Saturday 20th October 2007
By Shaun Keddle
Maximum points achieved after a below standard performance.
The Guild left the goals late in this encounter to come away with all three points, scoring twice in the last 10 minutes to take all three points back to Farnborough.
A late change of venue to Old Addeyans did not affect our organisation for this fixture. We arrived very early and were well prepared. We had a strong squad available and were on the back of an excellent result and performance from the previous week. However, a number of regular players were benched for rotation policy and protecting minor injuries.
The game started and Farnborough were the much better side passing the ball around and creating a number of chances before McKeown hammered the ball home from 20 yards to give the Guild a deserved lead after twenty minutes. At this point we believed that the floodgates were to be opened and we would walk away easy victors. This was not to be and Chislehurst continued to work hard and grow in confidence as the match went on. Although in the first half, St John in the Farnborough goal had little to do.
At the half we spoke about upping the ante as the game looked flat and we must look to kill the game off in the second half with an early goal. However, our performance slipped in the second half and for much of the game it looked more likely for Chislehurst to find an equaliser than what it was for the Guild to find a winner to put the game beyond reason. Time after time a centre forward was dropping deep and was picking up the ball without us going with him – allowing him time and space to operate and create.
Up the other end Roots missed an opportunity to double our lead after good work down the left but the opportunity was fired over the bar. Williams, J replaced Roots to give us pace and an outlet on the right and Cleaver, L replaced Pragnell, M as left back.
With 10 minutes to go on the clock Cooke R popped up in the box and managed to poke the ball home from close range. A vital goal and the pressure was off. The last 10 minutes of the match we relaxed and played some good football with McKeown again getting on the score sheet after a speculative effort from twenty five yards rolled between the keeper’s hands and found the net. 3-0 the final result.
Even though the performance was not up to the standard of the previous week or indeed the standards that are expected of us - there are still some positives to take from this game. Firstly we scored three goals – always a positive sign. Secondly, we kept a clean sheet which always makes you difficult to beat. Thirdly, we still managed to grind out a result without really showing what we are truly capable of.
From a personal point of view I have learned that shouting at the top of my voice in the hope that people will up their personal performances may not be the best way forward, and maybe some individual coaching and encouragement may have a better effect!
Man of the match very narrowly went to Sam Small over Mike McKeown. Small had a solid game at right back and showed a good array of passing with a high success rate, always looking to get the ball forward and creating from the back. McKeown had his best game in a Farnborough shirt scoring a great opener and adding the third.
Three points in the bag – onwards and upwards boys!
Farnborough: 1. St John (GK); 2. Small (RB); 3. Pragnell (LB) 4. Judge © (CB) 5. Davis (CB) 6. Cooke, R (CM) 7. Roots (RM) 8. Perkins (CM) 9. McKeown (CF) 10. Cooke, J (CF); 11. Cleaver, B (LM)
Subs: 13. Williams, J for 7. Roots; 14. Cleaver, L for 3. Pragnell, M Sub not used: 12. Williams, L
Chislehurst: 1. Lawrence; 2. Van Emmerik; 3. Campbell; 4. Rasem; 5. Sharpe; 6. Heath; 7. Self; 8. Lennard; 9. Messari; 10. Brown; 11. Byrne
Subs: 12. Martin; 14. Thompson