Farnham Town cruise to a comfortable 2-1 FA Cup win over AFC Varndeanians
Once the home of Brighton & Hove Albion, the Withdean Stadium will have witnessed far better matches than this scrappy encounter, but that won’t worry Farnham Town, who defied a difficult pitch and driving rain to progress through to the next round of the FA Cup.
Missing several first team players, Farnham were under the cosh for the first fifteen minutes as AFC Varndeanians enjoyed the majority of possession and forced a series of corners, without really troubling Farnham ‘keeper Richard Ossai.
As Farnham found their feet and came into the game, they were rewarded when a prolonged period of pressure down the opposition right flank delivered a cross that the inexperienced Varndeanians ‘keeper failed to deal with. Then, as the defence panicked to clear the ball, Farnham were awarded a stonewall penalty for a mis-timed tackle on Matt Glass.
Coolly converted by Josh Ogunseye, the spot-kick gave Farnham first blood.
The remainder of the first half was played at a fast tempo, with the industrious Matt Glass and hard-working Ben Bauchop both catching the eye, and clear cut chances were created at both ends.
In particular, AFC Varndeanians should have equalised from a far post header but the unmarked attacker fluffed his lines and put the chance over the bar. Farnham also fashioned chances with Josh Ogunseye forcing a smart save from the ‘keeper’s legs.
The second half had barely begun when Farnham doubled their lead.
With The Town pressing direct from the kick-off, the Varndeanians’ ‘keeper could only parry a shot straight to the feet of Ashley Elson who, displaying a poacher’s eye for a goal, couldn’t fail to score.
After that, Farnham were in complete control of the game and might have added two or three more to the score.
However, just as they appeared to be cruising to a clean sheet, deep into injury-time, they lost concentration and, with almost the final kick of the game, the Varndeanians’ captain was allowed to snatch a consolation goal.
Manager Colin Millard was understandably proud of his side’s progress to the next round:
“I am pleased to get through. I have no doubt that, over the course of the season, we will play much better than we did today and lose. In fact, we are all disappointed to have conceded with the last kick of the game as we take great pride in clean sheets. But cup games are about the winning. We have won. We move on. We now start to focus on Tuesday night’s game”.
Farnham Town will now play either Hassocks or Spelthorne Sports at home on Saturday 21 August.
MOTM : Matt Glass