Farnborough OBG FC
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Match Report

Sunday 17th April 2022

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Senior Vets
Simon Thomas, Peter Harvey (pen.)
2 - 4
Wellcome Super Vets

By George Kleanthous

Lacklustre performance trips up Senior Vets

We were at home and welcomed back Wellcome Vets to Farrow Fields for the second time this season. We also welcomed back Farnborough “old boy” and previous Senior Vets manager Mick O’Flynn for the first time in different colours. We wanted to give him a warm and pleasant return but maybe not quite as generous as what we were to end up serving up on the pitch.


There haven’t been many bad team performances this season, however, this was without hesitation one of the worst and there can be no complaints that the game ended in defeat.


Heading into a Sunday without a recognised goalkeeper is a tough gig and despite some heavy duty scouring, begging, searching etc., we only managed to find someone fairly late in proceedings, albeit it was an unknown quantity and alas one that highlights the importance of knowing what you are getting in advance. We are very grateful that a referral from one of our squad led to us having Jannu Hulusi offering to help out and therefore make his debut in goal for us. Unfortunately, he probably threw himself in at the deep end and may have been a little out of his depth but nonetheless, he offered to help and we accepted and are thankful to him for that.


FOBG Squad: Jannu Hulusi, Aaron McWilliams, Ben McWilliams, Simon Thomas, Giles Foister, Chisa Mkala, Pete Harvey, Danny Mullins, Sean Blackwell, Jay Hardy, Kypros Michael SUBS: George Kleanthous, Landy Sakala.


Referee: Jim Grimley filled the Easter call up and as usual did a brilliant all-round job with fair and clear concise refereeing throughout the game. Got every decision spot on (even the penalty against us).


Kit sponsor: The Dog and Duck, Outwood.


Manager:  George Kleanthous.


Interim Chief Football Correspondent:  George Kleanthous.


We could cite a host of different reasons as to why we were beaten today but the truth would be that we just weren’t at the races and our opposition made us pay for not being ready to match their desire and commitment. Additionally, with the weather not providing much in the way of precipitation, the pitch was hard and dry so was going to be tough to play on, however, I would like to congratulate our opponents on how well they fared with the pitch and were able to get the ball under control considerably better than us. For a majority of the game, we couldn’t string more than a pass or two together and our touch was left wanting as the ball bounced around here there and everywhere.


It wasn’t long before we were chasing the game as a fairly innocuous looking forward ball somehow caused a bit of panic in our keeper. It appeared that the ball was rolling safely towards him, and our defenders must have thought the same as they stopped chasing, but something caused him to hesitate and this allowed the opposition striker to pounce and he poked the ball past our now stranded stopper who had found himself well and truly in no man's land.


As the half drew to a close, Wellcome doubled their lead when we couldn’t clear our lines properly and after a bit of pinball inside the box the ball broke directly to their striker who made no mistake from close range.


Usually, there is at least a paragraph or two spent on chances created by Farnborough or certain passages of play worthy of mention. This is the first time this season where I can’t remember a significant moment we had that could have or should have led to a goal. On that note, let’s move on.


0-2 down and work to be done to try and turn things around in the second half.


Getting game tactics right is fundamental to success and it was evident that our opponents knew exactly what their route to success was. Route 1. Tried and tested by many very successful managers…. oh, and Sam Allardyce. Wellcome had seen something in our set up that they pounced on and thought was a weakness and they wasted no time in getting the ball up and over our back line repeatedly. It must be said that their guy who was on the end of most of the balls pumped forward had an incredibly successful day at getting the ball under control and then causing us problems with his direct running or clever link up play. Whatever it was, it worked, and it cost us as another long ball caught us out and we were once again on our heels. Unfortunately, with their player bearing down on goal, Ben McWilliams tried his best to make up the ground but caught the player and the referee rightly pointed to the spot. Their goalkeeper trotted forward to what I am sure he expected to be the straightforward task of getting his side's third goal. Apparently, he is their regular penalty taker with much success, and I believe one of our players heard them say that he never misses a penalty. You already know what’s coming…….. He missed. He tamely placed his shot a good couple of yards wide. Claiming small victories can be important and so after the torrid time our keeper endured, I think he should grasp this huge “one on one” victory with both hands!!


After the first thing that had gone right all game, we may have believed that this would be the catalyst for some type of full-scale comeback, alas, it wasn’t to be as it was only a few minutes later when a speculative shot ended with the ball in our net. We can chalk this goal down in the category of “buying a lottery ticket is the only chance you have of winning it”. I’m sure by the time the scorer recounts his goal to friends and family it will have turned from the reality of a daisy cutter that surprisingly found its way into the net, to a thunderous 30-yard net buster that almost broke the net. It wasn’t, it really wasn’t, but fair play, both scenarios would result in the same outcome which was 1 goal.


At 0-3 down, we had finally begun to find a little rhythm and we were beginning to have more possession. Maybe if we could somehow create our own bit of luck, we could still salvage something from the game. So, from a Peter Harvey corner, Danny Mullins rose highest and headed back across goal where Simon Thomas popped up on the edge of the 6-yard box with a cheeky volleyed back heel and it went inside the post to finally register something positive for us, 1-3.


Our heightened expectations didn’t last long and within minutes we were once again staring at a 3-goal deficit. This time (and come to think of it, every other time) it was a long ball pumped forward which the opposition player just got to first and he struck a first time shot which should really have been dealt with better by the keeper, but he let it slide past his inside post without getting a hand on it and it was 1-4.


A bit more unnecessary head scratching on how we had conceded again but it is what it is.


If we are looking for silver linings in clouds, there is an element that this team has not once given up on a game regardless of score and will continue playing right to the final whistle. That is one trait that any manager would be proud of in a team and one that this manager is proud of in this team. Thus, we got a second goal by way of a penalty which Peter Harvey despatched without too much fuss.


The game ended soon after and we had to be honest that the 2-4 scoreline was a fair reflection of the 90 minutes.


Next week, it doesn’t get any easier as we are at home and will be playing on the bottom pitch against Riverside Wanderers who have twice in recent weeks comfortably beaten our younger vets so there is no doubt that we will have to play much better if we are to be competitive. I have faith that we can respond in a positive manner.


Man-of-the-match:  


The votes were split between quite a few players, but it was Danny Mullins who did just enough to get the majority of his team mates' approval with his strong running and battling performance.

Man of the match: Danny Mullins