New boys on score sheet as Boro’ grind out a welcome win.
The hosts must have felt confident following a good away win at Basingstoke last Saturday, while Boro’ were going down at Ebbsfleet.
Boro’ fielded two new loan players, Michael Richens from League 1 Peterborough United and Reece Beckles, signed today on loan from Woking. Meanwhile, the bench included skipper Phil Page, Dan Bennett and Dan Pearse.
The opening exchanges saw both sides create openings with Grainger making a good save after a free kick had been headed clear and Harry Grant made Welch work with a shot from the edge of the area.
Boro’s opener, coming in the 13th minute, was by way of a good strike by Michael Richens from the right corner of the 18 yard box.
A few minutes later, a quick throw on the left side by Treacher found Okenabirhie who made space and delivered a good cross into the path of Louie Theophanous around the penalty spot, but somehow the number 9 contrived to lash the ball well over when it had looked a certain goal.
Treacher then crossed well under pressure, but the ball somehow got through and was gratefully taken by Welch.
Dawson was booked on the half hour for a foul on Gorman, but Boro’ were in the ascendancy and Reece Beckles was rewarded for chasing a through ball down the middle when Welch slipped trying to intercept and the new loanee had the simplest of tasks to double Boro’s lead after 31 minutes.
Boro’ were in control of the game at this stage and rarely looked troubled. After Kyriacou was booked, Richens free kick on the left found Beckles at the far post with a free header, but he somehow glanced it wide of the target.
A great chance to go three up, spurned. Another Boro’ attack saw Theophanous go down under a challenge in front of goal, but appeals for a penalty were turned down by Mr Venamore.
A rare attack from the home side saw a cross fall on top of the net which promptly collapsed and several minutes elapsed while it was fixed. A total of 4 minutes were added (at least 5 were played) during which the home side forced several corners in their attempts to reduce the deficit.
Half Time: St Albans City 0-2 Farnborough
A good half for Boro’ who were in control for most of the time and their lead might very well have been double the actual scoreline.
The second half started at 8.50 and after a fairly even opening 10 minutes the home side made a double substitution. Wales replacing Shields and Nouble coming on for Gorman. Play had barely continued for 5 minutes before they completed their quota, bringing on Keenleyside for Smith.
The changes injected some life into the home side, but it was Boro’ who came close to a third when a Lloyd Foot free kick was palmed out by Welch. However, renewed pressure led to Nouble forcing home from close range to halve the deficit on 69 minutes.
Encouraged by this success Keenleyside brought a good diving save from Grainger to keep Boro’ ahead. Frendo then lashed a shot wide from a good position.
An out of sorts Louie Theophanous, was replaced by Page after 73 minutes and a right side free kick from Lee Chappell drew a fine save from Charlie Grainger before the hard working Reece Beckles gave way to Dan Bennett. The scorer of Boro’s 2nd goal left the field to well earned applause.
With 6 minutes remaining, a probing free kick from the home side looked to be covered by Grainger, but with the ball seemingly safe in the keeper’s hands, he appeared to be impeded and was knocked to the ground. In the melee which followed Wales prodded home the equaliser on 84 minutes. Boro’s well founded protests fell on deaf ears.
With a feeling of deja vu running through the visitors travelling support the team set about their search for another goal and a long range effort from Page was comfortably dealt with by Welch.
With just 3 minutes of the 90 remaining , full back Amadeu Arnau (Xapi), collected the ball in his own penalty area and set out on a truly dazzling run which saw him weave his way past half a dozen defenders ending in the home side’s area with a decent attempt on goal which was pushed away towards the right touchline. The ball was turned back across the area by the right back and Phil Page reacted quickest to force the ball home from close range on 88 minutes.
Boro’ immediately replaced Okenabirhie with CJ Fearn and dug in to hold on to their advantage. The home side suffered further when Lee Chappell was shown a straight red for a dangerous challenge just before Mr Venamore indicated 4 minutes of added time.
Page almost added a 4th goal before the home side exerted more pressure on the Boro’ defence. As in the 1st half, the Referee’s watch seemed to get stuck and it seemed the final whistle would never come. Boro’ had their backs to the wall and Xapi picked up a yellow card, but, at last Mr Venamore blew for time and the points were safe.
Full Time: St Albans City 2-3 Farnborough
A very welcome win, Boro’ having for much of the game looked to be comfortably in command, but credit must go to the home side for fighting back, riding their luck and pushing us all the way.
This result and performance will do a great deal for morale and surely boost confidence all round. Let’s carry it forward to Saturday.
Match Report by Tony Duff.
Next up for Farnborough – Saturday 22 November (KO 3pm), Hayes & Yeading United (home).
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