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Match Report

Sunday 21st April 2019

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Sanatogen Vets
3 - 9
Senior Vets
Kypros Michael 4, Danny Mullins 2, Gordon Thompson 2, Jay Hardy

By Patrice Mongelard

Kypros delivers tonic against Sanatogen

Here I was thinking this would be a short report since I was not likely to play a part in the game; but I find myself with twelve goals to report thanks in part to a Greek on fire, and two resurrections on Easter Sunday. On a bright sunny morning I made my way to the home of Sanatogen Vets in Eltham, not quite sure what to expect for our first ever game against these opponents. It looked like the Eltham Chapter of Hell's Angels were having a rally in the grounds. A few of them watched the game, and there was a bevy of female supporters too.

With only eleven fit players expected I was delighted to see Jay Hardy and Gordon Thompson appear in our midst, like some Easter miracle, risen from injury. Another welcome Messiah-like appearance with Ray-Bans and what looked like a halo, was co-manager Mick O’Flynn (but I will spare you the analogy Peter Harvey chose to make instead). It looked like Sanatogen Vets had cast a wide net for players although, to his credit, their manager Liam ended up refereeing the whole game in the absence of their usual official (and a good and fair job he made of it in a game played in excellent spirit). On a hot day Michael Hills had thoughtfully brought along a pack of large water bottles.

Starting XI:

Rob Faulkner;
Michael Hills, Ian Lyons, Colin Mant;
Waine Hetherington, Sinisa Gracanin, Simon Harvey, Danny Mullins, Gordon Thompson;
Peter Harvey, Kypros Michael.

Substitutes: Jay Hardy, Ahmed Lafia.

Linesman: Patrice Mongelard (though not running).
Supporters: Steve Hills, Kayleigh Richards.
Director of Football: Mick O’Flynn.
Chief Football Correspondent: Patrice Mongelard.

I will spare you the usual descriptive narrative to cover all twelve goals. Peter Harvey will accuse me, again, of being economical with the detail, but as he did not score perhaps this does not matter. So, this is how the scoring went:

10th minute – a Peter Harvey corner was swung in onto the head of Danny Mullins to nod home. (1-0).

12th minute – a Sanatogen equaliser after a long ball over the top was headed on by a Farnborough player to what appeared to the naive to be an offside Sanatogen forward who kept his cool to slot the ball home. (1-1).

15th minute – Kypros Michael prods the ball home from less than a yard out from a Danny Mullins pass after the two players combined in the approach play. (2-1).

22nd minute – Kypros Michael again after the Sanatogen keeper failed to hold on to a high speculative shot shanked goalward by Waine Hetherington. (3-1).

28th minute – Kypros Michael with a tap-in after unselfish play from Peter Harvey who had turned his marker and advanced to the bye line. (4-1).

40th minute – Kypros Michael with a stooping header almost on the goal line, after a Sinisa Gracanin corner had arrowed in, untouched by any other contact. (5-1).

In the midst of this feeding frenzy Peter Harvey had lashed a shot against the bar at 1-1, Simon Harvey had made way for Ahmed Lafia on the half-hour and there had also been a welcome water break. Patrice Mongelard, walking the line, had failed to award one or two offside decisions against Sanatogen, despite the clamour from Farnborough defenders, who had failed to appreciate that they had provided the last touch invariably.

Obviously, we were expecting to score more goals in the second half but Sanatogen too had reason to hope that they could narrow the gap as they had the players for the job. Simon Harvey was back on for the second period with Gordon Thompson taking a breather. Sanatogen had the better of the opening phases of the second half and we wobbled for a while. An early penalty, fiercely struck, gave them heart after Rob Faulkner had bundled a Sanatogen forward over and left the referee with no choice.

50th minute – Sanatogen penalty. (5-2).

Kypros Michael was then tackled fiercely in the box (by the player who had played in goal for the first half but was now seemingly determined to put things right on his own) and came off injured. Thankfully it was not serious, “only a sandwich” said Kypros. He meant a kebab surely, I thought. This brought Gordon Thompson back in the fray and almost immediately he was on the scoresheet.

55th minute - the new Sanatogen keeper tried some unwise fancy footwork in a dangerous area and Gordon robbed him before walking the ball into the net. (6-2).

60th minute – Sanatogen score again with a smart finish after we fail to clear the ball despite Ian Lyons winning a header in the box against the tallest Sanatogen player. (6-3).

The last twenty minutes were packed with incident. Peter Harvey came off, feeling the effects of flu that had bugged him all week. This brought revenant Jay Hardy back, after a few weeks out with an ankle injury. Ian Lyons too came off after another physical tussle, feeling the effects of a big decking job and a marathon run in the days before the game. The resplendent Kypros Michael was back on (to Sanatogen’s delight no doubt). Before he departed Ian had made clear his view that Mick O’Flynn should replace non-running Patrice Mongelard as linesman and Peter Harvey took the flag. This could well be the first recorded instance of a linesman being substituted for the Farnborough Senior Vets. The goals kept coming for Farnborough.

75th minute - Jay Hardy restored his scoring with quick feet to finish an assist from Kypros Michael. (7-3).

80th minute – Gordon Thompson again, assisted by Danny Mullins. (8-3).

85th minute – Danny Mullins with an exquisite lob, assisted by Gordon Thompson. Duracell Bunny Danny revealed later that he opted to shoot as he was too tired to run any more. (9-3).

The game ended as it had started, in blazing sunshine. Cold beers were, I am sure welcome, as were sandwiches laid on by our hosts but I had to rush off home for Easter Sunday roast.

Man of the match – Kypros Michael, who found most of the Easter eggs a week early (according to the Greek Orthodox calendar), with surely the lowest average distance from goal for his haul of four goals in Farnborough history.

Man of the match: Kypros Michael