Paul Johnson’s new-look Farnham Town have been every bit as good as advertised in the first few weeks of the season. Four games, four wins, 14 goals and none conceded – you can’t really ask for a better start than that.
Following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Crowborough Athletic in the Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round, The Town were back on the road on Tuesday night as they traveled to the newly built 4G facility at The Reg Madgwick to take on a Cobham side that Farnham completed the double over in the last campaign.
With the one-game ban for his sending off not kicking in until the weekend, Max Meaton returned to the heart of the defence with Tom Smith coming back in at left-back, with Michael Kinsella dropping out. Harry Cooksley returned to midfield in place of Lamar Koroma, and Shamal Edwards led the line along with Owen Dean as Charlie Postance was moved back to the bench.
As has become a theme this season, Farnham started quickly out of the blocks and it was inside three minutes when they took the lead. A poor back pass was closed down speedily by Owen Dean and Shamal Edwards. Dean smothered the clearance from the ‘keeper and it rebounded into the path of Edwards who passed the ball into an empty net to make it 1-0 before some people had even taken their seats.
Five minutes later and Farnham were gifted the opportunity to double their lead when a cross from the left wing was adjudged to have been handled on it’s way into the box. Watching it back on our live stream, Cobham can feel aggrieved as the replay shows it actually smacked the defender square in the face rather than his arm, but the referee pointed to the spot.
Darryl Sanders missed a spot kick last Tuesday against Sandhurst Town, and the penalty duties have seemingly been handed over to Harry Cooksley, who took them last season when he was with Hartley Wintney. The midfielder made no mistake as he buried the spot kick into the bottom left-hand corner, and The Town led 2-0 with eight minutes on the clock and many were thinking it could become a cricket score.
That said, the rest of the first half saw Farnham appear to take their foot off the gas despite retaining complete control of the possession and the flow of the game. A number of half chances followed, including Dean Rule having a low driven effort beaten away and Jack Dean taking aim from the edge of the box with his left foot only to see it sail narrowly wide, but The Town would go into the half two goals to the good.
Much like they did in the first half, Farnham started fast in the second and could have added a third within a minute of the restart when Sanders slipped in Edwards on the right channel, but his shot was dragged just wide of the far post.
Midway through the second half having not really threatened much, Johnson made a number of changes in attack with Lewis Flatman, Charlie Postance and Kai Tanner all entering the pitch and instantly, Farnham had much more impetus in their attacks on the Cobham defence.
Having scored in The Town’s first two league games after coming off the bench, Postance would make it three from three when he was slid in by Darryl Sanders, finishing cooly with his left foot beyond the ‘keeper into the far corner, and the game from then on out was out of reach for the hosts.
Sanders nearly netted his fourth goal of the season sealing a third successive 4-0 league win in the process when he slalomed by several challenges and let rip on goal, but the Cobham ‘keeper was equal to it. The resulting corner fell to Ryan Kinnane who lashed a wild shot that cannoned off the bar and over, and it would remain 3-0 until the referee blew up for full time.
Farnham make it five wins from five in all competitions to start the season, scoring 17 goals and remarkably, are yet to concede (or even look like conceding) a goal.
Perhaps their toughest test of the season awaits as this Saturday, they welcome AFC Stoneham of the Wessex Premier to The Memorial Ground in the Isuzu FA Vase First Round Qualifying.