Having secured Skrill South football for next season, Boro’ were no doubt looking to finish in style and in so doing, exceed the 50 points mark which most would have settled for back in September given our roller coaster Summer and late start to the season.
Prior to the kick off, Bob Perry presented the supporters player of the season trophy to Josh Huggins. A popular choice, well deserved and loudly applauded.
Boro’: Ross Fitzsimons, Josh Huggins, Ollie Treacher (Berry 55), Alfred Bosch, Alan Inns (C) (French 85), Adam Doyle, Harry Lee (CJ Fearn 64), Matt Ball, Phil Page, JJ Hooper and Fraser Colmer.
Subs not used: Jesse Bowers and Pedro Guaratto.
Eastbourne Borough: Craig Ross, James Stinson (Tallack 45), Charlie Gorman, Matt Aldred, Ollie Rowe (C), Adam Watts, Tom Derry (Lok 67), Frankie Raymond, Elvis Hammond, Simon Johnson and Ryan Worrall (Levy 75).
Subs not used: Richie Welch and Dean Brown.
Referee: Paul Kelly. Assistants: Saul Kay and Shaun Farrer.
Eastbourne got the game under way at 3.02 pm playing towards the PRE and it wasn’t long before Huggins was again being applauded and congratulated by his team mates. From a long throw by Harry Lee, skipper Alan Inns’s header was deflected for a corner on the left and this was firmly headed home by Huggins. A great start for Boro’ after just two minutes played.
The next ten minutes or so saw both sides mount attacks with Fraser Colmer and JJ Hooper linking well down the left side. Matt Ball was booked for kicking the ball away and into the stand, but this seemed a little harsh as there was clearly no malicious intent.
The visitors won a free kick just beyond the penalty area, Inns headed out for a corner on the right. The well placed kick led to a rather messy scramble with Boro’ missing several chances to clear their lines before the ball finally fell to the Eastbourne skipper, Ollie Rowe, who gave Ross Fitzsimons no chance with a shot into the top right hand corner from 35 yards. 1 – 1 after 12 minutes.
Both sides were playing entertaining football and Tom Derry was prominent for Eastbourne, firstly beating the offside trap and forcing a good block from Fitzsimons, then shortly afterwards shooting tamely wide when clear again. For their part Boro’ had some promising approach work rebuffed by the visitors defence. Matt Ball’s short corner to Harry Lee saw Alan Inns just fail to reach the cross with a headed attempt.
When Fitzsimons uncharacteristically failed to catch the ball cleanly, the rebound was hit towards the goal but headed off the line by Treacher. This led to a hotly disputed penalty and a booking for Inns. Raymond went to ground in a tangle of legs and Referee Kelly took a while to decide what to do. Eventually, Raymond converted the spot kick to give Eastbourne a 2 – 1 lead against the run of play on 25 minutes.
The set back stung Boro’ into action and when Watts clearly handled a through ball, Matt Ball’s free kick was too high from 20 yards. When the visitors broke through on the left, Fitzsimons made a clean catch and his long accurate clearance found JJ Hooper on the right wing. He was on his own and had no real options other than to go alone. He ran on before cutting into the area and levelling the scores with a strong shot across Craig Ross from a narrow angle. 2 – 2 on 31 minutes.
The remainder of the half again saw both sides make chances, Harry Lee shot from distance and brought a good save from Ross at full stretch, then a 25 yarder from JJ Hooper brought an equally good save which resulted in a corner. Nothing was given when Rowe clearly pushed Page in the back and in the dying minutes, Fitzsimons twice frustrated the attempts of Elvis Hammond.
Half time 2 – 2 .
A fairly even first half with both sides playing open football and once again, we saw Boro’ suffer from some rather odd decisions, notably the Eastbourne penalty.
The 2nd half started at 4.05 with Tallack replacing Stinson for the visitors. Apart from a Matt Ball free kick being headed out for a corner, the opening 10 minutes of the half had little else to offer.
On 55 minutes, Ollie Treacher was injured in a tackle and after attention was replaced by Tyrone Berry. Treacher was clearly in some discomfort from his left arm.
From the restart Raymond was booked for a foul on Huggins just outside the area and Page’s free kick beat the wall, but was just wide of the right hand post.
In the 64th minute Boro’ replaced Harry Lee with Courtney Fearn and a minute later, from a corner on the right, Worrall restored the visitor’s lead. Eastbourne brought on Darren Lok for Tom Derry (67) and seven minutes later play was held up for several minutes while Worrall received treatment before being replaced by Elliott Levy (75).
Boro’ were giving everything in an effort to get something from the game and Matt Ball had a shot palmed away for a corner by Ross before JJ Hooper tried his luck from distance without giving the keeper too much trouble. The final sub for Boro’ saw Connor French replace Alan Inns (85) and a sustained effort from both sides drew good saves from both keepers.
Then with the four added minutes ticking away, we had further drama to produce a ‘sting in the tail’. With Boro’ bombarding the visitors goal and shots flying in from all directions, Raymond went down on his knees on the goal line and clearly blocked the ball with both hands in front of him. Despite lengthy protests, the referee pointed to the spot and gave Raymond a straight red card. After some delay, Matt Ball calmly struck home the spot kick in about the 95th minute to level the scores at 3 – 3. Justice was done as it was a far clearer penalty than the one Boro’ conceded in the first half.
FULL TIME: Farnborough 3-3 Eastbourne Borough
An entertaining game, with both sides trying to play attacking football and on balance, a fair result.
Man of the match chosen by the Platinum lounge – Phil Page.
Match Report by Tony Duff.
Have a good Summer and don’t forget to give Reading Women’s team a look.
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