Sunday 6th January 2019
By Patrice Mongelard
Farnborough peak early against Inter Vyagra
This home fixture is usually claimed by frost or rain but today we got away with it, in more ways than one. We were not expecting a repeat of the 13-3 scoreline when we last met today’s opponents nearly exactly three months ago. It was dry, not cold, nor windy and the pitch looked better than it has at corresponding times in previous seasons. We expected the post-Christmas lethargy to have some effect, but arguably, and in principle, that applies to both teams. I am not so sure after our flaccid second half display.
Colin Mant, Michael Hills, Patrice Mongelard;
Colin Brazier, Waine Hetherington, Ian Lyons, Ian Shoebridge. Gordon Thompson;
Peter Harvey, Jay Hardy.
Substitutes: Phil Anthony, Mick O’Flynn, Obi Ugwumba.
Supporters: George Kleanthous (with new ankle), Tony Harvey stylish and dapper in Farnborough scarf, Mike Footit, Michael Ugwumba Jr.
Referee: Paul ‘Play On’ Parsons.
Director of Football: Mick O’Flynn.
Chief Football Correspondent: Patrice Mongelard.
It seemed to take a while for us to get going. It was clear, early doors, that Inter Vyagra would provide stiffer opposition this time round. Our passing was not the most fluent but we settled after an early goal from Jay Hardy, latching on to a perceptive through ball from the Farnborough king of assists, Gordon Thompson. The short through ball behind the Inter Vyagra defence for willing and smart runners, provided they stayed on side, would bring dividends today; and it did - our second goal, scored by Peter Harvey, and our third – scored by Jay Hardy – all assisted by Gordon Thompson, were carbon copies of the first. If you have not got Gordon in your Senior Vets Fantasy Football Team, you are a fool. However, sadly, Gordon’s participation was cut short by a knock (which bled through his worn socks – we need new socks – please note Director of Football!). Gordon withdrew after thirty-five minutes (with Ian Lyons being re-inserted). That was soon after the half-hour changes which ushered in Mick O’Flynn, Phil Anthony and Obi Ugwumba for Colin Brazier, Ian Lyons and Patrice Mongelard. Jay Hardy registered our fourth goal not long before half-time, assisted this time by Peter Harvey. There was clearly no problem with Peter passing to Jay today.
Although we were leading 4-0 at the halfway point, and our defence had not really been tested, there were things to be said during the half-time talk. We could all see that we collectively were not playing as well as we could. My attention took in two other bits of information. First, George Kleanthous shared details of his ankle reconstruction (which contained scenes that could upset readers if I relayed them). George hopes to be back playing next season (provided that the surgeons operated on the correct ankle – his joke, not mine!). I speak for the entire squad when I say that we eagerly await George’s return. I cannot say the same for our opponents.
Second, an elderly gentleman, a former Farnborough player in the 60's, in the Tugmutton Recreation Ground era – Mike Footit - came up, asking after Vic Farrow. Sadly, Vic passed away a few years ago but other names such as Bunny Beston and Ted Mace were mentioned by Mike. I hope he catches up with them, not least because football creates wonderful shared memories.
The half-time talk worked better for Inter Vyagra. I do not think any of your players would disagree with the view that we went all limp in the second half. We had the tonic of a fifth goal scored by Ian Shoebridge – assisted by Jay Hardy, early in the half. Ian’s perseverance paid off, after it looked like the moment had passed; there was hesitancy in the Inter Vyagra defence and the keeper was lured off his line and Ian calmly stroked the ball beyond him.
Colin Brazier and Patrice Mongelard came back on for the last half-hour, replacing Colin Mant and Ian Shoebridge. Manty returned to finish the game later after Ian Lyons developed a stiff … neck. We edged further ahead with an unselfish assist from Pete Harvey for Jay Hardy to notch his fourth goal of the game. Jay had scored four goals against Reigate on 18 November, and today was his fourth hat-trick of the season. (Peter Harvey too has multiple hat-tricks including five goals on 13 November). It is good to see competition between the strikers, and potency.
The last quarter of an hour was not the climax we might have hoped for. We played terribly. Hesitancy, complacency, disjointedness, poor passing, sliced clearances and there was even a moment when Matt Angelo took out Phil Anthony. One wit who will remain nameless, suggested that Matt was merely neutralising the biggest threat to our goal. All I would say is that he supports a team that is still in the FA Cup and is hoping to draw a big team in the next round, and that he is a former Farnborough Vets Golden Boot winner. He had a sniff at goal today which must have got his circulation going.
We could not hold on to a clean sheet. A cross from the right was not cut out and an Inter Vyagra forward finished well with an acrobatic volley that left Matt very disappointed. We cannot begrudge our opponents that moment. It was deserved.
The game was played in a good spirit even if the referee, Paul Parsons, might feel it was not the most enjoyable of games for him. There was quite a bit of backchat but all was well in the bar. We even shared our showers with one or two Inter Vyagra players. As an optimist I would like to report that two out of three showers in our changing room finally worked; as a pessimist I would say that one shower did not work.
What did work in full was our buffet arrangements, ably delivered by barmaid Leanne. It all went except for a half-eaten mini meat pasty, left by Peter Harvey who made the error of expecting meat in it.
The man of the match voting was perplexing to some, with eight players attracting votes. I even had to rule out a vote cast in the direction of Simon Thomas (had his best game for weeks – you know how the banter goes).
Man of the match – Jay Hardy, our ginger fox in the box, who christened his new boots with four goals.
Man of the match: Jay Hardy