Boro’ prevail in 7 goal Bank Holiday thriller
The first ‘proper’ local derby in quite some time must have left the crowd of 432 feeling exhausted, but surely few would complain at the entertainment value.
Naturally, the home supporters were the happier for claiming the three points, but the visitors could take some consolation from the fine contribution made by their team.
Boro’ came into the game in slightly better form than their Hampshire neighbours having won four of their five opening League games including two fine away wins in which they had scored eight goals without reply and sitting in second place in the table.
Dennis Oli was missing from the lineup due to an imminent addition to his family and I’m sure we would all send our best wishes for a safe and happy outcome. Eddie Smith took his place in the starting eleven.
The opening ten minutes were fairly even with both sides seeking to find their rhythm and Boro’ were first to really threaten.
A good move down the left and a decent cross saw Jamie Cureton hammer home into the top left corner to open the scoring after 11 minutes. Farnborough 1-0 Fleet Town.
The visitors began to come more into the game without causing the Boro’ defence too many worries.
A free kick on the edge of the box was cleared and Nic Ciardini came close following a swift counter attack.
Eddie Smith had a shot from just outside the box tipped over for a corner by Ryan Pryce and following a sustained attack which saw two efforts blocked, the ball fell to Jamie Cureton who slotted home his and Boro’s second of the afternoon on 25 minutes. Farnborough 2-0 Fleet Town.
Fleet Town pushed forward and Terrell Forbes came to Boro’s rescue when he headed an effort off the line.
Jamie Cureton came close to his third with a shot on the run following good progress down the right.
With just seven minutes of the half remaining an incident occurred which was to completely change the face of the game.
Eddie Smith, tracking back to help defend a Fleet Town attack made what can only be described as a rash two footed challenge. He certainly played the ball, but his momentum carried him forward and he brought down the man in possession.
With the Fleet Town supporters and players offering loud advice to the Referee, Mr Graham consulted his Assistant before reaching for a Red card and Smith was off.
The next few minutes saw some niggling clashes and Williamson was lucky to see only a Yellow following a petulant foul from behind on Nic Ciardini who had taken the ball off him and cleared up field.
HALF TIME: Farnborough 2-0 Fleet Town
Until they went a man down Boro’ were comfortably in control but would surely be under pressure in the second half.
Despite being a man down it was Boro’ who threatened first when the second half got underway at 4:03pm.
Having made a clearance from deep in his own half John Oyenuga then ran the length of the pitch and collected a through ball and Pryce made a good save to keep the score down.
Fleet Town woke up and Rob Carr reduced the arrears by converting a simple cross which in all honesty should have been cleared on 48 minutes. Farnborough 2-1 Fleet Town.
Joel Driscoll saved a deflected effort from White, then the play switched to the other end and a Nic Ciardini shot was deflected onto the bar, but bounced out and was cleared.
CJ was booked for next to nothing in midfield. This was not the first odd decision and would prove to be not the last.
Scott was well off target following a corner, but Fleet Town were at last pushing forward more often and making better use of their extra man.
Osano brought down Carr just outside the area and with shouts of ‘off’ ‘off’ and ‘that’s his second yellow’ ringing in his ears, Mr Graham proved he could count and stuck with a yellow.
Craig Davis equalised from the free kick on 62 minutes. Farnborough 2-2 Fleet Town.
Boro’ replaced Oyenuga with Batchilly on 63 minutes.
Boro’ went back on the attack and were denied two very reasonable Penalty shouts in a matter of minutes.
First and most clear cut was when a defender clearly raised both hands and handled the ball, but Mr Graham wanted nothing of it. He did however book Josh Huggins for questioning his decision, but maybe it was the way Josh gave him an instant replay of the two raised arms to accompany his verbal comments.
The second denial was for a trip which was clearly well inside the box, but resulted in a Boro’ free kick two yards outside. The ‘Lino’ did nothing to help though he was much nearer.
Fleet Town replaced French with Cadete on 70 minutes.
Almost inevitably, Fleet Town went ahead when Rob Carr got his second from close in following sustained pressure on 73 minutes. Farnborough 2-3 Fleet Town.
With Fleet Town seemingly starting to believe in themselves Boro’ made a double substitution which not only brought on fresh legs, but enabled tactical changes to be made.
Terrell Forbes and Jack Barton made way for Habib Cissoko and Jack Battie on 77 minutes. Josh Huggins was clearly told to play much higher up.
The remaining 13 minutes (plus what proved to be almost 6 minutes of time added on) bore witness to some dramatic changes of fortune.
Cissoko was quick to make his presence felt and his shot was deflected over for a corner.
The right side corner kick was met at the far post by Josh Huggins to bring Boro’ back on level terms with 10 minutes remaining. Farnborough 3-3 Fleet Town.
At this stage, on a hot day and a man down many would have settled for a share of the spoils at this stage, but not Boro’ who dominated the remaining time save for repelling the odd Fleet Town attack with steady defending.
Cissoko made a long run out of defence which only ended when he was tripped just outside the Fleet Town Penalty area shortly after, he had another shot deflected over for another corner.
Fleet Town made their final change with two goal Rob Carr making way for Taylor Watts on 85 minutes.
Boro’ continued attacking and CJ had a shot blocked out for a corner before Nic Ciardini came close at the right hand post.
Finally, with time running out and Boro’ supporters yelling for a last push, Nic Ciardini somehow found the legs to chase down what most of us thought was a ‘lost cause’.
He caught up with ball on the by-line and not far from the left corner of the pitch. A surprised defender made an effort to stop him but he skipped past and jinked his way along the line before slipping the ball to Jamie Cureton who conjured up a neat flick to beat Ryan Pryce and secure a well deserved hat-trick and a last gasp winner for Boro’. Farnborough 4-3 Fleet Town.
TEAM SPIRIT: 10 men Farnborough come from behind to snatch a late victory!
It seemed as though Mr Graham would never blow his whistle as he kept consulting both his watches, but, at last, he summoned up the puff to blow for time.
FULL TIME: Farnborough 4-3 Fleet Town…………….FANTASTIC EFFORT
Great to see the fan’s reaction – and the player’s response. Well done to all.
Up for the Cup again on Saturday, let the run continue.
Come on you Yellooowsaa!!
Match Report by Tony Duff.
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