Saturday 10th November 2012
By Colin Brazier
Ali\'s one-two not enough to knock out Wanderers
The Guild’s Reserve XI welcomed table-toppers Blackheath Wanderers to Farrow Fields last Saturday in what proved to be a thoroughly entertaining match.
The Reserves struggled to find a rhythm in the league early this season but recent results have been encouraging with four wins out of the last five. Player/manager Alex Barnes has forged a tremendous team spirit in the squad and this was very much in evidence here.
As might be expected the visitors started well and dominated early possession. Guild supporters might have felt it would seem a very long afternoon, but two balls in quick succession over the top of Blackheath’s high, flat back line gave the home side encouragement, with the visiting keeper having to be alert to deny Alex Barnes on both occasions.
The Guild were just settling into the match when Blackheath took the lead. Possession was lost in Farnborough’s midfield and Wanderers took full advantage to finish clinically past Guild keeper Sam Clarkson.
Undeterred, Farnborough continued to probe away, particularly down the right flank, without creating any gilt-edged chances, and it was easy to see why Blackheath had conceded only seven goals in their six league matches to date.
So with the interval coming with the score still 1-0, Wanderers knew they had to up their game to hold on, while Alex Barnes told his team to keep playing the way they were and chances would come. So it proved, when the player/manager put a knee-high cross in from the left to the unmarked Ali Ahmed, who finished well on the volley to level the scores.
Now full of belief, the home side pressed for the winner and went ahead when top-scorer Ahmed seized on a mix-up in the visitors’ defence, rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into the empty net. At this stage it was difficult to see any outcome other than a Guild win, but to their credit Blackheath kept plugging away and caught Farnborough’s back line napping with a low right-wing cross met at the near post to tie things up at 2-2.
The remaining 15 minutes or so were a credit to both sides, as the action swung from end to end with desperate defending in both penalty areas. There was no further scoring, however, and a draw was a fair result from a game played in good spirit and refereed well by Mr Bakare.