Farncombe Athletic vs VWFC
10/09/2016 Farncombe Athletic 0 - 1 Virginia Water
GWAFL Division 3
Report by Dan Basheer
Virginia Water's A team made their league debut away to Farncombe Athletic - last season's division 4 champions and cup winners. After a tough pre-season, Waters were foraying into the unknown, and with half the matchday squad aged 17 or below, there were no expectations set on the team.
Waters settled into the game well, with a solid and experienced backline giving nothing away Waters were moving the ball reasonably well on the slippery surface. Under 16 graduates Jake Basheer and Sean Wilks were causing problems for the home side with their direct running, and ably supported by Ollie Rosborough and Dan Basheer in midfield, Waters were dominating possession and reducing the home side to the direct option of the long ball.
After creating some half chances from set pieces, the only goal of the game came midway through the first half. A foul on Jake Basheer resulting in a free kick which skipper Paul May floated in towards the far post. Whilst Luke Hearne and Matt Ashfield threw themselves towards the ball, it missed everyone and sailed into the far post.
The goal should have been the catalyst for Waters to push on, and whilst comfortable, they never really further tested the home side's goalkeeper. Farncombe had one chance in the first half to draw level, but a tremendous acrobatic save from young goalkeeper Dan Roach kept Waters' advantage intact.
The second half continued in a similar vein, with Waters continuing to try to move the ball. Rosborough was able to push forward more in the second half as the home side looked to get back in the game, but commanding centre back Hearne was dominant in the air and was repelling everything that came his way.
Farmcombe did have a couple of chances to get back in the game, hitting the bar with a header from a free kick, and they thought they had equalised during a goalmouth scramble, but the referee could not be sure that the ball had completely crossed the line. That aside, Waters also had chances themselves; Substitutes Nathan Clark and Cameron Sullivan-Davis came on and made immediate impacts, with Clark teeing up Wilks for a shot that fizzed over the bar. Sullivan-Davis' prressing caught the home goalkeeper out when he dispossed him in the box from a throw in, and his cut back was hit goalwards by Wilks, but was cleared off the line.
Waters, although not desperate, held on for the victory and will be confident that as the team becomes acclimatised to the league and the each other, they can build on this opening victory.
MoM = Luke Hearne
Paul May (c)