Farnham Town crash to defeat at Balham

Friday 4th February 2022 7:00 am
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Action from Farnham Town’s 3-0 defeat at Balham on Saturday. Photo by Martin Greig Photography (Photo by Martin Greig Photography )

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FARNHAM TOWN crashed to a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Balham on Saturday in the Combined Counties Premier Division South.

The rearranged nature of the fixture meant that in form striker Max Blackmore was unavailable. Then, as the teams lined up to come out, it became apparent that Farnham had brought the wrong kit and that there was a colour clash with both teams wearing white.

What followed was 15 minutes of utter farce as the visitors tried to find a replacement option. This was resolved when the hosts provided a yellow kit from Croydon Athletic, with whom they share a ground.

Farnham didn’t seem themselves in a disjointed first half where nothing worked.

This was summed up in the 28th minute when Arsen Ujkay was sin-binned for foul and abusive language.

With the visitors down to ten men for ten minutes, Balham began to take control of the game, with centre forward James Adebamo a constant threat to the visiting defence.

Reflecting their growing superiority, and, perhaps, the fact that the visitors were jaded after their efforts against Jersey last week, the hosts could have taken the lead twice in a manic minute around the half-hour mark.

On both occasions it was Farnham goalkeeper Richard Ossai who kept the visitors in the game. Firstly Ossai tipped a well-struck shot over the bar, before clawing the ball clear from the resulting inswinging corner, a weapon that Balham deployed to good effect throughout the game.

It seemed certain that Balham would score before half time, however they would be foiled once again by the excellent Ossai. This time he saved team-mate Harry Carter’s blushes by turning his deflected header over the bar to prevent an own goal in the last action of the first half.

Things went from bad to worse for Farnham in the second half.

Around the hour mark, Ben Bauchop was shown a straight red for a reckless challenge.

While not malicious, it was out of control, and Farnham could have no complaints about the referees’ response.

At this point Balham took control and were rewarded with three almost identical goals in a ten minute spell from the 72nd minute.

Farnham’s defence were torn apart time and again, not least by an inspired display from Balham substitute Cameron Gordon.

Farnham returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory at home to Rayners Lane in the Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup on Tuesday night.

Stephane Akmel scored the only goal of the game early on at the Memorial Ground.

Manager Tony Reid wasn’t happy with the performance though.

He said: “We sat back and soaked up pressure, which is not what my teams are about.

“I want my teams to play on the front foot and take the game to our opposition with lots of pressing and energy.

“There are a couple of things I need to look at and tweak.”

Farnham’s reward for beating Rayners Lane is a trip to Hanworth Villa in the next round of the Premier Challenge Cup next Tuesday night (February 8).

Tomorrow (Saturday) Farnham host Sheerwater in the Combined Counties Premier Division South (3pm).

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