OBDSFL Jack Standen Cup Final

Sunday 23 April 2017 at Bromley FC

Ex Blues 0, Farnborough Old Boys Guild 1 (Barnes 90+3)

Ex Blues had all the form going into this game having been successful in two finals last year, currently sitting top of Division 2 in the OBDSFL and only having lost one league game in the last two years. Although Farnborough are in the division above, their manager Vince Wray felt this would be an extremely stern test for his team. Their league form has been inconsistent this season, injuries and suspensions playing their part. Having said all that Wray was confident that his team could win.

The pitch conditions were tricky to say the least, a bumpy surface didn’t exactly make it easy to play football in a passing manner.  Ex Blues created at least three good chances in the first half and FOBG only had one shot on target, from Alex Wray. Defences seemed to be on top. FOBG's Sam Painter came off worse in a clash of heads and returned to the pitch wearing most of the contents of their first aid kit. Farnborough's skipper Colin Judge was his usual influential self, on the day he was celebrating his 37th birthday.

Farnborough weren’t able to get their game going at all in a first period dominated by Ex Blues.

Having discussed some ‘home truths’ at half-time with the players, manager Wray was hoping for a better second half. It didn’t happen straight away – man of the match Reece Hamilton brilliantly tipped an effort over the bar and Joe Slater somehow miraculously headed a goal bound shot off the line; however, the game wore on, Ex Blues visibly tired and in the last 25 minutes of the game the Guild started to take control. Perfitt was on for Middleton in central midfield and Barnes and Clark replaced Wray and Ennis-Webb in attack. Openings began to appear in the Ex Blues defence. The Farnborough rearguard appeared comfortable and had done its job. Now the team in red and yellow tried to make Ex Blues pay for their missed chances earlier on in the game.

The fourth official held up his board for four added minutes and the game seemed like it was going to go into extra time. Just when we all thought that was the case, the mercurial Alex Barnes popped up with a looping header following the keeper’s punch and the ball nestled into the corner of the net. Unbelievable!!! The Guild's players went into a frenzy of celebration.  The Ex Blues players had given everything and now realised it was not to be their day.  For Farnborough it was a perfect way to take victory - only a couple minutes were left and the last minute or two were comfortably seen out.

Cue more celebrations. Judge lifted the cup on his birthday and the celebrations were hard and long. Make no mistake this was a fully deserved victory, Farnborough battled hard to ensure their defences were not breached and had the right players on the pitch at the right time to take advantage. Barnes has a sixth sense for pulling goals out of nowhere and it happened again here. He confided in us that he’d never played in a winning final – well he has now.

The Farnborough team manager, Vince Wray, has had a "challenging" season, interrupted by a spell in hospital following heart problems, but the guts and determination shown by his players in this cup run - contrasting with an irritating lack of consistency in their league form - has made him proud to be their manager, who said afterwards that "Days like this are what it's all about.  I hope it's a catalyst for further honours next season."


Ex Blues (Manager: Steve Rose)

Earl, Burke, Hopper, Perrott, Exford, Tutt, C. Henderson (Capt.), McShane, Peniston, Bryant, James.

Subs: Thompson, Morrow, McKenzie, B. Henderson, Skeemer.

Farnborough Old Boys Guild (Manager: Vince Wray)

Hamilton, Adams, slater, Brand, Judge (Capt.), Painter, Ennis-Webb, Boss, A. Wray, Middleton, Tanner.

Subs: Kemp, Harpur, Barnes, Lewis, Perfitt, Row, Clark, Chappell.


Referee: Kieron Bakewell; Assistant 1: Rob Williams; Assistant 2: Adam Skinner; Fourth Official: Jamie Paternoster