Saturday 17th November 2007
By Shaun Keddle
A decent performance by both sides; the result putting the Guild back to the top of the division
Of recent times we have got good results, but have not performed that well. This week we performed a lot better, without the result being reflective of the dominance. The first clean sheet for a month is always an added bonus. We were well prepared for this fixture and had a full strong squad with no drop-outs or injuries.
The game kicked off and we started very well. Halls started off in a 3-5-2 formation, a formation that a lot of sides play against us, but this time we knew exactly what to do. Straight away we went one or two-touch football and the ball went wide, the ideal way to play against this formation. This is where we had a lot of the ball and most of our success. Football is a learning process and in this respect, we have learnt well.
However, right at the start of the match, St John in goal was replaced by McKeown after an injury in the warm up.
With twenty minutes gone some great skill by Cleaver, B on the left meant two of Halls’ players were left standing and a clever on-two with Cooke, J put Cleaver, B into the box, but was just unable to make any contact.
After a few near misses consisting of some good attempts and goalkeeping, we got the break we needed after half an hour. Good work by the Cleaver boys down the left flank found Cooke, J who delivered a magnificent cross into the box which Williams, L took full advantage off and powerfully put the ball over the keepers head and into the net.
2-0 quickly followed – a set piece corner led to a scramble in the box and after a couple of attempts to score and a couple of attempts to clear, landed at the right foot of Cooke, J who in turn found the back of the net.
At this stage, it was pretty much all us and it just seemed to be a matter of time before we would add to the tally. However, 5 mins before the half and a Halls player went over on his own ankle and was unable to continue and due to lack of players, Halls had to continue with 10. On the stroke of half time Halls were down to 9 as an accidental elbow caught their centre forward in the eye and he too was unable to continue.
At the half we re-adjusted ourselves to cope with Halls’ losses and pushed an extra body into midfield.
The second half started and it was one way traffic. In fact he entire half we played quite well and kept the ball really well, working left to right and keeping Halls very deep. All credit to Halls who did not lose heart and worked tirelessly for each other and were not deflated by the personnel losses’. By now it was never going to be a game they would win, but they expertly limited the damage with some excellent defensive performance’s by both their centre-half’s and goalkeeper.
We did have a number of goal bound opportunities and I feel that if we had got one goal in the second half, many others would have followed, but all credit to Halls who held us to level terms in the second half. 2-0 the game finished
Overall, I was quite pleased. Both the goals came while the sides were numerically matched and both goals were started from wide positions. We kept the ball very well at all times and our passing game has improved from weeks gone by.
A clean sheet was always pleasing especially after St John had to leave the pitch so early. Many thanks to McKeown who was more than happy to don the gloves and ‘the monk’ performed very well in doing so. In his short time at the Guild, he has probably covered every position that is possible.
Man of the match was a difficult one. Roots in the middle performed well, spraying the ball effortlessly wide with accurate passes on the deck. However, Cleaver, B collected the majority votes for a decent performance on the left ‘without any’ moaning (Well okay then, some moaning) and really drove forward into space trying to support the front two. Well done to you both and well done to everyone who all performed well.
Additionally, the referee was excellent in the both occasions that he has refereed us. He let the game flow when needed and had good communication skills.
This week we have Chipstead at home. Chipstead have appeared to have revived themselves from last season and have strung together some decent results. I am sure they will have an eye on promotion and will have to beat us to help towards that vision. If we have any intentions whatsoever to get promoted we must be up for this challenge and come away with all three points. That will place a large disconnect between the top two and the chasing pack. We have a strong squad this week and we need to be up for this like we were when Hawkenbury played us at home.
In terms of selections and substitutions, please bear with me. Squads win things, not teams. Selections are very difficult at the moment as we have an excellent strong squad plus a few faces in the reserves that wish to progress. That is a credit to us as a squad and as a club. We are top of the league and still in the cup so obviously we are doing things right – long may they continue. Your patience is both expected and appreciated.
Farnborough: 1. St John (GK) 2. Pragnell (RB); 3. Cleaver, L; 4. Judge © (CB); 5. Davis (CB); 6. Roots (CM); 7. Williams, J (RM); 8. Perkins (CM); 9. Williams, L (CF); 10. Cooke, J (CF) 11. Cleaver, B (LM)
Subs: 14. McKeown for St John; 13. Cooke, R for Pragnell Sub not used: 12. Small
Halls: 1. Jacobs; 2. Lucas; 3. Williams; 4. Daly; 5. Mitchell; 6. Vowles; 7. Casserly 8. Skopila; 9. Vanstone; 10. Lobo; 11. Moss