No seasonal joy for Boro’ as Magpies steal a point.

The visitors got the game underway at 3.00 pm playing towards the PRE with Boro’ fans surprised at the appearance of Dan Bennett after reports that he had joined Redhill.

Both sides started at a good pace and Boro’ survived an early scare when Lloyd Foot required attention following a clash of heads. Fortunately, the skipper was able to continue and Boro’ set about some neat attacking football which led to several good chances.

Bennett’s cross from the right only just eluded Culley, then a Theophanous shot was just wide of the right hand post before Richens shot from the edge of the area crashed back off the bar.

However, their superiority was not long to be denied and Bennett stooped to nod home the opener from Theophanous’ cross after just eight minutes. Farnborough 1 – 0 Maidenhead United.

Image © Don Blandford

The visitors made little impact until DJ Campbell made a run on the right, but his cross was too long for Tarpey.

Exchanges were becoming fairly robust and Nicholls was lectured following a trip on Richens. When Behzadi went rather theatrically to ground after 20 minutes, the Referee, who was a good ten yards away, rather harshly booked Phil Page.

When Maidenhead next attacked it was again Campbell who was the prime mover and he was allowed to continue through the middle despite more than a hint of off-side before giving Barnes no chance with a well placed finish. Farnborough 1-1 Maidenhead United.

Image © Don Blandford

Boro’ attacked straight from the restart and when the ball spun high into the air after being blocked in the area, Culley headed over the apparently stranded Putnins towards the open goal. Somehow, the keeper scrambled back and clawed the ball away. Boro’s claims that the ball had crossed the line fell on deaf ears, though many who were closer than the Lino, were convinced that Putnin’s hand was well behind the line when he made contact with the ball.

Image © Don Blandford

The next 15 minutes, or so, saw the visitors put pressure on the Boro’ defence which remained unmoved with Brice blocking another Campbell effort at the expense of a corner. Barnes punched clear, but was fouled in doing so.

When Foot conceded another corner on the left, The corner was partly cleared but a shot from the edge of the area was turned round the post by Barnes.

With five minutes and added time left, Grant was through on goal but scuffed his left foot shot wide of the post.

Then Page burst through and almost rounded the keeper, but again Putnins came to the Magpies rescue and did well to get down and push the ball out for a corner.

Page then hit a cracking shot from about 20 yards which slammed into the left hand post and rebounded to safety.

After the visitors forced three corners in succession, Bennett went close to giving Boro’ a second when his shot looked to be going over Putnins, but the keeper just grabbed it at full stretch.

Half Time: Farnborough 1-1 Maidenhead United

A fast and furious first half which saw Boro’ arguably producing their best football for some time and but for the intervention of the woodwork and several good saves from Putnins, nobody could have argued too much had they been at least two goals up at the interval. With the exception of Johnson Hippolyte, who seemed to want to argue about everything.

The visitor’s equaliser even had a strong hint of off-side about it.

The 2nd period got underway at 4.05pm with Maidenhead replacing Tison-Liscaris with Hutchinson.

Play began at a similar fast pace and Campbell was first to offer any danger when he chipped over Barnes, but Foot was on hand to clear.

At the other end Page did well to reclaim possession but the keeper gathered. Barnes safely gathered a cross from Campbell before Page again brought the best out of Putnins with a downward header which the keeper somehow kept out.

Some of the visitors’ tackles became robust to say the least and a Bennett run was brought to a halt by a foul from McKain which earned him a yellow card.

Minutes later, Downer, the Maidenhead skipper, cynically took out Xapi and was lucky to only receive a yellow.

Image © Don Blandford

The visitors replaced leading scorer Dave Tarpey on 74 minutes. It hadn’t been his day despite changing his boots for a bright yellow pair in the first half.

Barnes saved well from Campbell, who was by far the most effective of the Maidenhead forwards and both he and Darryl Siaw received treatment which saw Campbell replaced by Barratt.

Boro’ then replaced Page, who left to well deserved applause and Reece Beckles came on.

With a minute of normal time left and nothing looking likely to break the deadlock, Bennett burst through to be felled by Soloman. A clear penalty, despite the visitor’s heated protests.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Referee only issued a yellow card when Soloman had clearly denied Bennett a goal scoring opportunity. Presumably, Mr Savvas didn’t consider him to have been the last defender?

After a considerable delay, Louie Theophanous aimed to the right of Putnins and the shot, which lacked real pace, appeared to have squeezed under the keeper, but he gratefully fell on the ball before it crossed the line.

Image © Don Blandford

Now into the three minutes of added time, Boro’ replaced Culley and Theophanous with Jamie Hand and Fejiri Okenabirhie before a final effort from Boro’ saw Bennett slide a pass to Richens, but, typical of their luck on the day, the midfielders shot was charged down by a packed defence.

Full Time: Farnborough 1-1 Maidenhead United

Boro’s overall superiority deserved rather more than a point, but that, as they say is football. However, the display was encouraging and on most days would have bagged the three points so richly deserved.

Rest up lads, not too much Christmas pud and let’s look to a win against Whitehawk on the 28th.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Match Report by Tony Duff.

Next up for Farnborough – Sunday 28 December (KO 3pm), Whitehawk (home).


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