Saturday 11th April 2009
By Shaun Keddle
A late, late Liam Williams strike bagged Farnborough all three points in this tough but eventful fixture.
In conditions suited to football, the Guild entertained near neighbours Westerham. Westerham have been struggling at the bottom of the table all season, but it’s hard to see why after only one goal has split the two sides on each occasion over the two league games.
The game did not start that well for the Guild as we struggled to find each other and the ball whizzed around without anyone taking real control of the game. The only good move of the opening exchanges resulted in Cooke J hitting an effort at Harvey in the Westerham goal who fumbled into the net. A rare mistake by the big Westerham No 1, but sometimes you earn a bit of luck when the effort is on target.
Westerham struck back almost immediately with two quick goals. The first was a well stuck shot by Hunter from the edge of the box that evaded Hawkes in the Guild goal, but should have been closed down quicker and more aggressively and the second followed minutes later when the same player headed home after a long throw.
The Guild then decided to sort their act out and proceeded to dominate the rest of the half. After good team play Williams J missed the target when he should have really found the net from 8 yards out, when he decided to go near post instead of across the keeper. Cooke J also found himself one on one with Harvey but the giant keeper closed him down early and got his toe to the ball.
After thirty minutes the Guild got the equaliser they deserved when Cooke J was again on target to convert from close range.
2-2 at the half with Westerham having the better start and the Guild the better finish.
At the half it was just a question of working hard and moving the ball quicker. We had learnt from our mistakes and made a couple of positional switches to deal with certain things and now looked more comfortable.
The second half started and the Guild started to up the ante and search for a winner. As time went on the Guild saw more and more of the ball, however, crossing was particularly poor today as was final ball.
With 75 minutes on the clock, Harvey again came to Westerham’s rescue and pulled off a wonderfully agile save from a bullet Cooke J header. At the other end Hawkes made an acrobatic save himself when he tipped over a powerful, swirling Bakewell effort from 30 yards.
However, it was coming to the end of an energy sapping game and Farnborough were now pushing for all three points. A respectable sixth place in the table was consolidated with a brilliant run from Williams J down the left hand side when he outpaced and cut across their right winger, took on the on rushing defender and crossed low and hard for his elder sibling to convert.
For me it was the winner that Farnborough deserved as we dominated the play for 70 minutes of the match. Westerham though will consider themselves unlucky to concede a late goal and defended gallantly despite playing a final that went into extra time just the day before.
I have said it before, but I will say it again. From what I have seen of Westerham this season it’s difficult to see why they are at the foot of the table. They play some good football at times and are a wonderful club. I do hope they find a way forward and bounce back from the position that they find themselves in.
Man of the Match was Cleaver B for an excellent performance at Left Midfield. Cleaver B worked hard, tucked in when necessary and had excellent ball retention. Well done mate. Other performances of note were Warren who looked solid and reliable and Cooke J who was always a thorn in the Westerham side.
Next up Bridon who played us off the park at our place. We need to reverse that performance and use this game as a gauge of how we have progressed since then.
Farnborough: 1. Hawkes; 2. Warren; 3. Fullone; 4. Piper; 5. Davis; 6. Abbitt; 7. Williams J; 8. Perkins; 9. Williams L; 10. Cooke J; 11. Cleaver B
Subs: 12. Small for 5. Davis;
Subs Not Used: 15. Stevens; 16. Cleaver L
Westerham: 1. Harvey; 2. Martin; 3. Bakewell; 4. Brash; 5. Cameron; 6. Burns; 7. Brown; 8. Hunter; 9. Jefferys; 10. Dunmore; 11. Wales;
Subs: 12. Merron; 13. Jarman