The Town lose 1-0 to a goal from former fan favourite, Charlie Oakley.
The Bard himself could not have penned a more poignant script.
The exiled prince returns to wreak revenge on those who had wronged him.
And, all the while, the pretender to his throne was absent from the stage.
But enough of such literary allusions. Let’s get to the action enjoyed by a crowd of over 280 spectators!
Looking at the league table, it would be easy to assume that Badshot Lea were simply superior to a Town team seeking their first league win of the season. But, for most of the match, the two teams were, in fact, well-matched. Albeit in all but two key areas: Badshot Lea had greater creative quality; Farnham Town lacked a finishing touch.
Beset by injuries, the Town were once more forced to field a different back four. At least this time there was better news, with Tom Smith returning at left back and Kayode Conteh finally available for his second ‘club debut’, having served a four match suspension.
For the first twenty minutes or so, the game was played almost exclusively in the middle third of the pitch where, ably assisted by the tough-tackling Ben Bauchop, the Town captain Ashley Lloyd gave a commanding performance against his former teammates, winning his tackles and driving the Town forward whenever he was able to.
However, winning the ball is not the same as winning the match.
Farnham had their chance to open the scoring when Matt Glass worked his way in the penalty area, only to see his shot palmed away by the Badshot ‘keeper. But, by now, such efforts were against the run of play, with Badshot better on the ball and their wide players causing considerable problems for the Farnham defence.
If a goal seemed inevitable, the way it came about was even more so, as it was former Farnham Town players Owen Dean and Charlie Oakley who combined to give Badshot Lea the lead against their previous club after 33 minutes.
For the rest of the first half and much of the second, Farnham failed to create anything of note. Matt Glass can make things happen, but two matches in two days looked too much to ask of him. Winger Josh Ogunseye was superbly shackled by the outstanding Raphael Aklobessi and neither Nat Williams nor George Pilbeam were given so much as a sniff by a composed Badshot back four.
Even after Badshot Lea had been reduced to ten men following a straight red issued to Adam Matthews for a last ditch, last man, tackle on Josh Ogunseye, the Town rarely looked like troubling the Badshot ‘keeper. The closest they came was when full-back Tom Smith put the free-kick resulting from Matthews’ red card challenge around the wall, but into the side netting.
With just one goal in six hours of league action, it’s obvious where the problem lies. Farnham Town must find a solution. Fast.
MOTM : Ashley Lloyd
The Town’s next home match is the F.A. Vase tie against Warminster Town on Saturday 11 September. Kick off 3:00pm