Boro’ hit by a late Farnborough strike as Rook sees red again

If Borough are to avoid a second successive relegation, the team will need to show the commitment they displayed at Truro, last Saturday, and in this closely fought encounter at Cherrywood Road, plus a element of good fortune that has been missing for the majority of the season.

Pre-match preparations were far from ideal with the team coach caught up in an M25 closure and players travelling by car arriving too late to be included in the starting line-up due to the motorway congestion.

Darren Baker returned to the side at full back, with Carl Rook included in attack after completing a three-match suspension. Marvin Hamilton-Omole and Ellis Remy were named on the bench.

The opening minutes saw end to end action, culminating with the home side forcing the ball home on 16 minutes, but to the relief of the travelling Borough fans the ‘goal’ was disallowed for a foul.

Then came an incident that had a major bearing on proceedings.

With Borough attacking on the left flank, a free-kick was awarded and Matt Crabb delivered into the Farnborough box where it was blatantly controlled by a defender, with the officials appearing to be the only persons in the ground who were unsighted!

On 30 minutes Stuart Anderson made space, but his shot went straight into the arms of home keeper Craig Bradshaw.

Moments later, Farnborough went close when Marcus Moody failed to reach a dangerous cross and the ball flew across the Borough goal to safety.

With the first half approaching 45 minutes there was still time for excitement at both ends. First a Farnborough free-kick was scrambled away from the Borough goalmouth, and as the visitors burst upfield Crabb saw his cross cleared, the ball was returned into the box with Alex Lacey failing to connect from a good position on the edge of the six-yard area. And in the final moments Sam Cole chose to cross when he was in a good position to try a shot on goal.

Misfortune struck again in the 47th minute when Borough were reduced to ten men when Rook was shown a straight red for an unsightly challenge, and manager Tommy Widdrington was forced to re-organise the team. Matt Crabb, who had caused considerable trouble to the home defence, was substituted to enable Remy to take up the front runners role…and soon afterwards Hamilton replaced Baker.

On the hour Mitchell Walker did well to hold a fierce low drive, followed by referee Ian Crouch calling a halt to the game, as he was suffering from a leg injury. A request for a replacement official was broadcast over the public address system, and as the temperature dropped players were made to attempt to keep warm for 25 minutes as a local replacement went home to collect his kit.

As the match re-started Farnborough went close which two goal-line clearances scrambled away but from the clearance Borough created their best chance of the match.

Gary Hart was sent free on the right and as he crossed to the far side of the goalmouth where Remy fired from close range, only to see Bradshaw make an outstanding save.

Borough had performed well, even with a man missing, and looked good value for at least a point when disaster struck!

A low cross was parried in the Borough goalmouth, but the ball fell to Phil Page who shot home and earned his side full points.

A disappointing finish, but a hard-working approach not helped by Carl Rook’s dismissal.

BORO: Walker 6, Baker 7 (Sub Hamilton), Cole 6, Smart 7, Rowe 7, Lacey 6, Johnson 7, Anderson 6, Rook 5, Hart 8 (Sub Brinkhurst), Crabb 7 (Sub Remy)

Subs unused: Strevett, Watson