Boro’ only just about manage a point.
Much has been made over recent weeks about the need, in our situation, to beat the teams around us. Well, sadly not enough Boro’ players had bothered to read the script.
Decent league performances against Eastbourne Borough and Gosport were soon to slip into the past as Boro’, appearing nervous from the start, soon realised that Staines were in no mood to roll over.
After the usual end to end start, the visitors made some good breaks down the right and several headed clearances from Freddie Grant were crucial. The same player also made good runs down the left.
When Richens made progress on the right and slid a pass to Page, the skipper’s cross was wayward and drifted high and wide for a goal kick.
O’Neill was looking lively for Staines and one sortie into the box looked dangerous before Richens won the ball and cleared.
New keeper, Magnus Norman, used his height to good advantage when he gathered a cross while surrounded by players.
A Boro’ free kick was played out to Bennett on the left, but, O’Neill back tracked a good thirty yards and took the ball off him.
Just before the half hour, Norman was in action again, first he tipped a free kick over for a corner, then punched the subsequent cross clear.
Brewer was booked for a foul on Freddie Grant, then when Theophanous ran through the middle into the box, Turner rushed out and slid into him bringing him down. A clear penalty and Turner was a little fortunate to see yellow.
Harry Grant despatched the penalty for the opening goal of the game on 37 minutes. Farnborough 1-0 Staines Town.
Staines attacked from the restart and Norman gathered well.
When Grant won a corner at the other end, Richens header was on target, but the experienced Purse, got in the way and sent a looping header back to Turner.
In the one minute of added time, Norman tipped another free kick from O’Neill over for a corner which was cleared by Treacher.
Half Time: Farnborough 1-1 Staines Town
A half which saw Magnus Norman prove his worth and in which, the penalty aside, Boro’ didn’t manage a single shot on target.
The second half started at 4.02 pm with the visitors replacing Aribo and Buchanan with Max Worsfold and Jamal Fenelon.
An early Boro’ attack saw Page beat the offside trap only to shoot wide.
Fearn showed some good close control and was progressing when brought down by Medway. Mr Purkiss initially played the advantage, but then called play back for a Boro’ free kick and booked Medway.
Boro’ replaced a lethargic Theophanous with Culley on 56 minutes.
When Purse fouled Nurse, Richens free kick from all of 30 yards, hit Culley and was deflected to safety.
Twenty minutes from time CJ put Bennett away, but his cross was deflected by Medway and fortunately went to Turner.
Two minutes later, saw what was to prove a pivotal moment, when Bennett went clear and beat Turner with a left foot shot which cruelly rebounded from the inside of the post. When the ball was returned into the centre, Bennett again got his head on it, but this time was wide of the mark.
Hand put Bennett away to turn defence into attack, but the final pass found Page offside.
At the other end Norman made a good diving save from O’Neill at the expense of a corner on the right. From the kick, Purse powered through and planted a strong header into the net for the equaliser on 80 minutes. Farnborough 1-1 Staines Town.
Soon after, a Richens free kick was played out for a corner and when the ball came through to Bennett, he shot into the side netting.
Boro’ made a further change with five minutes of the ninety left. Page went off after passing the arm band to Culley and was replaced by Michael-Percil.
Richens needed treatment after a challenge in the centre circle, but was able to continue.
Staines were clearly intent on snatching the points and very nearly did so as the match entered added time.
A corner on the left saw Purse run apparently unnoticed into the area and send another header goalwards, but Freddie Grant made a timely clearance off the line to keep the score level.
The final action saw Medway receive a second yellow followed by a red, but far too late in the game to have any significant effect on the outcome.
FULL TIME: Farnborough 1-1 Staines Town
No doubt both sides had earmarked this clash of the bottom two as being a “must win” game, but in truth, Staines looked by far the more likely to succeed.
Frankly, compared to recent performances, Boro’ were poor as a team and only a handful of players performed to their potential.
A point each may not have altered the gap between the two sides, but with Hayes and Yeading getting a narrow win, it makes next week’s match that much more important. We must hope that a full side turns up at Maidenhead.
Match Report by Tony Duff.
Next up for Farnborough: Saturday 14 March (KO 3pm), Hayes & Yeading United (away).
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