Combined Counties League – Division One 29th August 2011
Warlingham F.C. 3 Farleigh Rovers F.C. 1
The Bank Holiday game had thrown up another local derby and this year there was a bit more on it given both sides had not started well and there had been a lot of movement between the clubs with management and players during the closed season.
Neither club was brimming with confidence but you would not have thought so as the game started at its usual furious pace in front of a sizeable crowd.
With just 2 minutes gone Baker robbed the Farleigh defender on the edge of his box and hit a ferocious shot on target. The keeper was beaten but the covering defender managed to get his knee to the ball and deflect it onto the bar and over. The early exchanges were fairly even and end to end. Joseph had a header over the bar and Weeks put a free kick well over. After 9 minutes Farleigh broke through the Wars defence and chipped the keeper only see the ball bounce off the top of the cross bar.
Farleigh were struggling at the back and giving away a number of free kicks. After 12 minutes Neaves lined up and struck his free kick and the Farleigh keeper managed to spill the ball in front of Joseph whose shot was cleared off the line in desperation. Jacko fired a shot just wide and Neaves had another free lick fly past after Joseph had been held back as he sought to make progress down the right. Then Wars had a bit of luck as the Referee pointed to the spot after a Farleigh defender handled the ball which he had little chance to get out the way of. Higgins stepped up as captain to take responsibility but cannoned his shot off the post.
The end to end play continued. Neaves slotted a free lick to baker after 20 minutes and his shot was deflected for a corner which was subsequently headed over by Higgins as he sought to make amends for the penalty miss. Farleigh were still in it and Coote saved at his near post and Joseph went straight up the other end and had a header saved then he shot over the bar from the edge of the box.
26 minutes in and Wars got the break through as Neaves had another free kick from the Farleigh right which went through the melee of players in the box and into the net without anybody else making contact. 1-0 Wars.
In quick succession Farleigh should have been back in it as they shot wide on both 32 and 35 minutes with only Coote to beat. Both Higgins and Smash had headers just over as we neared the half time interval. Half time Wars 1-0 up.
The second half started and within 2 minutes Joseph had increased the Wars lead as he managed to bundle the ball into the net. Wars 2-0 up.
Wars were now in control and beginning to enjoy playing the ball around. At the end of one move Baker cut the ball back for Penfold, who had replaced Nichol at half time, to score. 3-0 Wars on 60 minutes.
Now on top Lineker had a good left foot strike followed by a martin drive just afterwards. Higgins was beginning to control midfield but he had managed to get himself booked so was having to be careful.
Roache then replaced Manning who had played well at right back on his 1st team debut. Dias replaced Joseph after 72 minutes and Wars were passing the ball around well and Farleigh were playing a chasing game without much success.
To their credit they kept battling and started to get themselves back into it. Higgins cleared off the line and Coote saved after 77 minutes and then 4 minutes later a terrific shot from 30 yards rifled into Coote’s top right hand corner and the Farleigh forward celebrated in impressive fashion with 2 double somersaults!
Dias made an impact after he came on and had one shot wide after a good run and then set up Penfold for a run and shot as the game came to a close.
Sweet revenge for Wars who suffered defeats home and away from our closest rivals last season.
Team: Coote, Manning, Broom, Weeks, Neaves, Higgins, Martin, Baker, Nichol, Joseph, Lineker Subs used: Penfold, Dias, Roache Subs not used: Canning, Dilley
MOM: So far this season this has been a difficult decision because when we have played well they have been good team efforts and this was no different. Baker had a great first half. Martin looked assured in the middle. Weeks and Broom dealt with everything Farleigh threw at them and Manning had a great debut at full back. Joseph was a muscular threat at all times up front and Neaves looked like his old, self scoring and pumping free kick after free kick into the danger zone.
Higgins gets it because of his prestigious work rate all over the field. He cleared balls off the line and got on the end of numerous opportunities at the other end. He didn’t let the penalty failure get to him and he led by example as every captain should do.