Saturday 29th August 2009
By Shaun Keddle
Farnborough pass stiff test from the East
Saturday was our stiffest pre-season test yet as we lined up against Sheerness East who were relegated last season from the KCL Premier. Sheerness have strengthened during the close season and will look to bounce straight back up. Farnborough were without Perkins, Abbott, Travers and Elliott and therefore started without a recognised centre midfielder.
The game started brightly for both teams but Sheerness making the better start and saw a lot of the ball. The clever No. 10 was dropping into midfield and outnumbering us and we were giving him space for him to turn into. A couple of early chances should have seen the East ahead but the final ball was either wayward or finishing was poor. After half an hour we started to get a foothold in the game and use our pace to our advantage. We also started to get hold of the No. 10 and follow him into midfield, neutralising the numerical advantage. With about 35 minutes gone a great breakaway against the run of play gave the Guild the lead. Neat play from Cleaver fed Williams down our right hand side and a searching ball found Parmenter at the back post to finish from close range. Sheerness must have felt it was a harsh blow to go behind at this stage.
The goal gave us renewed confidence and we started to take control of the game in the last ten minutes of the half. The half ended with the Guild a goal to the good, but across the forty five minutes, the East were the better side.
At the half we spoke about possession as we had the goal advantage and needed to keep the ball. We also spoke about continuing dealing with the number ten, like we had done so in the last 15 minutes of the half. We knew we were under the cosh for the first half hour, so we knew we had to express ourselves more. At the half; Wray, Cooke and Hughes replaced Kendall, Williams J and Cleaver.
The second half was role reversal and we looked really comfortable and constantly troubled the Sheerness back line. The big number 9 upfront for Sheerness worked really hard but was often left with little or no support and our back line dealt with him comfortably. Some of the slick passing and good possession was a joy to see as both sides continued to play good football. The killer goal came on 65 minutes when Williams netted a bullet header after great work from Stevens in the middle and Wray on the left.
The game was played out comfortably by the Guild, but the East never gave up.
Overall it was a decent performance especially given the names that were missing. It was easily our stiffest test yet and I guarantee you that Sheerness will be there or thereabouts in their division come May. We look fit, strong, organised, versatile and competitive and we have a full squad available for selection this week. Selection this week for our first competitive game vs Rusthall will be really difficult and I have some really challenging decisions to make, but I am in a position now that I have not been before and I could not be happier with the squad. Please bear with me with regards to selections, it's all about patience and performances and your opportunity will come.
Don’t forget the early meet for this Saturday's game – 12pm so we can have a team photo beforehand.
Man of the Match was Colin Judge who led the squad really well and worked hard for ninety minutes in the centre of the park, followed by Stevens who had his best game yet of the pre-season programme. Well done to both of you.
Farnborough: 1. Hawkes; 2. Warren; 3. Davis; 4. Eales; 5. Stevens; 6. Judge; 7. Cleaver (13. Hughes); 8. Kendall (14. Cooke); 9. Williams L; 10. Parmenter; 11. Williams J (12. Wray)