Sunday 19th November 2006
By Vince Wray
It just gets better and better!
The boys put in an extra ordinary performance to eventually overcome Purley who are currently 2nd in the division above and who are regularly used to finishing as league champions. Make no mistake, this wasn’t a lucky 1-1 and nicking it on penalties, this was a thoroughly deserved result with Farnborough outplaying and outclassing their opponents in every department. We discussed matching them and competing with them before the game but it was Purley who struggled with our approach and who failed regularly to match us! The truth is they were fortunate to take us to extra time and penalties. Every player gave their best and the fifteen man squad proved vital over the 100 minutes of football. This was a real genuine TEAM performance.
We began brightly, winning tackles and passing the ball very well on an awkward surface. We had our share of openings in and around their penalty box. Although Burkett was called into action, making a decent stop, at the other end, low down to his left to keep it 0-0. After 25 minutes we were awarded a free kick just outside their box, Stevens stepped up and rifled it into the corner from 20 yards. Purley were stunned, Farnborough launched further raids on the Purley goal culminating in a dazzling run from Laurant and a superbly struck shot from 20 yards out that hit the crossbar. The effort deserved better. 1-0 at half-time.
The 2nd half followed the same pattern but we increased our pressure, further openings were carved out by Farnborough using both flanks to great effect through Keyworth and Wray. Holmes provided a pivot down the centre from which countless openings arose making himself readily available at every opportunity. The passing was even better in this half which lead to us overpassing and losing possession giving Purley their chance to equalise halfway through the second period, Burkett had no chance in goal. The talismanic Stevens had to leave the field with a knock and was substituted by Skrine. At this point Purley had their tails up and sensed a comeback. Farnborough were having none of it, stood firm and regained their composure launching attacks stabilised by Captain Fullone in defence and the ever dependable and midfield anchor Adams. Holmes was replaced by Hunt and there were many tired bodies before extra time beckoned.
10 minutes each way produced no more goals, Wray and Black were replaced by Myatt and Bossley. Oh no! It was penalties, a great way to win but a hurtful way to lose. Stevens (back on the pitch), Skrine and Laurant scored our first three penalties, so did Purley. Barnett, having played his best game for the club so far, stepped up for the fourth, struck it very well, but too well, hitting the inside of the post and the ball rebounding out. Their goalkeeper took their fourth and duly hit the post as well. Keyworth scored the fifth and they levelled it up. 4-4. Sudden death. Milner, a perfect example of ice cool steadiness, scores for us and they shoot wide. Euphoria!
This truly was a memorable effort and puts us into the quarter finals, well played lads.