Monday 13th April 2009
By Shaun Keddle
Footballing Gods Favour the Ropes
On a warm Bank Holiday afternoon, the Guild travelled to Meridian Sports Ground in Charlton. It’s fantastic to see just how well the facility has improved over the past few years and the groundsmen have done a masterful job in turning around the worst pitch in the league, to one of, if not ‘THE’ best in the league.
Farnborough made only one change from the side that beat Westerham just two days beforehand with the returning Cleaver L coming in to replace the unavailable Cleaver B.
The returning Judge took to the bench with debutants Travers and Dunne who were promoted from the third eleven.
The game started well for the Guild who were now comfortable with their new formation and got into gear pretty quickly.
However, it was not long before the Ropes took the lead with a questionable opener. A free kick into the box was claimed by Hawkes in the Guild goal and was caught by a wayward arm and the ball ended in the net. A clear foul on the keeper which was not detected by the Mr. Cheverton and the Guild were undeservedly a goal down and Hawkes was left with a cut in his mouth and swollen lip.
Not to be deterred by this setback the Guild continued to play the better football, confidently knocking the ball around and using the pace of the Williams brothers upfront and Cooke J’s clever hold up play.
On twenty minutes, the Guild thought they had a deserved equaliser when a decent free kick was swung in by Davis and was met at the back post by Abbott. Scotter mishandled the effort and the ball ended up in the net, but the goal was somehow disallowed which led to mixed opinions. There were no complaints from Bridon players and the Guild players involved believed it to be on-side.
The Guild felt hard done by as Mr. Cheverton had not spotted a clear infringement for the Bridon goal, but spotted the alleged offside at the other end.
After twenty five minutes we suffered the first of three setbacks, losing Cooke J our highest scorer this season to a hamstring injury. Cooke J was replaced by Judge, which meant a re-shuffle with Perkins pushing forward and Judge coming into the middle.
A mix up in the Bridon defence presented Williams L with an opportunity to lob Scotter in the Bridon goal, but his effort was wide of the target. Another let off for Bridon.
At the half, Bridon had the goal but the Guild was playing the better football. We just needed to want this fixture a bit more as the game was there for the taking.
The second half started and finished at a high pace which was draining for both sets of players who were competing for the second time in three days. The weather appeared to get hotter as the game progressed. The Guild dominated the second half for large periods of the game. In the middle of the Park the game was fiercely but fairly contested between Judge and Abbott from the Guild and Haxell and Scott from the Ropes.
Ten minutes in the second half and the Guild suffered their second injury setback when the in-form Williams L pulled up with a nasty hamstring injury. Travers replaced the injured party.
The Guild was starting to mount the pressure which resulted in a number of corners that caused panic in the Bridon box. From one of these corners we got our deserved equaliser when Perkins converted from close range. It was the very least we deserved.
This gave the Guild a much needed lift and it looked as though there was only going to be one winner. 16 year old Travers thought he had got the winner after a brilliant run and cross from Williams J. The effort from 8 yards out was expertly turned away by Scotter in the Bridon goal when it seemed as though we had taken the lead.
On 70 minutes our third setback was experienced when Davis had to be replaced by debutant Dunne after re-occurring knee trouble.
For the next ten minutes we continued to push and push for the winner and we worked really hard. Bridon just appeared to be hanging on for the draw. However, we failed to convert our chances. With pushing more bodies forward, it left us wide open to the counter attack and Bridon had two efforts of note, theire only two efforts of the half; but it was a warning shot for the Guild to be cautious of Bridon’s quick front play.
With only a couple of minutes of injury time left, Bridon nicked a winner completely against the run of play. We gave the ball away cheaply in midfield and did not pick up Haxell in the box and the skipper finished past Hawkes for Bridon to take all three points.
The Guild was disappointed and although very happy with the performance, dominating the game and creating the better chances, we failed to take all three points. It's strange how football works, the Ropes played us off the Park at our place and deservedly took all three points. We dominate them at their place and take nothing; strange old game this football lark!
Man of the Match for the Guild was the ever competitive Abbott in the centre of midfield who continues to battle and perform to a high standard and provides that midfield cover that all defenders love. Other performances of note were the 17 year old Piper at right midfield who never gave the ball away and worked tirelessly up and down the pitch, going about his business quietly but effectively and 18 year old Warren at the back who accomplished a terrific marking job against Doherty who is one of the best forwards in the league.
Although I have praised a few individual performances we really performed well as a team today. Everyone worked so hard and never gave up and looked the better side against a really good Bridon squad who are on a terrific league run at the moment.
It was also good to see that Dunne and Travers came off the bench and both made positive impacts to the game. At the final whistle, we had three 17 year-olds and a 16 year old on the pitch and six players under the age of twenty – the Guild have a bright future provided we stick together.
Today felt like a victory, let’s bring this forward to the 25th where we should look to reverse the result that Metrogas inflicted on us earlier in the season.
Well done everyone.
Farnborough: 1. Hawkes; 2. Warren; 3. Fullone; 4. Piper; 5. Davis; 6. Abbott; 7. Williams J; 8. Perkins; 9. Williams L; 10. Cooke J; 11. Cleaver B
Subs: 12. Judge for 10. Cooke J; 15. Travers for 9. Williams L; 16. Dunne for 5. Davis
Bridon: 1. Scotter; 2. Doherty; 5. Bolt; 7. Doherty; 8. Scott; 9. Onasanya; 10. Crook; 12. Kendall; 14. Haxell; 15. Dawson; 16. Ratcliffe, M;
Subs: 6. Wilton; 11. Mackle; 20. Brown; 23. Ratciffe, S