Farleigh Rovers vs VWFC
04/03/2017 Farleigh Rovers 1 - 2 Virginia Water
Surrey Elite League Reserve Division
Report by Steve Cox
Virginia Water were attempting to pick themselves up from their disappointing performance last week in the cup away at Battersea Ironsides, the task was made even more difficult as 8 players from that game were unavailable just seven days later for one reason or another. With a bare 11 and manager Rob Lamb playing his first full game for 18 months and emergency signing J P Silva on the bench as cover things looked bleak for an always tough trip to Farleigh Rovers.
The lads on duty responded in great fashion, today the team put in a hardworking , honest performance, maybe inspired by a fantastic effort by Lamb himself who at the age of 40 showed just how to play in the midfield engine room with a hard running, tough tackling, simple passing display that players half his age would do well to learn from.
Waters had 17 year old Dan Roach in goal today and apart from a mix up for the goal he had a good match and hopefully will come on for the experience. Waters had great performances all over the pitch – the bench team of Steve Cox and Colin Hodgkinson were extremely impressed with the front two of Sam Meadows and Steve Mills, they ran Farleigh’s back line ragged in the first half with pacey intelligent football they were well supported by the hardworking midfield where, once again, Luke Sperling alongside Lamb was outstanding. Young Tom Flower down the left impressed yet again and should have put icing on a good effort with a goal as brilliant play from Mills left him with an open goal 8 yards out but hesitation cost him his golden chance to score. Callum Taylor, out of position wide right, had a quieter game but still was sensational with many dead ball deliveries that make him a real weapon for Waters at set pieces.
Waters took the lead after 12 minutes, Meadows playing a fine ball in to Mills who, showing good composure, fired home to give Waters a deserved lead. Waters were in control, defensively superb; Billy Cox and Michael Chambers were brilliant and Dave Atkins’ performance with his heart on his sleeve efforts were vital to this victory as well. Ollie Rosborough played his part as well he won some great aerial challenges but got down on himself too often when making the odd mistake and needs to play with more belief.
Waters should have been out of sight when a defensive lapse between Rosborough and Roach allowed Farleigh to equalise in the 42nd minute with their first shot on target. Same old story as a defensive error is put under the microscope when beforehand four golden chances missed by Flower, Meadows and Mills (2) would have wrapped the game up by halftime.
The second half was tougher, tired Waters legs allowing Farleigh more possession and a route back into a match they could have been buried in. However not before Mills and Meadows combined again in the 53rd minute as Meadows coolly lobbed the keeper from 12 yards after great play by Mills down the right, after he was released by Rosborough.
The game was more even now, and was hard fought to the end. Waters were superb defensively and Roach had little to do as Atkins, Chambers and Cox stood firm against an intimidating and often bad tempered home attack. The lads deserved their win today and will give Lamb a pleasant headache as he has to pick a squad for next week. After today if I was Lamby I would change my title from Manager to Player Manager and buy myself some new boots.
MoM = Steve Mills
Luke Sperling (c)