Saturday 24th November 2007
By Shaun Keddle
A valuable win to put distance between 3rd place and the top two
On Saturday we entertained a decent Chipstead side who were eager to take the points to close the gap on the breakaway teams of ourselves and Hawkhurst.
Selections were immensely difficult as everyone was available and we have a full and fit squad, an envious position that every team and manager wants to be in and only reflects our intentions for promotion this season.
The game started really well for us with the Guild dominating play and possession. We were playing some of the best football we have played this season with simple but effective football – pass, move, one or two touches, triangles and getting the ball out wide. We were both confident and communicating with each other and the football was a joy to watch. With around 10 minutes gone the Guild were awarded a penalty. Good Farnborough play put Cooke, J in the box who held the ball really well and was clumsily bought down, leaving the ref with no choice but to point to the spot. The resulting penalty was placed into the stanchion giving the keeper no chance.
Not happy with the single goal lead, the Guild pushed on and Cooke, J went through on goal to coolly finish past the advancing keeper to double the lead.
With twenty five minutes gone came goal three. A ball back in from the corner left Cooke, R with the ball at his feet who showed a lot of composure and passed the ball into the back of the net. 3-0 and Chipstead looked dead and buried.
However, after completing dominating Chipstead; from the resulting kick off Chipstead launched their first attack of the game and found the net with a good finish after some poor marking. This somewhat bemused us and gave Chipstead a lifeline. It was disappointing that we could not maintain our lead to the break and some lazy defending put them back in it. Further poor marking followed when Chipstead added a second 5 minutes before the break.
At the half we re-gathered ourselves to try and return to playing the devastating football of the first half and hour or so.
The second half started and it was a scrappy affair. Farnborough could not seem to really find their way or rhythm again and Chipstead were resurgent after their goals just before the break. The Guild was pretty much restricted to the odd break away but nothing really on goal. However, we remained spirited and competitive, which is the sign of a good side equipped with the necessary tools to do the job. Both sides were now playing the long ball, an unsuccessful tactic for Farnborough and a tactic with limited success for Chipstead with the nippy striker Bridger trying to feed off Norbourn. However, over-zealousness from Chipstead players and a good back line from the Guild found Chipstead offside on a number of occasions, including a disallowed goal when three players were caught off side.
Although Chipstead had a lot of the ball and possession the Guild held out firm to take all three points.
However, we cannot continue to play like this every week as we will slip up at some point. At 3-0 we should have continued to do the things that make us a good footballing side – short passing, one or two touch football and movement. After the third goal went in we became lazy and some irresponsible defending allowed the opposition back into the game. The game lasts for 90mins and we need to work hard and more importantly concentrate for the full 90.
On the plus side, once again we demonstrated we have the necessary personnel and tools to do the job in hand to grind out results and take all three points. This is our sixth straight victory including 5 in the league which is fabulous run and achievement so we can all pat ourselves on the back for that. We have also wedged a comfortable divide between the top two and chasing pack. The last two performances have been a big improvement and I believe that proper training is playing a big part in that. The first half an hour or so was an absolute joy to watch and the small crowd that gathered did look on in admiration. We still have gears to hit, so again that is a positive sign that we are still winning games without fulfilling our true potential. God help the team that finds us on song.
Man of the Match went to McKeown for a solid, reliable and controlled game at right back and has really proved his value to the team over recent weeks – versatile, patient and committed to the cause. Well done mate. Additionally, Friend in goal made an excellent debut in goal and showed some excellent handling
This week we have Borough Utd away. They currently have an excellent run of results including an impressive victory against Erith on Saturday. They have obviously come a long way and progressed since we beat them at home at the beginning of the season. Let’s not be complacent or lazy and concentrate and play for the entire 90 minutes, not just for parts of this fixture. A win against Borough will at least maintain our 6 point advantage at the top and put further distance between the top two and the chasing pack.
Let’s keep this good run going.
Farnborough: 1. St John (GK); 2. McKeown (RB); 3. Cleaver, L (LB); 4. Judge © (CB); 5. Davis (CB); 6. Roots (CM); 7. Williams, J (RM); 8. Cooke, R (CM); 9. Williams, L (CF) 10. Cooke, J (CF); 11. Cleaver, B (LM)
Subs: 13. Perkins for 8. Cooke; 14. Pragnell for 6. Roots Sub not used: 14. Small.
Chipstead: 1. Porter, A; 2. Onder; 3. Locan; 4. Mitchell; 5. Cannon; 6. Porter, J; 7. Reece; 8. Castleton; 9. Norburn; 10. Bridger; 11. Boyle
Subs: 12. Wilkin; 14. Stoneham