Bennett masterclass sees Farnborough through to the last 16 of the FA Trophy.
Spencer Day’s Farnborough side progress into the last FA Trophy Second Round Proper with a win at Vanarama Conference South rivals Weston-Super-Mare.
Farnborough gained revenge for Tuesday’s 4-3 League defeat at The Woodspring Stadium but had to come from behind to win the game after an early setback.
With just three minutes on the clock, Dan Bennett dribbled the ball past The Seagulls skipper Tom Jordan before unleashing a strike which Luke Purnell blocked, before the Weston keeper suffered an injury whilst smothering the rebound.
Three minutes later a Dayle Grubb free kick was cleared by the Farnborough defence, but only as far as Jake Mawford who’s low effort from distance was blocked, but the Weston number 7 let fly at the second time of asking with a low 25 yard strike which took a deflection before crashing into the back of Dillon Barnes’ net. Weston-Super-Mare 1-0 Farnborough.
Mawford opened the scoring after six minutes with a strike that took a wicked deflection
Ryan Northmore’s sides lead was cut short when Dan Bennett, making his first competitive start since 15 November, was given time and space by a hesitant Weston defence to cut in from the right bend the ball in to the goal past Purnell with the aid of the far post. Weston-Super-Mare 1-1 Farnborough.
Trying to force a second goal in quick succession, Louie Theophanous and Phil Page both tried their luck with long range strikes but both were comfortably dealt with by Purnell.
Dan Bennett then stole the ball off a Weston player in their own half but his left footed shot from the right trickled wide.
Another mistake at the back from the hosts gifted the ball to Theophanous but this time the Farnborough striker fired over the bar from just outside the box.
Then for The Seagulls, Watkins caught the Farnborough defence napping, springing the offside trap but the Exeter City loanee couldn’t quite find a finish after rounding Barnes and while the visiting defence recovered Fiddes lifted a right footed strike wide from the left.
Matt Jay then found himself through on goal numerous times for the hosts, but Barnes bravely came off his line to make crucial saves to keep the scoreline level.
Farnborough then took the lead for the first time in the game on 25 minutes after persistant chasing from Dan Bennett forced a mistake in the Weston back-line and Louie Theophanous found himself with plenty of time and space and comfortably drilled the ball past Purnell. Weston-Super-Mare 1-2 Farnborough.
Just minutes before half time, a well worked Farnborough corner made its way out to Louie Theophanous on the edge of the box but the former Staines Town frontman lashed his first time strike well over Purnell’s bar.
Half Time: Weston-Super-Mare 1-2 Farnborough
At half time Spencer Day made a like-for-like substitution with Adam Brice replacing Darryl Siaw at the heart of the Farnborough defence.
Three minutes into the second half and the magnificent Dan Bennett extended his sides lead, cutting in from the right yet again and striking to Purnell’s near post where the ball slipped through the Weston keepers hands. Weston-Super-Mare 1-3 Farnborough.
Eleven minutes later, poor defending from Farnborough gave Watkins a chance for the hosts but the Weston wide man fired his shot wide from a tight angle.
Half time substitute Adam Brice then magnificently headed a powerful close-range Weston strike off the goaline after Farnborough failed to clear from a corner.
At the other end, Phil Page then headed against the crossbar from a cross, from close range after Weston failed to clear a corner themselves.
Forward Fejiri Okenabirhie then replaced Farnborough’s second goalscorer Louie Theophanous after 69 minutes in another like-for-like substitution.
On the counter attack, a long range strike from Weston was pushed behind by Barnes for a corner which Farnborough cleared.
On 81 minutes, midfielder CJ Fearn then replaced Phil Page in a bid to prevent the hosts from getting back into the game.
Five minutes from time, Farnborough skipper Lloyd Foot volleyed wide from a tight angle after poor defending by Weston from a Farnborough corner.
That was the final chance of the game as Robert Massey-Ellis blew the whistle which signified Farnborough’s progression into the FA Trophy Second Proper Round.
Full Time: Weston-Super-Mare 1-3 Farnborough #RoadToWembley
Stats courtesy of www.westonsmareafc.co.uk
Shots on target: Weston 4, Farnborough 6
Shots off target: Weston 6, Farnborough 6
Corners: Weston 8, Farnborough 5
Offsides: Weston 2, Farnborough 2
Free kicks conceded: Weston 7, Farnborough 11
Speaking to BBC Surrey after the game, Farnborough Manager Spencer Day said: “We had an early setback with a deflected goal to put us one behind but we could have already been two or three [goals] up by that stage.
“We started very brightly and showed the character of the side; we had that bit of bad luck and thoroughly deserved to be leading at half time and we got a little bit of luck with the third [goal], there’s no doubt – it was a keepers error.
“But I thought we defended so much better today after a bad week of defensive performances. We thoroughly deserved to win the game and I’m delighted, particularly for the small travelling band of supporters who’ve done such a long trip again this week.”
Next up for Farnborough – Saturday 20 December (KO 3pm), Maidenhead United (home).
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