A week later than originally scheduled, Farnham Town’s FA Vase second round tie with Snodland Town survived some less than ideal overnight weather to take place at The Memorial Ground, with the game made free to enter following the debacle of the previous weekend.
Play was suspended and later called off after a linesman sustained a calf injury after 20 minutes, and a replacement official could not be agreed upon with Snodland Town despite everyone’s best efforts to find one.
This meant that Snodland Town would have to travel all the way back from near Maidstone over to Farnham to run it all back.
Paul Johnson was able to take some learnings from the curtailed game, and made the decision to start Charlie Postance in attack after naming him on the bench for the original tie, with Shamal Edwards dropping down to the bench as he wanted to add some more physicality to his side.
Snodland Town were performing well in their league coming into this one, being in the thick of a promotion race along with a number of well-fancied sides such as Faversham Town, Deal Town, Glebe and Erith Town, so it presented what would be one of Farnham’s toughest tests of the season so far.
That proved to be the case as for the first 20 minutes or so, it was a very tight and cagey affair, with The Town’s best effort on goal coming from a low Joe Jackson shot which was saved at the near post and out for a corner.
Farnham then nearly became the architects of their own downfall when a poor clearance from Pat Nash was latched onto by a Snodland Town midfielder who controlled it well, skipped past the challenge of Harry Cooksley and pushed into the box and attempted to find the bottom corner, but Nash got down low to save it.
The visitors were a perennial threat for much of the first half and came close to taking the lead when they engineered an opportunity on the right side of the box which resulted in a low shot which was partially spilled by Nash, squirting under his body but not far enough away to stop him reclaiming the loose ball before it was tapped into an empty net.
As the half time break edged closer, Farnham were presented with an opportunity to break with pace and purpose when Darryl Sanders collected a headed clearance deep in his own half following a Snodland Town free kick.
He picked his head up and struck a trivela pass upfield for Adam Liddle to run onto. The striker drove into the box and cut it back towards the edge of the box for Lewis Flatman to run onto, and he struck a sweet curling effort into the top right corner of the goal, handing The Town a crucial lead in this cup tie, which would be how it remained when the referee blew for the interval.
Farnham were a constant threat on transition in breakaway situations and it was another of these moments which presented them with the chance to double their lead. Jackson broke forward with the ball and played it into Sanders at midfield with space to run into.
He drove at the Snodland Town defence with Liddle to his right and Postance to his left. He opted to slide in Liddle who took a touch to compose himself before slotting the ball into the bottom left corner to hand Johnson’s side a 2-0 lead.
Just after the hour mark, Farnham put the game to bed when they netted their third of the day. A long free kick was played into the box. It was headed out to Ryan Kinnane on the edge of the ox who took a touch to set himself before bending the ball into the top right corner, wheeling away to the Farnham fans in celebration having seemingly booked their place in the Third Round of the FA Vase.
Johnson then made a number of changes including bringing on Shamal Edwards in attack who probably left the game wondering how he didn’t find himself on the scoresheet. First, he had a low effort well saved by the Snodland Town ‘keeper before having a second opportunity thwarted by the visitors again when he had a one-on-one opportunity but struck it straight at the ‘keeper.
After being set up by Sanders for those first two efforts, Edwards found himself bearing down on goal again, courtesy of the #10, but his left footed effort beat both the ‘keeper and the post.
With five minutes to go, Snodland Town did snatch a goal to make them feel better about themselves when a threaded pass found the striker who evaded both Kinnane and Guy Hollis at the back for Farnham to chip the on-rushing Nash to make it 3-1.
However, the three-goal lead was restored almost immediately after the restart when Edwards beat the right-back in behind and squares it for Postance who taps home from close range. Sanders nearly made it five when his curling effort from 20 yards bounced narrowly wide of the far post.
The Town ran out 4-1 winners on the day as Johnson labelled the performance one of the best of the season so far, when factoring in the quality of the opponent. A week later than scheduled, Farnham had finally booked their place in the FA Vase Third Round for the first time in 47 years, with a tie against Burnham at home ahead.