Match Report: Dolphins cede control in Farnborough defeat

Poole Town 1

Farnborough 3

Southern League Premier South | MD3 | 21/08/21 |

Poole Town will need to reflect how exactly a quiet game under their control was quickly taken away from them, in a 3-1 home defeat to Farnborough.

Tom Killick named an unchanged starting eleven, with the only change in the entire squad on the bench, with Josh Carmichael named instead of Sean Wright.

The early exchanges had a relaxed feel to it as both sides built from the back, but there were early glimpses of Poole’s attack when Tony Lee fed the ball through to Luke Holmes, whose rasping drive stung the hands of Dante Baptiste.

Slowly, Poole created more and more. Dickson burst forward before slipping in Lee, but the angle was too tight for the striker – causing his shot to drag wide of the far post.

Still, these were signs that Poole were in the ascendency, and it should have been 1-0 on 19 minutes.

Lee again was played in, this time one-on-one. He did well to poke the ball past Baptiste, but with the goal agape, Lee lost balance, meaning he could only swing a foot and send the ball looping wide.

It was then Dickson’s turn to have a shot at goal, tearing away on an overlap run. Another shot at a tight angle and close range, Baptiste did well to get his large frame down low and block Dickson’s drive with his feet.

Poole would grab their deserved goal after 23 minutes, in slightly fortuitous circumstances. Dolphins were awarded a soft free-kick after Jez Bedford was bundled over, with Luke Burbidge sending the set-piece in to the box for Lee to head home.

Lee’s looping header was his fifth of the campaign, and third header in three games.

Despite Poole largely having their way with Farnborough’s defence, the away side finally started clicking going forward.

With five attackers that could geniunely be the main star at clubs across the Southern League Premier South, it was always likely that individual brilliance would undo Poole’s defence – and that would come from Reggie Young.

The former Woking player gave Dickson a taste of his own medicine with a slaloming run, before dropping his shoulder and accelerating past his opposite number.

Into the box now, Young drifted to the other side of the area, before cutting the ball back and beyond Mark Childs in the Poole goal.

This goal changed the entire complexion of the game, gifting Farnborough confidence. The away side’s strength in depth was demonstrated when CJ Fearn was forced off with injury, only to be replaced by non-league stalwart Jordan Rose.

Rose’s impact would be immediate – after coming up for a corner, the centre-back was still in Poole’s box when the Dolphins’ counter broke down.

Young was again the main man of the move, cutting the ball back to Rose, who sent the ball goalwards and past Childs, with the aid of a deflection.

Boro’s goals came in a quick three minute window, and in truths, Poole never really recovered. Reece Miller had a fine volley chalked off for offside before the half-time whistle, but there was little action after the away side’s sucker punch.

Poole started the second half on the back foot, with a smart run by John Oyenuga from left-back creating havoc in the Dolphins’ defence.

The cut-back cross was well dummied by Miller, allowing Sam Deering with a simple tap-in – save for the intervention of Bedford sliding in.

Warning signs of Farnborough’s third came when Oyenuga and substitute Leo Hamblin were allowed to work their way up the flank with a series of one-twos, eventually freeing Paul Hodges to fire into the midriff of Childs.

Just two minutes later from that scare, sub Elijah Simpson would effectively seal the game with his first Farnborough goal. Poole failed to win yet another second ball, allowing an easily-to-deal-with clearance to fall to Young.

Young played a quick-witted and well executed ball through to Simpson, who cooly slotted through a stranded Childs’ legs.

The hosts showed little signs of life, with Lee fluffing another one-one-one, and whilst introductions off the bench looked lively, none of the trio had an impact on the game.

Will Fletcher, on for Burbidge in the 78th minute came closest – Lee’s smart knock-down allowed the striker the opportunity to go one-on-one with Baptiste, and whilst his choice to lob the ‘keeper wasn’t unfounded, it was poorly executed.

Lee again turned provider for Fletcher by flicking on a corner, allowing the sub to stab the ball goalwards. Unfortunately for Fletcher, Deering was well placed on the post to clear and deny Poole a way back into the game.

A lot will be said by a lot of people about the supposed spending power behind Farnborough; no matter how they acquired their players, they have put together a very strong squad.

However, there still appeared to be teething problems caused by a squad with a huge upheveal of players – by the time Dolphins visit the Cherrywood stadium in April they will be a more finely tuned, cohesive team.

In that sense there will be disappointment, a sense of missed opportunity that Poole couldn’t take anything away from this, especially after such a strong start.

Poole: Childs, Rose (Wickham 71′), Spetch, Whisken (c), Dickson, Moore, Bartlett (Carmichael 71′), Holmes, Bedford, Burbidge (Fletcher 78′), Lee

Unused: Jackson, Caze

Farnborough: Baptiste, Paget, Oyenuga, Ciardini (c), Fearn (Rose 40′), Owens, Hodges, Deering, Miller (Simpson 56′), Holmes (Hamblin 65′), Young

Goals: Lee 23′; Young 38′, Rose 41′, Simpson 67′

Bookings: Moore 52′; Ciardini 70′, Oyenuga 72′

Attendance: 351

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