Sunday 6th December 2015
By Patrice Mongelard
Farnborough edged out in 11-goal derby
If you want goals this is the game for you – there have been thirty-seven goals between these two sides over the past four games including today’s bonanza, and all I would say is that we did not get half or more of them. This was once again a case of losing with grace, but this time giving a much better account of ourselves, and coming much closer to snatching a draw from defeat. It seems these days we do not start playing until we are four or more goals behind. It shows character you might think but we must not make a habit of it.
Colin Mant, Patrice Mongelard, Steve Blanchard, Obi Ugwumba;
Rob Lipscomb, Des Lindsay, Sinisa Gracanin, Nick Waller;
Waine Hetherington, Andy Faulks.
Substitute: Ian Coles, Kypros Michael.
Supporter: Obi Ugwumba Jr.
Before the game we all signed a get well card for Pam Shoebridge, including George Kleanthous who was not there; but Waine Hetherington gave voice to his thoughts which were lost in translation a little as George wished Pam a happy birthday. Still it was all a sign of the affection the Senior Vets have for someone who has kept us, particularly Nick Waller, and our visitors well-fed for years after home matches. I added a French box of chocolates to the card.
Talking of boxes of chocolates you are never quite sure what you are going to get with our team these days. We competed well for the opening ten minutes, even taking the game to Orpington, but then we had a poor twenty-five minutes which saw us concede four quick goals. The first was a penalty conceded by Colin Mant, harsh I thought, as the Orpington player had lost control of the ball which was out of play when Colin checked his momentum. The referee, the oldest Orpington player who had stepped in at the last minute, after the original referee had had become unavailable, had little choice. In fact, I should put on record that our team felt the referee had a good game, and was fair to both sides even if his whistle could not always be heard. Colin will also blame himself for the second Orpington goal after he missed a header but we have all done it. Colin is having a bit of an identity crisis, as the utility player of the team. He has been banished by the Worshipful Companies of Forwards and Midfielders and is looking for a home in the defence. He dazzled in his first outing but is still learning the craft. The Defenders Union is a less fickle one I hope; still Colin’s boot scored a goal today, more on that later.
The third and fourth Orpington goals followed a pattern of quick breaks by the darting forward dynamo, well timed and weighted lay-offs, and good finishes. We were not being outclassed but were just punished for mistakes by a team that took all the initial chances that came their way. Ian Coles and Kypros Michael came on after the half hour for Colin Mant and Des Lindsay, and we started to claw our way back into the game, and had a bit of luck when an Orpington shot crashed against the bar. Kypros had not been on long before he laid the ball off on the edge of the Orpington for Sinisa Gracanin to shake off his marker with a sinuous hip movement and open the way for a clear shot on goal which reduced the deficit to a mere three goals. Sini undid all of that good work moments later with an ill-advised back pass which set up a fifth goal for Orpington and we still had about ten minutes to go before the half time clementines.
Kypros and Andy Faulks combined well in the last five minutes of the half, with their direct running, to register two more goals for us and give us a semblance of hope. First Andy set up Kypros for a low left-footed shot from twenty yards which fizzed across the box into the bottom corner. Then Kypros returned the compliment with Andy finishing well – with the boots he had borrowed from Colin Mant, after leaving his own boots where he played yesterday, the exact whereabouts being not very clear to Andy. Colin’s boots were very pleased to experience the unfamiliar feeling of scoring.
Orpington made several changes at half-time but competed well in the initial stages of the half. They had a dash of good fortune when a clearing header from Ian Coles hit their forward on the back of the head and he was on to the rebound quick as a flash to lash the ball home from just outside the box. Gary Fentiman got a hand to it but the audacity, technique and quick thinking behind the shot deserved a goal. Our heads could have dropped then but instead we rallied. Colin Mant and Des Lindsay came back on for Steve Blanchard and Waine Hetherington. Colin was to have a better second half hour than his first, and this included a remarkable goal-line clearance when most of us had given up hope of not conceding again. I have seen him miss goals from the same position.
Kypros got our fourth after a long cross-field pass from Patrice Mongelard at right back found its way to him and he finished well. Kypros was denied five minutes later when his shot came off the keeper and trickled goalwards – I am told the keeper’s scooping motion was a sure sign that the ball had crossed the line but we’ll never know and we did not make a fuss. We were a tad unfortunate too when Andy Faulks powered a shot against the bar from the edge of the box after a clearing header from the many corners we forced. We pressed hard in the final stages and were rewarded with a penalty five minutes from the end after Des Lindsay was interfered with in the box. I am told Rob Lipscomb scored with aplomb. In the end we ran out of time and could not undo the damage done unto us in the first half. We won the second half you could say, and Orpington would have welcomed the final whistle more than we did.
The après-match was a light-hearted affair with musings about democracy, exotic cheroots, the weather, and why we play football on Sundays. There was an absence of food, and that was probably why Buffet Spotter Nick Waller kept asking us if we thought he’d lost weight. I must ask him where he purchased his mirror. It could be a best-seller with the festive season almost upon us.
Man of the match by a long chalk – new Kyp on the block – Kypros Michael, with two goals, two assists, and the promise of much more to come, not bad for a first 11-a-side game in 11 years.
Man of the match: Kypros Michael