Sheerwater's Mike Clement reporting from The Memorial Ground...
Will Shaw was the hero as his second half strike helped Sheerwater return home with a massive 3 points. 13 goals had been shipped in the previous two fixtures but a confident, well drilled performance, in front of a huge crowd of 767? frustrated our hosts who surely would have been confident of claiming a home win.
Bosses, Michael Herbert and Darryl Jelly worked hard on the shape and tactics at training during the week. The players certainly didn’t let them down, with a disciplined and hard-working shift from 1 to 11, plus the substitutes who came on. There was a bit of luck along the way also which was very welcome.
Over the 90 minutes Harvey Rackley-Hayes, the Sheers keeper, was busy but only had to make a couple of saves. His main work was dealing with lots of crosses into the box. His defensive colleagues, especially Joe Gritt and the returning Sam Green, were immense and time and again they put their bodies on the line. Green had a chance early on from a Cox cross but his header was held at head height by James Ferguson. Ferguson was perhaps, the only Farnham player that could have been happy with his performance on the day.
Andre Smith used his long throw to good effect on ten minutes with Green flicking it on and Farnham’s Ellis heading over his own bar to clear the danger. From the corner Gritt headed high and wide. Matt Stockill hit a measured free-kick just over on 23 minutes.
Farnham saw plenty of the ball but their final ball in the final third was lacking. Persistence from Owen Dean on twenty-nine minutes saw him break clear, Rackley-Hayes forced him wide and the ball ran loose invitingly for Rob Carr, but he could only find the side netting. At the other end Smith won the ball back and played a one-two with Danilo Cadete. Ferguson raced out and smothered the attempt.
Just before the break Kane Fitzgerald made ground down the left and his cross-shot looked to be heading to Dean for a tap-in but it was just out of his reach. The bit of luck the Sheers haven’t had in recent games.
The second half saw the play swing from end to end but with very few efforts on goal. Sticking to a game-plan for ninety minutes needs plenty of concentration and the Sheers didn’t disappoint with a good shape and serious hard work. Callum Coen was kicked from pillar to post but he carried on competing when it would have been easy to retaliate.
Farnham kept plugging away with plenty of crosses in to the box but Rackley-Hayes was dealing with the situation ably assisted by his back four.
The excellent winning goal came on sixty-nine minutes with an attack down the right. Cadete darted down the wing and crossed low; Ellis missed the ball as he attempted to clear and Shaw took a touch before smashing his effort high into the net past Ferguson.
There were still 20 minutes left for Farnham to reply but other than a few crosses that were headed off target or dealt with, it was a well-earned clean sheet and three massive points for the visitors.
FT: Farnham Town 0-1 Sheerwater
SHEERWATER: Rackley-Hayes, Barley, Lofthouse-Smith, Cox (Cooper 55') (Dunckley), Green, Gritt, Cadete (Whitby 82), Stockill, Smith (Frank 82), Coen, Shaw.