CJ Fearn dispossess Marvin Brooks (Photo Credit: Andy Orman)
Interested in Tommy’s thoughts ahead of the game? Click here for our article in today’s Echo.
Ahead of the Dolphins’ third game of the season, take an indepth look into their upcoming opponents – Farnborough.
Formed in 2007 after the original club Farnborough Town was wound up, Farnborough FC started off life in the Southern League South & West.
Their first season saw them clinch the title and promotion to the Southern League Premier, where they almost made it back to the Conference South, losing out in the play-off final to Gloucester City.
Undettered, the very next season Boro went on to win the Southern Premier for the third time, and return to the sixth tier. With momentum behind them, they finished as runners-up in the Conference South, again losing in the playoff final – this time to Ebbsfleet.
The club was again marred by financial issues, ultimately leading to their relegation from the Conference South. After a season in the Isthmian Premier they were demoted another step due to their financial situation.
Transfered back to the Southern League, Boro finished runners up in the Central division, before finally winning the playoffs.
Now into their fifth season at this level, Spencer Day has constructed a very competitive squad oozing with higher-league quality.
With such a deep squad, there are few candidates for this – Ricky Holmes arrives after a decade in the Football League, whilst Paul Hodges is another tricky attacker that belongs at a higher level. Reggie Young also definitely deserves a mention, but our pick is Sam Deering – who has previously haunted the Dolphins whilst in a Whitehawk shirt.
So established is his pedigree, diminutive Deering was seemingly the go to man if you were a National South club throwing money about – as demonstrated by his spells at Whitehawk, Ebbsfleet and Billericay.
Whilst not always a direct goal threat, Deering has an uncanny ability of attracting defenders, before dispatching them with ease. His mazy runs and dribbling skill wrecks havoc amongst defences, which creates space – and opportunities – for his teammates.
There’s only one candidate here, with 32-year old Jordan Rose at the 23rd club of his career.
That number is boosted by the three different clubs he turned out for at a youth level – starting off at Southampton, before moving to France with his family to Stade Malherbe Caen. Upon his return to England, he joined AFC Bournemouth, and after his release he bounced around non-league sides in the area, such as Salisbury, Bashley and Weymouth.
He has played for some big names at non-league level, such as Stockport County, Hereford United and AFC Telford.
He eventually returned to the South Coast after a stint up north, paving the way for his eventual arrival at the Cherrywood Stadium.
Again, there are limited options here – but both candiates would be fine selections. Nic Ciardini made his debut for Boro all the way back in 2004 – but has played elsewhere, making this his fourth stint at the club.
Still, there is something to be said for coming back multiple times, but our pick is for the one-club man at the back – CJ Fearn.
Since making he debut in the 2013/14 season, Fearn has gone on to make 209 appearances for Farnborough. Even with the addition of quality at the back, Fearn still freequently makes the starting eleven.
Thorn in our side
Out of all of the players in Farnborough’s squad, only two have scored against the Dolphins – the aforementioned Sam Deering, and Reggie Young. However, both have only scored the one goal.
For the sake of variety, and for the fact that he has featured multiple times against Poole, we’ve selected Reggie Young.
An attacker who can play out wide and up-front, Young has always been a danger to Poole in their previous encounters. Thanks to a decent amount of pace and strong sense of positioning, Young has always posed a threat to whoever was tasked with marking him.
One for the future
Although not a Farnborough asset, as he is on a one month loan from National League Woking, 18 year-old Leo Hamblin has all the makings of a solid defender at a higher level.
Thrown in at the deep end last season due to injuries at Woking, Hamblin never looked out of place in non-league’s top flight, making 10 appearances to help Woking stay clear of the relegation zone (they wouldn’t have been relegated anyway, but still.)
Being composed and assured as such a young defender is a rare feat, and when added with his versatility of playing at either left-back or centre-half, Hamblin certainly seems set to have a decent career at a National League level.
Head to Head
The original Farnborough Town completed the league double the only time those two teams met, with Boro beating Poole 4-0 and 3-2 en route to the Southern Premier League title.
However, it is a very different story when comparing recent fortunes – with Tommy Killick boasting a 100% record over his counterpart Spencer Day.
Their first meeting saw Poole run out 6-0 winners, before a dramatic Jake Scrimshaw winner made it a double at the Cherrywood Stadium.
Both fixtures were played in the first curtailed season, with Poole thumping Farnborough 4-1 on the opening day. In the last meeting between these two sides, back in January 2020, a Marvin Brooks double paved the way for a 3-1 victory, with Bradley Keetch scoring a consilation from the penalty spot.
Neither fixture was played in the 2020/21 season.
In terms of top goalscorers, we have two – both loan strikers, Korey Henry, and Ollie Dennett. Both strikers notched hat-tricks, placing them above Will Spetch (2 goals) and Marvin Brooks.