Richens’ late Christmas Cracker ends Boro’s year on a high.
For their final game of 2014 Boro’ named the same starting line-up which had played so well against Maidenhead last time out and, had there been any justice,would have got all three points rather than the one they ended up with.
Boro’ kicked off playing towards the PRE and following some early sparring it was the Hawks who made the first attempt on goal when Robinson had a wild swing at the ball which spun high and wide.
The same player took a free kick just outside the Boro’ area on the left and this time the only danger was to the Burger Bar next to the John O’Hara stand.
Boro’ started to feel their feet after 10 minutes and Bennett put Xapi away but his final cross was cleared. Next, Theophanous had a go from 20 yards, but it went straight to Ross in the Hawk’s goal.
The Hawk’s were close in their next attack, but Brice cleared off his line with the ball going straight into the grateful arms of the grounded Barnes. The Boro’ keeper was soon in action again, saving well at the feet of Gargan.
The Hawks’ were enjoying a good spell and after Kujabi sliced a shot wide, Thomson’s effort was deflected off Xapi and struck the upright.
When Siaw was shown a yellow card for a challenge on Deering the free kick was deflected for a corner and Boro’ rode their luck to survive several efforts on their goal.
Boro’ finally cleared the danger and Bennett broke away but his final pass was agonisingly just behind Theophanous. Then Bennett hit a swerving shot from the edge of the area which Ross gathered.
On 36 minutes, Siaw was replaced by the recently arrived, Matt Jones. Bennett went on one of his tricky runs which looked good but ended, as they sadly often do,with him losing the ball. A pass would have been the better option.
Hawks’ had three quick chances in succession with Gargan heading wide from a corner, before both Torres and Robinson were wide of the mark.
Then, with the clock running down, Theophanous collected a pass on the left of the box, neatly side stepped a defender and coolly buried his shot into the bottom right hand corner on 42 minutes.
An excellent team move capped off with a great bit of skill and finish from Theophanous
With 2 added minutes to go, Bennett came close to doubling Boro’s lead, but his left foot shot was deflected over for a corner.
Half Time: Farnborough 1-0 Whitehawk
A pacey opening half which saw both teams create chances and some narrow squeaks at both ends. The visitors had the better opportunities, but would be disappointed with some of their finishing.
Boro’ took a while to get into their stride, but when they did, they produced some neat play and were often quicker to the ball. They rode their luck at times, but I think we were owed a bit and with some stout defending, fully deserved their interval lead.
The visitors got the second period under way at 4.03 p.m. and at half time, Fearn replaced Page for Boro’.
For the first five minutes Boro’ were on the attack and a thumping cross from Xapi felled Kujabi as though he had been poleaxed. Boro’ got the ball in the net on 51 minutes, but it was ruled out for off-side.
After Barnes saved well at the feet of Arnold, Boro’ enjoyed another purple patch which saw Bennett cut in from the wing and shoot just wide before a Culley cross was booted clear and a shot from Lloyd Foot was tipped round the post for a corner.
The visitors used all three of their subs in a 5 minute period with Abdulla replacing Ijaha on 58 minutes followed by Torres and Gargan making way for Malcolm and Mills after 63 minutes.
The changes injected some fresh impetus into the Hawks’ and Barnes saved from Kissock before ex Boro’ player, Michael Malcolm, saw his header rebound from the crossbar.
Boro’ were far from finished and Xapi weaved through the defence and won a corner on the right before Culley shot just wide of the post.
Boro’s final sub on 81 minutes saw them replace goalscorer, Louie Theophanous, to warm applause and replace him with Jamie Hand.
Richens was booked with 5 minutes of the 90 remaining, not sure for what and then Bennett put extra pressure on his defence with a needless foul in the middle of the field.
The Hawks’ were throwing everything at Boro’ to try and salvage a point and the announcement of 5 added minutes did little to calm the nerves of the Boro’ faithful. However, the defence stood firm and didn’t panic.
A couple of minutes in to the added time Boro’ broke quickly down the right and then came the icing on the cake when Michael Richens hit an unstoppable shot into Ross’s far top corner from a good 25 yards. Surely a contender for goal of the season.
Richens lets fly from distance to claim his second Farnborough goal
The last three minutes saw the visitors surge forward again, but today, Boro’ were not to be denied.
Full Time: Farnborough 2-0 Whitehawk
A fine display and three well deserved points against an in form side, who, before today’s match were in third place in the table. Steve King had little to smile about today. Well done to all the lads.
Happy New Year to one and all and a suggestion for the team’s New Years resolution – more of the same play we’ve enjoyed today and against Maidenhead.
Match Report by Tony Duff.
Next up for Farnborough – Saturday 3 Janaury (KO 3pm), Chelmsford City (away).
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