With Borough very much needing a win after three consecutive defeats, youngsters CJ Fearn and Fraser Colmer, were both given places in the starting line-up, together with Freddie Bosch and Alan Inns prior to suspension.
Farnborough:- Ross Fitzsimons, Josh Huggins, Ollie Treacher, Courtney Fearn, Alan Inns (C), Adam Doyle, Dan Bennett (Berry 85), Matt Ball, Phil Page (French 90+1), Fraser Colmer, Alfred Bosch.
Sub not used:- Youssef Bamba.
Bishops Stortford:- Joe Wright, Ashley Miller, Johnny Herd, George Allen, Cliff Akurang, Michael Richens, Matt Johnson, Sam Cutler (Baker 45), Brian Woodall (Fagbohun 66), Jake Hall (Melaugh 51), Reece Prestedge (C).
Subs not used:- Sam Cowler and Luke Milbourn.
Referee: Stuart Butler – Assistants:- David Smart & Nick Dunn.
Borough started at a brisk pace playing towards the Moor Road End and within three minutes a cross from Bennett led to efforts from Ball and Doyle being blocked and the subsequent corner being bundled home, but ruled off-side. After treatment to keeper, Joe Wright, the Bishops mounted their first real attack which ended with Woodall shooting wide.
Dan Bennett was just wide with a 20 yarder then Wright blocked well when Page ran clear. When the visitors did look dangerous, Colmer and Fearn thwarted their efforts before Miller, again joining the attack, shot well over. Borough kept pressing and when a long free kick from Matt Ball was fumbled by Wright, Josh Huggins was first to react and open the scoring from close range. 1 – 0 (24 minutes).
With the home side continuing to attack Page beat the off side trap and his defender only to shoot off target. Two minutes later, he (Page) again made room for a shot which Wright blocked and the ball fell to Bennett who managed to fire well over from 6 yards. Miller was caught off side in a rare attack from the Bishops, then Phil Page was put through by Fraser Colmer only for his left foot shot to sail well over the goal.
Following a Matt Ball close range effort being blocked by Wright, Page and Ball both beat the off side trap and advanced on the goal in tandem. With just Wright between them and the goal, Ball unselfishly slipped a short pass to Page leaving him the simplest of tasks to slot home the 2nd goal. 2 – 0 (41 mins.)
The remaining few minutes brought no further chances and the half time whistle blew with the home side holding a comfortable 2 – 0 lead. A good opening half for Boro’ with the visitors rarely troubling a solid looking defensive line up. In truth, with more clinical finishing, the score could easily have been 4 or 5 nil.
The 2nd period got under way at 20.49 with the Bishops making their 1st substitution. Harry Baker replacing Sam Cutler. Borough continued attacking with Huggins and Page both having efforts blocked. The visitors made another substitution after 51 minutes with Jake Hall making way for Ryan Melaugh. Two minutes later some poor marking allowed Woodall to reduce the deficit. 2 – 1 (53 minutes).
A renewed spell of attacking saw Dan Bennett using some characteristically fancy footwork on the edge of the box, but he delayed ‘pulling the trigger’ and was relieved of the ball. When the visitors skipper, Reece Prestedge, was booked for a foul on Adam Doyle just outside the penalty area, Matt Ball struck the free kick over the wall and into the top corner. 3 – 1 (60 min)
The remaining 15 minutes, plus the 3 added, saw Doyle shoot inches wide from 35 yards, a Page effort deflected for a corner which was cleared and when Bosch was clearly pulled back play was allowed to continue, but fortunately, Ross Fitzsimons dealt with the cross. Stortford made their final sub on 66 minutes, Woodall making way for Fagbohun and following two corners in quick succession, Cliff Akurung scored the visitors 2nd. 3 – 2 (75 minutes).
This made Boro’ redouble their efforts and from the kick off they mounted an attack which ended with Josh Huggins scoring his 2nd of the night and the home sides 4th. 4 – 2 (76 mins.)
There was no lack of effort from either side in the remaining time and Akurung headed over on 80 minutes. Boro’ brought on Berry for
Bennett (85 mins.) and French for Page in added time and in the closing couple of minutes, Berry and Page brought decent saves from Joe Wright, but the full time score remained Borough 4 – Bishops Stortford 2.
A good result for Boro’ to restore some confidence for the remaining fixtures and the 3rd ‘double’ of the season.
Farnborough Man of the Match – Josh Huggins
Attendance – 191 (disappointing)