Farnborough OBG FC
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Match Report

Sunday 15th March 2020


Senior Vets
Simon Thomas
1 - 4
Glendale Vets

By Patrice Mongelard

Manty blows golden management opportunity

A pre-match message from Manager Mick O’Flynn said “I’m not there this morning.  Manty can you take over please?”  Meanwhile, factotum Patrice Mongelard was grappling with the reduction of the squad from sixteen to twelve players and eventually thirteen, after sorting out the fixture, the ref and the food, and looking after the balls, first aid bag and water bottles.  Well not quite the food as our caterer was not able to leave a family member to attend to us.  The effects of the Coronavirus were being felt at grassroots level too with two squad members self-isolating for precautionary reasons. 

There was also the unfamiliar feeling of finally playing a home game at Farnborough since 10 November.  I am not sure it was worth the wait as the pitch was found to be not conducive to our passing game.  I have my doubts about that theory on two counts – first, it always seems to affect us more than the opposition, and second, half of our players will tell you the other half do not pass to them.  By the time the game ended we had the unfamiliar feeling also of losing a match since 24 November.  This will do us good. 

There were grumbles before the game too about the quality of the washing of the kit, Sinisa Gracanin’s responsibility, with the usual quips about hoping he takes greater care when washing cars.

FOBG Squad:  Matt Angelo, Phil Anthony, Steve Blanchard, Sini Gracanin, Jay Hardy, Simon Harvey, Waine Hetherington, George Kleanthous, Colin Mant, Kypros Michael, Patrice Mongelard, Joe Skinner, Simon Thomas.

Referee:  Paul ‘Play On’ Parsons

Supporters: Michael Hills (?), Hannah and Michelle Kleanthous, Claire Skinner, Ian Shoebridge

Chief Football Correspondent:  Patrice Mongelard

There were rumours that the hooded and masked figure lurking at the back of our new stand was Michael Hills.  I could not be sure unless I had misunderstood the concept of self-isolation. 

This was one of those games where there is not much football to talk about, at least not from the Farnborough perspective.  We played against the wind in the first half but that did not explain the lethargy, lack of cutting edge, misplaced passes, lack of football intelligence that infected our game.  Matt Angelo pulled off a string of saves to preserve our dignity and keep the score down to 1-0 at half-time.  We could not penetrate down the flanks nor through the middle.  Our initial formation of three at the back proved costly, particularly with the wide midfielders unsure of when to defend and when to attack.  Glendale had overrun our defence on the half-hour to steer a low shot into the bottom corner.  At the other end we mustered one volley from Jay Hardy that fell to his wrong foot which the Glendale keeper saved well.  We could not find the final pass in the Glendale box to unlock a defence packed with big units.   

The second half saw a more even contest initially. We made the most of the wind direction and began to pose questions in the Glendale box.  We had a period of about twenty minutes when we looked the team most likely to score.  Sinisa Gracanin had a header saved on the line, Jay Hardy and Simon Thomas came agonisingly close to a decisive contact with the ball in dangerous areas.  Colin Mant, a shadow of our 2008 Golden Boot, toe-poked tamely from close range after going up for a corner. 

The introduction of Patrice Mongelard early in the second half was marked by an intervention which the Glendale winger would have found very brusque.  “A tackle from tired legs” quipped Manty – but he was being charitable, as was the referee, who played on. 

Just when we thought we were on the cusp of an equaliser Glendale doubled their lead.  A cut back from their very tricky forward with a low centre of gravity and a superb left foot had found an unmarked Glendale midfielder whose run into our box was witnessed by Easter Island statues wearing Farnborough colours, and the crisp incisive move got the finish it deserved into the top corner.  

There was a brief moment of hope when Simon Thomas narrowed the deficit. He had timed his deep cross to the far post from the left wing just right as a passing zephyr took the ball over the flailing arms of the back-pedalling Glendale keeper, and into the net.  The thespian that is Simon managed to convey the sense that he meant that outcome.  This was not Simon’s only useful contribution today – he dispensed many squirts of hand sanitiser to his team mates. 

There was to be no comeback. Glendale put a deserved, if somewhat flattering, gloss on with two late goals in the space of five minutes.  Their third goal was a tad fortuitous with the ball falling kindly to one of their players in a crowded box following a corner, who poked it home from two yards out. Their fourth came as tired Farnborough legs could not stop a run from the Glendale left winger who curled the ball inside the far post. Glendale had more than avenged the 5-3 defeat we inflicted on them at their place in January.  That day a resplendent Kypros Michael had scored a hat-trick.  Today he could not buy a goal – would probably be too slow to get his money out.  The better team won today, no question. 

The atmosphere in the clubhouse was a little subdued, largely because numbers were low.  We lost to Glendale in the bar too.  The absence of food was a factor, but then you expect me to say that.  The analysis of our game was not uplifting.  Jay Hardy who aspires to a higher standard of football was particularly upset at the manner in which we lost the game – “our worst performance of the season – some people should take a long hard look at themselves - make sure the match report says so, spare no one”.  Matt Angelo and Colin Mant seemed to be in good spirits, however, and tittered furiously during their flatus aroma contest, a sort of race to the bottom.  My own personal favourite moment was when Colin Mant asserted that he once weighed 10 stone 3 lbs, his dancing weight. 

Man of the match: We had thought initially of suspending the voting because of the Coronavirus, and because we were poor but that would have been unfair on Steve Blanchard, the only outfield player to emerge with credit from the wreckage today. 

Man of the match: Steve Blanchard