The midweek news that Kevin Scriven was retiring due to injuries and a new job opportunity, made for a hectic few days trying to get a new keeper.
I understand that the acquisition of Ross Fitzsimons, on loan from Crystal Palace, was only finalised at 11.00 am today. Boro’ also gave a first start to Fraser Colmer at left back with Ollie Treacher still unfit. Dan Bennett, who was subbed on Monday night after differences with Spencer, was on the bench.
Bishops Stortford: Joe Wright, Ashley Miller, Jordan Brown (Herd 60), Reece Prestedge (C) (Richen 84), Sean Francis, Callum McNaughton, Matt Johnson, Anthony Church, Josh Fagbohun (Melaugh 60), Cliff Akurang and Brian Woodall.
Subs not used:- George Allen and Jake Hall.
Farnborough: Ross Fitzsimons, Josh Huggins, Fraser Colmer, Alfred Bosch, Alan Inns (C), Darryl Siaw, Harry Lee, Adam Doyle, JJ Hooper (Page 87), Connor French (Bennett 74), Matt Ball (Fearn 90+2). Unused subs: Tyrone Berry, Ryan Musselwhite (gk).
Referee: Mr Robert Ellis. Assistants:- Paul Forrester & Jon Panconi.
The home side kicked off and the strong cross wind soon made it apparent that it was a day to keep the ball on the deck. Referee, Mr Ellis, also gave early warning of his intentions, when he spoke to Doyle after just three minutes, setting the scene for frequent ‘lectures’ throughout the game. No doubt laudable, but sometimes an early card can have a more realistic effect on niggling behaviour.
The Bishops were first to test either keeper when Woodall brought a good save from Fitzsimons, diving to his right. Then, when Boro’ broke down the right, French was clearly tripped by the last defender, but nothing was given. When Boro’ attacked again, Mr Ellis mysteriously gave a goal kick when his assistant clearly signalled a corner. Minutes later, Boro’ did get a corner from which French tested Wright.
Play returned quickly to the other end where Fitzsimons gathered a cross at full stretch. Miller headed wide from a free kick, then Ball struck a free kick from all of 40 yards which Wright dived to save. Boro’ kept up the pressure and JJ Hooper forced Wright to make a hasty clearance.
The last ten to fifteen minutes of the first period saw both sides commit to attack with Fagbohun hitting a long shot wide before two free kicks for Boro’, both taken by Matt Ball, saw the 1st cleared for a corner from which French attempted a diving header, the second was blocked by the defensive wall and from the ricochet Inns was just wide of the post. Then Lee and French combined well down the left, but the cross found Hooper just off-side.
Boro’ finally got just reward for their efforts in added time, when a Colmer cross from the left was finished off by Doyle. Whilst neither side had really dominated, Boro’ were good value for their half time lead. Bishop’s 0 – Borough 1
The second period began with the wind quickly playing a part when a long free kick from Lee was blown off course and safely into the grasp of Wright. Fraser Colmer did well to tackle back at the expense of a corner, which Fitzsimons dealt with competently.
The home side were clearly pressing for an equaliser and in quick succession, Inns headed out
for a corner before Bosch headed clear from under the bar. Then a good break down the left found Boro’ with two men over in the box, but the cross was delayed too long and finally cleared for a corner which Darryl Siaw just failed to connect with. The Bishops made a double substitution on 60 minutes, replacing Brown and Fagbohun with Herd and Richens.
Siaw conceded a free kick which led to Fitzsimons making a good point blank save, but the whistle had gone for off-side. Alfie Bosch clearly won the ball on the edge of the area, but was penalised and the free kick was whipped over at pace allowing Church to equalise from close range. 1 – 1 (68 minutes).
Borough brought on Bennett for French in the 70th minute and went in search of another goal to restore their lead. It wasn’t long coming and Bennett, who had been very active since coming on, received the ball just outside the box on the right, went forward at pace and dummied a defender before crashing his shot home. 1 – 2 (79 minutes).
Just four minutes later, Boro’ wrapped matters up when JJ Hooper was felled in the area. He took the kick himself and coolly slotted home to give Boro’ some breathing space and take his personal tally to three in three games. 1 – 3 (83 minutes) Stortford replaced skipper Prestedge with Richens (84) and Borough brought off Hooper for Page (86 minutes).
Borough dominated play for much of the remaining 20 or so minutes with the Bishops having little more to offer. A 35 yard free kick from Johnson must have got pretty close to Stanstead Airport, while another from closer in, by their goal scorer, Church, was also well off target.
Bennett and Page caused trouble for the home defence in the closing minutes and Boro’ used their 3rd sub during the 4 added minutes, when Fearn came on for Matt Ball. Result: Bishop’s Stortford 1 – Borough 3
A Strong all round team effort gave Boro’ three more well earned points bring the tally to seven points from nine, in just eight days. The last three games having all been against teams starting with ‘B’ (Bromley, Boreham Wood and Bishop’s Stortford), it seems a pity we couldn’t play Bover next Tuesday. Good luck on the Kent coast anyway. Let’s keep driving forward.
Match Report by Tony Duff.
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