Farnborough continued their build-up to the new season with a pre-season friendly against Sky Bet League Two side Oxford United. In an entertaining encounter, with plenty of attractive football from the home side, Boro narrowly lost the game 1-2.
Read a full match report from Saturday afternoon’s encounter with Oxford United at Paddy Power Park.
Both sides listed squads of 21 players with the stated intention of all being used at some stage of the game in this pre-season friendly.
In view of the high temperature, the Referee announced there would be drinks breaks in each half.
Early exchanges were fairly even with both sides playing open football. The visitors were first to show real intent when Marsh saw his effort go narrowly wide of the post before a long range effort from Shaw went just over after being put through by Fearn.
The Borough defence was looking sharp with good early work from Siaw and Ferrell breaking up Oxford attacks.
Following a drinks break, Rodgers was unlucky following a good cross by Matt Ball when his effort was blocked by a defender. Play switched quickly to the other end where an Oxford cross from the right eluded everyone in a crowded area and the return from the left saw Danny Rose on target only for his snap shot to strike one of his own players on the goal line.
Fearn, who had suffered from several strong tackles, was forced off on 35 minutes and replaced by a trialist, no. 16. The half, in which Borough had more than held their own, finished 0 – 0.
Oxford fielded the line up previously mentioned for the 2nd half and Farnborough brought on Phil Page for Joe Benjamin and a number of trialists which included a goalkeeper.
The 2nd period opened in similar fashion to the first with both sides taking time to settle with so many changes. Treacher was replaced on 55 mins by a trialist and on removing his boot it was clear his foot/toe was injured as blood oozed from his sock.
The visitors almost scrambled a goal after 62 minutes, then Ashby brought a fine save from the Borough keeper before young Lewis Hayden, who was having a good game for the visitors, shot over the bar. Matt Ball saw his long range effort suffer a similar fate before a flurry of activity around the 70th minute mark. Firstly, Borough trialist (19) brought a good save from Liam Roberts, then Ashby drew an equally fine effort from the Farnborough keeper. However, the visitors broke the deadlock when James Roberts found space in the area and riled home a fierce cross shot. 0 – 1.
Siaw and Page were replaced after 73 minutes then Matt Ball had another good effort narrowly miss the upright before Josh Ashby doubled the visitors lead in the 76th minute from a stinging 30 yard free kick. Judging by his body language, the Borough keeper clearly felt he should have done better.
From the restart, the ball was rolled back to Lucas Enrique on the edge of the centre circle and on spotting the Oxford keeper off his line, he hammered a shot goal wards. To the delight of the Borough faithful and the disbelief of most others, the ball flew over the scrambling Roberts and into the net. 1 – 2
Permission was granted to name this trialist and if this is a sample of his ability, let’s hope he signs. Borough gave everything in search of an equaliser, with a thumping 30 yard free kick from Matt Ball which rattled the cross bar being the closest they came.
Result:- Farnborough 1 – Oxford United 2
A thoroughly entertaining game from which Borough can surely take a number of positives and were certainly neither overawed, or disgraced, by their League Two opponents.
The official attendance of 278 was disappointing and the absent Borough fans were the losers on the day.
Match Report by Tony Duff.
Next up for Farnborough – Tuesday 22nd July (KO 7.45pm), Metropolitan Police (away)
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