Saturday 18th October 2008
By Shaun Keddle
Great Performance, Wrong Result
On Saturday we entertained league leaders Sutton Athletic. We knew this would once again be a tough test as we were on a run of three straight league defeats; but welcomed the return of Judge and Cleaver B to the squad. Additionally, our returning recent injured parties are starting to gain their full fitness, so we had our strongest squad of the season so far.
We were up for this one right from the start and wanted to bury any remnants of last weeks shocking capitulation against Belvedere. Our excellent preparation for this game led us into a sharp start and we settled down and looked the better side throughout this fixture.
Against the run of play, Sutton took the lead. In the 35th minute, a good ball over the top split our defence and sent Weighill free who finished over the on-rushing St John in the Guild goal. Sutton had barely had an attack and this was a disappointing blow. One ball undone us and it was annoying to see that we were not marking goal side.
However, with the famous saying ‘Never, Never, Never Give Up’ by Winston Churchill (not Rick Astley, Barry) echoing in our ears we upped our game again, and got a deserved equaliser just before the break. A great team move which culminated in a neat through ball by Cooke, J which Williams L finished confidently under the goalkeeper. 1-1 at the half and we came in disappointed that it was honours even.
The second half started much as the first ended and our good start resulted in the Guild taking the lead with one of the best goals of individual brilliance that you will see at any level. Cooke J picked up the ball on the left hand side of the opposition’s box and weaved his way past a couple of Sutton players with close, two-footed control. The centre half came in with a challenge and was promptly ‘nutsed’ before sending the ball around the other centre half running on to it and finishing in the bottom right hand corner despite the best efforts of Mills in the Athletic goal. A truly great goal.
After the re-start, further opportunities came the way of the Guild as we looked to further stretch our lead. Williams, L was once again put through one-on-one with the keeper but this time was thwarted by the out rushing Sutton No. 1. Cooke R also had an opportunity, however the ‘Farnborough Mole’ once again reared its ugly head and the effort skewed well wide.
With around 15 minutes to go Sutton got an undeserved equaliser when the referee wrongly adjudged a foul against Abbott. It was a decision that cost us the points; in a game that we so richly deserved. A good ball in was never properly dealt with and despite a couple of vain defensive attempts, the ball landed on the foot of Mills who spanked home the finish. It was disappointing to see nobody within yards of the scorer.
Despite the setback our response was terrific and we were unlucky not to add a third when Williams, L turned in the box but failed to wrap his left foot around the ball. The match ended with the Guild proud of their performance and come back from last week, but really disappointed with the result as we definitely deserved to win.
I am sure that on the form that Sutton is in and looking at our current form that they were confident of bagging the points. However, the Guild was and will be a different side from this game onwards as we have key personnel back and even more returning this week. Additionally, the players that were injured are getting fitter all the time and we will now look to really push our way up the table.
Our home form has been excellent this season, and we remain unbeaten. However, our away form remains woeful and we must look to exercise the same excellent approach to home games to away games. We must go into every game with the same positive attitude and good preparation that we did today. Our response to last week at both training and match day was excellent and was exactly what I was looking for.
Man of the match was won easily by Jon Cooke for a scintillating display of forward play which resulted in making one and scoring a fabulous individual effort. Jon did not stop working, has got an amazing first touch and his awareness and decision making was second to none. Excellent work Jon.
This coming week we have local derby vs Bromleian Sports. We need to use Saturday’s performance positively and go and get nothing but three points. With only 4/5 games gone, the only side not to drop points is Belvedere, so the division this year is wide, wide, open. We are getting back to full strength so competition for places will increase, training will become more competitive and your patience is once again required. The club as a whole can only benefit from this.
Lets have another good training session on Tuesday, the session will determine my team and bring that forward and continue to improve our form. Well done lads.
Farnborough: 1. St John; 2. Small; 3. Eales; 4. Judge; 5. Davis; 6. Abbott; 7. Cooke R; 8. Perkins; 9. Williams L; 10. Cooke J; 11. Cleaver L
Subs not used: 12. Nethercot; 14. Warren; 15. Cleaver, B
Sutton Athletic: 1. Mills; 17. Hope; 11. Millbank; 4.Powley; 6.May; 21. Wisdom; 18. Hulance; 15. Mills; 8 Esson; 2. Weighill; 10. Young
Subs: Pask; Curtis; Eldridge; James