Saturday 3rd October 2009
By Shaun Keddle
Guild Step on the Gas
The Guild took all three points at Farrow Fields yesterday in a tight competitive encounter against a side that were probably pre-season favourites to progress from this division this season.
The Farnborough squad was stretched and tested for the first time this season with the unavailability of Abbott and Parmenter with injuries to Williams L and Wray.
Football is so 'typical'. We have missed the last two weeks due to Chipstead's late withdrawal from a fixture and the league unable to schedule us a game when our squad was pretty much fully available. The week we have a game, we have four out!
Before kick off we knew the game was going to be a battle of two halves. The strong wind was blowing straight down the pitch making it difficult to play and with the Guild opting to defend against it in the first half; we knew we would be right up against it.
The Gas went straight at the Guild from the whistle and Barry on the left hand side was causing us problems. Two good chances were thwarted by the giant Mumford in the Guild goal by pulling off two stunning stops from Hitchins and Barry. A chance at the other end for Cooke could have seen the Guild take the lead, but Cooke failed to make a proper connection. With fifteen minutes on the clock, the pressure was mounting on the Guild goal and a dangerous ball into the box was adjudged to be handled by Warren. Mr Culpeck pointed to the spot but Barry smashed his effort against the bar and the danger was cleared.
The Guild changed formation to deal with the wind and the mounting pressure from the Gas (pardon the pun!).
Still the pressure mounted on the Guild goal and the wind appeared to be blowing even stronger making it impossible to get out of our half. Further efforts were thwarted by Mumford before the Guild took the lead completely against the run of play. A great strike from Kendall saw the ball fly goalwards towards Conlon in the Gas goal who fumbled the effort and the ever alert Cooke was on hand to cleverly poke home.
Farnborough were elated by the goal but the Gas still pushed on with the Guild forced to sit deeper than usual. On 35 minutes, the Gas eventually found a way past Mumford when Hitchins found space in the box to squeeze the ball in off the post.
The half finished one a piece and even though the Gas were playing the superior football with all the play, the Guild was the happier side knowing that the tough half was over.
At the half we decided to resort back to our more attacking formation and put the Gas under the same amount of pressure that we were under in the first half.
Right from the start the tactic worked and the Guild were ahead in under a minute. After good play down our left the ball was played into Hughes whose clever turn put the ball onto his deadly right foot and found the top corner from 25 yards. A fantastic strike.
Farnborough now started to get a foothold in the game and started to play the better football. However it was hard work for both teams as it turned into somewhat of a midfield battle.
An injury to Kendall after a late tackle saw him replaced by Stevens.
With twenty to go came the deciding point of the game as Keeper Mumford launched one of his huge clearances and with the assistance of the wind bounced over the flailing Conlon and into the roof of the net! 3-1 to the Guild.
In the last twenty minutes, a well executed half volley from Stevens flew over the top of Gas’ bar and further opportunities were presented to Perkins and Cooke.
Cleaver replaced Cooke.
Metrogas never gave up and the points were never guaranteed until the sweet sound of Mr Culpeck’s whistle.
This was a fabulous victory against an excellent, full strength, good-footballing Metrogas side that will obviously have promotion intentions of their own.
Man of the match was Mumford who kept us in it at the half with a string of fabulous saves and a corking second half goal which really summed up his monstrous performance.
Further decent performances were from Travers the 17-year-old on his first team competitive starting debut who was really combative and showed what a great engine he has; and the vocal and influential Judge who was excellent both before and during the fixture.
Today, we have beaten a really good team. Yes, there was an element of luck and the Gas will argue that they did not deserve to lose, but we worked hard today, had four absentees to cope with and the Gas did not cause us any problems in the second half.
This makes two wins from two league games and we are the only side not to drop points in the division, which goes to prove how tight the league is going to be this season. We need to bring this form and confidence into next week’s game against Wickham Park and maintain this excellent form and spirit. Wickham Park and Farnborough are the only two sides not to experience a league defeat, so it’s another big game and one that we need to win to maintain our little run.
The squad is strong, confidence is high and results are great.
Farnborough: 1.Mumford; 2.Warren ; 3.Davis; 4.Elliot; 5.Hughes; 6.Travers; 7.Judge; 8.Perkins; 9.Hughes; 10. Cooke; 11.Kendall; 12. Stevens; 13.Cleaver; 14. Hawkes
Subs: 12.Stevens for 11.Kendall; 13.Cleaver for 10. Cooke
Sub not used: 14. Hawkes
Metrogas: 1.Conlon; 2.Murphy; 3. Chaney; 4.Healy; 5. Radley; 6.Gibbons; 7.Wilkey; 8.Forster; 9.Hitchin; 10.Maloney; 11. Barry
Subs: 12.Ash; 14.Heather; 15.Bassett.
Referee: Mr Lee Culpeck
Man of the match: Karl Mumford