Saturday 27th February 2010
By Shaun Keddle
Strong Crocks Team Outguns the Guild
A decent Crocks team, a well rehearsed set piece, injury problems and individual errors were to blame as Farnborough fell to their first home league defeat of the season.
With many games postponed due to the recent bad weather, Farrow Fields became a popular gathering place on Saturday for football lovers in search of a game. Good work by the Beston brothers and skipper Judge in the absence of our regular groundsman ensured that the pitch was looking excellent before kick off. It really shows and proves what a good investment drainage was and all the hard work during the summer months has certainly paid off. Games are rarely postponed down the Guild and other teams should start to take note.
In the absence of Abbott and Kendall, the Guild lined up in a more attacking formation of 3-4-3 in an attempt to score more goals which have been a distinct rarity of late, despite a decent defensive record and some real good football being played.
Farnborough started well for the first ten minutes, looking the better side. However, the Crocks struck first with their first attempt on goal. Jon Whitty’s clever movement from a long throw was not tracked and the striker was allowed to turn unchallenged and strike cleanly past Mumford to open the scoring.
A second goal was soon to follow as Bishop was sent clean through and clinically finished into the top corner giving Mumford no chance. After thirty five minutes, Bishop converted from the same long throw set piece making the game look comfortable. The Guild had clearly not learnt its lesson the first time.
Despite being three nil down, the Guild had chances of their own during the half with Perkins flashing a clean strike just wide before being substituted after ten minutes with a pulled hamstring. A big loss for the Guild compounded with the illness to Abbott. A great cross by Williams J brushed the forehead of his elder sibling, but failed to convert.
At the half, the Crocks were clearly the better side and had utilised their strengths very well in terms of converting their set pieces. However, more bad news as the Guild made another forced substitution when Cleaver replaced the injured Wray.
On 55 minutes the game looked over as the Crocks increased their lead to four goals. Turner crept in and forced the ball over the line from the same long throw set piece. Bishop managed to get his head to the ball despite the attention of three Guild defenders and a goalkeeper with the lose ball converted by the said winger.
Conceding three goals from the same set piece was criminal.
With half an hour still on the clock a brilliant delivery by Stevens was met forcibly by the head of Williams L whose powerful header found its way over Barnes and into the net. On 70 minutes, Cooke clinically converted from the spot after Cleaver was bought down in the box. 4-2 and game on.
The last half an hour saw an inspired comeback from the Guild to show that this fixture was by no means over. Williams L was put clean through on goal with only the keeper to beat but the lob failed to reach its intended target. With ten minutes remaining a blatant penalty after a trip on Davis in the box was somehow refused by Mr Bailey who did not want the grandstand finish that the Guild so wished for.
The Guild pushed and pushed but always left open for a counter attack and was given a warning to that danger when a long range effort from substitute Ward was repelled by the Guild’s No1.
The referee's whistle bought to an end a frantic finish and Crockenhill ran out deserved winners after being the better side across the ninety minutes.
Man of the Match was the ever improving Travers, who at 18 years of age is playing a game way above his years and delivered a fine performance full of grit and determination playing against an experienced and decent midfield. Lee Warren and Jon Cooke picked up the remaining votes and made decent accounts of themselves and showed passion and desire for both result and performance.
The learnings from this game are evident and we shall be working on this at training going forwards. I am sure that we have learnt a lot from this game and injuries and unavailability did not help us. Uncharacteristic defensive errors were made, but I strongly believe that these were ‘blips’ as we have been defensively sound all season.
Despite the result and obvious dent to our promotion charge, there are positives to take from this game. First of all we are scoring and scoring against decent opposition. Secondly, we grew into the new formation the longer the game went on. Thirdly, we finished the game on top and the stronger side. The returning Cooke to the starting line up was an obvious improvement on our attacking play.
Farnborough: 1. Mumford; 2.Warren; 3.Judge; 4.Davis; 5.Wray; 6.Travers; 7.Williams J; 8. Perkins; 9.Williams L; 10. Cooke; 11. Stevens
Subs: 12.Cleaver for 5.Wray; 13. Elliott for 8. Perkins; 14. Connor for 11. Stevens
Sub not used: 15. Hawkes
Crockenhill: 1.Barnes; 2. Sands; 3. Ring; 4. Bishop, Ma; 5. Martin; 6. O’Toole; 7. Bull; 8. Shelton; 9. Bishop, Mi; 10. Whitty; 11. Turner
Subs: 19.White; 14. Ward; 15. Jeffrey;
Subs Not Used: 16. Ward-Corderoy
Referee: Mr T. Bailey
Man of the match: Josh Travers