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First Team, Match Report

25 Nov 2023

Match Report: Farnham Town 6-1 Alton

It had been nearly four weeks since Farnham Town last played a league game due to match postponements, abandonments and FA Vase commitments, but on a frosty Friday night, they welcomed local rivals Alton to The Memorial Ground with just shy of 1,000 fans crammed into Mead Lane to watch this one.

Paul Johnson’s side had beaten Alton in the reverse fixture earlier in the Autumn, with Harry Cooksley and Charlie Postance both scoring in a 2-0 win, but coming into the game Alton had picked up some good results and remain firmly in the mix for a potential play-off spot this season.

Having finally progressed in the FA Vase the previous weekend against Snodland Town, Johnson made just one change to the side from that win and it was an enforced one, with the injured Max Meaton dropping out for Tom Smith in a move which saw Joe Jackson move over to right-back.

Despite not playing in the league since Halloween, The Town remained at the top of the Combined Counties Premier Division South table and had an opportunity to restore their lead to seven points with a win over Alton and it didn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken.

Farnham were awarded a free kick on the left flank, and Darryl Sanders sought clarity from the referee to play it quickly before sliding in Tom Smith down the wing. The left-back delivered a great cross for Adam Liddle to head goalwards, it was parried away by the Alton ‘keeper but right into the path of Charlie Postance who made no mistake tapping home from a couple of yards out after five minutes, making it goals in back to back starts for the number nine.

Just five minutes later, it was another cross that undoes the Alton defence as Farnham netted a second, but this time it came from the right hand side. After playing a smart one-two with Joe Jackson, Sanders took his time to deliver a considered and pinpoint accurate cross to Lewis Flatman who had found space between his markers to head home from six yards out and The Town were two to the good.

With an expectant crowd watching on, Farnham kept their foot on the throttle and went in search of a third, with Postance a perennial threat when the ball comes into the box, but his back post header whilst craning for the ball could only be tipped over the bar.

Midway through the first half however, Johnson’s side did grab a third. Harry Cooksley stole the ball in midfield and drove across the halfway line before the ball was sent into the left channel for Postance to chase. He delivered a deep cross which was headed out to Jackson on the right-hand side who played it back inside to Flatman, he sent it forward into Sanders who had space to drive into the box. He chopped onto his left, evading a defender in the process before curling the ball into the far corner – his 11th goal of the season.

The game was effectively over as a contest by this point as Farnham continued to pile on the pressure seeking more goals. Postance will believe he should’ve had a second when he found himself in acres of space when Sanders squared him the ball in the box after beating the offside trap, but his first-time finish was well saved by the Alton stopper.

As the half drew to a close, Postance was able to secure his brace. Ryan Kinnane launched a long ball forward with great accuracy, dropping it over the top of the Alton defence and right into the stride of Postance who controlled it well before slotting it past the ‘keeper for Farnham’s fourth, and it suddenly became a conversation of how many would Farnham win by, rather than whether they’d win at all.

With a lot of worthy players on the bench in need of minutes, Johnson made a number of changes early in the second half, the first of which saw Shamal Edwards replace Postance in attack and it took just three minutes for last season’s golden boot winner to find the net.

Flatman slid the ball in down the left channel, allowing Edwards to stretch his legs and the Alton defence. He sprints into the space, cut inside into the box before drilling the ball in at the near post for his 13th goal of the season, which leads The Town’s goalscoring charts this campaign.

To their credit, the visitors kept battling away in the second half and came close to scoring themselves when they pinched the ball off Jackson on the left side. A low shot was spilled by Pat Nash in the Farnham goal but he rose well and made himself big to smother the rebound.

It was another second half substitute, Owen Dean, who capped off the evening for Farnham when he picked up the ball close to midfield. He drove forward with purpose, evading several challenges whilst carrying the ball over 40 yards before slotting into the bottom corner making it 6-0 to The Town.

The clean sheet was not to be for Farnham as Alton grabbed a consolation late in the game from a corner which was turned home, but it would not change the result as The Town secured a 13th successive win in the league to start the season, moving seven points clear at the top in the process.

Farnham would return to FA Vase action next as they welcome Burnham of the Premier Division North to The Memorial Ground the following Saturday.

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