Sunday 9th March 2008
By Roger French
Another victory for the Farnborough Vets bringing the season''s total so far to five which was made all the more remarkable by the fact that we had eight players unavailable for this game against new and unknown opposition. Answering the call for help this week were Andy Faulks, Andy Smith, Nick Frost, Nick Kinnear and the ever reliable Micky Gearing. This made things a lot easier for the Old Boys as we only had to remember to call for Nick or Andy in order for somebody to respond. The game was played at Beaverwood Lodge which has a large well equipped clubhouse overlooking two good quality pitches. The disappointment as a visiting club is the horrendous changing facilities for the away team hidden round the corner in the shape of two green, manky, pokey portacabins which are not even attached to the showers and toilets. Having taken turns to get changed in the cramped conditions we then decided to warm up on the larger of the two pitches and waited for the opposition to show. We even had to provide the match referee in the form of Mark James once he had carried out his ritual marking out of the territory. One thing any employer of MJ wouldn''t have to worry about is whether he would spill the beans about any bad practice - no one could accuse Mark of being a whistleblower!
Having waited for ages and allowed our stray extras to appear we lined up with Gary Rosslee in goal, back four of Pat Mongelard, Nick Frost, Chris Webb and Roger French, a midfield of Toby Manchip, Chris Ponulak, Toby Harlow and Andy Faulks with the Smiths up front (Paul and Andy not Morrissey and Marr). Micky provided back-up as sub with Nick Kinnear replacing Toby Harlow once he had found the ground some 20 minutes in. The pitch was huge and actually suited our game which reverted to good passing moves. All the new names fitted in smoothly and we spent most of the first half attacking their goal creating half a dozen (at least) goal scoring opportunities and only managing to score one courtesy of Andy Smith before half-time. At one stage we conceded something like four corners in succession which provided a nerve jangling edge before Andy Smith scored.
Half-time and Pat Mongelard had a good feeling about the second half and predicted a goal of rare quality. We continued applying the pressure with well worked moves and a good understanding between the two strikers which paid dividends early on when Paul Smith made it 2-0 to ease the pressure. Santos pulled themselves back into the game shortly after when a free kick was awarded just outside our box and the ball was despatched into the bottom corner leaving Gary with no chance. Were we about to rue all the missed chances from the first half? What we needed was a morale boosting super goal so cue Patrice "Yeboah" Mongelard, one of the most dynamic 50 year-old fullbacks to grace the Farnborough shirt in years. In a move that was reminiscent of Tony Yeboah against Liverpool some years ago Pat picked the ball up just inside the Santos half and cut inside beating a couple of players on the way to unleash a 35-yard thunderbolt to beat a giant keeper that hitherto had been attracting the ball like a chameleon flicking at insects in a Madagascan rain forest, the ball crashing down off the underside of the bar and into the back of the net (well that''s how Pat described it to me). This did the trick and Farnborough raised the tempo to run in another goal from Andy Smith following good work in the box and two well taken headers by Chris Webb and Toby Manchip. In reply Santos were awarded a penalty which Gary did well to get a hand to but could not save whereas our over generous referee decided not to award us a penalty despite Paul Smith being fouled 10 feet inside the area - MJ deciding that we had scored enough goals by that time. Micky came on for the last 10 minutes replacing Toby Manchip (like for like switch) and very nearly scored when he had a very good shot pushed onto the post. As it was we ran out 6-2 winners. Thanks again to those who helped out on the day and provided a very good all round performance. A trip down to Maidstone awaits next week so we really need to be on form for that one.