Tudors rout sinking Farnborough.
Our short trip to Hertfordshire and the home of the quirkiest roundabout ever seen, was never going to be an easy ask of our ever changing team.
The Tudors, lying comfortably in 10th position in the Vanarama Confernece South table, are certainly enjoying a rich vein of form.
Unbeaten at home in the last 14 league and cup games, they triumphed 3-1 against Concord Rangers last week to progress in the F.A.Trophy.
The playing surface, gave a whole new interpretation to ‘hybrid pitches’. The touchline on the clubhouse side still had a dusting of snow and was rock hard. The far side, by the main stand, was more like a bog.
Uneven and well sanded in places it was clear that once the game started it would be a case of ‘keep moving or risk sinking’. Marks left by a tractor, or something similar, were clearly evident and I doubt if this was helpful.
A side of the Vauxhall Road pitch
The home side got the game under way facing a low sun and Boro’ fielded another new midfield player in Ghassimu Sow, alongside Adam Brice and Gradi Milenge, with Lloyd Foot at right back and Marek Rodák back in goal. Two other newcomers, Simon Cox and Kurtis Pykes joined Page, Siaw and Arnau on the bench.
The home side started in lively fashion and Boro’ survived an early scare when Sow’s attempted header back to Rodák was intercepted by Hawkins who, fortunately, volleyed well over.
A decent move from Boro’ involving Brice, Treacher and Culley ended when the final cross was put out for a corner.
The Tudors were clearly a yard faster than Boro’ and playing some neat, direct football they restricted the visitors to occasional breaks.
When they did get forward, Boro’ rarely seemed to have enough players available to cause the home defence any real problem.
Dennis Oli burst through and Rodák saved well at the expense of a corner. It was no real surprise when Potton opened the scoring on 20 minutes with a firm header from a right side corner. Hemel Hempstead Town 1-0 Farnborough.
The home side continued to press and had several chances to increase their lead. The best fell to Oli, who shot wide from a good position.
Brice was booked for a foul on the edge of the area and leading scorer, Jordan Parkes, shaved the outside of the post with his free kick.
The remainder of the half had Boro’ defending for much of the time and Rodák punched clear from Newman’s right wing corner and then again when another cross came in.
Potton came closest to another goal when, having rounded Rodák, his effort went across the goal and wide of the far post.
Lloyd Foot had a rare shot on goal for Boro’, but his 20 yard effort was deflected for a corner. The kick was played short to Foot, but the cross was too long.
Just before the half ended, Brice went down while shielding the ball back to Rodák and appeared to suffer an injury.
Half Time: Hemel Hempstead Town 1-0 Farnborough
A half which saw Boro’ defending for much of the time against an in form team who were clearly quicker to the ball and benefitting from a settled side. They were deserving of their slender lead, which could easily have been more.
Boro’ got the second half away at 4.03 pm and for the first 10 minutes or so managed to put the home side under some pressure.
Culley had a shot blocked on the line and the ball hovered agonisingly in the six yard box before being cleared.
Another promising move down the right, saw Harry Grant burst through but flagged off side. He was booked when kicking the ball away in frustration.
Culley got on the end of a corner from the left, but his header lacked pace and was easily gathered by Walker.
Tudors broke away and when Treacher intercepted the ball in the area he appeared to have time to clear, but opted to pass across the area and Newman was quick to take advantage and slot the ball past Rodák. Hemel Hempstead Town 2-0 Farnborough.
The next 10 minutes saw Richens make good progress down the right but his cross frustratingly evaded everyone.
Parkes free kick for the home side drifted out for a goal kick, before Milenge tackled well and conceded a corner which was headed well over the goal.
Richens had another chance following a good left side move, but his shot was too high.
On 63 minutes, Potton weaved his way unchallenged into the area and calmly stroked home his second and Tudor’s third of the game. Hemel Hempstead Town 3-0 Farnborough.
Page and Cox replaced the injured Brice and Sow in a double substitution for Boro’ and shortly afterwards, Hemel brought on Banton for Shariff.
Lee was booked for a foul on Culley on the edge of the area and Walker saved well from Richen’s free kick.
Then when Tudors broke away again, substitute Banton‘s shot took a deflection off Milenge, which wrong footed Rodak on 75 minutes. Hemel Hempstead Town 4-0 Farnborough.
Boro’ made their final substitution on 78 minutes with Xapi replacing Harry Grant.
The remaining time saw play switching from end to end and Louie Theophanous got a consolation goal on 86 minutes beating Walker at his right hand post from 15 yards. Hemel Hempstead Town 4-1 Farnborough.
Full back, King had a shot from distance which was far too high and Richens, already on a yellow, was fortunate that Referee Carl Fitch took a lenient view of a strong challenge just before the final whistle.
Full Time: Hemel Hempstead Town 4-1 Farnborough
Boro’ could have no complaints. They were well beaten by a far better side on the day. It was easy to see why Hemel are enjoying such a good run of results and undoubtedly, it helps to have a settled side.
Next week’s Trophy tie against North Ferriby United will provide another stiff test for the Boro’. By all accounts they are a big, experienced side who take few prisoners. We really need to get a settled defensive formation with a right back a priority.
Match Report by Tony Duff.
Next up for Farnborough – Tuesday 20 Janaury (KO 7:45pm), Whitchurch United (home).
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