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Match Report

Saturday 4th October 2008

Barry Bundock West Kent Challenge Shield
1st round

First XI
won 5-3 on penalties; Russell Nethercot; Liam Williams; Mark Abbott
3 - 3
Borough United
Kevin Pruner, Simon Storey, Carlton Lynch

By Shaun Keddle

Captain Cooke Penalty Sails Guild into Second Round

On Saturday we had another break from the league and this time entertained our friends Borough United in the West Kent Challenge Shield. For the neutral fan it was an entertaining game with 6 goals, extra time and penalties.

The game started really well for us with starting debutant Nethercot racing through in the first minute from a Cooke J through ball, however, the scuffed finish left the scores as we started. The Guild had the majority of the ball but Borough United were always a threat with the high scoring partnership of Storey and Pinner giving the Guild defence plenty to think about.

On 20 minutes Selmes was cleverly played through on goal, but again the Guild failed to find the target. The Guild was now guilty of missing more chances and was almost made to pay when Borough clipped the post.

Farnborough’s possession play was good and we ended the half the better side. However, our tempo was not high enough and we were very quiet. Complacency bit us hard the previous season and although motivation can be slightly lower when you play lower league opposition, in theory Borough only finished three places behind us last season and it would always be nice for them to claim a scalp from the division above.

At the half we spoke about increasing the pace of the game. We had improved defensively as we were now starting to pick up the second ball and looked pretty mean at the back. We also needed to take our chances when they came and start to hit the target as it was becoming a problem for us.

The second half was not old when Storey went over in the box under a challenge from Warren. From a Guild prospective it was a soft pen but it was duly converted by Pinner who tucked it away to the keeper''s left.

This appeared to spark the Guild into action and Borough''s lead did not last long when Nethercot finished well under pressure giving him a goal on his starting debut. Stevens replaced Graham. From this it appeared that we would crack on and take the fixture, but the dangerous Storey showed great strength and determination on the left hand side of the Guild box and finished superbly to give Borough their second lead of the afternoon. Williams L replaced Nethercot.

By now it was all the Guild and wave after wave of attack culminated to nothing. We had many chances, but no chance really troubled the badger-haired goal keeper as the Guild repeatedly failed to hit the target.

A change in formation involved replacing Small with Abbott. With around 5 minutes remaining the substitution paid off when Abbott found the net with a superb strike from 25 yards. A just reward for technique and precision over power, a lesson to be learned from today. The remainder of the fixture was played out with the Guild more likely to nick the win.

Extra time started and the Guild went ahead in controversial circumstances when it appeared that Williams L was offside. Confusion in the box left Williams unmarked and he finished from close range. With the Guild ahead for the first time in this fixture, you would have thought that we would have taken control of and then killed the game. However, in the dying moments of the game a failed quickly taken free kick by the Guild resulted in Borough finding a last gasp equaliser with Carlton Lynch providing an excellent finish, but it was reckless play from the Guild.

So, onto pens and it was anyone’s game. The Guild won the toss and elected to kick first with Davis finishing into the corner. Borough then converted and Williams L did the same. Borough drew level before Warren out the Guild ahead. Lynch then only found the post and Selmes put the guild ahead. Borough then converted their fourth leaving Cooke to expertly finish to send the Guild in to the second round of the Shield.

Man of the match was again Lee Warren at centre half for another convincing performance against two very good centre forwards. The 18 year old defender gets better and better with every game and is playing decent, confident football at the minute.

For the neutral it was good game and any side that loses on pens will find it unlucky that they are out. To us, we were well pleased with the result, but we have high standards and expectation this season and it kind of felt like a loss. The negatives from the game were the lack of communication, the slow tempo of the game and the inability to hit the target. All three will be worked on in training.

On the positive side of things, we did create chances and due to the extra time a few players returning from injury got an extended run out which can only serve us well in the long term. I also think that the substitutions did change the game so I will have to have a long think before selecting this week’s team. Please be patient and please bear with me. We have a number of returning players over the next few weeks which will push the team, the squad and the club in the right direction.

Farnborough: 1. St John; 2. Small (15. Abbott); 3. Eales; 4. Warren L; 5. Davis; 6. Cooke, R; 7. Small; 8. Selmes; 9. Nethercott (14. Williams L); 10. Cooke J, 11. Graham (12. Stevens)

Subs not used: 16. Keddle; 17. Mace