A great effort from 10 man Boro’ earns a draw at Kingsmeadow

Boro’s entry into this season’s Emirates F.A. Cup was never going to be an easy task, but when our recent penalty hoodoo struck again after just 10 minutes things got even harder.

Boro’ got the game underway at 3.02 having lost the toss and made to face a bright sun.

Both sides were sizing each other up for the first few minutes and possession was shared pretty evenly.

However, when the home side made their first real assault after ten minutes a whole clutch of players tangled around the six yard box and when Sappleton tumbled to the deck Martin Dynan was harshly judged to have fouled him.

Even worse was to follow when Mr. O’Brien having pointed to the spot, then flourished a red card.

The tackle was rather innocuous and certainly not in any way dangerous, furthermore, it was doubtful if he was the last man. As for being a clear goal scoring opportunity, yes it was only a few yards out, but there were players of both sides around the ball. Very harsh.

Sappleton took the kick and although Brotons went the right way he was unable to reach the ball which went just inside his right hand post, after 11 minutes. Kingstonian 1-0 Farnborough.

Two minutes later the scorer went off injured and was replaced by Aaron Hopkinson (though he was wearing number 15. Presumably Sappleton was injured in his efforts to ‘earn’ the penalty.

Boro’ regrouped and went about their task with some good football and Yasin Ben-Elmhanni made progress down the right beating two defenders before crossing. Then, a good cross from Barton was unceremoniously hoofed out for a corner.

On 23 minutes Bobbie Dale took a great first touch and proceeded to calmly plant the ball into the left hand corner. Kingstonian 1-1 Farnborough.

Boro’ continued to play the better football and on the half hour Mr O’Brien, who had been very sparing in awarding anything to us gave a free kick in our favour but might well have played the advantage. CJ headed just over from Barton’s free kick.

Then when Wynter was floored from behind, yes a free kick , but no sign of a card!!

When Chinua played a rare poor ball out of defence allowing Kingstonian to counter, Victor did well to block and the danger was cleared.

The Boro’ keeper then tipped a corner over for another which was cleared to allow Boro’ to break again down the left.

When the home side returned to the attack CJ made a well timed interception to relieve the danger

With a minimum of two added minutes, Boro came close to taking a lead into the break. A fine passing move down the right saw Dale slip the ball inside to Harry Williams who passed again to his left when perhaps a shot could have been the better option.

There was still time for a final push from Boro’ and a free kick from Collins on the right was too strong and ran out of play.

HALF TIME: Kingstonian 1-1 Farnborough

A fairly even half despite Mr O’Briens attempts to ruin the game with his hasty red card. Boro’ s 10 men playing sensibly and passing the ball well.

Spencer’s concerns about Bennett were to prove premature as the ‘marmite’ man saw little of the ball and only showed his speed and tricky footwork a couple of times.

Second half away at 4:05pm.

Boro’ began the half with some neat passing moves and made two good openings in the first ten minutes.

Lewis Collins went very close then a good run through the middle by Harry Williams opened up the Kingstonian defence before finally being cleared.

Around the hour mark the Referee made another one of his odd decisions when awarding the home side a free kick in the middle of the pitch when two of their players went to ground. I saw no foul, but Mr. O’Brien did.

Before the free kick had been fully cleared, Bennett, who seemed frustrated, blazed a shot well over from all of 35 yards.

When Kingstonian attacked Sylvestre-Brotons saved well when the ball was deflected. This seemed to spark a sustained effort from the home side which Boro’ weathered well. Poetic justice in a way as the move began with Bennett appearing to control the ball with his arm.

Boro’ replaced Jack Barton with Dean Joseph-Whittingham on 66 minutes and a couple of minutes later the bustling L’heureux Menga came on for Ben-Elmhanni.

Menga made an instant impact using his fresh legs, size and weight to good advantage. He chased everything down and was able to hold the ball up for others as well as being difficult to knock off the ball. The home side never really got to grips with him for the remainder of the match.

As the game entered it’s final stages Boro’ kept their heads and having apparently learned lessons from last week, were resolute in their obvious intention to see this game out while awake to any opportunity to snatch another goal.

With legs obviously tiring from being a man down Boro’ made their final change on 75 minutes with Nick Awford replacing Lewis Collins.

The home side were clearly becoming frustrated and Kempton was well over with a shot from distance.

Williams cut in from the left and his shot was within inches of the target and may have nicked the post. Jordan Wynter also went close after being put through.

The last 10 minutes with 4 added were hectic to say the least. Nditi was booked out wide near the touchline for little more than a tangle of legs and Victor was shown Yellow for allegedly time wasting.

Close to the end Alan Inns joined the attack and Boro’ fans held their breath as he headed over from a free kick. After a good 5 minutes extra time the Referee finally brought to an end a very entertaining match.

FULL TIME: Kingstonian 1-1 Farnborough

What a difference a week can make. Boro’ were focused and played well as a unit with grit determination and a good deal of skill. The draw was fully deserved and it would not have flattered them had they managed to snatch a win.

They all played well, but for me, CJ Fearn stood out as growing in stature with every game and appearing to settle more comfortably in the captains role.

Well done to everyone and now we must defy recent history and finish the job in the Replay.

Match Report by Tony Duff.


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