank. The best chance of the first half fell to Michael Asprou, having been played in by a deft through ball from Dan, but with the goal at his mercy he could only fire the ball high over the bar.
Half time brought some welcome time for recuperation amongst the OM squad – old age definitely doesn’t come alone! The second half started off at a renewed pace, with the OMs pressing higher up the field in an attempt to force a mistake from the less ‘experienced’ 1st XI. The mistake duly came when there was a mix-up in the defence and the ball fell kindly to Michael Asprou. He slotted the ball low into the bottom right corner of the net, Harry Kane-esque. 1-0 to the OMs and there was a feeling in the air that an upset just might be on the cards.
After the goal the OM side had to endure a wave of attacks coming from all angles and the physical intensity of the game was upped a few notches. The second half saw the 1st XI win five corners and get at least seven shots on goal, but the OM defence was not in a mood to squander their lead. Particular credit has to go to Tom Allerton who made several sliding challenges to ensure that the OMs finished the game with a clean sheet.
In the 80th minute of the game, the referee courted controversy when failing to realise that he had already booked Michael Asprou and not sending him from the field of play after issuing a second yellow card for a robust challenge in the opponent’s penalty area.
With the seconds winding down, the 1st XI threw everything in search of a goal, but were unable to find a way through the white and blue wall of OM players.
Such was the confidence which Mark Tamplin had come into the game, he had not brought the trophy to the game to present to the OMs – so we will have to wait until next year to get our hands on the spoils.
Man of the match: Tom Allerton
Old Monmothians line-up (in order of seniority)
Tom Allerton OM 93-00
Mitchell Evans OM 04-09
Brad Davies OM 02-09
Sam Parry OM 04-09
Daniel Rees OM 05-10
Luke Aldridge OM 03-10
Andy Thomas (Captain) OM 06-11
Ryan Turner (GK) OM 04-11
Michael Asprou OM 04-11
Ludovic Thomas OM 04-05
Harry Southall OM 08-15
George Farrington OM 10-15
If you are interested in playing for the OM team next year, please note that the captaincy will be taken up by Harry Southall. Please contact Old.Monmothians@monmouthschool.org to register your interest.
The Old Monmothians would like to extend their thanks to Andy Thomas for his help in organizing the team for the last four years, and wish him the best for his travels across Australia.