Boro’ not fazed by ‘Dragons Den’

Given recent form and current league positions a neutral would have been hard pushed to say which side was riding high and which was staring relegation in the face.

Still without the suspended Harry Grant and missing Adam Brice and Michael Richens from a combination of injury and illness, Josh Shama joined the starting eleven and Boro’ were reduced to a four man bench.

The home side kicked off and soon showed signs of nerves not least because Boro’ started the game in a purposeful fashion which put the Dragons under pressure.

The first real threat came in the 7th minute when Bennett threaded a pass through to Jamie White only for his shot to be deflected for a corner. Then a couple of minutes later, Webb slipped the ball to Shama who shot over.

Basingstoke were relying on long, high punts upfield and the game was twelve minutes old before they had an attempt on goal when Dunn’s effort almost made the car park.

When the hosts had a right wing corner, Magnus Norman got enough on the ball to distract Enver-Marum who headed over.

Boro’ had a good move down the left, but Freddie Grant’s cross was just too long.

Dunn tried his luck from 25 yards on 20 minutes, but was well wide of the goal. When Dunn unfairly checked Bennett, Robertson’s free kick was charged down by the wall.

Manny Williams cleverly turned two defenders, but shot just wide of the post.

Boro’ were enjoying a dominant spell at this stage and on one occasion the home side looked rattled as they completed a series of ten consecutive passes on the right side of the field.

A Boro’ free kick was played short to Shama who made good ground and hit a shot which was on target, but dealt with by Stuart Moore in the home goal.

After good work by Bennett in midfield, White was just unable to reach the final pass.

Just when it seemed that the interval would come with the score line blank, the home side broke through the middle and Enver-Marum hit a strong shot which Norman could only parry and unfortunately the ball ran kindly for Dunn who was able to turn the ball in from close range on 43 minutes. Basingstoke Town 1-0 Farnborough.


Midfielder Simon Dunn pokes home a rebound from Enver-Marum’s strike

Half Time: Basingstoke Town 1-0 Farnborough

Boro’, having caused the home side a few problems, had enjoyed several good periods of dominance and could count themselves unlucky to go in a goal down.

Boro’ got the second half away at 4:03pm but the home side were first to threaten when Freddie Grant was rather harshly penalised on the edge of the area. Tom Bird’s curling free kick was turned round for a corner by Magnus Norman.

A Boro’ corner on the right was met by Robertson but his strong header was deflected wide of goal for another corner. When Basingstoke failed to clear, CJ Fearn was well placed to rattle home the equaliser on 54 minutes. Basingstoke Town 1-1 Farnborough.


Farnborough goalscorer CJ Fearn and Basingstoke Town’s Tom Bird

The home side made a double substitution in the 56th minute replacing McAuley and Williams with Soares and Macklin.

A rather needless foul by Webb in midfield led to a Basingstoke corner which saw Norman save from Rob Dickie’s header.

A decent Boro’ attack down the left saw Grant shoot over and the home side went on the counter attack from the goal kick. This led to the incident which turned the game in favour of the home side.

Flood was running in from the left and appeared to run straight into Jamie Hand before going to ground just inside the area. Referee, Savvas Yianni, who was some way behind the play, wasted no time in pointing to the spot and despite Boro’s protests, Liam Enver-Marum put the home side ahead on 62 minutes. Basingstoke Town 2-1 Farnborough.


Farnborough players aggrieved by the Referee’s penalty decision

Following a Boro’ free kick the ball got through to White who shot into the side netting.

Basingstoke made their final change in the 67th minute when Brown replaced Jenkinson and two minutes later almost increased their lead when a Boro’ clearance ricocheted off Grant into the side netting.

Dunn ‘won’ a free kick on the edge of the area with a near perfect 6 for the execution of his dive, but the kick was cleared by the wall.

The 75th minute saw Boro’ make a double change, bringing on Tumwa and Tieku for Hand and Bennett.

With ten minutes remaining, the home side made progress and Smart’s cross was headed out for a corner by Freddie Grant and Norman punched the resultant corner clear.


Goalkeeper Magnus Norman rises high to clear a corner

When another Boro’ attack was cleared up to Lloyd Macklin on the half way line
he first outwitted Treacher, who then stretched to try and push the ball back to Siaw who was outpaced by Macklin allowing him to run on and calmly slot home for a 3-1 lead on 85 minutes. Basingstoke Town 3-1 Farnborough.

Boro’ immediately replaced Ollie Treacher with Stéphane Ngamlouvou and set about a series of attacks in the remaining time plus four added minutes.

Jordan Robertson came close in the 88th minute with a rasping shot which struck the underside of the bar only to bounce out and be booted clear.


Robertson’s late effort rifles off the crossbar and away

Grant was booked for a niggling foul on Macklin and Boro’ then had a final charge which saw Robertson put Shama away, but his cross was unceremoniously cleared by the home defence.

FULL TIME: Basingstoke Town 3-1 Farnborough

Boro’s performance was considerably better than on Saturday and there was no lack of effort. Yes, they lost, but there were never two goals between the teams.

The game hinged on a questionable penalty decision and two unfortunate individual lapses which ultimately cost us the game.

If there was any justice they would have come away with a point which could make a big difference in the final analysis.

Match Report by Tony Duff.

Next up for Farnborough: Saturday 11 April (KO 3pm), Chelmsford City (home).

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