Sunday 19th March 2017
By Patrice Mongelard
Glendale pile more pressure on the Farnborough management
One minute we had 13 players available for this game, another it was fourteen, and later still it was fifteen but on the day it was thirteen and a half. Moreover, only half the management was there, though Mick O’Flynn had sent a token of his affection to the lads. If anyone moans that the management do not spend money on the squad I will be able to show them the invoice for the headgear purchased by Mick O’Flynn, described as a “Trucker Hat dirtyword” item celebrating Onan, but as there was no sun, low-lying or otherwise, the cap was not needed, at least during the game.
Both teams had assembled on our top pitch along with referee Mick Gearing but the keys to unlock the goals (must I think of everything?) had been left behind. Unlocking our defence was a doddle by comparison.
Phil Anthony, Steve Blanchard, Colin Brazier, Colin Mant;
Sinisa Gracanin, Peter Harvey, Kypros Michael, Obi Ugwumba;
Simon Thomas, Ricky Young.
Substitutes: Andy Faulks, Patrice Mongelard, John Norton.
Supporters: Ian and Pam Shoebridge, Jodie Gracanin, Tony Harvey, and (also first half linesman) Ian Lyons.
On an overcast morning with a stiff cross-field breeze Glendale made the most of their assets while we squandered ours. They packed their big units in their defence, and deployed their quickest players on the wings and in the centre of the midfield. The wind seemed to favour them, and they also appeared to master the bobbly and tufty surface quicker than we did. They were certainly the quicker in the first fifteen minutes when they scored twice with broadly identical goals. One minute we were up in their box, including for a corner, and three incisive passes later they had sliced through a ponderous midfield, stranded and outnumbered defenders, and wrong-footed keeper, to pass the ball into the Farnborough net. Two attacks had yielded two goals for them while we enjoyed more possession to little effect.
Still there were signs that not all was lost. Kypros Michael had the better of his markers (but not the betting if you know what I mean). He got behind the Glendale defence several times but could not find the finish or the pass to set someone else up. Ricky Young was making his debut and there was much to admire – positioning, touch and awareness. As footballers say it was clear he had played to a high level in the past. Peter Harvey, back from piles of fun in Thailand, was committed and energetic as ever but could not quite find room for one of his piledrivers. Simon Thomas could not find the “White Pele” touches of last week.
On the half-hour we made our first changes with Andy Faulks, Patrice Mongelard and John Norton replacing Phil Anthony, Colin Mant and Ricky Young. We got a goal back about five minutes before half-time, a good time to score according to the pundits as if there is a bad time to score, with a Kypros special. Kyp had woken up and, from Obi Ugwumba's outside-of-the-foot 40 yard pass, bamboozled his markers and this time crossed for Simon Thomas to apply his new haircut to the ball. Sadly for us, Kypros had a family event in North London which meant that Glendale were glad to see the back of him at half-time and Ricky Young was back on having earned the nod from the management (over Colin Mant who was once the Farnborough Vets top goal scorer, a long time ago in a galaxy far away).
At that point we thought we could get back in the game. Ricky Young had a powerful shot that was whiskers away from the postage stamp after making space on the edge of the box. On the hour Andy Faulks slid the ball behind the Glendale defence and this time tricky Ricky made no mistake. We were level. Colin Mant and Phil Anthony were back on for Colin Brazier and Obi Ugwumba. At that point the Paphos taxi drivers betting syndicate would have put money on Farnborough edging head. We had the chances – Ricky Young had a one on one that he will have tucked away many times before, but the ball missed the top corner. Simon Thomas will be wondering for days how he misapplied his head to the ball a yard out from the trade mark free kick that Pete Harvey whipped in.
Yes you have guessed it. We paid the price for these misses. Another quick break from Glendale was rewarded with a low finish that seemed to hit the post and come out but in fact had hit the metal handle for the wheels, behind the line. We did not contest it. In the last ten minutes Obi Ugwumba was back on for an injured Patrice Mongelard. Glendale put a gloss on the score line with a sharp turn and crisp finish from fifteen yards out and Simon Thomas missed a one on one from a yard out. And that was it.
Glendale had taken the few chances they created whilst we squandered many of the openings we created. They had pace where it mattered most, and bulk too. We did not deserve more from the game. The better team won. As someone observed later – we were a bit like Manchester City – all attacking verve and uncertainty at the back.
In the absence of Buffet Torpedo Nick Waller, Shoebridge Catering Solutions fed everyone, and dog Pip, with hot dogs, cooked sausages, cheese chunks, samosas, sausage rolls, onion bhajis and crackers.
Next week – we make our fourth trip to the Catford Wanderers ground this season to see old friends, and return to winning ways perhaps. Another defeat and Mick O’Flynn will be wearing that cap.
Man of the match: Peter Harvey with a good pile of votes.
Man of the match: Peter Harvey