Saturday 19th January 2008
By Shaun Keddle
A disappointing result after reasonable display. Personally, I thought the better footballing side lost, but good luck to Chipstead as I am sure that this game decided the place in the final.
As with all cup ties this season, I shuffled my pack to try out players in a number of positions and to give recent new signings or promotions from within, a run in the side so I can see how they shape up. Still missing Williams, L and Williams, J, Roots through a long term injury and with regular starters of Judge, Small and Harrigan on the bench, the Farnborough line up had a relatively unfamiliar look to it.
The game started relatively well for both sides. Both teams looked to get the ball down and play as both sides are good passing sides that prefer good interplay as opposed to the long ball strategy. Farnborough had the better of the first half hour with some good ball possession without really threatening the Chipstead goal. The breakthrough and deciding goal came on the half hour when after a good save from St John in the Guild goal, the rebound ricocheted kindly for the Chipstead left winger who slotted into the unguarded net from twenty yards. Farnborough were aggrieved by the decision to award a goal as a blatant hand ball in the build up was missed by the referee, who apart from this one blatant error, had a very good match. Our own team was penalised twice for the exact same occurrence.
The goal lifted Chipstead for the final fifteen minutes of the match and finished the half the stronger side
The second half was a different story. Farnborough got their act together and restricted Chipstead to breakaways where Bridger, the quick and skillful striker, was the main threat. However, Chipstead sat deep, worked hard and remained solid guided by the experience of Norburn at centre half. We still continued our passing game with Perkins dominating the middle of the park and we were playing some really good play from the back, through the middle and down the sides. However, we could not seem to find the final killer ball and missed a number of opportunities to take the tie into extra time. With 10 mins to go we changed formation to chase the result and in the dying minutes had a couple more chances that should have been buried.
However, Chipstead held out and progress through to the semi final and good luck to them.
In all truth, even though we are the current holders of this cup, and the cup final is always a prestigious occasion, no cup has priority this season over our main intention – to go up, be it as winners or runners up. Now we are out of the cup, we know exactly how many games are left, we know what we have to do and we can keep firmly focused on that intention without any other distractions which have haunted us in the past.
As the performance goes I was relatively pleased. A number of regular big names were missing or on the sidelines but we still kept to our principles and played some good football. We struggled slightly finding ‘that’ pass in the final third but I still think we looked the better side. Looking forward I cannot see anything to worry me.
Man of the match was split between Cleaver, B and Perkins who accumulated 4 votes each. Well done boys.
The fixture also gave 17 year old Warren a starting debut, the 20 year old Moulson more time for the firsts and Harrigan more playing time since his return a few weeks ago
Next week, we must look to be more decisive in the last third. We are away to Meridian who of recent seasons has proved a bogey side for us. We must go there with a positive attitude and walk away with all three points if we have any intentions to go up.
Farnborough: 1. St John; 2. McKeown; 3. Cleaver, L; 4. Pragnell; 5. Davis; 6. Cooke; 7. Warren; 8. Perkins; 9. Moulson; 10. Cooke, J; 11. Cleaver, B