Saturday 4th April 2009
By Shaun Keddle
Grafting Guild Grab Great Goals to Grindown Greenways
With the Guild lacking goals of recent games and short of personnel, it was time for a change in tactics. With Judge (Skiing), Perkins (romantic boat cruise) and Fullone (signed for Maidstone) to add to the already injured Cooke R (foot), Cleaver L (back), St John (everything), Koutsoudis (knee) and Roots (knee) it was increasingly difficult to get a full squad together. The returning Warren and Gibbs (drafted in from the reserves) took to the bench.
The new formation looked suspect in the first ten minutes as we struggled to find our rhythm and Greenways looked the sharper side, playing their expected 3-5-2 with sweeper formation. Within the first few minutes, we were dealt a blow when Hawkes misjudged a tame effort from Whitehead and it trickled into the net. The Guild were dealt another blow when Stevens was forced off with an injury which meant a re-shuffle with Warren coming in at the back pushing Small into right midfield and Cleaver B switching to the left side of midfield.
From the tenth minute onwards we dominated the half playing some excellent football. We really got things together and our more attacking formation was paying dividends when we started to get the ball forward more quickly. On twenty-five minutes we struck back with a wonderful strike from the in-form Abbott who smashed home from 25 yards after good work from Cooke J and Williams L.
10 minutes later we were ahead when a wonderfully flighted free kick from Davis was attacked at the back post by Abbott and the effort crept over the line. 2-1 to the good. More good play from the Guild saw Williams L blatantly up-ended in the box but no penalty awarded as the ref did not see the incident.
Greenways tried to change their formation a couple of times to deal with us, but to little effect. The Guild finished the half 2-1 up and much the better side.
At the half we knew we had the better of them and needed to maintain our momentum and not get complacent. We were working very hard but needed to get the ball forward a bit quicker.
The second half started and Greenways once again changed their formation and started to see a little more of the ball. Their intentions were known when a 25 yard effort was well saved by Hawkes in the Guild goal. On 70 minutes Greenways were somehow awarded a penalty after a McDonald's advert-style dive which angered Guild players and management. Greenways undeservedly converted the penalty to draw the scores level.
Guild now really started to up the ante and now had the bit between their teeth and added more bite to their game. On the 75th minute Cooke J cleverly raced through and lobbed the keeper. The keeper got his fingers to the effort but Williams L was alert to the opportunity and outpaced a defender to nut home the goal bound effort.
On 80 minutes the same combination linked up well again with Cooke J breaking down the left and delivering a ball into the box for Williams L to convert past Cole in the Greenways net. 4-2 to the Guild.
Greenways pushed on in search of getting something back and found joy in injury time when Eales very unfortunately found his own net. It finished 4-3 to the Guild in a very tough, entertaining and competitive match.
Both Manager's and Players' ‘man of the match’ was Williams L whose work rate and dedication to the cause was phenomenal. He grafted for 90 mins and won countless tackles, lost causes and ran them ragged. He also nicked the last two goals to improve his goal scoring tally still further and proved an excellent example to everyone that hard work does bring its rewards. Cooke J also played exceptionally well and was always involved in all the good play including 3 out of the 4 goals. His hold up play was excellent and was key to our new formation. Abbott in the middle also had a good game ably assisted by the young Piper and scored a fantastic equaliser. He also proved what can happen when a set piece delivery is attacked at the back post. Well done to all of you.
This season we have taken 4 points from Greenways who I think are a very good side who are tough to overcome. This is an excellent haul against a side that have only lost to top sides and also (up until Sat) the only team to beat Sutton. Greenways did have a couple of players missing today, but then again so did we and everyone that did play was fantastic. The new formation looked good but it was the positive attitude and hard work of the players that made the system work.
Good work. Let’s keep up this little unbeaten run and lay some foundations to build on for next season.
Farnborough: 1. Hawkes; 2. Small; 3. Eales; 4. Piper; 5. Davis; 6. Abbott; 7. Williams J; 8. Stevens; 9. Williams L; 10. Cooke J; 11. Cleaver B
Subs: 12. Warren for 8. Stevens; 15. Gibbs for 2. Small
Greenways: 1. Cole, L; 2. Mullen; 3. Joblin; 4. Cooper; 5. Parkinson; 6. Cuthbert; 7. Whitehead; 8. Taylor; 9. Butcher; 10. Cole J; 11. Briant;
Subs: 12. Burgess; 14. Barnes-Farnham; 15. Gutteridge