Sunday 15th October 2017
By Patrice Mongelard
Farnborough resurrection continues
Dear readers, I owe you a sincere apology for the near total absence of inane innuendo in the report of last Sunday’s 3-2 win against Inter Vyagra which was written by Colin Mant. Obviously, such a happy outcome demands titillation. It was a relief to lose our cherry with our first win of the season. Some of us were beginning to see fifty shades of 2005-06, under manager Toby Harlow, which yielded figures of P26 W0 D22 GF35 GA101. This probably means there will never be a Toby Harlow stand at our ground. In case you were wondering, and before he reminds you, our Golden Boot that season was Colin Mant with eight goals. He too won’t be getting a stand named after him. These dark times are behind us, I hope. Things were looking quite dark for us, and me personally, after ten minutes or so today. Inter had come to bury us and I helped dig our grave but we clawed our way out. There will be more on today’s thriller shortly.
Phil Anthony, Steve Blanchard, Colin Mant, Patrice Mongelard;
Michael Hills, Obi Ugwumba, Robbie Petrozzi, Jay Hardy;
Waine Hetherington, Simon Thomas.
Substitutes: Ian Coles, Sinisa Gracanin, Mick O’Flynn, Peter Harvey.
Referee: Matty Wright and his watch.
Supporters: Leanne Bennett, Tony Harvey, Many Petrozzis, Many Anthonys, Obi Ugwumba
Director of Football: Mick O’Flynn
The vibrant autumn colours of our woodland setting were resplendent on a sunny morning which had blown away the mists of autumn. There was, however, plenty of mellow fruitfulness on show in both teams. Our Sunday Reserves were playing a cup game on the adjoining pitch but I think we had the bigger crowd.
I should come clean now and say that this report will lack the usual granularity for much of the first half and part of the second. The reason is that I was off the pitch having sustained an injury in the tenth minute or so which ended my participation on the field. But this was not before I had scored a memorable own goal in the first significant moment of the game. Our defence was breached on the left and a low cross fired into our box. As I moved to cut the ball out I was bundled to the ground, taken roughly from behind you could say, by a 14-stone forward who caused a part of my body – head or knee – to connect with the ball for a low angled finish into the bottom corner – before his full weight landed on my right shoulder. “I am a first aider” he said “but I cannot help you”. That much was painfully obvious. I feared dislocation, a broken collar bone, serious damage as I was helped off the pitch. I cannot say if this felt worse than referee Matty Wright allowing the goal to stand. Mick O’Flynn – 58 tomorrow – sauntered on to replace one of the Farnborough sexagenarians on the pitch.
Before I was helped back to the dressing room by a pair of Harveys I had the comfort of seeing Jay Hardy get our first equaliser within five minutes with a sharp close range header following a superb cross from Simon Thomas. Peter Harvey and his dad Tony got me back to the clubhouse for a womanly touch and painkillers and to ponder my next move. I cannot say I relished the idea of breaking the news to Mrs M. Until today, I had not had the opportunity to observe how much Tony Harvey looks like an ageing Franz Beckenbauer. He’d probably beat the real thing in a look-alike competition but I suppose with Brexit, we’ll never know.
Colin Mant missed the half-time oranges to drop by a little later after I had managed to shower and dress, to bring news that we were 2-1 down. Thanks Colin. Everyone missed the oranges which were in a plastic bag under their noses. I wonder why I bother sometimes. I could not tell you the score at half-time, neither could some of our players who were there (I’ll give you a clue – it’s his birthday tomorrow). After painkillers and that great restorative, a strong cup of tea, I ambled back gingerly to watch the rest of the game. I was greeted with the news that we were now 3-2 up after Jay Hardy and Waine Hetherington had scored, both with shots from outside the box after assists from Peter Harvey (not his only assist of the day as I mentioned above).
I watched the last half-hour of the match as we hung on. I saw a few substitutions being made (including a dazed Jay Hardy after the ball crashed against his left ear dislodging wax he thought, and affecting his balance). We needed all the substitutes today. There were hairy moments at both ends, including the customary throw-in with flashing blue lights from Mick O’Filth back across the box to our less than fully engaged keeper. Stand-in keeper Matt Angelo had a great first game today, took a knock or two including from his own players, but showed enormous heart and good hands. Inter the Valley are an excellent passing side with some skilful individuals who can cause a lot of problems and they had some big units at the back that could not be moved easily (without castors).
The game was played in excellent spirit and I even drew a smile when I advised the forward who sat on my shoulder to lose a stone or two before we next play them. A draw would have been a fairer reflection of Inter’s quality but we’ll take the three points. Two swallows do not make a summer but I’d like to think we have turned a corner. There is a great spirit among the team and we are beginning to play as a collective. Something else that will make a difference we hope is that we will all now be calling Obi Ugwumba by his real name. Now we know why we never got anywhere for so many games by calling him Michael.
Pam Shoebridge was, sadly, unwell overnight but Ian Shoebridge had got the supplies in and catering duties fell to others. A splendid spread was produced: hot dogs, roast sausages, vegetable samosas, onion bhajis, sausage rolls, chicken nuggets, sandwiches, cherry tomatoes and crisps, cheese and biscuits. I took Colin Mant’s advice to feed a bruised shoulder, in the continued absence of Nick Waller – Buffet Undertaker. Young Daisy Thomas did a good job in Nick’s absence. We all send Pam our best wishes.
We buried the opposition in the bar but could not, I suspect, see off our Sunday Reserves – 9-0 winners today.
Man of the match: Jay Hardy with over half of the fifteen votes cast, for digging us out a hole.
Man of the match: Jay Hardy