Farnborough snatch late winner at Clarence Park

James Comley in action. Picture: Bob Walkley

James Comley in action. Picture: Bob Walkley - Credit: Archant

After an impressive performance on Saturday against Basingstoke, St Albans City left Clarence Park without any points after losing 3-2 to Farnborough.

Whilst the first half showed positive signs for the Saints, an early goal by Farnborough after a previous near-miss dampened the spirits of both the home team and the supporters.

John Frendo battled against the cold spirit sent around the stadium by fighting back with a close effort on goal.

Obvious tension appeared to be brewing between both teams; each set of players giving a good account of themselves before Farnborough seemed to herald an advantage with two goals-scoring opportunities.

With two-thirds of the first half gone, Farnborough’s Beckles punished the home team with a brilliant shot in to the open city net.

Farnborough, now in a commanding position, appeared to have control of the game. Despite a disappointing and chilly atmosphere at Clarence Park, Ben Martin showed determination and a good mentality by taking an opportunity to score. This glimmer of hope was short-lived as another Farnborough attack thwarted his effort towards the end of the first half with the score remaining 2-0 to the visitors.

With a sense of frustration still affecting the Saints, it was obvious that the second half would be challenging.

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However, Saints seemingly turned this around when two shots by Louie Theophanous were blocked well as the home team gathered momentum.

After two Saints substitutions, with Joel Nouble coming on for Sam Corcoran and Steve Wales for Charlie Gorman, hope was mounting for a fight back. With one hour played, the score-line still showed a 2-0 deficit for the home side.

With the game reaching its last quarter, the Saints were looking seriously troubled; this quickly turned around with 20 minutes left as Lee Chappell sent a low cross to Nouble who scored his first goal for the club.

Another close effort by Frendo almost drew level as he only had the goalkeeper to beat but his right-foot shot went wide.

After using all their subs, the Saints were now looking in a much better position and with 10 minutes to go, another goal looked likely. Wales obliged, reacting fastest to a loose ball to hammer home from close range.

A comeback for Saints looked assured as the team piled forward in search of a winner. However, it was Farnborough who took that final leap by scoring their third goal of the game.

Chappell compounded Saints’ misery with a late red card as his frustration boiled over and he kicked out at Phil Page as they home record took another blow – they have lost five out of eight league games at Clarence Park this season.

That record will have to improve over the next three weeks as they face visits from Havant and Waterlooville and Bath City in the league and Wealdstone in the FA Trophy.