Saturday 20th October 2007
By Dan Warwick
This season has seen many changes in the 4ths, a number of new players coming through from the youth team, new players coming to the club which has meant we''ve had a tough start to the league season. Against Crofton Albion the tide finally showed signs that it was changing through a committed performance from all 15 who made it on to the pitch.
The game started off end to end as both teams tried to work each other out, Farnborough getting the better of the chances with good pressure from Jamie Stanton and Sam Fryer playing up front. The breakthrough came after about 15 minutes, controlled play at the back from David Koutikoff spreading the ball wide to Stuart Milner who picked up Anthony Astrera in the box, the Crofton defender then taking a swipe at his legs, missing, trying again, penalty to Farnborough. David Koutikoff stepped up to calmly slot the ball home. 1 - 0 Farnborough!!
The team continued to apply the pressure and went looking for a second, solid work in the midfield from Jel Raven, Aaron Carpenter and Danny Anderson ensured that Crofton were constantly on the defence until a long punt from the back, a mix-up in defence and Crofton were allowed back into the game against the run of play. A second lapse of concentration let it Crofton in again to take us into half-time with Farnborough 2-1 down, a scoreline which flattered the opposition.
The early part of the second half saw Des work his magic with 3 substitutions, Michael Whiffin and Ryan Watson coming on for the tired legs of Astrera and Raven whilst Jimmy Bane replaced the hard working Sam Fryer up front. It wasn’t long before Crofton were again on the back foot. Excellent debuts at the back for Chris Duffin and Mark Gordon ensured that every time the ball came to our defence it would be pushed straight back along the flanks, Mike Whiffin causing problem after problem displaying more energy than the Duracell bunny, a through ball to Bane who was taken down on the edge of the box. With a taste for goal already, Koutikoff strolled up the pitch unnoticed by the opposition took the short free kick from Carpenter and smashed the ball into the bottom corner with a sweet left foot shot, 2-2, could this be our day? Immediately Crofton came back on the attack and had it not been for some excellent defending by Ryan Watson and some calm keeping from another debutant Jon Douglas in the Farnborough goals we could have let them back in. Realising that we were in with a chance of taking this game, everyone raised their game, Stanton and Bane causing no end of troubles up front as we pushed for another goal which came with about 15 minutes left. Marshalling the centre of midfield Aaron Carpenter broke free, sending Stanton through who looked up and passed to his striking partner Bane to slot the ball home for his second goal in as many games. 10 minutes left on the clock and Farnborough continued to pressure their opponents, however due to a man of the match performance from the Crofton keeper it looked as it would stay 3-2.
Crofton made a brief visit into the Farnborough half, winning a free kick out on the right. Another lapse of concentration at the back and the ball was allowed to get through the Crofton forward who tapped it home to level the scores much to the delight of the opposition players. Their smiles didn’t last for long, Stanton picked up the ball and made a twenty yard run, went past the defender with ease, bearing down on the opposition goal he fired a solid shot only to see their damn keeper make an excellent save to parry the ball, luckily for Farnborough Jimmy Bane was on hand to smash the ball into the back of the net. 4-3 Farnborough. Keeping their heads until the final whistle Farnborough took their 1st win of the season with pride.
All in all a fantastic team performance, a strong team spirit is being formed as we continue to build the team. With the number of players we now have it is sure to be a selection headache for Des. It would be hard to pick out one special performance from this game as each and every player showed true commitment to the club. Well done lads!!!!