Picking up from where they left off against Biggleswade at the weekend, Spencer Day’s Farnborough side maintained their impressive pre-season form with a convincing 2-0 victory over Tonbridge Angels on Tuesday night.

The latest in our sequence of pre-season friendlies took place away to Tonbridge Angels on Tuesday 29th July. Unlike some of our earlier games, we listed just 15 players for this encounter. Even so, this included four names which I don’t recall featuring before.
Prior to relegation at the end of last season we had done the ‘double’ over the ‘Angels’ but clashes with them have often been robust affairs.

The game started at a good pace with both sides trying to go forward and the home side were the first to show when Tweddell headed over after 4 minutes. It wasn’t too long before Boro’ came close when Page was just wide of the right post from 25 yards.

Trialist 7 put in a good cross from the right which was collected by keeper Merson and cleared upfield leading to a good cross from the right which Harding headed over. Following the clearance of a left wing corner taken by trialist Matt Ball, Harding made good progress down the left for Angels and fullback, King overlapped well causing the Boro’ defence to be at their best to clear the danger.

Ball followed up a poor back pass and part blocked the keepers’ clearance, but, with the ball flying around, Page managed a shot which was blocked by a defender. Around the half hour mark the home side enjoyed a lively spell with crosses flying in from both flanks and when a right side corner eluded the Boro’ rearguard,  Parkinson hit a weak effort wide of the post.

A good cross from Paul Rodgers was well collected and cleared by Merson, before the Boro’ keeper did equally well at the other end. Page was just offside when stretching for a cross, then Trialist 4 did well to break up another Angels attack, before King came close with a 20 yard shot which dipped and just cleared the bar.

The match turned in the course of a two minute spell when Rodgers made good progress on the right, beat his defender and pulled the ball back where Matt Ball shot home from the edge of the box. 0 – 1,  35 minutes.

From the restart, Angels were slow to clear when Boro’ regained possession and the ball broke kindly for the visitors leaving Page and Taylor both goal side of the home keeper with almost enough time to toss a coin to decide who finished it off. Taylor won and duly rolled in Boro’s 2nd goal.  0 – 2, 37 minutes  .

Tonbridge pushed hard for the remaining 7 or 8 minutes and Parkinson headed over from a free kick and when Siaw fouled Tweddell minutes later, Rodgers made a timely tackle to reclaim and clear the danger.

Half time 0 – 2.

A fairly open half with chances at both ends and rather too many niggling fouls. On balance, Boro’ earned their lead and half time cuppa.

The 2nd period got underway at 8.50  and Boro’ were first to make their mark  when Taylor’s effort from distance was wide of the target. Before long Tonbridge had a chance which was headed over, then Trialist 11 did well to progress down the left before crossing for Page to tap home. Sadly, the joy of the travelling Boro’ faithful was cut short when Page was ruled off side.This spurred  the visitors who enjoyed  a good spell which saw Merson make a good diving save to deny Trialist 15, who then won a corner on the left which Tonbridge were happy to scramble clear.

Boro’ subs on 63 mins. saw Trialists 12 and 16 replace Page and Trialist 11. Following a rather flat 10 minutes, or, so, Boro’  made their final substitution when Joe Benjamin replaced Taylor (72 mins).

The home side attacked with Harding and Whitnell combining well, but the Boro’  keeper did well to gather the cross and clear. Whitnell held his head when he shot wide from no more than 10 yards.

As the game entered the final 15 minutes, Tonbridge kept looking for a way through while Boro’ were quick to turn defence into attack. Trialist 15, having cleared a Tonbridge attack at the expense of a corner then switched to attack and took a long crossfield pass from Matt Ball in his stride before delivering a good pass to fellow trialist 16 whose shot was well saved by the keeper.

Tonbridge replaced Carey with Kabodi around 82 minutes and I believe at some time also brought on Tavares, Heath and Bolaji but no announcements made it difficult to be sure.

With 6 minutes to go, Trialist 4 was booked for a foul on the edge of the area, but the free kick was well off target. A couple of minutes later saw the home sides Campbell booked for a similar foul on Trialist 16.

The final action saw Parter keep the ball in play on the right touchline, beat his defender and deliver a decent cross, only to watch as nobody was able to get near it.

Result: Tonbridge Angels 0 – Farnborough  2

A satisfying result for Boro’ with fewer changes of personnel compared to recent games. Maybe we are now looking at the nucleus of the team to take us into the new season. No doubt we will hear more in the next week or ten days of successes and failures as Spencer looks hard at his options and equates what he would prefer, with what we can afford.

Match Report by Tony Duff.

Next up for Farnborough – Saturday 2 August (KO 3pm), Walton & Wersham (away)

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