Table Topping Raynes Park Vale Are Too Strong For Understrength Farnham Town.
This was an interesting test for the Town’s ambitions next season.
Top of the table Raynes Park Vale are exactly where Farnham Town aim to be.
And, during the first half in particular, the visitors demonstrated what the Town need to do to get there.
What was quite clear is that ‘make do and mend’ won’t work.
With key players missing through injury, Farnham fielded those available in unfamiliar positions and a well-organised Raynes Park Vale took full advantage in a dominant first half display that had the match sewn up by half time.
The first goal came after 14 minutes when the Town simply switched off.
Full back Archie Harland-Goddard lost his marker and flicked home a Jake Gallagher corner with the Farnham defence static.
Ten minutes later, Gallagher would turn goalscorer, after winger Jermaine Green, who had been giving Liam Flanighan a torrid time all game, again beat his man before sending in a cross that found Gallagher unmarked at the far post.
Gallagher’s control and volleyed finish was sublime, but made far too easy by the Town’s poor defensive shape.
Eight minutes later, the match was all but over.
From a free kick fired in from the visitors, Ange Djadja was muscled off the ball by Vale centre back Ben Dyett, whose powerful header was well saved by Farnham ‘keeper Liam Harris. Unfortunately for an already shell-shocked Town defence, the rebound fell perfectly for Harland-Goddard to strike home his second from inside the six yard box.
The Town came out and played better in the second half, but the damage was already done.
There were chances, in particular an effort from Owen Dean that was cleared off the line after a nice combination down the right from Max Meaton and Jamie Hoppitt, but it always felt that Raynes Park had at least one extra gear in reserve should they need it.
With the match moving toward its conclusion, there was just time for yet more last minute drama.
This time, a red card for the Town’s Anton Matthews, apparently for raising his elbow.
The Town now have the chance to pick up points from two away fixtures against sides at the wrong end of the table.
They travel to Camberley Town on Tuesday night before facing Banstead Athletic away next Saturday.
Wright’s Lion Brewery MOTM : Liam Harris
Huge thanks to our matchday sponsor LK Lettings.
We hope you enjoyed the afternoon and look forward to seeing you again soon.
The Town’s next home match is the Combined Counties Premier Division South league game against Frimley Green on Saturday 25 February. Kick off 3:00pm