Farnborough hold Eastbourne Borough to a stalemate at a windy Priory Lane in their final Conference South away fixture.
For their last away game of the season Boro’ faced an Eastbourne side who they beat 2-1 at Cherrywood Road back on 21st February which was the last time they won a match.
A combination of injury (Robertson), illness (Norman and Shama) and the departure of Bennett and Hand saw Boro’ with just a two man bench consisting of Josh Webb and Nathan Chambers.
However, the starting eleven with two full backs in Ollie Treacher and Freddie Grant, three in front of them, Fearn, Siaw and Brice and with Richens and Harry Grant as the midfield link men leaving Tumwa and Ngamvoulou on the wings and Jamie White up front, gave them a far better shape than of late and they looked far more balanced.
They game started at 3:01pm with Boro’ having a strong end to end wind at their backs which was clearly going to cause problems for both sides. Boro’ started in a business like fashion and had the better of early exchanges and there was 12 minutes on the clock before the home side offered any real threat with a good left side move which CJ did well to intercept and clear.
A snap shot from 25 yards after 16 minutes made sure Dillon Barnes was on his toes and he dealt with it competently.
After Harry Grant shot just wide, Boro’ were awarded a free kick which was cleared for a corner which produced nothing.
The home side then enjoyed a period which saw Pinney play a good ball out to Johnson on the right but the number 10 over hit his cross. Then when they played a free kick short to Beale on the left, his cross was blocked by Freddie Grant and when a further cross came in from Watts, it was brother Harry who blocked it for a corner.
Boro’ survived a penalty shout on 30 minutes when McCallum went down under pressure from Treacher, but neither Referee or Lino saw any problem. A good decision.
When Haysman beat the offside trap and went one-on-one with Barnes but the keeper did well to block and Worrall sent the rebound flying over the target.
With about four minutes left, Ngamvoulou cleverly flicked the ball on for White but the ball just ran too far and Carey gathered. A Boro’ corner after 44 minutes saw Ngamvoulou head narrowly over.
Half Time: Eastbourne Borough 0-0 Farnborough
A promising half for Boro’ clearly showed the benefit of having several players in more familiar positions and they appeared more confident as a result. The return of Brice from injury was a bonus and he made several good interceptions as well as some telling, accurate long balls forward. Barnes made some good saves and grew in confidence as a result.
The second half started at 4:03pm and Haysman, hit a wind assisted shot from distance which Barnes did well to tip over for a corner. Then Darryl Siaw made a timely challenge on Pinney.
The next 10 minutes or so, saw both sides attempt to make progress but the wind was not helping and neither team seemed to realise that it was a day for playing the ball on the deck.
Tumwa put White through on 58 minutes and his shot from the right of the area was on target and Carey caught it just below his cross bar.
The conditions were particularly hazardous for the keepers and Barnes did well to punch clear from a corner.
Both sides made changes, Eastbourne Borough replacing Worrall with Pacquette, then Boro’ brought on Webb for Tumwa.
Within three minutes and just after he had curled a shot wide of the post, Haysman was replaced by Darren Lok.
Nathan Pinney bustled his way through on 78 minutes but shot well over. Then Barnes did well to reach the ball from a corner and in a bunch of players push it up before safely collecting.
On 81 minutes Siaw intercepted the ball on the half way line and ran past several defenders and through on goal, but Carey did well to snatch the ball off his foot.
Two minutes later, Jamie White hit a good shot from the edge of the area which had the better of Carey, but rebounded off the post and Ngamlouvou was unfortunate when his goalbound shot was deflected over by Simpemba for a corner.
With five minutes of normal time left, Barnes made another good save to keep out an Eastbourne Borough shot which took a deflection.
Eastbourne Borough replaced Pinney with Pring on 86 minutes and then Boro’ brought on Nathan Chambers for Ngamvoulou on 88 minutes.
Between the two changes, Jamie White almost got through on goal, but Khinda-John stretched out a long leg to knock the ball away just in time.
On 88 minutes McCallum had a shot turned over for a corner by Barnes to cap what was a good display by the young keeper.
Referee Hume added three minutes and despite the efforts of both sides to end the deadlock, the only thing he had to record was the bookings of Pinney, and Pacquette for dissent just before the final whistle.
FULL TIME: Eastbourne Borough 0-0 Farnborough
For a goalless game there was a fair amount of entertainment and Boro’ will feel that with a touch more luck they could have bagged all three points.
The home side were clearly less than happy as demonstrated on more than one occasion by their Manager, Tommy Widdrington and his coaching staff.
Perhaps we saw a glimmer of what could auger well for next season if we can find a settled side with players in familiar positions. Much will of course depend on whether we can retain the nucleus of what could be a decent side and attract new blood willing to play at a lower level.
Match Report by Tony Duff.
Next up for Farnborough: Concord Rangers (home), Saturday 25 April, KO 3pm.
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