Sunday 27th November 2016
By Patrice Mongelard
Old Tamponians overwhelmed by Farnborough flow
Clean sheets are rare against Old Tamponians. We shipped nine goals in our two games against them last season scoring six in return. Today we experienced the joy of six again, but in one game, and without reply. This was beyond our expectations as we knew they were a good side with a lot of experience. The pitch was conducive to a passing game, there was no wind or rain as we lined up for the start of the game, after Mick O’Flynn’s usual talk about fullbacks tucking in. Well, Nick Waller and Patrice Mongelard were to tuck into the buffet later, but that is, surely, not what he meant. I must report though that Nick tucked into the Jaffa cakes as soon as he entered the changing room, and cast a roving eye at the Redman boys’ packed lunch.
Patrice Mongelard, Colin Mant, Sinisa Gracanin, Dean Murphy;
Jon Redman, Obi Ugwumba, George Kleanthous, Kypros Michael;
Simon Thomas, Andy Faulks.
Substitutes: Paul Tanton, Pete Harvey, Nick Waller.
Supporters: Luke & Joseph Redman, Obi Ugwumba (Jr).
Strategist with one man of the match vote: Mick O’Flynn.
You might be surprised to learn that the first third of the first period of the game was goalless. We had a slight edge in territorial terms but in practice both defences were coping well and it was noticeable early doors how both teams liked to move the ball about. Old Tamps sat back soaking all our pressure and usually managed to thread the ball out but we would then interrupt their flow and begin again. There were not many chances of note – the final ball was not quite there for both teams even though we looked the team most likely to score. There were one or two interruptions – Obi Ugwumba was felled in the centre circle – a rare experience for such a solid construction, but was able to carry on. We drew first blood when Jon Redman arrived in the box at speed to tuck away a ball driven from the left by Andy Faulks. We are not sure if Luke and Joseph Redman saw daddy score – the woolly hats they wore might have covered their eyes. That settled us but it was Old Tamps who came closest to the next strike but Dave was able to gather the ball from a sitting position after a block caused the ball to loop over straight into his arms. Another loop of another kind was seen at the other end when Simon Thomas put his quiff in the way of a cross and a bit more power might have brought dividends.
It was only 1-0 when we introduced our first tranche of substitutes as Nick Waller, Paul Tanton and Pete Harvey took over from Dean Murphy, Kypros Michael and Jon Redman. The cutting edge Pete added to our front line was soon in evidence. Ten minutes before half time Paul and Pete combined down the Old Tamps left before Pete cut the ball back across the box to Andy Faulks. Andy’s finish was instinctive, sharp and deadly and we had the sort of score line our overall play deserved. To think there are people who doubt Andy’s ability – fools – form is temporary but class is permanent.
At 2-0 the half-time mood was positive. We took that into the second period. An early goal from Pete Harvey was just what we needed. He had been taking some stick from behind but his eye for goal and deadly left foot produced a ball of striking geometry to lob the keeper from twenty-five yards out. Pete reckons I tend to exaggerate my measurements. The prospect of more goals for us improved as Dean Murphy, Kypros Michael and Jon Redman were back on for the last half hour as Obi Ugwumba, Andy Faulks and Simon Thomas left the scene.
We scored three more goals but in truth could have had double that. George Kleanthous showed great vision to thread the ball to Jon Redman at the far post – some say it was a shot that went astray – but Jon made it look good as he squared the ball for Paul Tanton to notch our fourth with a tap-in. This was Tant’s 390th for the club. I reckon if he sticks with us he’ll get to 400 this season. George, Jon and Paul had combined to make sweet music – and to think we had George and Michael in the midfield earlier.
As the game wore on the Paphos taxi drivers betting syndicate were getting restless. Kypros Michael had not yet missed a one-on-one. But he quickly missed two - the second he claimed did not count as he was given offside. However, as far as I recall the referee had not blown when Kypros lifted that ball wide of the post from a yard out – so I reckon the bookies will have to pay out. But he was to have his moment in the Cyprus sun when he gathered a through ball from Pete Harvey, advanced deep into the Old Tamps box and dinked the ball over the keeper. It was as if Wayne Rooney copied Kyp when he scored against Feyenoord earlier in the week. Kyp’s second of the match and our sixth was the best of the lot as he lashed a twenty-yarder into the top corner. He told me to say it was forty yards to impress his Missus, especially as she was going to be doing the kit. We were in full flow – a 15-pass move from the back, through the midfield and to the forwards culminated in a close range scoring opportunity for Kypros Michael but there was big money on a third miss. In the midst of this purple patch we had a collector’s item – a Nick Waller overlap as he sought to combine down the left with Paul Tanton. Between them these two players have over a thousand appearances for Farnborough.
Old Tamps had not thrown in the towel and for example it took a fantastic clearing header from Colin Mant to deny them an opportunity. The degree of difficulty for Colin was compounded by Patrice Mongelard mounting his back at the time. Modesty prevents me from elaborating on the drag back I produced in our box to bamboozle an Old Tamps attacker. However, it cannot be nice to lose 6-0 when you know there is quality in your team and things boiled over in midfield. But before anyone could see red, wiser heads prevailed, in particular the referee’s, who blew the final whistle with a couple of minutes to spare. As the players shook hands I was glad there was no ill-feeling between two teams that have been playing each other for many seasons and really ought to know better.
The senior citizen who refereed the game today did an excellent job – he was effective, operated without fuss, calmed things down, smoothed over silly flashpoints, spoke to the players who needed a word in their ear, and above all was very fair in his decisions.
The clubhouse was stuffed with Vets teams – and we recognised two other teams who feature in our schedule. The buffet was excellent – a tray of sandwiches followed by a tray of oven hot cocktail sausages and roast potatoes. Buffet Stopper Nick “Blofeld” Waller was man-marking me, counting how many sausages and roast potatoes I had. I will not reveal the score because Mrs M reads the match reports – all I would say is that Nick forgot to count the sandwiches.
Man of the match: George Kleanthous who strode through the midfield like the Colossus of Rhodes. Luke and Joseph Redman voted for Dave Salako – I think they are both goalkeepers and Crystal Palace fans – though Luke had a Barcelona shirt on. From a distance the colours look the same, but I suspect the similarity goes no further.
Man of the match: George Kleanthous