Sunday 18th November 2007
By Vince Wray
We were beaten today but we gave a good account of ourselves against decent opposition. The performance itself was definitely one of our better ones of late and was an improvement on our last two showings. We battled hard and fought to the end which is what we all needed to do. We face the same team next week in the league and I think today’s experience will prove invaluable to us. Within in the last 12 months we have played every team in the ‘A’ division and we now know that we are capable of performing against them and getting results. The division is very competitive as you would expect but we definitely belong there and I am expecting us to finish in the middle of the division – at least.
Stirred into action by seeking revenge for the previous week’s Kent cup exit against lower league opposition, I was aware of a greater sense of togetherness and purpose emanating from the players as we took the field. Unfortunately it didn’t last long as we were 1-0 down after 3 minutes. As a result of one of our own corners we allowed them to break away passing down the left flank crossing the ball and allowing them to finish. There were challenges made but none of them resulted in a meaningful tackle and hence the obvious result, a goal conceded.
We didn’t panic, we were playing with the wind behind us and had the better chances of the first half. Their keeper flapping at a Stevens corner but not under any Farnborough challenge, O’Donoghue and Wray both had goalbound efforts well saved. It stayed 1-0 up to half time.
Playing against the wind was a little more testing but we were still playing well and creating opportunities, Bridges had a header well saved and went close with another chance. Burkett kept us in the game with a smart save at the other end, as Three Bridges always posed a threat from their forwards. The game was held up for 25 minutes in total for various injuries, the worst which needed an ambulance, was to their centre midfield player. It transpired later that he had broken his fibula and some bones in his ankle. We wish him a speedy recovery.
We got our rewards in the last minute of normal time, Bridges scoring a header from Stevens’ corner. The game went into extra time and we were looking good. Unfortunately we switched off for a ‘nano’ second and allowed their striker through unchallenged and he made it 2-1 with about 5 minutes remaining of the first half of extra time. Both teams were visibly tiring and seizing up to the extreme cold weather. In our efforts to keep playing, dribbling out from the back an error between 2 defenders allowed them in for an undeserved third goal. That’s how it stayed.
Out of both cups in successive weeks is a hard one to take. It will sound mad to some readers but I thought the overall performance was decent. Yes, I know we conceded 3 goals but I thought the defence looked as sound as it could do. We tackled and fought hard and passed the ball well in unhelpful conditions (wind). We had our share of creating chances which was acceptable, what we need to do now is put them away. There is another team waiting to play us soon who will reap an adverse reaction to our bad luck of late, an avalanche of goals is just around the corner for one of upcoming opponents and I feel pity for them. Our objective now must be to carry on competing and to total as many league points possible and that will see us in a decent league position. In this division, the results prove that any team can beat the next on any given day.