Farnborough OBG FC
AC Wilgar
AC Wilgar

Match Report

Sunday 11th December 2016

Friendly

Senior Vets
Pete Harvey 2
2 - 1
Old Tamponians Super Vets

By Patrice Mongelard

Farnborough frustrated for long periods but come from behind to claim Sunday morning glory

It was only recently that we played Old Tamponians and here they were again, only fourteen days later. In between we suffered a heavy sun-assisted defeat. I say we, some of us were spared that lesson from the Orpington Vets Lord of the Rings. So we were hoping to get back to winning ways but our opponents had other ideas - that is usually what happens in football. The unusually mild December temperature was enhanced with a bright sun and a total absence of wind, making for a lovely clear day for football. When tantric Mick Gearing blew his whistle we were disposed thus:

Starting XI:

Dave Salako;
Patrice Mongelard, Colin Mant, John Norton, Phil Anthony;
Mick O’Flynn, Ian Shoebridge, Jim St John, Simon Thomas;
Pete Harvey, Andy Faulks.

Substitutes: Ian Coles, Sinisa Gracanin, Roger French.
Supporters: Kathleen, Freya and Thea Anthony and dog Caesar, Tony Harvey.
Strategist with one man of the match vote, and new midfield domino: Mick O’Flynn.

The eagle-eyed among you will have spotted the presence of Ian Shoebridge, back after a long spell injured, and Roger French just back (after what looks like successful psycho therapy). We were also missing flying Cypriot Kypros Michael (the Paphos Taxi Drivers Association betting syndicate darling) but I heard that Roger French could replace Kyp as he had pace and could finish. It seems my hearing is not quite what it was – as I missed the words “maker” and “the buffet” in that conversation.

Old Tamponians made the better start and got their passing game going early doors, and it took us a while to get our fair share of possession. There were, however, no clear scoring opportunities being created. We had lost the toss and so had to play against the sun as well. I gather that was at the root of last week’s problems except that in that case the opposition had convinced our tosser for the day – George Kleanthous – that there was not time to toss a coin as the game was running late. I cannot recall many scoring opportunities for either side in the first half hour. I exclude from that the punt from distance which Dave Salako, blinded by the sun, pushed onto the bar after about twenty minutes. We were getting in good positions but the final shots were wayward – Pete Harvey came closest with a shot that swerved past the post late; Andy Faulks was finding space but his limbs lacked co-ordination, imagine a marionette with a drunk puppet master {but he was to redeem himself with a sublime pass late in the game for the winning goal).

The midfield was congested with Ian Shoebridge and Jim St John having to do the work of three or four players. Jim’s physical presence was immense and he certainly laid his body on the line today. On the half hour Ian Coles and Sinisa Gracanin replaced John Norton and Phil Anthony (the latter having picked up a knock). It took us a while to re-adjust our formation. In that time we fell behind – about five minutes before half-time, a good time to score. Mick O’Flynn had gone travelling from the right back position and when the ball was lost we were exposed down the right and Old Tamponians crafted a well-worked move which culminated in a good finish inside the six-yard box before we could neutralise the danger. They deserved their 1-0 lead at half time.

Ian Shoebridge departed at half-time to cook sausages, and Roger French joined the fray. Mick O’Flynn was in charge of the clipboard and contrived to start the second half with only ten Farnborough players. Anyway no harm was done in that time. Instead we took the game to Old Tamps and began to put sustained pressure on them. This led to one of the talking points of the game – arising from a spell of successive Farnborough corners. A shot from Sinisa Gracanin from the edge of the box looked destined for the top corner until a pair of hands intervened. It looked like two Old Tamps players were in the vicinity of the ball – the goalkeeper and defender Roy. Roy managed to create an optical illusion. Several of our players thought he had handled the ball – several of the Old Tamps players thought he had not, but was simply preparing for the possibility that he might. Anyway the referee was momentarily puzzled, we could tell, and the outcome of the ensuing mass debate was a corner to Farnborough.

We made more changes on the hour with Patrice Mongelard and Mick O’Flynn being replaced by John Norton and Phil Anthony. The last half hour was eventful. Pete Harvey shot speculatively from thirty yards out – the ball kept low and travelled perhaps more quickly than met the eye. The Old Tamps keeper eventually got down to smother the ball but it squirmed beneath his body and we were back in business. We deserved that equaliser, regardless of the way it looked. After that the game could have gone either way. Instead with about ten minutes left Andy Faulks regained coordination in his limbs and played an exquisite through ball for Pete Harvey who had timed his run to perfection before slotting the ball home to give us the lead for the first time in the game. The last five minutes or so were exciting for the neutral. Old Tamps had two good chances in that period and we also saw superb saving tackles from Colin Mant and Roger French. Simon Thomas nearly made something of a deep cross to the far post to finish things off with an ambitious volley but you have to be there to miss such chances. The referee played what seemed the longest five minutes ever played at Farnborough – tantric Mick had slowed time down.

A draw would have been a fair result – Old Tamps had chances at the end to get something out of the game but we had a striker who made the difference between two evenly matched sides.

The buffet was a bumper edition (a beer for anyone who makes the link with the name of our opponents today but you will need to know your French and not mind showing it in these Brexit times). The horn of plenty that is Shoebridge Catering Solutions disgorged hot dogs, slow roast sausages (except a rogue one which Pete Harvey found), vegetable samosas, onion bhajis, spring rolls, cheddar cubes, sausage rolls. It was like Christmas come early, especially as Papa Buffet Nick Waller was absent. There was even some left for the Sunday team, also winners today by the slimmest of margins.

Man of the match: Pete Harvey – who made dad Tony proud with two vintage strikes which took him into double figures for the season.

Man of the match: Pete Harvey