Saturday 21st February 2009
By Shaun Keddle
Late Ray of Sunshine Keeps Firsts Perky
An 82nd minute strike by the in-form Ray Perkins gave the Guild all three points, a second win in a row and a rise of two places in the league table.
On a beautiful day for football, the Guild arrived at lowly Westerham determined to reverse the defeat we experienced earlier this season in the cup.
The Guild started the better side and within minutes, debutant goalkeeper Harvey pulled off a fantastic stop to deny Perkins from taking the Guild Into an early lead. With pressure being built in the Westerham half, a cross into the area by Stevens was headed goal bound by the late arriving Selmes but the athletic Harvey was on hand again to push the effort around the post.
As the half grew older, Westerham got more confident and began to battle their way back into the fixture. However, the last 20 minutes of the first half was played at a slow place similar to that of a pre-season run out or testimonial.
The half finished with the Guild with the upper hand but Westerham starting to play a bit themselves.
At the half Warren was replaced by Small after bursting his ear drum.
We spoke about upping the tempo of the game as that is when we are best and an increase in work rate to impose our decent fitness levels.
The second half was a more even affair and the chances began to come as the game got stretched. A free kick from Davis was just over the bar.
In the last 20 minutes it was end-to-end stuff with either side capable of nicking the points.
At the Westerham end a goal line clearance from Bakewell saved the Guild from taking the lead and back at the Farnborough end, Stevens made a brave goal line clearance for the Guild, hurting himself in the process. Still at the Guild end, Edwards made a miraculous double save to deny Brown who really should have scored.
With time running out the Guild launched another attack with Selmes driving through the middle and opening up the Westerham defence. His ball to Cooke was fed into the box and Perkins was on hand to finish high into the net. It was mass relief for the Guild.
Cleaver B replaced Selmes and Nott replaced Graham.
The remainder of the fixture saw Westerham push for an equaliser while the Guild relied on the odd breakaway, before time was whistled by the excellent Mr Cogley in the middle.
Across the ninety minutes I thought we deserved the game, but in the end either side could have nicked it with better finishing. It was a game of two goalkeepers as both No.1’s can pat themselves on the back for sterling performances – Harvey in the Westerham goal kept them in the fixture in the early exchanges and Edwards in the Guild goal performed wonders in the closing stages.
Personally, I cannot see why Westerham are where they are in table. Westerham battle hard and play well but when you are at the foot of the table, the luck does not come your way. However, if they continue to play the way they played against us, it will only be a matter of time until the pendulum of luck swings their way. Good luck to them for the rest of the season.
The Guild battled hard today. We started off the game really well and if we had put away our early chances then the game may have taken a different tangent. We did not play as well as we would have liked or as well as we have played over the last couple of weeks, but the important thing is that we never gave up, battled hard and fought for everything – these results that you nick here and there all add up. However, we took all three points, away from home, against decent opposition who as manager I have never beaten before, keeping a clean sheet in the process so I am more than happy.
Man of the match was awarded to Judge for a solid skipper’s performance. However it was a close run affair between Skipper and Keeper for the players man of the match which unfortunately lead to Judge taking the accolade by one late vote – ironically by Davis who stated ‘he made less mistakes than usual’ (which even I find a bit rich to be fair!). A commanding performance from Judge who marshalled a back four who are growing in confidence by the game. A special mention to Edwards in the Guild net who kept us in it, Abbott who worked and grafted in the middle and Perkins who was everywhere and got the vital goal.
Boys, have a look at the league table and really try to understand where we are and where we can be. There have been some strange results over the last few weeks and this league is wide, wide open. Between them, the top two have only picked up 4 points from 12 and every side is capable of beating the next. We have more home games left than away games and have played the top two sides twice already with plenty of games left against sides lower than us or just around us. Let’s start believing.
This week we have Bridon at home. This is going to be a key fixture for both teams to determine their true intentions and we are going to have to perform to our maximum potential to overcome them. We will have one of the strongest squads possible this week with the return of the Williams boys and also Cleaver B who is back from injury.
Let’s be prepared, be up for it, perform to the high standard that we know we can perform to and get the right result.
Farnborough: 1. Edwards; 2. Warren; 3. Eales; 4. Judge; 5. Davis; 6. Abbott; 7. Graham; 8. Selmes; 9. Perkins; 10. Cooke, J; 11. Stevens
Subs: 12. Small for 2. Warren; 15. Nott for 7. Graham; 16. Cleaver B for 8. Selmes
Sub not used: 17. Cannon
Westerham: 1. Harvey; 2. Martin; 3. Merron; 4. Christou; 5. Bakewell; 6. Brash; 7. Brown; 8. Mills; 9. Turner; 10. Jarman; 11. Ceesay
Subs: 12. Wickham; 13. Burns; 14. Morse; 15. Maunder