The Town start their league campaign with a goalless draw against Guildford City
Only time will tell if this was a point gained, or two points dropped.
On the one hand, Guildford City created numerous changes, particularly in the first half, only to be thwarted by both the woodwork and an inspired display by Farnham goalkeeper Richard Ossai. On the other hand, Farnham could, and maybe should, have snatched all three points with a glorious chance late in the second half.
Swings and roundabouts.
Showing signs of nerves, Farnham made a slow start, allowing the opposition time and space to control the midfield and use their pacey wide men to create three high quality chances within the opening half an hour.
The first, a sharp shot from the edge of the area, was tipped onto the bar by ‘keeper Ossai.
The second produced an even better save, as Ossai got down to push a cross shot past the post.
And the third saw Farnham riding their luck, as a passage of intense Guildford pressure ultimately resulted in a powerful shot that took a deflection onto the crossbar with Ossai beaten all hands up.
Finally, Farnham came into the game and finished the half strongly, with Nat Williams cutting in from the right flank to test the Guildford ‘keeper with a shot that would otherwise have found the top corner.
The start of the second half saw Guildford City again apply pressure that the Farnham back four, with Cavan Atkinson particularly impressive, did extremely well to withstand.
Two clear chances came from free-kicks conceded just outside the area and, in each case, Farnham were thankful that the final shot was rushed and sent past the post.
A third actually came from a Farnham free-kick as Guildford broke quickly to force another fine save by ‘keeper Ossai, low to his left with just fifteen minutes remaining.
And then, right at the death, came the chance that Farnham craved.
Substitute Matt Glass split the Guildford defence with a precision pass that put Josh Ogunseye clear through, but the Farnham forward failed to take advantage and shot straight at the ‘keeper’s legs.
Credit to Farnham for showing fighting spirit and collecting a point in a match that they could easily have lost. Praise too for match referee Josh Osofa who controlled the game well and let it flow whenever he could.
Manager Colin Millard took a number of positives from the game:
“An encouraging performance from us in the end. For the first 15-20 minutes we were under the cosh and had to rely on our goalkeeper who made a couple of very good saves. But, as the game wore on we grew into it and, in the end, it was their keeper who had to make some good saves to keep them in it. Arguably we created the clearer chances.
Make no mistake about it, Guildford will be there or thereabouts. On that showing they are a strong side. You don’t encounter many Step 5 teams with their individual talent and the ability to move the ball as quickly as they did through the thirds.
However, after the first 20 minutes, we showed enough for our supporters to see that we could be in for a very entertaining season. There is still a lot of work to do. We are definitely still a “work in progress”. But many things to be encouraged by. On to the next!”
Farnham fans will feel that Colin has a point. Perhaps it should have been three.
MOTM : Richard Ossai