Three hard won, but valuable points for Boro’

With the need for some teams to rearrange fixtures in order to accommodate various Cup Competitions, we have arrived at a rare situation whereby we will play today’s visitors for the second time in a week in a League fixture.

Just seven days ago we visited The Harry Abrahams Stadium where the home side prevailed in a game which saw fortunes ebb and flow before finishing 4-3 … on to the next instalment.

The game commenced shortly after 3:00pm following an impeccably observed one minute’s silence to show respect for those killed and injured in Friday’s terrorist atrocities in Paris.

The Boro’ line-up included a new goalkeeper, Aaron Bufton, saw the return of previous Boro’ players Darryl Siaw and Marcus Moody with a full bench which included Jack Barton and Joe Tupper along with some less well known incumbents.

The game started in wet and gloomy conditions which soon proved it would not be easy for players to keep their footing and on occasions, the ball.

Following early pressure which earned to quick corners, Boro’ went close when Nicholas Brown hit a dipping shot which only just dropped over the bar.

Lee Barney, a thorn in Boro’s side last week, went close on two occasions firstly he went clear on the left and his shot went narrowly past the far post, then he brought a good save from Bufton who followed up by palming the ball away as the centre forward sought to finish the job.

Both sides had chances, MacDonald did well on the left and crossed but the speed of the ball off the wet turf prevented anyone reaching it and when Nicholas Brown progressed into the box he was flattened by Goodman, but all appeals fell on deaf ears.

Bufton saved a low effort from Tison-Lascaris then Bogdan Vastsuk cut in from the left and crossed firmly, but the ball passed through a tangle of bodies and out for a goal kick.

Midway through the half, Brown crossed well from the left, but not for the first time, nobody was in quite the right position to finish it off.

The visitors were asking a few more questions as the clock approached 30 minutes and one cross from the left was unceremoniously hoofed over the PRE to clear the danger. Not pretty, but effective.

Bufton made a great reaction save to deny Rob Laney and the visitors kept up the pressure with two corners in quick succession.

Boro’ made a rare break up field but the final ball was lacking in direction and the attack fizzled out.

A counter attack saw Lee Barney break clear and put the ball in the net unaware of the offside flag.

Boro’ were awarded a free kick some 35 yards out and Tom Broadbent went forward and used his height to good advantage when heading firmly home from close in after 38 minutes. Farnborough 1-0 Wingate & Finchley.

The goal helped give Boro’ (and their fans) renewed hope and they were on the offensive for most of the remaining six or seven minutes.

Even so, neither goal was under real threat until, with a couple of minutes remaining, Broadbent made
a good run down the left and put in a decent cross under pressure from two defenders, but no-one could get on the end of it.

HALF TIME: Farnborough 1-0 Wingate & Finchley

By no means a classic, but both sides made an honest attempt to play football under difficult conditions.

Given the changes in personnel, Boro’ deserved their narrow lead, but would need to stay on the boil to prevent being overhauled as happened last week.

The second period got away at 4:05pm with the opening 10 minutes providing little of note until Leon Soloman appeared to rush his effort on the left and it flew high and wide.

Siaw did well to stick with Tison-Liscaris and dispossess him to bring the attack to an end..

Ahmet Rifat was rather fortunate to receive only a yellow for what seemed to be a dangerous lunge on Marcus Moody. Perry Ryan’s free kick was too high.

When the visitors broke away, Bufton was quickly out but his momentum saw him slide out of the area and bring down the incoming forward. He received a yellow card, fair enough, The free kick flew off the wall and out for a corner.

Wingate & Finchley substitution saw Reece Tison-Lascaris relpaced by Alfie Bartrum on 68 minutes.

Boro’ were looking vulnerable while unable to increase their narrow lead and it came as no real surprise when the visitors equalised through Karl Oliyide on 72 minutes. Farnborough 1-1 Wingate & Finchley.

Boro’ replaced Nicholas Brown with Ryan Zidyana on 73 minutes.

Having been pegged back to all square and with little more than 15 minutes remaining, this was looking like an all too familiar situation for Boro’.

However, heads did not drop and on 78 minutes, Bogdan Vastsuk was all alone when he collected a ball 20 yards or so into the opposition half out on the right and weaved his way cross field holding off two or three defenders before his shot gave Jack Metcalfe no chance and ended up in the back of the net. A truly great individual effort, exquisitely timed. Farnborough 2-1 Wingate & Finchley.

So, 12 or so minutes plus added time between Boro’ and three points. Not quite as simple as the visitors were clearly not going to roll over.

Freddie Grant received a yellow card not far from the half way line and following the free kick it took a good double save from Aaron Bufton to keep his side in front.

Boro’ made a double substitution with Josh Francis replacing Bogdan Vastsuk who left to well deserved applause and Marcus Moody was also applauded when he made way for Jack Barton on 82 minutes.

The remaining eight minutes (plus a minimum of 4 added minutes) saw the visitors renew their efforts to draw level again and Boro’ defending resolutely.

In truth, the ball spent more time than was comfortable in the Boro’ penalty area they rode their luck at times, but I reckon it was due.

Wingate & Finchley replaced Rob Laney with Bradley Hewitt on 89 minutes.

Even in the final minute of added time, the visitors forced a couple of corners which saw all their outfield players go forward in a last effort to get something from the game.

Finally, Referee, Aji Ajibola signalled time.

FULL TIME: Farnborough 2-1 Wingate & Finchley

A valuable and hard earned three points. Some good individual performances, notably Aaron Bufton, a good shift and opening goal from Tom Broadbent and a truly great winner from Bogdan Vastsuk.

But, more importantly a good all round team effort which showed a willingness to work for each other and the ability to close out a game when in front.

Another 3 points on Tuesday at VCD will really get us moving in the right direction.

Match Report by Tony Duff.

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