Saturday 7th November 2009
Barry Bundock West Kent Challenge Shield
By Shaun Keddle
Hero Hawkes Saves Guild's Blushes
On an afternoon perfect for football, the Guild rued missed first half chances that took this game into extra time and then to the dreaded penalties and then onto the even more nail biting scenario of sudden death penalties. Penalties are one of the few times that a keeper can be a hero and sub keeper Hawkes stepped up to the plate and stole the show.
The Guild lined up in an unfamiliar side with three of the midfielders being 18 years or younger and 17 year-old Hawkes deputising in goal for Mumford. Regulars of Cooke, Abbott, Davis and Williams J took to the bench.
The first 10 minutes was fairly even and both teams really struggled to get a foothold in the game. After the initial feeling out period it was the Guild who started to take control of the game and have no less than five good chances of taking the lead, but we failed to either hit the target or work the goalkeeper. Three one-on-ones were missed and our finishing was rash, thrashed and rushed. Some more level headed finishing was needed.
The second half was more of an even affair and Fleetdown started to dig in and battle. Fleetdown had two good chances themselves with a fantastic long range effort that crashed against the Guild bar and a ball across the box that rebounded off the post with the follow up into the side netting. Was it to be an afternoon of missed chances coming back to haunt us?
Abbott replaced Travers and Cooke replaced Cleaver.
At the other end the Fleet keeper kept them in it with two close range saves from Wray and Hughes and some expert agility kept a set piece header from Elliott at bay, when we all thought he had grabbed the winner. At the death a looped headed by Hughes found the top of the Fleet bar.
Extra time loomed and it was turning into a battle of attrition as both sides dug in not wanting to lose this hard fought encounter which turned into a midfield battle that ended pretty uneventfully.
Onto penalties then and the Guild won the toss electing to kick first. Cooke stepped up and confidently found the back of the net. Hawkes in the Guild goal was bouncing around like the Geordie Dancer and got a hand to the Fleet's first effort, but the effort found the net. The next three efforts by the Guild (Warren, Davis and Perkins) and the Fleet were all confidently dispatched giving the keeper no chance whatsoever.
The fifth pens came around and Williams L’s misplaced effort found the keeper's legs. Fleet had the chance to win it but the well struck effort by the Fleet forward crashed against the post, giving the Guild a reprieve. Hughes stepped up to take the first sudden death penalty for the Guild and it was dispatched with ease. Fleet had to score to keep themselves in it. The penalty was struck well enough but Hawkes equalled the strike thrusting out a strong right arm to parry the effort away and send the Guild into an away quarter final against Chipstead who overcame Greenways 3-1. Cue elementary mass bundle.
In terms of the game and despite the goalless score line, it was still quite an entertaining game with some good football played by either side. The Guild should have put the game beyond doubt in the first forty-five and the second half became anyone’s game and Fleetdown grew in confidence whilst the Guild rued their missed chances.
Defensively today we were quite sound, but it's fair to say that we shall be working on our finishing at training as we must learn to be more ruthless with our chances and start to pick and place; guile and craft over force and power.
The cup games against lower league opposition are always potential banana skins. Being the higher placed side, the pressure was on us today and some of that told on our wayward finishing. Fleetdown had nothing to lose and everything to gain and gained hope from our inability to hit the back of the net – this is a warning to us for future potential banana skin games.
All credit to Fleetdown though and I am sure they will continue to grow and must have their eyes set on promotion for next season as I can see them competing in this very tough division next year. They battled hard, never gave up and were only a goal post away from an upset. I am sure they will gain confidence from their performance despite not getting the result. Well done to them.
Next week we are still in cup action, this time in an IRCC game against Orpington. This game we can relax a little as the onus will be on the higher placed side to get a result.
Man of the match was Perkins for another performance that covered every blade of grass.
Farnborough: 1. Hawkes; 2. Warren; 3. Elliott; 4. Judge©; 5. Hughes; 6. Travers ; 7. Wray ; 8. Perkins; 9. Williams L ; 10. Cleaver; 11. Stevens
Subs: 6. Travers for 15. Abbott; 13. Cooke for 10. Cleaver; 11. Stevens for 12. Davis
Subs Not Used: 14. Williams J
Fleetdown: 1. Hyde; 2 Sweeney; 3. Munday; 4. Wardale; 5. Christie; 6. Assender; 8. Martin; 9. Relph; 10. Coaker; 11. Willis; 16. Wright.
Subs: 12. Watkins; 7. Beats; 15. Wheeler
Referee: Mr. T Bailey
Man of the match: Ray Perkins