An extremely young and patched up Farnborough side came away from Bath empty-handed after they went down to three second-half goals at The Mayday Trust Park on Easter Monday, suffering a 4-2 defeat in their final away game of the season.
Farnborough took an early lead after a bright start, just three minutes into the game when Harry Lee’s long throw was only cleared as far as Fraser Colmer whose volley through a crowd of players found the bottom corner of the net.
It took Bath a while to get going but they pulled Farnborough back on level terms twenty minutes later when Stearn set left-back Dan Ball free on the left touchline and his pinpoint accurate cross was expertly headed home by Dave Pratt for his fifteenth goal of the season.
The scorer then had a glorious chance to make it 2-1 when a slick Bath move ended with Chris Allen sending him through on goal. Pratt attempted to round keeper Ross Fitzsimons but couldn’t work a shooting opportunity, so he instead teed up Stearn whose effort was well blocked from close range.
Thirteen minutes into the second half, an unlikely goal hero emerged as defender Joe Burnell‘s cross-shot took a massive deflection and looped over the helpless Fitzsimons into the net to put Bath ahead.
A relentless Bath scored again in the 71st minute, with Dan Ball providing his second assist of the game. His pass was brilliantly dummied by Ross Stearn to deceive an onrushing Fitzsimons and leave the winger with a simple finish into an empty net.
Bath’s grip on the game grew stronger still 13 minutes from time when Keats’ clever through-ball with the outside of his right foot sent Dave Pratt one-on-one with the keeper for a third time, and on his occasion he was able to finish with great aplomb.
Farnborough pulled one back in the 90th minute when Bowman nudged Colmer over in the box and JJ Hooper confidently despatched the resulting penalty but it could not prevent Bath from securing fifth successive home league win.
After the game, Farnborough manager Spencer Day reflected: “I thought it was tight, I thought we started very well – first twenty/twenty-five minutes. They scored a fantastic equaliser, sometimes you’ve got to put your hands up and say: what a great goal. We could have done a little bit more but it was a great equaliser and I thought [at] half time, there was nothing in the game.
“Second half started very similar – both teams trying to play. Very poor second goal against a long ball, seventy yards, not dealt with, didn’t track the runner; 2-1 down but then for the next ten minutes we’ve completely dominated the game, they’re hoofing balls clear, we’re on top and we commit football suicide. Playing it out the back, which is not what we do there – went short, lost the ball, game over; 3-1. And the fourth is due to a lack of fitness due to injuries and people coming back, we’re absolutely bare bones and I’ll excuse that but that ten minutes has taken the game away from us and we should have stayed in the game.
“It was a very harsh lesson because I think the scoreline flatters then and they’ve had a purple ten minutes and we should have still been in the game. Overall I thought it was a half decent performance, we gave a good account of ourselves and we’ve been punished for errors that have concede the second and third – and the third one in particular is where I’m very angry because the players are totally on empty – we’ve got three or four of them playing with some quite heavy knocks and Bath are a very, very good side and unfortunately if you let them play – and we did for ten minutes – they’ll hurt you and you saw from their front three or four that they just don’t stop running and I’ve said that to ours; that’s the level of workrate and commitment that we need.
“Fraser [Colmer]’s improved game on game, I think he’s been superb. But we had a number of players playing on empty today, no doubt about it and we were incredibly young and I think the average age was only about 20. We only had a couple of subs and we’ve had a number that probably shouldn’t have been playing.
“I thought it was a very even game, it swung but I’m afraid the mistakes we have made have cost us and if we had stayed in the game, we had a couple of sniffs at goal – Page had a chance, we also had a fabulous chance with three or four players into the box but we didn’t get a shot off – and they’ve been ruthless at the end with their experience but it wasn’t like earlier in the season, we gave a half decent account of ourselves but we are really running on empty and certainly it will catch up with us as you saw from the strength of the squad that we were able to put out today.”
1. Jason Mellor
2. Sekani Simpson
3. Dan Ball
4. Andy Gallinagh (C)
5. Phil Walsh
6. Joe Burnell (Connolly ON, 77)
7. Ross Stearn
8. Chris Allen (Wring ON, 73)
9. David Pratt
10. Andy Watkins (Keats ON, 56)
11. Dan Bowman
Subs: 12. Josh Low; 14. Danny Wring; 15. Adam Connolly; 16. Noah Keats; 17. Aaron Brown.
1. Ross Fitzsimons
2. Josh Huggins (C)
3. Ollie Treacher
4. Harry Lee
5. Darryl Siaw
6. Alfred Bosch
7. Courtney Fearn (Bennett ON, 64)
8. Matt Ball
9. Phil Page (Berry ON, 78)
10. JJ Hooper
11. Fraser Colmer
Subs: 12. Dan Bennett; 14. Tyrone Berry.
Referee: Derek Eaton
Assistant Referee’s: Simon Shaw & Richard Morris
Keep up to date with your club on Social Media: