Farnborough OBG FC

Match Report

Sunday 15th December 2019


Wellcome Super Vets
3 - 6
Senior Vets
Peter Harvey 2, Kypros Michael 2, Gordon Thompson, Jay Hardy

By Patrice Mongelard

Farnborough on top in 9-goal thriller

After last week’s cancellation – wrong time to play Old Tamponians – we were looking forward to today’s game, and taking comfort from the thought that today’s venue in Foxgrove Grove, Beckenham, was the best-drained ground in England.  We took a squad of fifteen players over, including the returning Kypros Michael and top club geezer Toby Manchip who stood up at short notice after being asked to stand down earlier in the week.

FOBG Squad: Phil Anthony, Sinisa Gracanin, Jay Hardy, Peter Harvey, Simon Harvey, Dan Herbert, Waine Hetherington, Michael Hills, Louis Hussey, Toby Manchip, Chisa Mkala, Joe Skinner, Kypros Michael, Simon Thomas, Gordon Thompson.

Supporters: Nicholas Michael, Patrice Mongelard, Mick O’Flynn, Claire Skinner.

Director of Football:  Mick O’Flynn.

Chief Football Correspondent:  Patrice Mongelard.

Farnborough had more of the ball from the off but had trouble beating the offside trap and the Wellcome keeper was quick off his line to mop up anything lofted over or put through without optimum pace or angle. A rusty Kypros Michael blazed the ball over the bar from just inside the box after ten minutes but he was just warming up. Just after a quarter of an hour a corner from Simon Thomas found Kypros’ head at the far post and we registered our first goal via the underside of the bar.  It was all going well until Mick O’Flynn made the first raft of substitutions.  Barely a minute later Wellcome got their equaliser, after walking the ball through our defence and putting Toby Manchip on the floor. 

The next ten minutes or so were frustrating for us. Kypros Michael chased down the keeper to the edge of the box, nicked the ball off him, turned and shaped to roll the ball into an empty net. It was far out, the angle was not propitious and it was no surprise really to see Kyp fluff it.  We had a scare when Michael Hills cushioned a header back to a somnolent Toby Manchip who missed the ball and we all watched the ball roll agonisingly wide with a Wellcome forward closing in.  We’ll never know if Michael Hills would have snuffed out the opportunity but he was there to make things difficult.  We edged ahead around the 40th minute mark when Waine Hetherington threaded an imperious pass for Gordon Thompson to run on and on and beat the keeper at the near post.  It did not talk long for Wellcome to draw level for a second time.  We could have done with VAR.  While we waited for an offside flag that never came, the nippy Wellcome forward went round Toby Manchip who was going down in instalments, before squeezing the ball home from a very tight angle.  It was not entirely clear if the ball had crossed the line, there was a suspicion that Michael Hills had re-directed the ball to help it over the line.   The Wellcome linesman was unsighted, the referee was undecided but the Farnborough spirit of sportsmanship intervened as both Michael Hills and Toby Manchip declared the ball had crossed the line.  So, no own goal for Michael Hills.  

There was still time left in the first half for class to manifest itself.  Peter Harvey had been introduced on the half-hour to shake things up.  In less than five minutes he found the net twice.  First, he latched on to a quick throw-in from Waine Hetherington on the right, turned his marker and lashed the ball home with a right foot thunderbolt (a collectors’ item).  Moments later he skipped away from his marker on the left to make the most of yet another Gordon Thompson assist by rounding the keeper and rolling the ball in with his trusty left peg. 4-2 at half-time felt like the right score. 

Surely there would be more goals in the second half, we thought.  Mick O’Flynn rolled back decades with a Brazilian moment as he executed a tricky task of bringing a difficult stray ball under control, with panache.  Not long afterwards that same panache rubbed off on Kypros Michael as he burst through to claim a through ball that Chisa MKala had caressed through the centre of the Wellcome defence.  I am happy to report that Kyp did not fluff it. The net bulged. His cousin, the Wellcome linesman did not interfere, and his son Nicholas (whom Mick O’Flynn urged to give some of his luxuriant hair to dad Kyp) captured the glorious moment on his phone.  It will make a welcome change from the usual videos involving Kyp.  Sadly, another moment was not recorded ten minutes later after a cut-back from Michael Hills at the end of a penetrating run, fell to Kyp two yards out.  That was not to be worst miss of the game, more on that shortly. 

There was a frisson when Wellcome managed to get a third goal from a corner.  Our defenders will know they ought to have done better.  I don’t think that Toby Manchip had much else to do in the half apart from picking the ball out of his net.

We then had one of those moments that will live long in the memory.  Jay Hardy had driven a free kick towards the top corner.  The Wellcome keeper – a better operator than the final score suggests, got to the ball but the power and placement meant he could only parry it up in the air, in a perpendicular trajectory directly above his head.  Gravity brought the ball back down and standing on the line in front of the keeper, free, unhindered, hungry, quivering with excitement was Simon Thomas.  Kyp reckons even he would have scored, nay even his two-year old niece would.  But the ball skidded on Simon’s over-gelled quiff, bounced up and the moment was gone.  Simon gave his permission to the match reporter to say he (Simon that is) was shit in the air. This is not entirely accurate. 

There was just time left for Jay Hardy to put a deserved gloss on the scoreline by making the most of a delicate Peter Harvey assist by carrying the ball at an angle in the box, outpacing chasing defenders and directing a powerful low shot into the bottom corner.  That was almost the last kick of the game.

As the final whistle was blown, many of us went to the referee Kevin (a Wellcome player and Manager) to congratulate him on the impartiality he had shown in his display.  True, there had been a bit of gyp from one or two of our players which required a pause but in the end the game was played in excellent spirit.  

The clubhouse scene was lively as the place was decked for a posh lunch for the tennis club once the footballers had vacated the premises.  Ladies in smart attire were greeted on arrival by the sound of Toby’s harmonica (even though according to Simon Thomas Toby’s organ was out of tune).  Manager Mick O’Flynn had asked Toby to bring harmony to the team but he heard harmonica.  The food went – including the cold sausages which Joe Skinner seemed very keen to ingest. 

You will recall that in a recent match report (17/12/2019 v AFC Greenwich Super Vets) I introduced a new feature - the Jay Hardy corner.  In essence this is where I make up for a failure to show appreciation.  It is a sort of correction and clarification if you like.  I do this by including a reference to a past occurrence that should have been recorded because of its momentous significance to the player involved. Jay Hardy – who else? - was the first beneficiary.  Well, now we have a second one – and I am sure there will be many others.  Toby Manchip has asked me to mention that in the match against Orpington on 1 December - There was also a right-handed full tip down low onto the post in the first half hit by their second half goalkeeper.  I recall the ball thumping against the post but I must have been dazzled by the brilliance of Toby’s intervention to do it full justice.  Toby also reported that he wet himself in the second half – obviously this is not the place to go into details.  Perhaps a tampon might have helped.  No such problem today, at least not at the ground. 

Man of the Match – five players were favoured by the ballot today, with Waine Hetherington walking away with a working majority.  He did though walk away leaving Sinisa Gracanin at the ground and the bag of balls.  A player who did not get votes today – Jay Hardy, did walk away with the £30 prize in the football raffle organised by Orpington Vets. His lucky pick was Cardiff City, and, in fact, he also ended up with the kit, the balls, the first aid bag and the water bottles. He also got some advice about a waxing regime for his tumescent Biggles moustache.

Man of the match: Waine Hetherington