Saturday 23rd February 2008
By Shaun Keddle
A comprehensive display and deserved result to put our promotion hopes right back on track
Following a poor defeat the previous week, a manager always seeks a response and everyone had to stand up and be counted. This week I got the exact response I was looking for – the hunger and desire to win was back and everyone was focused on the job in hand. Cray had posed us a few problems in our earlier encounter, so we knew we had to be on our game today. Attitude and concentration were the buzz words of the day and both traits were excellent.
We started the game at a high tempo and got our rewards by going 2-0 up in the first 15 minutes. Perkins getting the opener after a goal mouth scramble. The second followed after Perkins burst into the box down the right hand side delivering the ball across the goal for Williams, L to finish. The first opportunity for Cray followed after one long ball split the defence leaving Jack through on goal only to be thwarted by an excellent saving tackle from the excellent McKeown. We were completely dominating by now and added a third before the break when Perkins finished off an excellent team move with a well placed volley, beating the keeper at his near post.
At the half we spoke about not taking our foot off the gas and needed to start the second half as we started the first – high tempo with short, sharp passing. We needed to be tight at the back and not give Cray any hope of a comeback. After the first 15 minutes we settled down and really started to dominate the game without scoring. Against the run of play the pacey Collier was through on goal only to be thwarted once again by McKeown who was commanding at the back. Judge, the captain had a point to prove after last week and was barking out the orders, organising things and getting people motivated during the game.
A substitution was made - Cooke, R for Pragnell and shortly after a fourth was added on 65mins after excellent play by Williams, J down the right who delivered a deep ‘Beckhamesque’ cross into the path of Williams L who then outpaced his marker and finished with a neat strike to the keepers right. Cooke, J was then replaced by Hardway, pushing Perkins upfront.
The rampant Williams, L completed his hatrick with around 10 mins on the clock after a defence splitting pass from Perkins to Williams L who again outpaced his marker to finish low and hard into the corner of the goal giving the keeper no chance. A couple of minutes later and Williams, J flew into the box beating his defender only to be tripped before he could pull the trigger. A penalty was awarded in which Williams, L offered the ball to Perkins to complete his hat trick. Perkins in a moment of utter jug avoidance snubbed Williams who calmly placed the ball down himself and smashed in his fourth. (Further jug avoidance followed later that night when Perkins refused to make a move on a bird with big tits!!)
The final few minutes were played out very comfortably against a demoralised and well beaten Cray side.
Man of the match fell to Williams, L for his four-goal haul and can sometimes be unplayable when he is in this type of mood. McKeown also picked up a number of votes for a very solid display making some timely interceptions at key points in time. Despite these individual praises, everyone played very well leaving St John in goal with very little to do. Perkins and Cooke worked their socks off in the middle and kept things simple, Judge and Davis were controlled and organised against two very quick forwards; the Cleaver boys down the left worked well together and were resourceful with the ball; McKeown and Williams, J down the right worried the life out of the Cray defence and they never got beyond our back line; Cooke and Williams, L upfront showed what an excellent pairing they are with speed, engineering, hold up play and deadly finishing. Pragnell and Hardway both entered the fray to a positive affect.
Overall I could not be more pleased. This was an excellent response to the previous week and we wanted this result way before kick off. We concentrated at all times which can sometimes be difficult if we go ahead so early. We played at a really high tempo and there was very little dwelling on the ball. We were always in control and our concentration levels were excellent. Our talking was better but could still do with some improving in terms of volume and quality.
Ok, enough of the back slapping and lets focus on the future. We have a very busy fixture list for March which will be the make or break of the season. We have a game on all 5 Saturdays in March, and depending on how the league deals with the games vs Eltham and Wickham Park, these could be our last 5 games. We all need to concentrate our efforts and ensure our availability for March (including Easter Saturday) is good so we stand the best chance of winning. We need to ensure that attendance at training is improved, which has been poor since Xmas.
First up we have Erith 147. We have not played them this season but they are a decent and organised outfit who sit a respectable 4th in the table. At this stage of the season, tables do not lie and they have beaten sides that we have lost to so we must ensure that we approach this game with the same attitude as this week. They are capable of scoring goals but at the same time they can concede quite heavily, so if we keep things tight at the back I am sure we can come out on top.
We need a big March, lets start it off with a decent win.
Farnborough: 1. St John; 2. McKeown; 3. Cleaver, L; 4. Davis; 5. Judge; 6. Cooke, R; 7. Williams, J; 8. Perkins; 9. Williams, L; 10. Cooke, J; 11. Cleaver, B
Subs: 12. Pragnell for 6. Cooke, R; 13. Hardway for 10. Cooke, J. Sub not Used: 14. Mace; 15. Keddlinihio
Cray Wanderers and New Bromleians: 1. Caffell 2. Syed; 3. Flemington; 4. Agboluaje; 5. Cummings; 6. Osei; 9. Jack; 10. Kamara; 14. Ojo; 15. Lawal; 16. Collier
Subs: 8. Peprah; 11. Oyediran; 7. Ishumi