Farnborough OBG FC
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Match Report

Sunday 18th October 2020


0 - 4
Senior Vets
Kypros Michael 2 (1 pen.), Matt Ellis, SimonThomas


Senior Vets register first clean sheet of the season

Autumnal colours are usually resplendent for this game, in the leafy environs of the Old Dunstonians Sports Club, in BR3 3SS, in the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. No mists today, no sun but not Pearl Harbour either, which meant we did not mind stripping al fresco in these Covid times. There were fourteen of us – it would have been fifteen if we had got our communications right – but we had shirts for thirteen players only.  We had even fewer players at the end but that was due to injury as the pitch did no favours to dodgy hamstrings. The grass was lush, the surface was not too claggy despite an abundance of worm casts. There were white and blue lines on the pitch.  It was a toss-up between moulded or studded footwear.  

FOBG Squad: Phil Anthony, Sean Blackwell, Steve Blanchard, Matt Ellis, Tom Girling, Sinisa Gracanin, Waine Hetherington, Colin Mant, Kypros Michael, Jason Miller, Patrice Mongelard, James Rutter, Joe Skinner, Simon Thomas

Kit sponsor: The Dog and Duck, Outwood

Supporters:  Claire Mills-Skinner, Demi Mills-Skinner, Lorna Stewart (aka Joe’s fan club)

Director of Football:  Mick O’Flynn (who celebrated his 61st birthday on Friday) 

Chief Football Correspondent and Manager du Jour:  Patrice Mongelard

We did not exactly get out of the blocks.  Yet, after only ten minutes we had edged ahead – with a close-range header from Matt Ellis who had pulled away at the far post to give a delightful cross from James Rutter the finish it deserved.  More goals would follow, surely, we thought but that was not the case. It would have been a different story if Kypros Michael had converted any of the half dozen chances that came his way, crafted either by himself or by others. I cannot say we were in control of the game but I cannot say that our opponents were creating much despite moving the ball well. Tom Girling, playing only his first game in goal for us, was very sound. He maintained a high line, was quick on his feet, agile and dextrous. He had much to say also. In fact, several players noted what a refreshing change it was to have a keeper that talked sense behind them.  His distribution would have been enhanced if he had known more of the names of the players.  At one point he appeared to be confused by the geometry of the pitch but that was because there were blue lines where he expected white ones.

The first half did not exactly bristle with incident. Whilst the score remained at 1-0 our opponents could hope they would get back in the game.  It did not look like we would increase our advantage. 

The second half was a very different affair. Three more goals were scored. One goal was disallowed and one was not given. What did not change was the catalogue of misses from Kypros, like a Kama Sutra of misses, one on one, from close range, from long range, from behind, from the side, full frontal, tap-ins, volleys, half-volleys, headers, left foot, right foot. But you have got to be there to miss them. It does not matter if you miss a dozen, if you get one in, occasionally. Kypros is our Taxi Light Man, always available to have a go. You have to admire the ambition and the spirit.   

Before we could increase our lead we had to live through a CUACO equaliser that was eventually ruled offside after the referee, who had a very sound game, was persuaded to listen to what the linesman had to say.  Pity for CUACO as the finish was rather good but the approach play was not legal. They were to threaten again late in the game but Joe Skinner made a clean sheet-preserving headed clearance off the line.

On the hour Matt Ellis was taken roughly from behind in the box and Kypros claimed the ball for the spot kick. I was not the only one who felt he would fluff it, but the shot, at a comfortable height straight down the middle of the goal, managed to miss the keeper. His relief must have been great, but not as great as ours. Ten minutes later he was teed up by Matt Ellis for a shot from just inside the box which screamed into the top corner. This made up for the one he put against the angle of bar and post from two yards out moments earlier, and the one that would have been a conversion in rugby, moments later.

Several of the CUACO players felt that the score flattered us, and said so. Their chagrin mounted when Steve Blanchard bundled their burly forward over in what he thought was the penalty area only for the blue lines to say otherwise.  The free kick went under Matt Ellis in the wall but Tom was alert in goal. 

In the last quarter of an hour we had more chances to score. In fact, Matt Ellis was convinced he had scored his second after he had produced a crisp rasping drive that beat the keeper, came off the underside of the bar, bounced behind the line but the angle did not convince the referee. We could have done with a Russian linesman I thought but apart from a vociferous Simon Thomas, exercising his vocal cords more than usual today, nobody appealed with any conviction.       

However, there was no doubt with ten minutes left when Simon Thomas floated a free kick into the box which the keeper deflected onto the underside of the bar and behind the line. Several of our players shouted own goal but that would have been harsh. Simon clearly wished that Farnborough would score from the free kick, as if it was a cross intended for the far post. There was still time for Kypros Michael to put a shot on goal out for a throw-in as he arrived at pace in the six-yard box to latch on to a clearance by the CUACO keeper after Matt Ellis had driven a low shot through a forest of legs. I think Kypros used his right foot for that one.

As we walked off Colin Mant noted that this was our first clean sheet of the season and that although he did not really like to talk about it, just like his Golden Boot, the thought had occurred to him that not even Michael Hills had managed one for us this season. 

As I left the ground after a couple of Covid-compliant refreshments brought to our table I could see a line of targets had been set up awaiting the arrival of the toxophilites. Good thing Kypros does not do archery I thought, we’d never get the insurance cover.   

Man of the match:  Matt Ellis, despite not getting a return pass from Kypros, although he did receive eight out of fourteen votes cast. 

Man of the match: Matt Ellis