Sunday 1st February 2009
By Vince Wray
This was truly a magnificent team performance today. We had to cope with player unavailability prior to the game and also abysmal winter conditions that made a very tricky surface to play on. We had to cope without; Judge, Graham (working) and Wade and Pragnell (injured). Hardway came back into the squad after several weeks missing. We started with a squad of 13.
We took the lead early on when Walsham capitalised on some woeful Otford goalkeeping, and slotted the ball goalwards from an acute angle. An Otford defender did his best to keep it out but only succeeded in helping the ball on its way into the net. The dubious goals panel was hastily gathered post-match to decide whether this was a Walsham goal and he got the nod. Well done Jamie. Minutes later he doubled ours and his own tally with a sweet left footed volley from a Wray cross who had nimbly left the Otford left back on his heels.
Otford rallied and scored out of the blue when we failed to deal with a throw in on the right, the 1st header was a flick on, the 2nd header resulted in a goal. Burkett was not happy with his defenders and it’s true to say we could have done better with it. Walsham wasn’t finished, again he put the merciless finishing touches to a fine sweeping move down our left flank, initiated by Milner’s brilliant interception and Ben Hussein’s fine run and cross which had the Otford defenders in all sorts. 3-1 up and we were looking good. In between Burkett made an outstanding save to keep the opposition out, but Otford again threw themselves a lifeline back into the game with an equaliser just before half time. The lino flagged for offside but was ignored by the ref and he awarded the corner kick which we couldn’t defend – again ! It was a simple near post volley for Otford, again there was some Farnborough slack marking. 3-2 up at half time.
The 2nd half took place in worsening conditions, ie. snow showers and a freezing, biting Siberian easterly wind. Ben Hussein was subbed for Hardway with half hour left. Our defence was standing firm, marshalled by Greenhough the skipper, ably assisted by the competent Adams, backed up by the faultless Skrine and Milner, and anchored by the ever developing Burkett in goal. Walsham and Head were working tirelessly upfront and Wray was causing problems down the right. Burkett senior replaced the latter who had been given some obvious tough treatment from the opposition and couldn’t continue because of injury due to the aforementioned over zealous challenges. .
The team, particularly the defence and the keeper, gave a stunning 2nd half display of defensive commitment, particularly in the last 5 minutes or so when Otford really gave it a go. They threw a lot at us and we really stood firm and coped with it – they just were not going to score. Their giant keeper ventured up for a few corners at the end and they still couldn’t breach the Farnborough rearguard, Head went through at the death and was unlucky not to put the game beyond doubt with an effort that just went wide. We held on for the points and finished deserved victors.
Every single player was committed and gave a true honest performance today. To mention one player alone as a man of the match candidate or someone who excelled the most would not be doing the whole team justice. We looked like a team today, we played like a team today and gave everything to each other to inspire ourselves and make the victory possible. We have had some indifferent and inconsistent form up until now, but was today the day; that this group of players actually realised they have potential to achieve something, that they now know they have the grit and determination to fight and come out on top and above all, the knowledge and confidence that if they apply themselves, no scalp in this division is one that’s out of reach. Aim for the heights lads, you have the confidence now.
Well done, I was sincerely proud of you all.