Boro’ set out on the “Trophy” trail.

A tough introduction to this season’s FA Trophy with an away tie against the team who lifted the FA Vase at Wembley, last May.

With goalkeeper Charlie Grainger, again recalled to warm the bench at Orient, Dillon Barnes made his first competitive start and new signing, Duncan Culley was among the substitutes.

The home side got the game underway in bright sunshine and were the first to try their luck when skipper, Barry Mason hit a hopeful shot from 20 yards which was way too high and wide.

Boro’ got involved with a series of attacks which produced three corners in a couple of minutes. Okenabirhie won the first on the right which was cleared for another, then a deflected effort led to the 3rd, this time on the left, which saw a shot from Richens which flew wide of the target.

Sholing broke down the right and the cross caught the Boro’ defence napping and was headed home by Sawyer, with Barnes left flat footed after just 7 minutes.

Boro’ set about the search for an equaliser which saw them enjoy a lions share of possession and create a number of good chances. Louie Theophanous shot from distance and drew a fine diving save from Anderson which proved to be the first of several good stops by the home keeper.

When Watts was shown a yellow card for a foul on Okenabirhie, Grant squared the ball to Richens whose hard, low, shot was on target, but blocked. Xapi Arnau, then had a shot turned away for a corner.

In a rare attack from the home side, Dawson was penalised about 30 yards out and Kevin Brewster hit a looping kick which bounced awkwardly in front of Barnes and off his chest. Fortunately, the Boro’ keeper recovered and grabbed the ball before further damage was done.

When Foot conceded another free kick in a similar position, Brewster again stepped up, but this time Barnes gathered safely at the first attempt.

Boro’ took the game to their opponents for much of the remaining 10 or so minutes and a Theophanous shot on the left crashed into the top of the post and went behind. Then Richens found Treacher with a long ball out to the left and a good cross somehow evaded everyone in a crowded area and went out for a throw.

Okenabirhie went close with a shot into the side netting before Siaw hit one just over the bar. Anderson punched out a cross from the left which fell to Theophanous who was again on target but thwarted by the feet of Anderson.

The big number 10 had another effort flash wide before, just ahead the half time whistle, a Richens free kick was safely grasped by Anderson.

Half Time: Sholing 1-0 Farnborough

A typical cut and thrust cup tie which saw Boro’ dominate for much of the half, yet trail by a goal to nil. The home side scored from their only attempt on target from open play while Boro’ failed to get bodies in the area to make something of their approach work and when they did get an attempt on goal, Anderson kept his side in the tie on a number of occasions.

Whatever might have been said during the interval, it was a much more purposeful Boro’ side which got the 2nd period away at 4.00pm. Within two minutes a Grant free kick tested the keeper from just outside the area. Okenabirhie, who was having a good game, hit a shot on the run which was only just wide of the far post.

Despite having more possession, Boro’ were not really incisive enough in the final third and it was no surprise when Page was replaced by Duncan Culley with a little over 30 minutes left.

Theophanous came inside from the left and let fly with a good shot which brought yet another good save from Anderson.

When Xapi joined the attack and burst into the area he was upended and Boro’ were awarded a rare penalty. Fejiri Okenabirhie calmly struck the ball in to the bottom left hand corner for the equaliser on 63 minutes.

Two minutes later, Boro’ netted again, but Referee, Anthony Serrano, had apparently blown for an infringement on the edge of the box and awarded Sholing a free kick. A rather odd decision as many felt the home side had committed the first foul.

It was apparent that Theophanous and Culley were in tune with one another very quickly and this produced some neat football which led to Grant heading marginally wide.

Following some good work on the right, the cross came to Culley around the left corner of the area and the new man struck a curling shot into Anderson’s bottom left corner to record his first goal for the club on his debut on 72 minutes.

Boro’ kept pressing and a snap shot from Harry Grant looked like bound for the bottom right of Sholing’s net, when Anderson got to
it and somehow diverted it up and over the bar. Shortly afterwards a melee in the area saw Okenabirhie booked for kicking the ball away.

With 15 minutes of the 90 left, Louie Theophanous brought another great stop from Anderson, who then blocked another certain goal from the rebound.

The final ten minutes saw both sides going all out, Boro’ to consolidate, or add to their lead and the home side to try and draw level.

Theophanous and Culley both had attempts just wide of the target, while Nick Watts was well wide of the mark following a corner.

Near the end, Richens was booked for a foul on the Sholing sub, Baldachinno and in added time, and Watts hit a low shot which Barnes failed to hold on to, but, was cleared by his defence.

Full Time: Sholing 1-2 Farnborough

A well deserved victory for Boro’ maintaining their recent improved form as well as the bonus of banking a few bob and going into the hat for the next round.

Although only on the pitch for half an hour, Duncan Culley whetted the appetite’s of travelling Boro’ fans who saw enough to believe that his acquisition could provide a much needed boost in the goal department.

Match Report by Tony Duff.

Next up for Farnborough – Tuesday 2 December (KO 7:45pm), Petersfield Town (away).

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