An Inspired Substitution Sees Farnham Come From Behind To Beat Knaphill 3-2
“No”, I am not going to start with a cliché!
After an almost completely forgettable first half where the only action of note was a superb headed clearance off the line by Farnham skipper Ashley Lloyd after just six minutes, this was a match that blazed into life right from the start of the second half.
Less than five minutes after the match restarted, Knaphill should have gone one up when a simple through ball sent their forward through one on one with Town ‘keeper Harry Birchnall, only for his chip to strike the post.
But, if this was a let off, Farnham wouldn’t be so lucky the next time.
Both sides had begun to play a more open game and, as they did so, chances began to be created at both ends.
The Town might have had a penalty for an untidy tackle on Josh Ogunseye. However, this time, the referee saw nothing wrong.
A slightly contentious decision, but Farnham could have few complaints in their own area when the Knaphill striker was scythed down as he shaped to shoot after 52 minutes. Up stepped Sam De Croix, who tucked it into the bottom corner to put The Knappers one up.
It was then that Town manager Colin Millard made the change that would turn the game, replacing Ken Kasibante with Ben Bauchop.
Working in tandem with Nhoj Witter, Bauchop anchored the midfield, allowing Parish Muirhead to push on and support the front three.
Suddenly Farnham were on the front foot, with the movement of the three forwards causing confusion amongst the Knaphill defence. A change in tactics that deservedly delivered dividends after 55 minutes when a Town corner was headed home by Ashley Lloyd.
Things would get even better on the hour mark, when Josh Ogunseye completed a jinking run across the Knaphill area with a low shot into the bottom corner to put Farnham ahead. And, just three minutes later, it was Josh that turned provider, setting up striker Will May to beat the offside trap and slot the ball under the Knaphill ‘keeper to put the Town 3-1 up.
At this point it was all Farnham, and, on 70 minutes, it was Josh Ogunseye who found himself one on one with the ‘keeper with the opportunity to put the match to bed. It seemed he must score, but the ‘keeper spread himself and his save kept Knaphill in the game.
Would we be reflecting upon fine margins once again?
This seemed almost certain when, just two minutes later, it was Knaphill who broke through with Sam De Croix scoring his second.
Worse was to follow when, while claiming a corner, Harry Birchnall picked up a knock to his back.
However, Harry bravely soldiered on and, assisted by a dogged rearguard action by a Town back four reinforced by incisive substitutions, he helped Farnham hold on to a well deserved three points in the face of fifteen minutes of relentless Knaphill pressure.
Town manager Colin Millard saw plenty of positives to build upon from the second half.
“In the first half, I felt that we were a bit sloppy, a bit careless. We had opportunities to get ourselves in on goal, but our final ball was careless when a bit more quality would have led to a goal scoring chance.
I didn’t think there was much in the game at all at half-time. Both teams looked to counter each other and it had been fairly even.
Moments before their penalty I thought, from where I was standing, we had a stonewall waved away on Josh, so, for them to go up the other end and score from the spot was a bitter pill to swallow
However for 20/25 minutes after that you saw what we can be about.
Quick incisive play with the ball, coupled with aggression off it.
We blew them away in that period and should have added one or two more in that spell.
But then, as we should be seeing the game out, we don’t track a runner and put ourselves under unnecessary pressure.
So, lots of positives to take, especially winning away against a very well coached side.
But there’s still a level of naivety about elements of our play which we are still trying to iron out.”
MOTM : Ben Bauchop
A well deserved three points sees the Town move into mid-table with the opportunity to push on against Redhill on Saturday.
The Town’s next home match is the Combined Counties league game against Redhill on Saturday 13 November. Kick off 3:00pm