Saturday 22nd March 2008
By Shaun Keddle
A comprehensive and domineering second half performance brings all three points to the Guild and ever closer to that elusive promotion place.
Saturday saw the Guild take a huge step towards promotion by securing all three points against fellow promotion contenders Chipstead. A win this week against Erith 147 and a win for Eltham Palace against Chipstead will see us promoted with a few games to spare. The finishing line is in sight and we cannot afford to slip up.
With the torrid weather the game was always going to be made more difficult by a strong wind against the Guild in the first half. The aim was to finish the half with a clean sheet and really push on in the second period. The game started well and was quite open with Williams, J exposing a lot of space down the right hand side with some pacy and penetrating runs. With 15 mins on the clock Williams, J was taken down in the box but a penalty was not awarded. Down the other end St John made two decent stops to deny Chipstead going ahead. With around 35 mins gone Farnborough were awarded a penalty when McKeown was taken down in the box. Williams, L stepped up and placed the ball over the bar after sending the keeper the wrong way. Two minutes later a further penalty was denied after Williams, L himself was taken down in the box. That was followed by a penalty claim for Chipstead themselves after suspected hand ball. With 5 mins to the half, Wood blazed a tremendous effort from 25 yards against the Guild post with the rebound bouncing kindly for St John.
0-0 at the half with Farnborough being far the happier side. We knew the hard work had been done and looked forward to the second half where we could really apply the pressure.
The second half was a completely different affair and quite one sided. Within a few minutes of the restart Williams, L was clean through on goal, rounded the keeper and with the goal at his mercy rushed his effort and the ball went wide. The Guild did not sit back and sulk and continued to press for the opener. Further efforts were squandered before Cooke, J converted from the spot after Norburn was adjudged to have handled in the box. A very cool finish from the Guild front man.
Cleaver, L replaced Pragnell at left back. 5 minutes later we were further ahead when Davis struck a 25 yard free kick into the top corner. This fantastic strike was the real killer goal and the Guild was in the ascendancy. Chipstead realised they had a mountain to climb and their body language was not positive. A third quickly followed after Perkins danced and weaved through the Chipstead midfield and defence and finished sublimely at the near post. A fantastic solo effort from the centre midfielder who now has 6 goals in his last 8 outings.
Judge replaced Cooke, R as he was on a booking. The remaining 15 mins of the game were seen out very comfortably and indeed the Guild could have increased their lead before the ref blew the final whistle.
First of all, congrats to the referee for handling this encounter so well. It was an important match for both teams and the conditions did not help.
Overall, I was very happy indeed. Probably one of the best second half performances to date. It would have been easy to crumble but we really relished this challenge and stood up to be counted from the moment we kicked off.
There were a few performances of note. The 17 year old Warren had a solid and reliable game at right back, McKeown had a stormer at centre half and cropped up all over the place biting and challenging everything. However, Cooke, J up front stole the MOM honour and had an excellent battle upfront against the experienced centre half Norburn. Cooke, J led the line very well and held onto the ball bringing the midfield into play. His calmness from the spot settled the Guild side and set up the victory.
As stated early this ‘could’ be the weekend that we get promoted. What we have to do firstly is to ensure that we go out and win the game on Saturday. Erith are a decent side and we will again have to be at our best if we want the points. It will be nice to be at home for once for the first time in 7 weeks. Let’s do the business and get this promotion wrapped up once and for all. Secondly, we will have to see if Eltham can get a result at Chipstead.
A couple more big weeks and we are there; stay focused, stay disciplined and work hard. Great result, let''s back that up with a decent win on Saturday.
Farnborough: 1. St John; 2. Warren; 3. Pragnell; 4. Davis; 5. McKeown; 6. Cooke, R; 7. Williams, J; 8. Perkins; 9. Williams, L; 10. Cooke, J; 11. Cleaver, B
Subs: 12. Cleaver, L for 3. Pragnell; 14. Judge for 6. Cooke, R Subs not used: 15. Mace and 16. Keddlinihio
Chipstead: 1. Porter, A; 2. Mitchell; 3. Cannon; 4. Minchinson, T; 5. Norburn; 6. Reece; 7. Porter, J; 8. Castleton; 9. Wood; 10. Bridger; 11. Chapman
Subs: 12. Nolan; 14. Wilken; 15. Minchinson, A