Saturday 27th January 2007
An improvement on last week’s performance was the theme for the pre-match discussions prior to taking to the field against perhaps the division’s form side, Welling Park and the players to a man responded with a display of genuine character and were perhaps unfortunate to not at least finish with a share of the spoils.
A sloping pitch with glimpses of grass poking through the mud greeted the sides along with the traditional threadbare goal netting that seems to be the norm in this area of south east London, which ensured that pretty football was never going to be on the afternoon’s agenda.
The first half saw Farnborough trying to take advantage of the benefit of attacking down the slope, but our opponents looked the more likely to open the scoring and after twenty minutes of play duly did, a chipped shot from the Welling Park forward just had enough strength to clear the advancing Mark Friend, who again performed admirably between the sticks, to nestle slowly into the net. As the half progressed, Farnborough’s attacks looked more promising and the Welling Park defending became more desperate, resulting in a flurry of yellow cards, some from the touchline watching thought maybe not enough.
The remainder of the half was a credit in some respects to both sides, neither of whom would give any quarter when defending.
Steve Blanchard and Rob Weekly both gave impressive performances in the centre of defence, which inspired resolute defending throughout our midfield and fullback areas. The sides were separated at the break by the single goal and with the downhill advantage now in the hands of our hosts a hard second period was expected.
It was in the second period that Farnborough showed real mettle, frustrating our opponents with our defending but also finding gaps down both flanks where excellent last ditch defending prevented the score from being levelled. As the game entered the final quarter, a dubious free kick award resulted in a well placed header providing a two goal cushion for Welling Park. As the game neared conclusion, Welling Park were weakening through the effects of cramp and tiredness in their ranks and but for the slice of luck we were overdue in front of goal, the arrears could have been reduced.
The game ended in defeat, but plenty of positives can be taken from the performance.