Sunday 19th September 2021
By Patrice Mongelard
Farnborough Old Boys Guild supports Sands
Today’s game was in support of Sands – the UK Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity – organised by Farnborough stalwart Jordan Glen. The Club and the Senior Vets were honoured to support this Charity and also to say thank you to Jordan for all he does for Sands and for Farnborough Old Boys Guild.
A few regulars were missing but others came forward for this good cause, and fourteen players answered the call for this 12:30 kick off.
FOBG Squad: Phil Anthony, Mark Friend, Jay Gasson, Tom Girling, Sinisa Gracanin, Jay Hardy, Peter Harvey, Waine Hetherington, George Kleanthous, Chisa Mkala, Danny Mullins, Brian Paterson, Jon Redman, Simon Thomas.
Referee: Andy Cobham who kindly waived his match fee in support of Sands Utd.
Kit sponsor: The Dog and Duck, Outwood
Supporters: Steve Blanchard, Tony Harvey, Patrice Mongelard
Manager: George Kleanthous
Chief Football Correspondent: Patrice Mongelard
Chief Impact Officer: Phil Anthony
Photographer: Colin Brazier
The start of the match was preceded by a minute of applause from both teams, in remembrance of babies lost.
Sands made the better start, with the benefit of a penalty awarded after ten minutes or so when Brian Paterson’s shoulder charge in our box brought down a Sands forward. I have seen them given and not given. Tom Stirling continued his charmed life with penalties when the spot kick crashed against the crossbar. Tom was even able to punch the rebound out and there followed some pinball wizardry when we saved follow-ups twice on the line before the ball was bundled over the goal line to give Sands a lead they deserved at the time.
We huffed and puffed for the next twenty minutes or so with Peter Harvey and Jay Hardy dovetailing well to create chances which the very good Sands keeper was equal to. On the half-hour, we were undone by a quick break down our right flank and the ball was crossed low to an unmarked Sands player in splendid isolation at the heart of our defence, to tuck away for a 2-0 lead that felt harsh.
The rest of the half was all Farnborough but we could not find the breakthrough. We had several promising situations with Peter Harvey, Danny Mullins and Jay Hardy coming close. If only Jay had a couple more inches he would surely have scored at least once from corners. Tony Harvey wondered aloud how we could be trailing 2-0 as half-time approached. A frustrated Jay Hardy commented “I would not mind one of my through balls” as he yearned for better service.
The introduction of Chisa Mkala at half-time was a turning point (as I think was that of Jon Redman midway through the first half). Chisa had already played a game that morning but wanted to contribute to our game. And how he did ! The second half was only a few minutes old when he hustled and bustled the Sands defence before releasing Jay Hardy and Jay did the rest with a smart finish – scoring for his fifth consecutive game. I am not sure what Jay is having before games but maybe the whole team should be on it. On second thoughts, maybe not.
We can rightly say that we won the second half. True, there were some incursions into our half and a few moments when Tom Girling had to show his class but on the whole, we deserved to get back in the game. Danny Mullins, having an immense game on the right, drove a low shot against the base of the post with twenty minutes or so left. Peter Harvey lasted about seventy minutes, a welcome milestone on his post-Covid road back to fitness.
With a couple of minutes left it was fitting that Chisa Mkala should produce a moment of magic as he burst into the box, beat his marker, and curled a peach of a shot inside the post. It needed something special to beat the Sands keeper and Chisa delivered it, like Naby Keita or Mo Salah yesterday. Talking of which, having experienced an encounter with real class yesterday the Palace fans were a lot quieter today.
In the end this was a good test for us. Referee Andy Cobham commented on what a good game it had been to referee. Our opponents were probably 15 to 20 years or so younger than us on average but we had the experience and collective guile to counter the exuberance of youth. A draw was a fair result in the end even if we felt we had the greater share of possession and created more goalscoring opportunities. Despite the weather forecast it stayed dry until the final moments of the game when it started to drizzle.
All our match subs - £150 - went to Sands Utd to support their charity work.
Man-of-the-match: All the players from both teams. For Farnborough records, it was a tie between Chisa Mkala and Danny Mullins with four votes each.
Man of the match: Chisa Mkala and Danny Mullins