OLD BOYS REPORT: MOULSHAM SCHOOL 2 CHELSEA 4
Team Sam Beasant, Anthony Barness, Darren Barnard, Clive Walker, Danny Granville, Peter Rhoades-Brown, Dave Lee, Gareth Hall, Mark Nicholls, Mark Falco, Garry Stanley.
On the hottest day of the summer so far, the Official Chelsea Old Boys travelled to Chelmsford for the opening of Moulsham High School's brand new Astroturf pitch.
As always the moans and groans about the heat were loud but the banter in the dressing room was back to the old days. When Sam Beasant (son of Dave) walked in, the usual 'hope you're better than your Dad' quips were prominent. I must say after a long break since our last match the boys looked in pretty good shape.
The warm-up was a short affair as you can imagine, but the match started briskly with the Chelsea lads keeping the ball well in the searing heat. Physio Gary Mist was on hand with water just in case. He also informed me he had plenty of vaseline and plasters should they be needed!!!
The blue Chelsea kit stood out well in a very West Ham area and the opposition's black and white stripes made us feel like we were playing Newcastle - maybe another win was on the cards!!!!
Ten minutes into the match and Chelsea took a deserved lead as a good ball in to Mark Nicholls was laid off to Darren Barnard (playing as a forward these days) who finished from close range, left-footed of course.
The school team started to lose their pre-match nerves as the match went on and as half-time approached, the Chelsea back four pushed up for offside but the school ran from deep to round Sam Beasant and finish what was a decent goal. Gareth Hall and Dave Lee questioned the linesman but the goal stood.
On the stroke of half-time Chelsea got a second. Some fantastic approach play and crisp passing with Peter Rhodes-Brown, Mark Falco and Clive Walker all getting involved, set up Darren for his second.
After a welcome break for half-time and plenty of water taken on board, Chelsea started where they left off. Danny Granville and Anthony Barness were modern-style attacking full-backs, both getting forward, and sometimes back, arriving well and creating many chances for the 'electric' Mark Falco. The lads now enjoyed their football with the opposition tiring but there was not a lot of discipline in defence! A long ball caught not enough players back and Moulsham scored again. No arguments this time - just one of those things.
Midway through the second half a penalty was given to Chelsea for handball (the ref couldn't have been a West Ham fan) and Peter Rhodes-Brown stepped forward to calmly hit the keeper and the save was made. I think it made the keeper's day as the celebration went on and on and on.
He also made a good save from Walker and Barnard until Hall pushed forward and hit a typical sweet strike from 22 yards, smashing the third into the top corner.
Chelsea finished the game in style with a fourth from Mark Nicholls who rounded an isolated goal keeper as the knackered opposition defence stood and watched.
The final whistle blew and the fans ran onto the pitch for their chance to get some autographs and photos of their favourite players. All in all a great day and the headmaster thanked the lads personally for coming and the effort they put in.
The signed first team shirt donated by Chelsea Football Club is going to be framed and hung in the halls of the school to thank the club for the special day.
By Clive Walker.