Saturday 22nd December 2007
By Shaun Keddle
Farnborough completed their third double of the season after a convincing display; scoring some classy goals to leave them 9 points clear at the top with 10 games left to play.
Again our squad depth was tested to the maximum as Roots, Friend, St John, Pragnell, Cooke R and Cooke J were all unavailable for a variety of reasons. Wright and Dine were both drafted in at the last minute to act as cover – thanks fellas – much appreciated.
The game started brightly for Farnborough and within the opening five minutes we were ahead. A fantastic team manoeuvre released Williams, J on the right hand side who delivered a pinpoint cross for his older sibling to finish off.
After the first goal there was a spell of complacency for Farnborough who allowed Chislehurst to settle back into the game. However, going forward and on the break we looked full of energy and confidence. Second and third goals arrived courtesy of Harrigan; the first effort landed in the net after a deflected handball after good all round team work; the second was slid in from a few yards out after excellent inter-play. 3-0 at the half.
At the half, there was not too much to say other than keep feeding Williams, J on the right hand side and getting tighter to our men and being more positionally aware.
Chislehurst started the brighter side in the second half and played with a lot more intent and purpose, believing that an early goal would put them right back in it. On three particular occasions, slack marking could have meant that Chislehurst were back in. Our defence was found on the wrong side of our men and we could have been punished more heavily. However, every time we went forward, we looked as though we would get goals. On 60 mins, we earned a free kick on the left hand side of our own half. The free kick by Davis was expertly delivered into the opposition''s box sailing over the left back’s head and was smashed into the net on the half volley by the on-rushing Williams, J. 4-0 and cruising.
On 70 minutes, Chislehurst were given some hope after Cleaver, B was adjudged to handle the ball in the box. It was handball, but personally I thought it was more ball to hand than hand to ball. The kick was confidently dispatched by Brown.
On 70 mins, McKeown was replaced by Dine which meant a positional re-shuffle.
On 73 minutes the fixture was put beyond doubt when Williams, L headed over the line after good wing play.
On 75 minutes, Wright replaced Cleaver, L for a like-for-like replacement.
On 85 minutes Dine’s delightful chip after a great cross from Williams, J completed the scoring for the Guild, leaving them 9 points clear at the top of the division. A goal of real class.
Man of the match was again taken by Williams, J who has really hit a rich vein of form of late. His ‘Kudos’ to this game was the ability to deal with ‘big men’ in ‘tight spaces’, especially when they throw themselves at him and try to get ‘physical’. He lapped up all the attention, rejected all the advances, scored and went home with the result. He also played well on the pitch today. It was also good to see that McKeown always ‘had his back’ – protecting his ass. Good luck ‘camping’ in Australia.
There were also other performances of note. Small on the right hand side of defence often started things off with clever work and good passing. Perkins is really starting to find the form that made him player of the season last time around and the omens look good for 2008. Harrigan proved what a useful re-signing he is and will only get better as he returns to match fitness and sharpness.
These three points were the best Xmas present I could get. This performance and result follows up the good result from the previous week and sometimes in the past we have struggled to get up for the ‘not-so-big’ games. Chislehurst proved awkward to beat last time around and the result summarises how good we were despite Chislehurst trying very hard, especially in the opening 20 minutes of the second half. Once again we proved how useful our squad can be. We once again had a number of casualties and last minute drop-outs but players came in and did jobs when required. Availability is something that we all need to improve on as it often the ‘rug under our feet’ which is so often pulled by our own good selves. There are only 10 league games to go, so let’s really focus on availability and get this ‘bloody’ promotion that the club so richly deserves.
Farnborough: 1. Edwards; 2. Small; 3. Cleaver, L 4. Judge; 5. Davis; 6. McKeown; 7. Williams, J; 8. Perkins; 9. Williams, L; 10. Harrigan; 11. Cleaver, B
Subs: 12. Wright for 3. Cleaver, L; 13. Dine for 6. McKeown Sub not used: 14. Mace