Sunday 8th January 2017
By Patrice Mongelard
Potent Farnborough outscore limp Inter Vyagra”
Games at this time of year can be uncertain because of the weather. For instance the corresponding game last season was not played because of a waterlogged pitch (those days are well behind us we hope with our new drainage system), and the one after that was frozen off. So it was a great pleasure to be out on such a mild, still and dry day to resume our season after our “midwinter” break, and embark on the 17th match of the current campaign. There were many dog walkers about unsurprisingly (more on that later). Embarking on his 100th season (joke) was referee Mick Gearing, very dapper today in the regalia of a London FA referee. Before I could congratulate Mick for finally passing his referee’s exams – he explained that the kit was actually loaned to him by the younger referee officiating in our Sunday team’s match on the adjacent pitch. Mick had had a senior moment and left his gear (see what I did there) behind.
Patrice Mongelard, Colin Mant, Ian Coles, Mick O’Flynn;
George Kleanthous, Sinisa Gracanin, Ian Shoebridge, Simon Thomas;
Kypros Michael, Pete Harvey.
Substitutes: Colin Brazier, Steve Blanchard, Andy Faulks.
Supporters: Barry Grainger and son Eden, Neil Connelly.
Strategist, DJ, and new co-manager: Mick O’Flynn.
We climaxed early in the game. After only five minutes we had scored for the first time. A cross from the left had drawn a deft header from Simon Thomas who lifted the ball behind him to a waiting Pete Harvey. The chest control by Pete was instant, he swerved past a defender to clear the way for a left foot shot and what a shot. Power, accuracy, angle, pace and height all combined in a perfect package which left the Inter Vyagra keeper transfixed as the nets sighed in admiration. A few minutes later Pete came again. This time he picked up a loose ball in space on the edge of the box, and shot past the keeper with the trusty left peg.
Just in case anyone was thinking that Inter Vygara were not up for it, we saw two quick close range misses by one of their normally reliable swordsmen. Barely fifteen minutes had elapsed and there could have been four or five goals. Pete Harvey completed his hat-trick soon after when he was in the right place in the centre of the box to score a rare headed goal after good work from Kypros Michael. Before the half hour was up Kypros Michael had himself scored giving a through ball from Pete Harvey the finish it deserved. Kypros wanted me to describe his strike as a scorona (a cross between a scorpion kick and a rabona) to impress the Missus but I think she would smell a Cypriot rat.
On the half-hour we brought on Colin Brazier, Steve Blanchard and Andy Faulks for Patrice Mongelard, Colin Mant and Ian Shoebridge. Colin M. and I had the pleasure of watching another great goal from Simon Thomas after the sort of one-touch inter-passing that amateur footballers dream of. Simon started the move cutting in from the wing; Pete Harvey and George Kleanthous were involved before George steered the ball in Simon’s path. Simon did not have to break stride, using his momentum and rangy legs he glided past the nearest defender, moved into a position where he had a clear view of the goal, looked up, opened his body as they say, and stroked the ball in an arc round the keeper against the base of the post having computed the angle for the ball to rebound into the net. You normally have to wait a whole season for the goal of the season (if you will pardon the tautology), but today like buses we had had two of them at either end of our first half goal fest. In the midst of this we watched a miss of the season from Sinisa Gracanin – two yards out, centre of the box teed up by Kypros Michael, and the ball ended up high in the tress in High Elms (almost). For this, Sinisa had to wear some distinctive head gear in the bar – a sort of clown’s hat for mellow people with long hair, for all the mirth that the recollection of his shot created. (Editor's note, it was 2 yards outside the box, rather than two yards out!).
The half-time oranges all went. I would be lying if I said that we were not hoping for more goals but more than anything we wanted the fluid connecting football to continue with players hungry for the ball and passing and moving. Our fluid football was interrupted with the excited presence of a chocolate brown terrier called Willow (still a puppy according to its owner – not fully trained) which held up play for a whole five minutes as it darted here and there, evading the clutches of two goalkeepers and various players, including Simon Thomas who should know better than to work with animals. Willow could do with some caning (see what I did there) or a lead, as Pete Harvey helpfully advised its apologetic owner.
Willowy Pete thought he had earned a penalty early in the second half when he was taken roughly from behind but tantric Mick, like the sphinx, was not moved. Five minutes later he was equally enigmatic when he awarded a penalty to Farnborough. This time he used only his right hand (rather than his whistle) when Kypros Michael was brought down after a trademark penetrating run down the left. Like a Greek accepting a gift from another, George Kleanthous stepped up to put the ball away. At last I had a headline for my match report, but the joy of six did not last long. On the hour Patrice Mongelard, Colin Mant and Ian Shoebridge returned for Mick O’Flynn, Ian Coles and Kypros Michael but before he departed Kypros notched our 7th and 8th goals in quick succession, both times aided and abetted by Pete Harvey and we had two hat-tricks in a single match – a rare feat indeed.
Just when we were beginning to think we would start the year with a clean sheet – an Inter Vyagra forward nipped in around our back to start what would have been the mother of comebacks. It was not to be – Kypros Michael had returned to the fray for a spent Simon Thomas and he burrowed his way into the Inter Vyagra defence – on the right this time, before setting Pete Harvey up for a tap in. We reached double figures in almost the last phase of play after a shot from Andy Faulks was parried into the path of George Kleanthous who finished the job. If somebody had said to me that we would score ten goals and that Andy would not get any I would have said the odds on this were longer than Leicester winning the Premiership/Brexit/Trump all combined. Still Andy took it well, I think, as he muttered something about the most important thing was the team winning, helping others score, all about the service etc. You will get even longer odds on an Andy Faulks shower. Talking of which I will spare you the shower scenes where Pete Harvey was a very naughty boy. Appetites were sated with the sumptuous buffet that Pam Shoebridge kept passing through the serving hatch in the kitchen: cheese cubes, sausages, hot dogs, samosas, onion bhajis, vegetable pakoras, spring rolls, prawn toast, sausage rolls - all enjoyed in the absence of Buffet Viagra Nick Waller. Paul Tanton from our Younger Vets returned from his away game as I tucked away my fifth samosa to bring news of another 11-goal thriller – with him now on 392 goals for the club. The Farnborough Vets have started the year with a bang.
Man of the match: Pete Harvey, the only player ever present this season, now averaging 0.9417647 goals per game played. His question for the club today – is his 12-minute hat-trick the fastest for the club ever?
Man of the match: Pete Harvey