Saturday 10th October 2009
By Shaun Keddle
Out of Luck, Out of Time and Out of Points
The Guild will look back at this game at two points lost rather than one point gained, despite going into the last 20 minutes two goals behind.
Both sides went into this fixture unbeaten and looking to continue their good run of form. The pitch looked a fantastic surface and it looks as though the ground staff had done well and worked hard during the pre-season.
It was the Guild who started the brighter side and created a number of chances but bad luck, good goalkeeping and wrong last ball decisions meant that the Park took a shock lead completely against the run of play. Loose defending meant that a one-two was played on the edge of our box and a fine finish by the lively Louch meant that the Guild somehow fell behind.
The goal did not fluster the Guild and we continued to push forward and some fantastic play saw chances for Cooke, Hughes, Perkins, Stevens and Williams J all go awry. It seemed as though the powers that be did not want us to score today.
It could have been worse for the Guild if it was not for the enthusiastic Louch being denied an equaliser by an offside, with the correct decision being made.
The Guild went into the half one goal down but playing much the better football and it seemed it would only be a matter of time before the Guild would equalise.
The second half started well for the Guild and we went straight on the attack kicking down the slope but again found the post and more Wickham players throwing themselves into defensive blocks. Again, against the run of play, Louch dropped deep to pick up the ball, turned and passed out wide, for a tremendous effort that spanked the bar. The rebound fell kindly for Clifton who followed up the effort and found an unguarded net to register Park's second goal.
It could have worsened for the Guild when Mr Anthony somehow interpreted a free kick that was at least five yards outside the box as a penalty. Despite politely asking the referee to consult the linesman, he decided to make a key decision himself when he was around fifty yards away. All match he had gone with the linesmen’s decisions. The Wickham boys could hardly believe their luck.
The Guild were left bemused. It was somewhat bewildering to play this well and be behind with the possibility to go behind even further. In fact it verged on the impossible.
The penalty was struck well but the reliable Mumford saved well to deny the Park a certain winner.
Substitutions were made and Parmenter and Travers were replaced by Williams L and Abbott.
Further good chances came and went for Stevens, Cooke, Perkins and Williams L before the latter rose brilliantly to at last head home with 15 minutes left on the clock.
The Guild really upped the tempo now and played at a frantic pace, looking to level the scoring but some miraculous defending by the Wickham Park back line kept them in the lead. With three minutes remaining, the Guild found a more than deserved equaliser when some slack keeping and a confused defender left Hughes an easy tap in. In the last few minutes, the Guild huffed and puffed but could not blow the Park down, despite a couple more efforts on goal.
In all today we deserved all three points. The number of efforts on goal we had today was unbelievable. On another day we would have bagged six or seven and I believe we found the crossbar three times and the post twice and had a certain penalty turned down. There were also around three goal line clearances and Wickham threw everything they had at the ball, so well done to them. They rode their luck through the majority of this encounter, but their luck was also teamed with Wickham defenders throwing every part of their body in the way to deny certain goals and goal scoring opportunities.
We played very well today and we were excellent with the ball. We moved the ball quickly and looked responsive, quick and sharp. Our finishing could do with improving, but today we were mainly thwarted by lack of luck and some great last ditch defending.
Today we did learn a few things. With the ball, we were brilliant today. Some really good free flowing football with the ball getting wide and countless opportunities were created by sticking to our philosophy of playing football. We do however need to work harder off the ball and commit more to the grafting side of football. We need to compete more for second balls, hit good tackles where needed and challenge more in the air. We cannot make defenders' lives easy when the ball is in the air and when players drop, we must go with them; players score goals, not spaces.
Man of the match today was Ray Perkins who once again was our driving force in the middle of the Park. Ray was positive in his play was box to box for the full ninety minutes and was the catalyst for all things good.
Next week we have a break from the league and are drawn against Old Bexleians in the West Kent Challenge Shield at home. Please note the slightly earlier kick off time. Let's bring the positives and learning points forward into this fixture, getting tighter defensively and converting some more of these opportunities that are coming our way.
Farnborough: 1. Mumford; 2. Warren; 3. Davis; 4. Judge ©; 5. Hughes; 6. Travers ; 7. Williams J ; 8. Perkins; 9. Parmenter; 10. Cooke; 11. Stevens
Subs: 13. Williams L for 9. Parmenter; 14. Abbott for 6. Travers
Subs Not Used: 15. Cleaver
Wickham Park: 1. Ashworth; 2. Kane ; 3. Ward ©; 4. Kaye; 5. Cornerford; 6. Smith; 7. Clifton; 8. Cooper; 9. Louch; 10. Freeman ; 11. Tidnam
Subs: 12. Coombe; 13. Foster
Referee: Abimbola Anthony
Man of the match: Ray Perkins