Saturday 13th September 2008
By Shaun Keddle
Metrogas Set the Benchmark
Metrogas did us a favour on Saturday and set us a benchmark that we must aspire to, they also put our feet firmly back on the ground and gave us a true indication of the level of football we must play if we want to succeed in this division.
The fantastic pitch at Metrogas looked almost perfect as we lined up for kick off. The only switch from the previous week was the injury to the in-form Abbott which saw Cooke, R push into the midfield with Warren coming in to replace him at the back. Cleaver L, Small and the returning Perkins all took to the bench. Still missing are the skipper Judge as well as Williams J, McKeown, Cleaver B and Abbott, so we have plenty of depth and quality to return in the next few weeks.
For the first 20 minutes we competed well with Metrogas with little for either keeper to do. With around 25 minutes gone, the Gas made the breakthrough and scored from a very poorly defended set piece. A high ball into the box was headed across the box which left one of three players available to finish easily past St John. We got caught ball watching and paid the ultimate price. We switched off and the Gas took full advantage of our stupidity.
With 5 minutes before the break Metrogas doubled their lead with a well placed finish past St John after good interplay. 2-0 at the half and Metrogas deserved their lead.
At the half we switched formation to try and respond to the deficit. The influential Perkins replaced the injured Selmes. From the kick off the change in formation had a positive effect with Perkins showing what the Guild had been missing. We worked hard and looked the better side for the opening exchanges. The good start to the second half was rewarded after 10 minutes when we got an important goal back when a set piece corner found Cooke, R whose looping header found the top corner of the net. 2-1.
Within a few minutes Metrogas again gave themselves a 2-0 cushion when once again we committed defensive ‘hara-kiri’ and a set piece which ended up in the net. A cruel blow as we had worked so hard to get back in the fixture.
However, we rolled up our sleeves and again went back to work playing our best football of the game for a 10 minute spell. Again it was another set piece that got us back in this fixture when a rocket from Davis found the top corner. 3-2 and right back in it with 20 minutes to go. However, pretty much straight from the kick off Metrogas up the gears again, scoring a fourth after shocking defending but a sublime finish. This really killed us off and Metrogas added a fifth courtesy of an own goal after we had to commit a lot of bodies forward to chase the result.
The final 15 minutes of the game were comfortably played out by the Gas who stroked the ball around and kept good possession. 5-2 it finished.
Despite conceding 5 goals the man of the match vote was split between Warren and Davis at the back with Warren just nicking it with an extra vote. Warren was solid, eager and reliable and distributed the ball well from the back.
Ok, Metrogas were the better side on Saturday and fully deserved the result; there is no question of that whatsoever. However, they are not unbeatable and we did match them for periods of play, but not over the full 90 minutes. Metrogas utilised their excellent forwards very well by playing the ball into their feet and moving off them. In the first half, their mobile midfield outworked us and all the balls into their forwards were on the deck and to feet. Our final ball and quality of passing were not up to the standard of Metrogas. Although we did not quite perform to the standard that we are used to, we did lose to a better team. Losing is not a problem as long as we learn from our mistakes. I am sure that as long as we convert this lesson into improving our own game we shall look back at this game as a positive rather than a negative.
From a positive point of view, we were once again very good from set pieces and did compete with Metrogas for certain periods of the game. Additionally we have some strong players to return in the next few weeks which will only strengthen our squad.
We have work to do lads, please make sure you are all at training.
Farnborough: 1. St John; 2. Warren; 3. Eales; 4. Davis; 5. Cooke, R; 6. Roots; 7. Koutsoudis; 8. Selmes (13. Perkins); 9. Williams, L (14. Small); 10. Cooke, J; 11. Graham (12. Cleaver, L)
Metrogas: 1. Crouch; 2. Cooper; 3. Kendall; 4. Gibbons; 5. Nightingale; 6. Yems; 7. Barry; 8. Rochford; 9. Murphy; 10. Maloney; 11. Cahill Subs: 12. Bumstead; 14. Chaney; 15. Heather; 16. Hopper