Farnborough rewarded by late second half show
Boro’s late, late show rewarded us all with a second win in 48 hours and was all the sweeter for having been achieved against local rivals Basingstoke who were riding high in 2nd place.
Following hours of heavy rain the game kicked off at 3.02 pm after the observance of a minutes silence in memory of former Boro’ favourite, Adie Hayes, who sadly passed away last Monday aged 36.
Boro’, playing towards the PRE, were put under pressure early on by the visitors who had three good chances in the opening few minutes. Firstly, Nathan Smart was allowed to run at the Boro’ defence virtually unchallenged, before crossing the ball only for Louie Soares to head wide. Then, Liam Enver-Marum came close with a snap shot before hitting another well over seconds later. Page was first to show for the home side when heading a Treacher cross just over the top.
The ‘Stoke had another good opportunity with a free kick on the edge of the box, but Soares hit his effort high and wide of the target. Boro’s best effort came just after 20 minutes when Page had a good run on the left before sliding a pass to Matt Ball who, unluckily, struck the bar from the edge of the area.
Manny Williams received a ticking off from Referee Andrew Laver, after a crunching tackle on Matt Ball in midfield. Boro’ lost possession near half way and a goal was looking likely when Enver-Marum shot wide. Then, when a cross came in from the left, Chris Flood shot just wide of the post.
Matt Ball cut into the area following good work on the Boro’ left and tried his luck from a very tight angle, but the effort dropped over the bar. Ball was soon in action in the other penalty area and his rather clumsy tackle on Tom Bird, led to a penalty award. Manny Williams made no mistake from the spot to put the visitors in front after 36 minutes.
Manny Williams stepped up to score his first of the season
Darryl Siaw, fell awkwardly after a tackle and it was no surprise when he was replaced by Adam Brice in stoppage time.
Half Time: Farnborough 0-1 Basingstoke Town
In fairness, apart from a couple of close calls, the visitors were the better team for most of the half and could well have been three goals to the good had they not been so wasteful.
The 2nd period got under way at 4.06 and, whatever was said in the dressing room, Boro’ certainly stepped up a gear. Bennett did well to win the ball off a defender and cross for Page whose shot was deflected over for a corner. When the visitors did attack and threaten, they had apparently learned nothing from earlier wasted opportunities and Louie Soares shot wildly over. With the action switching from end to end, the Referee pulled play back and had words with Simon Dunn who had impeded Grainger as the keeper was clearing up field.
Paul Rodgers headed out from under the bar to keep the deficit down to one and then Boro’ made a 2nd substitution replacing Aaron Tumwa with Fejiri
Okenabirhie to give more options up front. However, the visitors were to create more chances and a good cross from Williams on the right, eluded everyone in the crowded goal mouth and ran safely out of play. Then Enver-Marum brought a great save from Charlie Grainger, who tipped his shot onto the bar and over for a corner.
With just 20 minutes left, Okenabirhie slipped a pass to Matt Ball whose shot from around eight yards was saved by Moore diving to his left. Ball may well feel he should have done better from that range and with no challenge.
The ‘Stoke replaced McAuley with Jenkinson after 70 minutes and then Okenabirhie again did well on the left and put Page through, but David Ray made a timely challenge to block the shot and preserve his side’s lead. The Boro’ forward then had a shot himself which was deflected for a corner.
In a two minute spell and with just about 15 minutes remaining, both sides completed their substitutions. Boro’ brought on Joe Taylor for Josh Webb, who had played well and the visitors replaced Louie Soares and Liam Enver-Marum, with Nicholas Bignall and Lloyd Macklin.
The remaining 12 minutes or so, saw Dan Bennett have a shot deflected for a corner and then get a yellow card for shirt pulling. Manny Williams made a chance for Chris Flood who shot wide, then a chance fell to Macklin, but he shot straight at Grainger.
So, with two minutes of normal time left, the visitors still clung on to a slender lead and Boro’ stormed forward again. When Moore could only parry a shot, the tenacious Dan Bennett pounced and slammed the equaliser into the bottom right hand corner in the 89th minute.
The announcement of 4 added minutes saw Boro’ surged on with renewed energy and a couple of minutes into added time, Phil Page got just reward for his efforts by slamming in what proved to be the winner.
Page’s stunning late strike beats goalkeeper Moore and skipper Gasson
Even then Boro’ stayed on the attack and he very nearly added a third when Page shot into the side netting.
Full Time: Farnborough 2-1 Basingstoke Town
What a great effort with everyone getting involved. Just proves the old saying, “it’s not all over ’til the fat lady sings”. A well deserved win as Boro’ were clearly hungrier than the visitors, who will no doubt be ruing all the wasted chances on their way home.
Match Report by Tony Duff.
Next up for Farnborough – Saturday 30 August (KO 3pm), Whitehawk (away).
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