Sunday 28th October 2007
The game should always be the winner and taking part is something to be proud of and being part of a club of Farnborough’s stature is something everyone should be proud of……………anyway enough of that! The Vets filed out against the diamond dealers with a line-up that included Pat "I can''t take the kit coz I don’t have a car" Mongelard at right back and the reinstatement on Friday night of Farnborough’s number one… Wet and windy the clocks went back which as our new centre back Chris Webb or “Baconhead” said “extra hour in the pub last nite son”. The team was selected in a sensible manner (by whom we are still waiting to find out). The toss was lost.
We in usual fashion went behind after 20 mins; blame again to the goalkeeper who is still to be reimbursed from the club from his last stay in the Priory. It then became apparent that their number seven should be given the key to the village of Farnborough, but we couldn’t decide whether Toby Harlow or Paul Storkey could chase him enough to hand it over, anyway he scored their second….Mark James our Referee decided that ball to hand is a pen. Smithy woke up and scored from the spot. Vets back but still 2-1 down at half time.
Suddenly through the mist and rain appeared what can only be described as a walker lost in Oates style “I’m going out for a while”….it was the new director of football, Victor, Harlow overruled, changes made, style changed, passion installed, the back four playing slick Liverpoolesque passes until against a 90mph wind we conceded from their number seven from 84 yards… (which as Vic admitted no goalkeeper in the world would have saved that??). The ball retrieved after breaking the net I then witnessed a Vets team in front of me playing football. A passing game I’d never seen before plus most importantly tackles being made and a desire to claw the game back of which we wouldn’t have bothered in the past…Smithy buried the second and we were back in it... we had them rattled and got just rewards with Paul Storkey''s jinking run and looping finish to make it 3-3.
The diamond dealers came for the booty but they got nothing. The vets have turned the corner.
That extra hour''s sleep obviously made the difference as the Vets staged a late comeback to earn a share of the "points". In complete contrast to last week, the game was played under dark clouds with cold rain driven by gale force winds. The team line-up was switched around from the previous week with Toby "did you see my save?" Manchip returning in goal; Chris Webb, Steve Blanchard, Pat Mongelard and Lee Southby making up the back four; Paul Storkey, Toby Harlow, Chris Ponulak and Colin Ebdon in midfield and Paul Smith with Roger French up front. The team was backed up with Ian Shoebridge, Trevor Stewart and Chris Bourlet as subs/linesmen.
We started the first half with the gale force wind behind us hoping to pile on the pressure on the Diamond defence. The ball spent a lot of time in their half but all too often too far in front of the FOBG attackers for any attempts on goal. What we should have been doing is shooting from distance as the ball was flying with the aid of the mini hurricane blowing down the pitch. As it was, Diamond took the lead by keeping the ball on the ground and playing it to feet. Farnborough continued to press forward and drew level with a penalty following a handball which was expertly despatched by top goalscorer Paul Smith.
Things get a bit hazy now not sure if they scored again before half-time but I think they did so. Let''s assume it was 2-1 to them at half-time!
Things were not looking too good as we were now kicking into the wind and had not built up the unassailable lead that we had hoped for and were in fact a goal behind and now expecting a bit of an onslaught. That''s what made this result worth raving about. Diamond did take advantage of the wind when a 40 yarder sailed in over Toby''s head to put them 3-1 up but the Vets are made of sterner stuff these days and following a couple of substitutions and a lot of vocal support from the sidelines from Lee we started taking the game to the opposition. Chances were created and Paul Smith grabbed his second of the game with Colin Ebdon going close following another one of his jinking runs. Chris Bourlet having come on as a sub had a chance to equalise but was a little bit high and wide of the mark. Into the last 5 minutes and the ball was taken down the left by Roger "these boots were made for walking" French but the cross was blocked at the expense of a throw-in. The ball was then swung out to the right and up popped Paul Storkey to swing the ball in evading all including the keeper and seemed to hold up in the wind to drop inside the far post for the well deserved equaliser.
The fun wasn''t over as Diamond pressed hard in the last minute winning a freekick some 10 yards outside the box. Panic stations! Farnbourough pulled everybody back, the ball was fired in and Toby "yakkety yack" Manchip was on hand to parry the ball back to one of the Diamond attackers for one last shot which fortunately was wide of the target.
A very evenly matched game where we had chances to pinch the win near the end but a draw on reflection was a fair result.