Sunday 7th February 2010
By Patrice Mongelard
Farnborough cub tames endangered species Tiger in 3-2 win & at last Toby Manchip is man-of-the match
This was a strange experience which I find difficult to write about for reasons that will become clear.
The first sign that the day would not go quite as planned came when the Tiger Vets team did not materialise in full out of the Dartford jungle. Whenever we have played them before they have appeared in large numbers but today only six turned up. It is to their credit that they did. Fortunately Farnborough had 14 players + one special guest who would have quite a day. We wanted a game in what were almost autumnal conditions, compared with last Sunday – so we ended up with four of our players swapping stripes and playing for the opposition. I have been saying for a while that some of our players have been batting for the other side but today we made it official – with Patrice Mongelard, Roger French, Rod Loe and Chris Bourlet taking the field against Farnborough.
This left Farnborough with ten players and the special guest, as we lined up with: Steve Palmer in goal; Steve Blanchard, Ian Coles, Colin Brazier, and Mick Ingram in defence; Toby Manchip (père), Sinisa Gracanin, Ian Shoebridge, and Mark Perry in midfield; Paul Smith and Toby Manchip (fils) up front. Yes, there were two Manchips on the pitch for Farnborough Vets today (a father and son combo unusual for a vets team) and two contrasting performances that should make for interesting dinner table conversations chez Manchip.
It also meant that the Farnborough team were without a manager but as it turned out this led to an inspired performance from Toby Manchip. Indeed there was evidence today of Paul Smith passing to Toby Manchip (guess which one?). And to think we were contemplating tasking the ever helpful Rod Loe to do Smithy’s passing for him.
Make no mistake this was a competitive game. Both teams wanted to win it. There was not a lot of goalmouth action to be fair but plenty of effort and passing though defences were on top. Of course, the composite Tiger team lacked a bit of cohesion. Farnborough had a bit more fluency but no cutting edge. But they did eventually take the lead as Paul Smith spied the keeper off his line and fired a typical dipping shot that gave Farnborough a 1-0 half time lead. By then Toby Manchip (fils) had caught the eye and come much closer to scoring than the other Toby Manchip who seemed weighed down by the cares of management. Tiger had threatened with Roger “Lino” French but the Farnborough defence looked comfortable as did Tiger’s.
At half time Ian Coles departed and this evened things up a bit – now it was 10 against 9 and a half. Goals came. The Tiger equaliser was laid on by Roger French in a rare upright moment. Toby Manchip (fils) betrayed his genes by missing a sitter when he headed over the bar from six yards unchallenged with the Tiger keeper stranded. But he made up for it with a sweet volley as he converted a right wing cross from marathon man Ian Shoebridge by finding space between the keeper and the centre half. 2-1 became 3-1 as Farnborough overran Tiger and who else Toby Manchip (fils) had a shot turned into the path of Ian Shoebridge who made no mistake from a yard out.
Tiger rallied, led by their very dynamic midfielder who was peppering the goal from everywhere. Eventually he scored direct from a corner as the ball was arrowed into the top corner – quite what happened is not too clear – the sound of ball hitting post was heard but the ball seemed to come off the back of Mick Ingram’s head as he attempted to clear or get out of the way. After that there was time for Farnborough to come close to increasing their lead from you know who, and Tiger came close to an equaliser but in the end the day belonged to Farnborough.
Man of the match for Farnborough was Toby Manchip – a clean vote this time – for a performance that the Farnborough Vets thought they would never see – intelligent running, positional sense, danger in the box, passing ability. In fact they are still going to wait many more years for it, as the vote went to Toby Manchip (fils) for a goal, a nutmeg (allegedly), a goal assist, a shot against the bar, a penalty claim that would have been given if the age gap between him and the ref had been less than 60 years. And after all that - his dad would not even pay his subs – saving his money for next Sunday no doubt!
Man of the match for Tiger Vets was their number 10 – Gary or Barry something (sorry I only met him today) who had half a yard on every one, could run with ball at great pace, dribble with both feet, shoot from anywhere with accuracy and power, was fit as a Dartford butcher’s dog – but – and I say this as a neutral – wanted to win the game on his own. He did not because football is a team game but occasionally an individual stands out as he and Toby Manchip (fils) did today.
We host Sanco Super Vets next Sunday when we hope to avenge a 2-1 defeat at their place in Dulwich last September. It will be Valentine’s Day then but this is not expected to restrict the availability of our players. A word of advice though from an old head: get your partner a Terry’s chocolate orange or something – it will help if you want a lift to the ground or if it is your turn to take the kit home.
Man of the match: Toby Manchip (Junior)