The Great Escape is on!
So, for the second time in just over a week we face 7th place Kingstonian, this time in the re-arranged fixture postponed from Easter Monday.
Having taken the points at Kingsmeadow with a deserved injury time winner, a repeat performance would be another huge step in Boro’s attempt to be masters of their own destiny in terms of clawing their way out of the bottom four and a final home game against already relegated Brentwood to round up the season next Saturday.
The two sides experienced very different emotions in last weekend’s fixtures with Boro’ continuing their fine run of away wins by winning at Leatherhead, while the Stones, suffered a home defeat to Staines.
Boro’s starting line-up remained unchanged from the Leatherhead match, while the visitors made a number of changes from our recent encounter with no place in the starting eleven for Bennett, Odametey, McCollin or Inns.
All but the latter were on the bench, but no place for another of their leading scorers, Pelayo Pico Gomez.
Boro’ got the game away at 7:45pm playing towards the Moor Road End, but it was the visitors who started the stronger and were first to threaten when a snap shot from Turner was parried by Minter and cleared.
Kingstonian were dominant for the first 15 minutes and enjoyed a good deal of possession without being able to capitalise.
Boro’, by contrast to recent performances, struggled to find any rhythm, their passing left much to be desired and they allowed their opponents far too much time on the ball.
They had just one attempt in this opening period, a shot from John Oyenuga being blocked and cleared.
In fairness, Kingstonian were little better and relied mainly on pumping long high balls down the middle.
However, this tactic changed when a good ball out of defence found Pinnock on the right who slipped a pass on to the overlapping Goode and from his cross, Reece Beckles was able to turn the ball in from close range after 18 minutes. Farnborough 0-1 Kingstonian.
The visitors made further chances with an effort from Pinnock dropping over the bar, a cross from the right passed through the 6 yard box and out for a goal kick, before another cross was headed down for Beckles, but his shot was too high.
Bailey came on for Barton on 27 minutes and was soon in action when put through by Emmerson but his shot was blocked for a corner.
A quick counter attack saw Newman have a shot on target, but Minter got down well to save.
Bailey, who was using his speed to good advantage, pulled the ball back for Allen, but his shot was just wide of the target.
Then he (Bailey), had a go himself and Tolfrey saved near his post at the expense of a corner.
With about three minutes of the half remaining, John Oyenuga, on the overlap down the right worked his way into the box and with everyone looking for a cross he side footed the ball across the face of Tolfrey’s goal and into the far corner on 43 minutes. Farnborough 1-1 Kingstonian.
Simple, effective and well executed taking the keeper and defenders by surprise.
Pinnock was booked on 44 minutes but nothing further of note in the one minute of added time.
HALF TIME: Farnborough 1-1 Kingstonian
An opening 45 minutes which saw the visitors dominate during the first 20 or so minutes and Boro’ find their feet, improve their passing and close down the opposition far better in the latter 20-25 minutes.
The second half commenced at 8:45pm and Boro’ began in sharp contrast to the way they had started the game.
They were straight on the offensive, finding their men better and looking as though they were really up for it.
Bailey was buzzing and pulled a ball back for Emmerson to run on to which whistled just past the post.
There was no holding Ollie Bailey back and when he received a pass just outside the penalty area he jinked his way forward deceiving defenders and hit an inch perfect left footer into the right corner of Tolfrey’s goal on 52 minutes. Farnborough 2-1 Kingstonian.
Boro’ were clearly buoyed by taking the lead and started to look far more confident, but despite pushing forward their efforts to add to their advantage were foiled by the visitors defence.
Kingstonian made a double substitution on 68 minutes when Beckles and Bonnett-Johnson were replaced by McCollin and Dean respectively.
Boro’ replaced Jack Battie with Matt Ball on 73 minutes.
Almost immediately, Ball took a free kick on the right and played the ball short to Freddie Grant who shot just over from the 18 yard line.
Stones made their final change on 78 minutes replacing Mitch Pinnock with Dan Bennett.
Bennett, as always, was soon in the thick of things and Minter tipped a shot over for a corner.
Then, when he was fouled, the free kick was headed on but Newman hit well over from 6 yards out.
Both sides were going all out and chances were made at both ends. Tolfrey saved well from Bailey before Grant cleared a shot off the line at the other end.
With the 90 minutes almost up, Oli was booked for a foul about 40 yards out on the left and Newman’s free-kick was cleared by the Boro’ defence.
With Boro’ fans listening for the whistle, a minimum of 4 added minutes were indicated. Were we going to see a finish similar to last week’s at Kingsmeadow?
The visitors were throwing everything at the Boro’ defence and with 2 minutes of added time gone they stormed forward again and inevitably, it was Dan Bennett who bundled home the equaliser from close in. Farnborough 2-2 Kingstonian.
However, heads did not drop and from the restart Boro’ went straight down towards the PRE and Charlie Allen slammed home what was to prove the winner. Farnborough 3-2 Kingstonian.
The remaining added time was played out sensibly by Boro’ and another massive three points were finally in the bag.
FULL TIME: Farnborough 3-2 Kingstonian
Who could have forecast another contest like last week’s being settled in time added on. Such games should carry a health warning!
So, the dream lives on and we face Brentwood next Saturday with 50 points in the bank, out of the bottom four places, 2 points better off than Needham Market and a point ahead of Burgess Hill. All have one game left.
A great performance given where we were just a few short weeks ago.
Since March we have played 9 won 7 (5 away), drawn 1 and lost 1 bagging 22 points from 27.
I wonder what odds we could have got against 5 away wins on the trot, not to mention doing the double over Kingstonian.
Well done to all and let’s finish in style on Saturday.
Match Report by Tony Duff.
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