Sunday 22nd September 2013
By Patrice Mongelard
Senior Vets far from dull in Dulwich as Farnborough firepower overwhelms SANCO Super Vets
Now it is all over – and the outcome so positive for us, a 10-2 win, – it makes the pre-match anxiety a tad ridiculous. Yet it was there all right. We were missing four regular players from our normal starting line-up, our replacement goal keeper was almost nabbed by the Sunday team overnight, and we could not be sure that we would all make it in time to find the concealed entrance to the SANCO ground in Dulwich Village. And when I got there at about 10:15 co-manager Roger French was heading back to Orpington to deal with a domestic situation.
Still we had twelve players eventually and took to one of the best pitches in our calendar with this formation: Graham English in goal; Patrice Mongelard, Steve Blanchard, Mick O’Flynn and Nick Waller in defence; Chris Webb, Colin Brazier, Ian Shoebridge and Sinisa Gracanin in midfield; Colin Mant and Andy Faulks. Obinna (Michael) Ugwumba was our solitary substitute whilst Roger French and Thomas French retraced their wheels on the South Circular. Michael maintained his record of having at least three fans at each of our games this season.
The SANCO ground is I think one of the very few grounds where we play eighty minutes rather than the more usual ninety – which makes the score today all the more remarkable. Still we had a very early start with Chris Webb beating the keeper in only the second minute with a thirty yard lob from the centre of midfield. Chris appeared to take a nonchalant swing with his right boot but the intent and accuracy were deadly, as the SANCO keeper had made the mistake of advancing off his line and made Chris’ mind up for him.
We scored a further three goals to go 4-0 up with relative ease and in fairly quick time. Nick Waller crowned an overlapping run, I’ll repeat that, an overlapping run, with a cunning left foot shot that looked like a cross but dropped into the far corner of the goal beyond the despairing keeper. Nick noted this was his third consecutive goal for Farnborough which registered without touching the net but of course it only needs to cross the line. Ian Shoebridge got behind the SANCO defence to pull the ball back for Andy Faulks to do what he does best from close range. At 3-0 up after twenty minutes sole manager Patrice Mongelard brought on Michael for Mick O’Flynn. Soon after Patrice Mongelard crossed the ball from right back (to where he had moved after Mick’s temporary withdrawal) for Andy Faulks to volley home acrobatically from two yards out. Mick was doing his stretching exercises at the time but I hope was still able to see what a true assist looked like.
At 4-0 up I think we got complacent and to their credit SANCO got two quick goals which momentarily made me think of previous matches where they came from behind to beat us – surely not this time? As if sensing the need to answer this question to put our collective unconscious at rest, Sinisa Gracanin delivered a pin point cross from near the corner spot for Andy Faulks to head home.
Half time came and went without the reappearance of Roger French and the game restarted with Patrice Mongelard making way for a returning Colin Brazier. In fact Colin used to play for SANCO in his younger days a long time ago, and like all exes was keen as mustard to get on the score sheet, making several attempts in the second half – all to no avail.
A few minutes into the second half and Roger French re-appeared with Thomas (but not Isabelle whom he had gone to fetch). The 5-2 score would have cheered him up but he was hiding his feelings well.
The numbers do not lie and the second half was more one-sided than the first. We attacked at will down both flanks and through the middle, from all directions. I think every Farnborough player bar the goal keeper felt they could get a bit of the action. Andy Faulks was sometimes off side and sometimes not, and on one of the latter occasions slotted the ball home from close range to start the second half barrage.
Colin Mant must have wondered if he would get in on this feeding frenzy. He was to get his reward with two classic poacher’s goals – downward headers at the far post - after being set up by Andy Faulks and Chris Webb. Patrice Mongelard and Roger French had come on with about twenty minutes left (for Sinisa Gracanin and Nick Waller) in the interval between the two Colin Mant goals, separated by an Andy Faulks shot which came off the inside of the post and rebounded back across the goal without crossing the line.
With about ten minutes left Roger French put his name on the score sheet after good work by Ian Shoebridge who squared the ball unselfishly for Roger to poke home. Chris Webb was in close proximity and like Ian could have had this ninth Farnborough goal to his name – but both Chris and Ian realised the therapeutic value of that goal to Roger after the morning Roger had had. I think I overheard Chris say something about a potentially life-saving goal.
Farnborough were not quite sated – Andy Faulks struck our tenth goal with a fierce left foot shot from inside the box – by then he was looking for the perfect hat trick of right foot, left foot and headed goals – which he duly claimed. He could have had another in the dying minutes after Patrice Mongelard slipped the ball behind the CUACO defence but he flashed his shot just wide of the postage stamp.
I had my own domestic situation to deal with after the game – not before or during it, and left my team mates to enjoy the après match. As I crawled back to Orpington along the South Circular I was relieved at the thought of having to do this only once today.
I spared a thought too for the absent Rob “Arnie” Lipscomb; now out until the New Year after sustaining an injury that would require surgery in early October, whilst honing his pecs in the gym. Robin was hoping to keep Andy Faulks hungry in the race for the golden boot. It seems to be working. Robin will be back.
Man of the match for Farnborough – Andy Faulks for five goals (a penta trick?) who said in his post match interview with the Dulwich Village Chronicle that it was all about the service. Guess which bit I made up.
Next week we visit the Weald of Kent for a rustic assignment with West Farleigh Vets (tricky opponents on their home turf).
Man of the match: Andy Faulks