Sunday 16th December 2012
By Patrice Mongelard with a second report by Steve Rogers of Old Tamponians
Senior Vets come through to win against Old Tamponians Super Vets in tight affair
It was 14 days ago that we faced Old Tamponians Super Vets at their ground for a narrow win and here they were at Farrow Fields only a fortnight later visiting us. We were expecting a close game and so it transpired.
Our pre-match preparations were more leisurely this week in anticipation of the game on our big pitch - a tribute to our ground staff after so much recent heavy rain and well able to cope with a second game in less than twenty-four hours - in very good conditions for football – clear skies, no wind and without any signs of the Beast from the East remaining.
The Farnborough contingent today consisted of Gary Fentiman in goal; Patrice Mongelard, Ian Coles, Steve Blanchard and Mick O’Flynn in defence; Ian Shoebridge, Mehmet Bozyigit, Sinisa Gracanin and Nick Waller in midfield; Andy Faulks and Andy Smith in attack. Roger French, Chris Bourlet and Colin Brazier waited for their time to come. John Tallis was late and in fact did not show.
Vicky Parsons, Thomas French, and Jane (Ian Coles’ partner) were the home support to match the away support that had travelled to the game and took up station in the away dug out.
Quite how we did not score in the first half hour will remain a mystery. Twice Andy Smith had fashioned shooting chances in the opening ten minutes only to put the ball wide. Andy Faulks had not one, not two, but three gilt-edged chances to give us the lead. We were in control of the game, attacking down both flanks and coping at the back with what Old Tamponians had to offer. It came as a bit of a surprise when Old Tamponians took the lead on the half hour with the best goal of the game. They got the better of us in that corridor of uncertainty between the defence and the midfield and the ball was laid back expertly and invitingly just outside our box in a central position for their best player (I thought) in midfield to hit a first time shot, with more accuracy than power but no little finesse beyond Gary Fentiman into the top corner. You might think we had invited this reverse of fortune by making two defensive changes immediately before with Steve Blanchard and Mick O’Flynn making way for Colin Brazier and Chris Bourlet. I disagree; our collective play and strength in depth are now good enough to cope with these changes – so I think it is fairer to say that Old Tamponians had the quality to surprise us in this way and perhaps we got a bit complacent even though we kept missing good chances and really should have been 2 or 3 goals up by the time they registered.
We knew from two weeks ago that we had the wherewithal to come back against our opponents. When our equaliser came it was deserved but perhaps a tad fortuitous. From a Farnborough corner Andy Smith had improvised in a crowded box with a clever back heel to propel the ball against the angle of bar and post and Nick Waller was on hand to head the rebound across the goal against the base of the other post from where it bounced back, we thought, into the arms of the keeper but he was unable to keep it from squirming out of his grasp and over the line as he stumbled forward. It was a bit untidy but gratefully received, in particular by Nick Waller (his 186th goal for Farnborough).
The game was well-poised at half time when Roger French came on for Mehmet Bozyigit. However, we found ourselves pegged back and the flow of the game was with Old Tamponians. In general they had a better second period of the game whilst we claimed the first (despite the scoring). They forced several corners and came close to scoring – not least when their nippy pony-tailed full back twice broke clear into our box but thankfully was by his own admission one of those people who could not finish (though I noted he was still there in the bar at the finish – which we always like to see the opposition do).
Ian “I’ve got two” Coles held firm at the back. By the way most of us as far as I know have got two also but that is not something to shout over the rooftops. Still he could have meant that he had two linesmen – because at some point in the second half Mick O’Flynn was sharing the job with Thomas French and some delays in communication could have cost us. Incidentally Thomas was voted unanimously linesman of the match. In fact young Thomas is showing promise – he can now sort out the money after the game and can also write the names of the players on the board – soon dad will be surplus to requirements. Who says the Senior Vets do not have a youth policy.
Patrice Mongelard made way for Steve Blanchard on the hour and went to give a performance with the linesman’s flag which explains young Thomas French’ accolade. Once again as we did two weeks ago we were to nick a decisive goal in that half. The re-insertion of Mehmet Bozyigit (for Andy Smith), Mick O’Flynn (for Ian Shoebridge) and later Ian Shoebridge (for Roger French who had migrated upfront in search of that elusive goal) turned the tide in our favour. Andy Faulks had missed yet another one to one and must have thought this was not his time of the month but he was there to tap in a cut back from Mehmet Bozyigit after excellent approach play involving Ian Coles, Gary Fentiman, Colin Brazier and Sinisa Gracanin had unhinged the Old Tamponians defence. We had chances to put the game beyond Old Tamponians with late chances that were missed by Ian Shoebridge and Mehmet Bozyigit. Patrice Mongelard was back on for the last ten minutes to replace a hamstrung Steve Blanchard and we preserved our advantage to the final whistle blown by referee Mick Gearing who had one of his easiest games to referee such was the spirit in which the game was played – there was only one mistimed tackle in that game and not a single angry word was heard from anyone, not even from you know who.
With only two teams playing at Farrow Fields today there was plenty of Pam Shoebridge’s excellent grub to go round. There was space also for Vic Farrow to update the contents of a first aid kit bag – out of which popped a December 2009 newsletter and first aid supplies going back to 1909 (I just made this up). There was time to welcome a couple of our Young Vets back from a 12-0 away win (against opponents who will remain nameless). I could not help wondering whether our 2-1 win had been more satisfying. I know which one I’d prefer.
Man of the match – Ian Coles who now has two MoM awards in consecutive weeks. I know we have to vote for our own players but if Old Tamponians asked us today to vote for their man of the match – it would unquestionably be their goalkeeper. He soaked up everything we threw at him, pulling off some incredible saves to block, stop, staunch us at close range and in one-to-ones. He did not deserve to be on the losing side but then neither did we. With four consecutive wins and an unbeaten run stretching back to 28 October we hope Father Christmas has something left for us for our next game on 23 December at the ground where we first went last Sunday except that this time we think we will be welcomed there.
There now follows a view from the opposition as Steve Rogers from Old Tamponians has taken the time to submit their match report:
So two weeks after the ‘home leg’ Tamps set off for Farnborough for the away fixture. Smarting from a 3-2 defeat in the first game (in a match we felt that maybe we could and should have won) the squad was ravaged by injuries, illness and our left back ‘Dame’ Graham choosing to go to the pantomime! Therefore we had drafted in three players from our neighbours Toby. Hinge and Bracket our perennially injured strike duo once again showed their commitment by coming to support the team (thanks Gents).
We started the game slowly and during the first half never really got to grips with Farnborough’s movement off the ball and their supporting runs from midfield. Time and time again Mark the goalie playing his best game of the season thwarted Farnborough’s attacks with a string of fine saves. Then somewhat against the run of play we broke forward and from distance ‘slightly angry’ Podge smashed the ball into the top corner from 25 yards.
We then attempted to hold onto our lead until half time and it looked like we would succeed as a Farnborough corner hit the bar and the follow up header the post. At this point Mark the goalie took pity and in this season of goodwill to all men fumbled the rebound into the net to record Tamps 4th own goal of the season. Not what Mark deserved but in all fairness probably the least that Farnborough deserved.
The second half started and playing with the wind and down the slope we began to dominate the game although creating very few clear cut chances- the best two perhaps fell to Jimmy Cheese cutting in from the right flank for two one on one opportunities - sadly he curled both efforts wide.
With twenty minutes remaining Farnborough brought back on their ‘youthful’ right winger and Farnborough spotted that he possibly had the legs on the slightly older ‘gaffer’ Graham at left back. Graham time and time again failed to hear the distant cries emanating from Dame Graham over in pantoland- ‘he’s behind you’ but in fairness received very little assistance from the rest of the team and Farnborough finally converted one of their opportunities to take a 2-1 lead.
Although we tried manfully in truth we never really looked likely to score an equaliser and subsided to our fourth defeat in a row - one of the worst runs in Tamps history. Gaffer Graham was stoical afterwards stating ‘you don’t become a bad manager overnight and I’ve been working at it now for over thirty years’.
Credit to Farnborough for their performance on the day and no real complaints that they fully deserved their victory. We have enjoyed two excellent games against a side that play the game in the right spirit and over the course of the two matches always attempted to play a controlled passing game. Exactly what makes super vets football a pleasure to play in (although I may revise this opinion if they continue to beat us!).
Thanks to Farnborough for their hospitality and the excellent post match buffet and we look forward to meeting again in December 2013 when we will be another year wiser and another year slower.
Man of the match: Ian Coles & Mark the goalie