Boro’ pay the penalty!
With three new faces on show and a real need to reverse their poor home record, Boro’ were certainly not lacking in effort. They had plenty of possession and played some attractive football at times with debutants, Slabber and May appearing to settle quickly and showing their capabilities.
However, a continuing shyness in front of goal coupled with the all too familiar absence of lady luck, meant that once again the visiting side nicked the points. This time with a single penalty on the hour.
Boro’ kicked off attacking the Moor Road End and went on the offensive from the start forcing a corner after 3 minutes. Brice came forward and got in a header which was just too high.
Alfie May and Jamie Slabber combined well on the right and Phil Page just failed to reach the final pass across goal.
Adam Brice connected with a Ferrell free kick from the half way line but his header was cleared. Apart from the occasional attempt to counter attack, it was fully 15 minutes before the visitors posed the Boro’ defence any real threat when a free kick from around the centre line was expertly shepherded out for a goal kick by Ollie Treacher.
A good cross field pass from Slabber to May, saw the latter’s cross from the right blocked for a Boro’ throw. Matt Bevans received treatment following a knock, but carried on.
Boro’ appeared to clear their lines and were well upfield when the assistant on the main stand side flagged and drew the Referees’ attention to what was presumably an off the ball incident, causing Mr Eaton to bring play back!! Bevans was clearly suffering from his earlier knock and was replaced by Matt Ball on 26 minutes.
Ryan Auger brought a good diving save from Grant Smith at the expense of a right wing corner, before the visitors made their first change replacing skipper Anthony Church with Rod Young on 29 minutes.
Boro’ had a penalty appeal waved away by Mr Eaton. Play switched quickly to the other end as the visitors counter attacked and Suarez headed a right wing cross well over. Almost immediately, McCall was cautioned for diving.
Jamie Slabber started another promising Boro’ attack involving May and Bennett, but Darryl Siaw was just unable to reach Bennett’s final ball in to the box. Stortford were quick to counter and Smith was quickly out of his area to kick clear.
The last 10 minutes (plus 3 added minutes) saw a good deal of action. Firstly, Mr Eaton lectured Fitzsimons for his antics as Boro’ prepared to take a corner, then once again, our friendly Lino flagged to cause play to be brought back for a second time. After discussion, Lewis Ferrell was booked.
Joe Tabiri shot wide for Stortford following a free kick, Gregory saved well from Bennett, tipping his left foot shot round for a corner, then Phil Page hit a good shot from 20 yards which was blocked and cleared.
Darryl Siaw made a great tackle and came away with the ball a few yards from the post and Stortford’s appeals for a penalty fell on deaf ears. Almost on the whistle, Adam Brice had another fine header deflected wide of goal, but to Boro’s consternation Mr Eaton signalled a goal kick.
Half Time: Farnborough 0-0 Bishop’s Stortford
A lively opening half which saw Boro’ playing with more purpose than of late, enjoying a good deal of possession and retaining the ball much better. With a little more composure and a slice of luck they could well have been a couple of goals to the good.
The 2nd half got away at 4.05 p.m. with the visitors straight on to the attack. McCall looked to be off side when he collected the ball on the right, but was allowed to continue and Smith saved well conceding a corner.
Matt Ball had a shot deflected over for a corner which May took and his kick was just too high for Slabber.
A good long pass from Brice was collected by May on the left, who turned neatly inside his defender and was agonisingly close with a shot which all but scraped the post.
Another good move from Boro’ was ended when Herd brought down May and earned himself a yellow card. The free kick was headed back across goal by Adam Brice, but Gregory got to it first to relieve the pressure.
Bennett was fouled by Shulton to break up another attack.
When the visitors attacked down the right flank and crossed the ball into a crowded area, Guyonnet was adjudged to have brought down Suarez and a penalty was awarded. Mikel Suarez smashed the kick past Smith to open the scoring. Boro’ 0 – Stortford 1, 60 minutes.
The last half an hour saw plenty of action from both sides as Boro’ sought to get something from the game and the visitors resolved to stop them using a combination which included some blatant fouls and the usual time wasting tactics as the clock ran down.
Stortford replaced Shulton with Sellears on 61 minutes, then Fitzsimons was yellow carded for hand ball, with Bennett’s free kick being cleared.
At the other end Ferrell did well to block an effort from Young and set Boro’ back on the offensive. With 15 minutes remaining, Young appeared to rush into a tackle and went to ground earning a free kick. Smith safely collected Auger’s kick.
Boro’ replaced Guyonnet with Okenabirhie on 71 minutes and when another good attack and cross from the left found Dan Bennett, his shot, under pressure, flew just too high.
Stortford made their final change by replacing an earlier sub, Rod Young, with Phil Anderson.
When Matt Ball took a free kick on the left his effort was headed out from under the bar and when Brice conceded a free kick for pushing, the ball got through to Anderson who shot into the side netting.
Boro’ made their final change in the 81st minute giving us a brief look at the third of the new boys, Mario Quiassaca, who replaced Darryl Siaw.
The new man showed a few good touches before being somewhat unfortunate to be booked after only six minutes of his debut. Ashley Miller went into a tackle like an express train, hurt himself and went to ground. Result, yellow card for Quiassaca.
The last few minutes which included four of added time, saw a fair bit of bad tempered pushing and shoving with Page and Allen being the final two names in Mr Eaton’s book after a clash in midfield.
The last action of the game saw Jamie Slabber win a corner. May took the kick and Slabber had a shot which was blocked by Gregory.
Full Time: Farnborough 0-1 Bishop’s Stortford
So, Boro’s run of poor home form continues. However, considering the new players introduced and other positional changes, this was not a bad performance and given a bit more time to gel together this could be a useful side.
There’s still a long way to go and this league has already shown that there is but a few points between the top four and the bottom four with unexpected results almost becoming the norm. Lot’s to play for, it will come good in the end.
Match Report by Tony Duff.
Next up for Farnborough – Saturday 18 October (KO 3pm), Sutton United (home).
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