Assistant Manager Jon Reed signs off the 2019-2020 campaign with his final thoughts on a Season cut short.
“I never thought I’d be writing an end of season review with the last 12 games of the season cancelled due to a global pandemic. Quite rightly in my opinion, football and sport should take a back seat in these shocking and unprecedented times.
I urge anyone reading this to follow the Government advice and Stay at Home, Stay Safe and Save the NHS. Too many people have lost their lives already for more careless people to carry on flouting the guidelines.
Back to football, so way back in June/July all preparations were being made of the coming season. New players were arriving and the pitch was looking fantastic!
In August we beat Walton Casuals, Beaconsfield and Merthyr. It was finally good to get one over the Welsh club and the performance against Beaconsfield was very good in which we should have scored more. We lost to Poole Town on the opening day and played poorly against Hayes, but had a good display versus Truro.
In September we only played two League games. Tiverton we collapsed to a huge defeat in what was a shambolic display of individual errors, and we lost 0-2 away at Blackfield in a game that we dominated but couldn’t hit the target. We had an outstanding FA Cup victory over Ashford United and then lost 0-5 at home to Wealdstone in the next round after being drawn against the highest ranked side in the draw!
We lost three of five League games in October, Taunton (away) we were 1-0 up and in control seemingly to concede two goals in as few minutes to turn the game against us. We lost 0-1 at home to Gosport, whilst playing with 10 men for an hour and lost 2-3 at Swindon after leading 2-1 and being the superior team. We beat Yate 1-0 away in a dour game and won 2-1 at home to Wimborne. We then finished the month with a loss in the FA Trophy again at Gosport. Two really tough months that left us with more questions than answers after our optimistic start.
November was filled with six League games, in which we only lost one match, 0-2 at Chesham. They were organised and ruthless in taking their chances. We drew 0-0 versus Salisbury and 1-1 versus Harrow Borough. We spanked Hendon 4-0 in a comprehensive home win, 3-1 versus Dorchester in which saw their Manager lose his job and then we won 2-1 at Met Police in which should have been an easier win than it was. I think we scored very late after missing a host of chances leading up to it!
December came and so did the rain, which pretty much ruined our momentum that we had started to build in the previous games and the training sessions. One League game was played, a fantastic 3-1 away win at Weston-super-Mare (which I didn’t see as I was in Paris!). This was one of the best performances of the season. We lost 2-3 in injury time to AFC Bournemouth in the Hampshire Cup, the winning goal was a goal that should of not stood after the Referee gave a corner when it should have been a goal kick. Boxing Day away to Hartley Wintney was called off at lunchtime while I was travelling down on the M25.
New Years Day brought us a 0-1 home defeat versus Hayes & Yeading, we then lost again at Poole Town 1-3 after gifting them all three goals and then completely dominating the last 30 minutes. We beat Walton 2-1 at home and then had a horrific first half at Merthyr in which we conceded two goals in a few minutes again. We cruised to a 2-0 home win versus Beaconsfield.
We flew down to Truro at the start of February, to face the Champions-elect. I though this was a solid and workman-like performance where we took the lead in a very impressive first half. Again, we then shot ourselves in the foot by conceding two goals very quickly, and then couldn’t get the equaliser for all of our endeavour. We drew 1-1 with Blackfield in a game we should have won and lost 0-1 in injury time at home to Swindon. We missed a second half penalty and then made a bit of a calamity in clearing our lines with 30 seconds to go. Truly devastating.
Onto March and we were aware that things were changing in the world and questions were being asked of how long we would continue to play football for. Hartley Wintney was called off AGAIN for a wet pitch, we then beat Yate 4-0 at home and Taunton 4-0 on a cracking night of football at Cherrywood Road. These two games were of pure attacking intent and we had the visitors in both games struggling to defend against us.
This brought us to the end of the campaign in which then took the FA a seemingly long time to decide that no one was to go up and no one to go down! Some clubs have spent a massive amount on the chance of promotion. So where do clubs go now? Are the money men still wishing to invest heavily in non-league football? Will supporters come out in force and support their local clubs once we get back to some kind of normality?
A lot of clubs will be in financial difficulty during this period as costs mount up but nobody is drinking in the bars or watching games of football. Will wages still be as high for players going forward as some clubs won’t have the income to support these demands.
I think non-league football could be at a cash cross roads due to this. Travel is one big cost, players wages another plus affiliation and matchday fees. There are also many coaches and managers that do this for little or no reimbursement, are they going to be willing to travel mile after mile and put the effort in for little return in what will be a difficult financial time for us all.
I hope that in time Sport can be the main motivator in helping get this great country of ours back on its feet. That business’s big and small will survive and ‘us’ tradesmen still have work to go back to once these measures and lockdowns are lifted.
I would like to thank the entire Farnborough ‘family’ for all of their hard work and selfless acts of kindness and devotion to help the club week in week out. Without you there is no club.
To all of our fans: we have tried to entertain you every week, some weeks we have been awful and some weeks magnificent, but your continued support is always appreciated.
To the fans that stay away because of politics: time to move on fellas and if you want the club to survive and prosper then get you and your friends through the turnstiles!
To all the players that have pulled a shirt on this season: thank you. We have had a good season which should have been better, a great bunch of lads and one of the most talented I’ve ever worked with. There is still a lot more to come from this group should they want to learn.
A special mention goes to the greatest Kitman in football. ROGER PEIRCE, you are a true legend and what you do for the Club can never be questioned. From all the players that have ever played for this great club, I’m sure they will all say that you will be missed and never be replaced.
Thanks to Emily [Cooper] for another year of being Physio.
Thanks to Ben [Murray] for being a brilliant Coach and bringing a unique banter to the dressing room.
A final word for the Gaffa [Spencer Day], who again has unearthed some real talent and the amount of work he does in preparation for games is second to none. A lot of criticism he takes is completely unwarranted.
So until next season!
Stay Safe, Stay at Home.”
Supporters can pay for their next ‘Season Ticket’ by using our GoFundMe Fundraising page.
Early Bird prices are as follows: Platinum Lounge £249, Adult £179, Concession £149, 16-21 year old £89. Thank you.