Sunday 7th October 2018
By Patrice Mongelard
Potent Farnborough go beyond joy of six more than twice
The Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich is arguably the grandest of historical venues for our Sunday morning displays. It is not the place to fire blanks and today we did not disappoint against Inter Vyagra Super Vets. The rains of Saturday had softened the ground and the absence of wind and abundant sunshine made for a very pleasant experience, albeit on a pitch that seemed smaller than the ones we have played on there. Two of our players had broken a finger each on our last visit at this ground last October. Today we were in danger of breaking scoring records only.
Phil Anthony, Michael Hills, Colin Mant;
Jay Hardy, Waine Hetherington, Ian Shoebridge, Gordon Thompson, Obi Ugwumba;
Peter Harvey, George Kleanthous.
Substitutes: Ian Lyons, Mick O’Flynn, Patrice Mongelard.
Supporters: Steve and Sarah Hills.
Director of Football: Mick O’Flynn.
Chief Football Correspondent: Patrice Mongelard.
It is going to be beyond my powers of recall to describe all the goals we scored today, and their assists, but some have imposed themselves on my consciousness. To say we started well would be an understatement. We were two goals to the good within five minutes. George Kleanthous had given us the lead with a crisp close-range finish. Soon after Peter Harvey doubled our lead. The Inter Vyagra keeper underestimated Peter’s sharpness and tried to play the ball out in a dangerous area only to see Peter close down the space and nick the ball off him for an easy finish. It was 3-0 on the quarter-hour after Gordon Thompson had sashayed his way into the box and exchanged quick passes to set himself up for a low drive into the bottom corner.
Matt Angelo at the other end had little to do and perhaps this is what led him to take a chance with a risky pass inside his six yard area. The concentration, accuracy and pace were missing, things did not turn out as Matt intended and an Inter Vyagra forward walked the ball into the net. The sight and sound of Matt beating himself up did not last long as more Farnborough goals followed. First though Matt had to deal with a rather limp back pass from Phil Anthony which nearly led to another Inter Vyagra goal.
Peter Harvey completed his hat-trick before the half-hour changes were made. His third goal (our fifth) looked scruffy with both Peter and the Inter Vyagra keeper horizontal on the ground in close proximity to each other with the ball between them. It appeared that the ball had been bundled over the line by the keeper’s flailing arm. The dubious goals committee debated long and hard about this one. In the end the weight of evidence pointed to more than an association with the event – there was agency. Like the head of a snake that had been cut off Peter was still trying to cause damage and his trailing foot pushed the ball against the keeper’s prone shape.
On the half hour Mick O’Flynn, Patrice Mongelard and Ian Lyons joined the fun replacing Ian Shoebridge, Michael Hills and Colin Mant. Three more goals followed until the half-time whistle, including a sublime gem of a goal from Waine Hetherington from just outside the box left of centre. Waine had plucked out of the air a ball that Ian Lyons would like readers to consider to be an assist, turned, re-positioned his body to face the goal, and in a fluid natural movement applied the left foot to the ball before it could touch the ground, to guide it beyond the keeper’s grasp into the corner of the goal. A merciless Peter Harvey completed his scoring with two more strikes – one of which, a twenty-yard lob into the bottom corner, would grace any game but today had been upstaged by Waine’s wonder goal.
Michael Hills was back on at half-time to replace a departing Phil Anthony. That was another early exit for Phil the mamil – perhaps he is taking extra classes to work on his jokes (latest one about a crime in the lift that was wrong on so many levels failed to impress).
The second half was a more even affair to some extent. We scored early with a trademark quick-footed finish from George Kleanthous. But then Inter Vyagra stunned us with two goals – both of which will have upset Matt because he got hands to the ball in both cases. But before Matt could beat himself up too badly he produced a flying fingertip save to push a long range shot onto the bar, stifling the premature shout of celebration from the rangy Inter Vyagra forward who spent the rest of the game praising the save. He was still talking about it in the Red Lion later.
Jay Hardy got his name on the score sheet by arriving at the right time to meet a corner. In fact, the last four Farnborough goals all came from corners. Gordon Thompson and Obi Ugwumba had made way on the hour for Ian Shoebridge and Colin Mant. Mick O’Flynn lasted another fifteen minutes before beckoning Gordon back on for the final quarter of an hour. Gordon’s re-introduction gave us fresh impetus. He made a speculative back heel from Ian Lyons look good by picking the ball up and penetrating deep into the Inter Vyagra box.
Ian Shoebridge scored direct from a corner with some assistance from the Inter Vyagra keeper (but the same agency rule applies as above). There was time for another eye-catching volley from Waine Hetherington. An inter Vyagra head had – so they thought, cleared the ball from a Peter Harvey corner, but the ball dropped no further than the edge of the box where Waine lurked with intent. This time the connection was equally pure but the ball kept low and traversed through a forest of legs into the net. A final Farnborough corner was volleyed home by George Kleanthous to complete the scoring. The two strikes from George book-ended another eleven Farnborough goals. His hat-trick today was well deserved and I hope will constitute a happy memory as he recovers from the season-ending ankle surgery he is having in the coming week.
There was time for some revealing photos of Manty to be taken in the changing rooms (if you like that sort of thing – an acquired taste) whilst Mick O’Flynn made vigorous applications of Man’s Best Friend. No, it is not what you might think – Mick is a Jojoba’s Witness, and was merely applying moisturiser before a family lunch engagement.
The behaviour and attitude of our hosts were top notch. Despite losing heavily they never lost their composure, or good humour. They directed us to, and joined us outside, the Red Lion on Shooters Hill to exchange pleasantries and share the grub which flowed from the pub kitchen – potato and sweet potato chips with dips, condiments aplenty and piping hot sausages and sausage rolls. The Inter Vyagra keeper’s handling of the hot sausage rolls was excellent.
Man of the match: Waine Hetherington for two sumptuous volleys, and more besides.
Man of the match: Waine Hetherington