The Town are second best as Beckenham stroll to a straightforward 4-0 win.
Having taken the step up to Step 5, the Farnham Town faithful knew that they would be facing a much higher standard of opponent. And so it proved against a Beckenham Town side who were simply superior in every department.
Injuries and unavailability have prevented The Town from fielding a settled side this season and, once again, manager Colin Millard was forced to shuffle his pack and make changes in defence and midfield that robbed them of all momentum gained against Guildford.
In that match, Farnham had fought hard, undoubtably enjoyed ‘the rub of the green’, and came away with a well won point.
This time, a much better Beckenham Town side ruthlessly exploited every Farnham error, and it speaks volumes that, for the second time this season, and despite him gifting Beckenham their second goal, The Town’s Man Of The Match was ‘keeper Richard Ossai.
Farnham lined up with a 4-3-3 formation that looked to exploit the pace of wide men Nat Williams and Josh Ogunseye. However, a disjointed, and often out-muscled, midfield were never able to win and retain sufficient possession to supply the forwards, and centre forward, Ashley Elson, was forced to feed off scraps up front.
The Town had kept temselves in the game for the first an hour, and might even have taken the lead when the fleet-footed Josh Ogunseye left his marker for dead down the right flank and cut inside onto his left foot, only to see his shot cleared off the line.
But that was as good as it got for Farnham, as Beckenham began to impose themselves and carve out a series of clear-cut chances.
A goal was clearly coming, and, when Jack Mitchell failed to make his clearance, Beckenham took the lead just after 30 minutes.
What then followed was a 10 minute horror show as, first off, a Richard Ossai mis-kick gifted Beckenham their second, then Farnham failed to close down yet another Beckenham attack, giving their striker the time and space to pick his spot in the top corner. And finally, after making another fine save as Beckenham broke though yet again, Town ‘keeper Ossai could only parry a deflected shot to the feet of the Beckenham centre forward, who coolly converted the simple chance.
The second half saw Farnham make changes and Beckenham take their foot off the pedal.
The Town did create a couple of half chances, but Beckenham always had something in hand and might well have increased their lead further with a crisp shot that cannoned off the post and a quality free kick that ‘keeper Ossai did well to tip over bar.
A brutally honest Colin Millard was furious with the manner of the defeat :
“I did say that we would be inconsistent! To go from where we left off against Guildford City to that first half performance this afternoon was extremely disappointing. In fact, inconsistent is an understatement. That first half was completely unacceptable in anyone’s book.
We allowed a good team the opportunity to dictate the game from the start. When that happens, you get punished.
You get players making poor, basic, errors, not working hard enough and looking over their shoulders for someone else to blame. Basically, we got bullied. All through the pre-season we have talked about people taking responsibility for themselves. Far, far, too many players didn’t today and that performance is the result.
But, in the end, that result might turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Over the course of the season, it will serve to remind the players that we cannot afford to carry seven or eight of them in a game.
Apologies to those who witnessed that tripe, particularly in the first half.
Apart from penalties, that’s the first home defeat under my tenure and I can tell you, we are hurting”.
The early optimism of the pre-season friendlies and the F.A. Cup win over AFC Varndeanians is now relegated to history.
The Farnham Town team need to regroup, put this result behind them, and come out fighting if they are to avoid a similar fate.
MOTM : Richard Ossai
The Town’s next home match is the F.A. Cup Preliminary Round tie against Spelthorne Sports on Saturday 21 August.