Saturday 5th April 2008
By Shaun Keddle
A fantastic result to see the Guild promoted to Division One West. A fantastic achievement for the players, the team, the club and everyone involved. A special thanks to the guys that showed up and indeed to all the supporters that have been brilliant this season home and away.
We decided to play into the wind and the slope for the first half and started relatively well. It was definitely going to be a good game as Wickham Park play decent football and it’s a true surprise of how low they sit in the league table; their league position belies their footballing ability. The first half was relatively even. Park had a good penalty claim turned down and the Guild had Perkins taken down when clean through on goal. Further half chances fell for both teams but Judge and Williams, L for the Guild failed to convert. However, Park themselves were guilty of missing a couple of chances when opportunities fell for both Stocks and Coombe. The half ended 0-0 and was quite even.
At the half we really spoke about upping our game as we had not showed what we were truly capable of and disappointed with our display. Our superior fitness was always going to tell in the second half but we needed to up the tempo and urgency in order for it to pay dividends.
The second half was a completely different story. We really started to dominate proceedings and further chances went begging. Williams, L smashed the ball against the bar from and acute angle and on a number of occasions the final ball was a little wayward. We really stepped up our game and with 25 mins left Cleaver, B followed through a loose ball which spun over the keeper and finished into the net despite valiant attempts by the Park keeper to stop the effort from going in.
Once we got one the pressure was off and the floodgates opened and we started to play some excellent football with little response from Park. Within minutes a second goal followed when Williams, L netted from close range to give us that much needed cushion. Minutes later we pushed forward again and Cleaver, B netted his brace after rounding the keeper.
Three goals turned to four shortly after when Cooke marched into the box to convert a corner with a powerful header. Further goals should have followed but the Guild were more than happy with their day''s work on the pitch and the match ended four nil.
Again I was more than pleased with the performance. Despite an indifferent first half where Wickham probably had the better chances, we responded excellently in the second half and put in a performance worthy of winning any match.
Once again we did not concede and that is now four clean sheets in a row and we have not conceded a goal for around 7 hours of play. In that time we have scored 16 goals. Vic will have to get the history books out for this one and indeed we have only conceded three league goals in the 9 league games we have played this year and scored 30. Well done to all involved. Additionally, our goals are coming from a variety of sources nowadays so we are not dependant on the one goal scorer. However, both our predominant strikers do have excellent goal returns.
Lots of performances of note - Cleaver, B got a brace and worked hard all game. Williams, J was excellent on the right hand side despite once again some repeated unwanted attention. Perkins in the middle just gets better and better and could have bagged a couple himself and did deserve at least a goal. However, Warren bagged the award; picking up the large majority of votes after a mature and excellent display at right back, reading the game really well, anticipating situations and providing Williams, J with the ammunition going forward. Well done Lee.
The other good news for Farnborough was that we were awarded the points against Eltham Palace and the result stood at the time of abandonment, therefore making it a six point weekend with a plus eight on the goal difference. This leaves us with one game to play (date tba) against Meridian. This will be another must win game and we cross our fingers and hope that Hawkhurst drop points along the way during their remaining six games. If they win all their remaining games, I will take my hat off to them as they will truly deserve to be champions.