Sunday 5th April 2009
By Vince Wray
Firstly an apology to regular readers of this weekly report for not submitting one last week from the match against Valley Valiants. There were some incidents in the game which overshadowed a decent performance, although we were defeated, I just did not feel a report could be done without mentioning so many unfortunate events.
Today we put in another spirited performance against top of the table opposition and deserved our draw and it definitely could have been more. Impartial spectators would surely have thought Farnborough were top of the table and VN were languishing in the bottom half.
VN threatened twice in the first half courtesy of their speedy left midfielder who was through on goal twice shooting tamely wide and being thwarted adeptly by the legs of Burkett in goal. Pragnell back from the slopes added steel and experience to the defence today and Skrine provided some real challenges in the midfield, combined with some good passing.
Today we got off to a decent start, I’m sure VN underestimated us and we competed well and put together some decent passing movements. Head was unlucky twice in the first half after putting their defence under pressure, charging down and creating an opportunity out of nothing but shot wide as he also did a bit later. VN took the lead after an award for a dubious penalty just a couple of minutes before half time. We turned round 1-0 down.
I sensed a bit of despondency from the players when they scored. In this respect the half came at a good time. We re-grouped at half time had a good chat and reminded each other about all the positives from the first 45 minutes. It is no exaggeration to say the 2nd half was completely Farnborough’s. Burkett saw little action, apart from a nail biting rush of blood from Greenhough in his own area. At the business end VN seemed to drop deep and invited us on, Milner from full back position and Wray provided renewed impetus down the flanks and Nott and Skrine continued to forge an excellent partnership in the middle. Williams who had literally run the VN backline into the ground, seemed to cover every blade of grass, drifting around, posing a constant menace to the opposition. On numerous occasions they just couldn’t handle his pace and bundled him over. We were not aided by some indecisive refereeing today, I’m sure the ref has had better days. About 10 minutes left, after an effort from a corner from close range that went straight into the keeper's arms, Pragnell had a good header saved, Wray seemed nailed on with a fierce left footed drive that the keeper tipped over and another effort from the relentless Head, it seemed like we were destined not to score. Enter Williams, collecting the ball on the right side of the box and from a seemingly very difficult angle, Williams only had ‘shoot’ on his mind. We were all thinking ‘cross’. It happened in milli-seconds but time seemed to stand still as I witnessed an absolutely stunning finish, the ball left Williams’ right foot, sweetly struck, swerved and literally crashed into the corner of the net with meteoric ferocity. The keeper didn’t move, nobody could see it, it was like a supernatural phenomenon, the ball was at Williams’ right foot and then it was in the net. Only the Gods and the spirits of Farnborough footballers of the past looking down from the heavens will give you an explanation. I’ve seen a lot of amateur football over the years and this ranks with the best goals I’ve seen as spectator, player and manager. Well done Jamie.
VN rocked and were rattled. We took the game to them in the dying minutes desperately looking for a winner but they managed to hold on. In boxing terms we won this battle on points. In football it’s clean sheets and scoring goals that give you the edge, neither have we found easy latly, but I am witnessing progress in this team. Sometimes the players may not believe it and lack a little confidence but we now certainly have a TEAM. Players that turn up on time and are dependable and want to play for eachother, added into their natural, ever-improving, playing ability. I can only see very good things to come from this group of players.
Well done lads, this was a real, top-drawer performance.