Farnham Town manager Paul Johnson has challenged his players to show what they’re made of – and put on a convincing show to beat Balham on Saturday.
Johnson is building a squad which he expects to be challenging for Combined Counties Premier Division South promotion next season.
They underlined their potential with a cracking 2-1 win at highly-rated Jersey Bulls on Saturday – and then ran Isthmian League Westfield close in midweek before going down 3-2 in the Aldershot Senior Cup.
Town started badly in each half, giving away goals Johnson felt were ‘sloppy’.
“But it was a good, fast-tempo game and we were disappointed we didn’t get something out of it,” said the manager.
“If we take that performance into league games, we win all of them.
“The boys are getting used to that winning feeling now and they were bitterly disappointed afterwards.
“Westfield are a step up so we weren’t expected to win, but the way we are playing, and the players we are getting in, we knew we would give them a game – and we definitely did that.
“Apart from the sloppy goals we gave away early in each half, which made it an uphill task, we responded really well and had chances to win it.
“They went 3-1 up near the end and then we got one back, and then had a chance to score again before the end.
“Things are going well. We have played well against Abbey Rangers when they were top, and Badshot Lea and Raynes Park – we fancied our chances in Jersey.
“We are happy with the players we have got and we are taking steps in the right direction. We are getting that winning mentality.
“It will be interesting to see the players’ reaction now on Saturday to see where we are mentally. I expect us to come out of the blocks and win the game.”
Farnham earned a hugely-impressive 2-1 win at Jersey Bulls in the Combined Counties on Saturday.
Town took the lead in the 58th minute. A long goal kick was knocked down the line by Lewis Flatman and into the stride of Shamal Edwards who took the ball into the area before pulling it back for Lamin Ceesay to slot home, as his marker stumbled behind him.
Jersey equalised on 78 minutes when Farnham keeper Liam Harris failed to claim a cross and the ball was headed back across goal for a simple tap in for Jonny Le Quesne.
Farnham won the game in the 98th minute when Flatman’s free kick sailed straight towards the Jersey keeper but, inexplicably, he failed to catch it, instead dropping it down in front of Edwards who reacted instinctively to stab the ball home.
Johnson said: “Winning late on is one of the best ways to win – you can get caught up in the emotion of it. It really made our weekend.
“I felt someone was going to win the game. Jersey had a good chance in the 90th minute they should have scored, but then we went up the other end and got the winner.
“I’d like to massively thank the 40 or so fans who came to Jersey to support us.
“I think everyone who came had a good time. I got to meet some of the fans and have good conversations with them.
“Our aim is to get in the top five. We want to finish the season well to have some momentum to take into next year. We are going in the right direction.”
Next up for Farnham is a home game at the Memorial Ground against Balham on Saturday afternoon (3pm).
To mark Non-League Day this Saturday, Farnham are offering entry for £1 to anyone who turns up wearing a football shirt. The football shirt can be of any team.
Farnham are also at home next Tuesday night (March 28), when they will entertain Redhill in the league (7.45pm).