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Match Report

Sunday 20th June 2021


Senior Vets
Chisa Mkala 2, Jay Hardy, Kypros Michael, Gordon Thompson
5 - 12
Wellcome Super Vets


Senior Vets should play Subbuteo only, in June

If I were to decline to write a report of today’s match, or if that was to be my last ever FOBG Senior Vets match report, I am sure I would be able to count on your understanding.  It was hard enough to count the goals.  “That was character-building” I said to Mrs M, when I got home.  After a paroxysm of laughter, and picking herself off the floor, feeling sorry for me, she opined that I had enough character.  Seriously that was a game too far. 

The lesson for the future is do not play any games in June.  And, I suppose avoid teams that have younger players that can hurt you, badly, over and over again.  It did not help to have three defenders drop out overnight, and we had to draft in an unknown goalkeeper as well, but we could have played with half the England team that played Scotland the other day and it might not have made a difference. 

FOBG Squad: Phil Anthony, Steve Blanchard, Mike Finch, Sinisa Gracanin, Jay Hardy, George Kleanthous, Kypros Michael, Chisa Mkala, Patrice Mongelard, Andy Osborne, Joe Skinner, Simon Thomas, Gordon Thompson.

Kit sponsor: The Dog and Duck, Outwood.

Referee:  Jim ’Player of the Tour’ Grimley.

Supporters (socially-distanced on the public footpath): Leah Dunnett, Roger French, Barry Grainger, Peter Harvey, Natasha McCartney, Claire Mills-Skinner, Lorna Stewart, Steve Viner, Chris Webb.  (There might have been others but they will not want to be associated with today’s horror show)

Director of Football:  Mick O’Flynn.

Chief Football Correspondent:  Patrice Mongelard.

Chief Impact Officer:  Phil Anthony.

I shall not dwell on the detail.  Why would I?

After only five minutes, Wellcome opened the scoring with a crisp twenty-yarder from the best player on show today, one of three players in their late thirties who had, according to the Wellcome manager, just phoned their club after moving to the Beckenham area.  Why such players never contact Farnborough Old Boys Guild, I’ll never know.  Said player had picked up the ball in midfield, outpaced and shrugged off markers, travelled unchallenged to the edge of the box, making light work of defenders, before unleashing a low crisp drive.  I think he scored five goals today and assisted another three.  We equalised within five minutes with Chisa Mkala making his own powerful run into the Wellcome box and placing a low shot beyond the Wellcome keeper.  That was as good as it got for us, for a while.   

It was not long before Wellcome edged ahead again after we had conceded a needless corner.  2-1 became 3-1 after a mildly controversial moment when our keeper Mike Finch had, so it seemed to us, the ball kicked out of his hand while prone on the floor, by the Wellcome Wonderkid, before the ball was crossed low for a tap-in.  We had stopped, as we were expecting a foul to be given against Wellcome.  It should have been both hands on the ball said the ever-communicative referee; and, that old schoolboy error, we should have played to the whistle.  Wonderkid rifled another twenty-yarder in off the post and it was 4-1 to Wellcome with less than a half-hour to play.  It could have been worse for us, but for a couple of great saves from Mike Finch in our goal, and Wellcome hitting the woodwork twice in a space of minutes.

Two trademark Kypros Michael misses from one-on-ones in successive minutes just before half-time summed up our day.  The half-time talk, from Jay Hardy mainly, was not enjoyable.  Some would even say not constructive either, but feelings were running high.

We competed well when the second half started but were undone by two quick Wellcome goals after ten minutes. They followed a pattern now well-set.  A Wellcome forward or midfielder would carry the ball over quite a distance without any Farnborough tackle to be seen and finish from close range.  Seven goals had been scored by the hour mark and yet there was much more to come – another ten goals in fact.  I lost track.  Suffice it to say that we scored four times before the end – from Chisa Mkala (again), Jay Hardy, Kypros Michael and Gordon Thompson.  The problem was that Wellcome scored another six goals.  I cannot bear to dwell on the detail.  There was a pattern – we had chances to clear the ball but did not, we were closed down by quicker players, we misplaced passes and were punished.  We could and should have scored more goals but then again, the same applies to Wellcome.

The game was played in good spirit, mostly. We had to accept the shouts of – “It's 0-0” with good grace.  Heads clashed more than once. Simon Thomas (5.4 miles covered according to the Apple Watch) – most of it running back towards his own goal, I surmise, suffered cramp and a fractured quiff.  Kypros Michael also took a knock on the head and was more confused and haphazard than usual.  Joe Skinner’s intake of amino-acids did not seem to aid his performance. 

After the game Peter Harvey voiced his own distinctive brand of encouragement.  “I can think of four or five Farnborough players who should not have been on the pitch today”.  Only four or five? - I thought.  He must be having a good Father’s Day. 

And to build even more character some of us had to have cold showers as someone had forgotten to put the hot water on.  It was not the middle of winter admittedly, but after an overcast morning with thin occasional drizzle, and of course, the shambles on the pitch, hot water would have been welcome. 

Still the bar was open. There was a good gathering of Farnborough aristocracy for the après-match – Colin Brazier, Ian Couchman, Paul Eddleston, Sarah Viner, among others.   Steve Viner, in particular, had a number of perceptive insights about our plight.  I cracked a couple of dad jokes on an empty stomach before leaving for home to enjoy more of my Father’s Day gifts.  A 12-5 defeat was not one of them, but Father Time had caught up with us today, big way. 

And to think there are forty games to look forward to, next season. Unless we recruit more players, younger ones, and existing squad players get fitter over the summer, we could be looking again at some pretty big scorelines, again.  A cheerful note, to end a 21-game season you might think.  We could have played another 21 games – with three games lost to the British weather, and eighteen games lost to Covid.  A blessing in disguise, perhaps. 

Man-of-the-Match:  We decided unanimously and without debate that this was not a game where we would want to be casting man of the match votes.  Indeed, we felt that even players who vote for themselves would be reticent, on this occasion. There were a couple of votes for Jim Grimley, in jest, I think.

Man of the match: None!