Farnborough were undone last night by the clinical finishing of Met Police last night as the hosts strolled to a 3-0 victory at the Imber Court.

The latest of the pre-season friendlies took place at a sunny Imber Court on a very good looking pitch which was a credit to the groundsman. At first sight, apart from the size, I thought I’d wandered in to the nearby bowling green. Again, Boro’ named a mix of established names and trialists in an a squad of 18. The home side included a couple of ex Boro’ players in Matt Pattison and Michael Charles.

The game started at a good pace with both sides making early forays into the other half. Rodgers broke up a Met attack and made good progress down the right before being relieved of the ball. Taylor was put clear but was well offside, then Page and Rodgers combined well down the right flank and won a corner which reached the Boro’ no 11, but the tall wide-man was unable to bring the ball under control and the keeper was able to gather and clear.

The home side had a couple of early chances with Hudson-Odoi producing a weak finish from a right wing cross, before Pattison tried a long range shot which lacked power.

Boro’s no 11, was showing good close control for a man of his size and was attacking with good effect down the right flank. Having beaten several defenders, he shot strongly only for Searle to turn his effort round the post.

Ferrell headed over from the corner. The home side came close when Pattison brought a good save from the Boro’s keeper diving to his right. The ball stayed in play and failure to clear their lines cost Boro’ when a cross from the left saw Gutteridge steal in and beat the Boro’ keeper low down by his left post. The keeper appeared to be deceived by the bounce as the ball emerged from a ruck of players. 1 – 0 (14 mins.)

The visitors went in search of an equaliser and Boro’s number 11, again working well, crossed from the right but Page was just unable to connect. The home side almost doubled their lead after 20 minutes when full back Taylor, saw his shot cannon off a post. Borough had no shortage of possession, but were not able to convert the advantage with attacks breaking down in the final third. A number of free kicks from trialist Matt Ball produced nothing more than a corner which was cleared and trialist Enrique tried a mere 40 yarder which was too high.

Following a drinks break on the half hour, the home side replaced Gutteridge with Aldred. Trialist D, tracked back well and made a well timed tackle to bring an end to a Met attack which was looking dangerous. Borough were denied a penalty for an apparent hand ball, then Rodgers was fouled on the right touch line, but the free kick came to nothing. Despite pushing forward for the rest of the half, Boro’ were unable to break through and on occasions a little bit of luck might have helped. Boro’s number 11 deserved better when another strong run into the box saw him hauled down by his shirt, but the referee gave a goal kick.

Half time:- Met Police 1 Boro’ 0

A fairly even first period saw both sides create chances, the difference being that the home side were able to convert one.

Half time subs:-

Met Police – Charlie Collins on for Gutteridge
Boro’ – Trialist D and Taylor off – Trialist K and Trialist L, on. (slight confusion as one was wearing 14, but clearly NOT Joey Benjamin.)

The home side attacked from the start and early on the Boro’ keeper did well to claim a good cross from the right. Trialist K won a corner on the left which resulted in another on the right which was scrambled clear. Ty Smith had a decent header saved by the Boro’ keeper, then Page crossed well but second half sub, trialist L not able to reach it.

Met sub: Crook off James on.

Siaw headed clear from a free kick, then on the half hour trialist Matt Ball controlled and turned in a single action only to see his shot go just wide. Boro’ trialist K was unfortunate in the 63rd minute when he shot on target only to see his attempt hit one of his own side.

Met sub; Smith off – Mailes on.

Both sides continued to push forward with trialist Ball shooting over for the visitors’ before the Boro’ keeper saved well from a Met free kick turning the ball round the post at full stretch.

A number of further substitutions within five minutes around the 75/80 minute mark saw, Boro’ replace the hard working Boro’ no 11 with Benjamin, Boro’s left back with trialist G and goalkeeper for goalkeeper. Met Police also switched keepers, with Kozakis replacing Searle.

With just seven minutes remaining the home side were a awarded a free kick 30 yards out. Taken by sub Ryan James, the ball rebounded from the defensive wall and James was quickest to react, to find the corner of the net 2 – 0. (83 min)

The remaining seven minutes were fast and furious with a Page effort just too high before a final sub for Boro’ replacing Siaw with trialist H. The home side produced the final notable action with a third goal in the 88th minute from a left sided corner. With a crowded goal mouth, the ball appeared to have gone in at the far post, direct from the corner via substitute Collins. 3 – 0. The final couple of minutes were completed without any more real chances.

Result: Met Police 3 Boro’ 0.

Not the result Borough were hoping for, but not without some positives. For me, the performances of Boro’s no 11 and Rodgers stood out, with some good solid play from Darryl Siaw, Lewis Ferrell, trialist Matt Ball and Phil Page, who had no luck. Boro’s starting goalkeeper made some good saves and everyone put in a shift. Work in progress. On the balance of play, the home side deserved their win as they took their chances.

Match Report by Tony Duff.

Next up for Farnborough – Saturday 26 July (KO 3pm), Biggleswade Town (away)

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