Luca Scatola’s Match Report from Farnborough’s home meeting with Ebbsfleet United at the Easy As HGV Stadium.
With Farnborough having lost their previous League game, the team were looking to bounce back to winning ways. However, this was going to be a huge challenge, as facing them was an in-form Fleet side who were 16 points clear at the top of the table.
The hosts started the game off on the front foot making it difficult for Ebbsfleet United to keep the ball. Just before the 10 minute mark, Page had a shot from just inside the penalty area. However he dragged his shot just wide of the post. This was the closest either side had come to scoring so far.
After 25 minutes, Norville-Williams made one of his trademark runs down the left flank and whipped in a dangerous cross that met the head of Oyenuga. The shot didn’t trouble Ebbsfleet United keeper Cousins who caught the header and distributed quickly.
Three minutes later and Boro’s hard work was rewarded as they took the lead. A long throw came in from Robinson towards CJ Fearn who fired a header towards goal and Cousins parried the effort away. However, the visiting defence couldn’t clear their lines and the ball found its way to the back post where Norville-Williams could tap the ball into the back of the net. 1-0 Farnborough with 28 minutes played.
Just before half-time, Oyenuga lost his man on the wing with a burst of pace and started sprinting down the byline. It was a two-on-one situation with Bloomfield in the centre of the box, however Ebbsfleet United defender Hollis covered well and forced Oyenuga out of play for a goal kick.
The half-time whistle blew Norville-Williams’ strike was the difference between the sides, as Farnborough went into the break with a 1-0 lead. During the break Farnborough made a substitution, as Bloomfield made way for Parsons.
HALF-TIME: Farnborough 1 Ebbsfleet United 0
It didn’t take long in the second half for the visitors to draw level. Ten minutes in, Domi received the ball from the left hand side and drove the ball to the byline before scoring with a tidy finish from an acute angle. This brought the score to 1-1 after 60 minutes.
Farnborough weren’t giving up and were making some decent chances straight after the equaliser, the best of these being Norville-Williams’ shot from inside the area that went just wide after a flicked header from Freddie Grant.
However, in the 68th minute Ebbsfleet United scored another goal that went against the run of play. A quick one-two by Edser and Bingham from a corner allowed Edser to cut a pass back into the area. His cross took a deflection and the ball hovered around the goal line. Hollis reacted quickly and tapped the ball home. This made it 2-1 to the visitors with 20 minutes to play.
In search of a late equaliser, Boro made another substitution, bringing on the veteran Ricky Holmes on for John Oyenuga. The Fleet also made changes, bringing Franklin Domi off for Ben Chapman with ten minutes to play.
Nearing the end of the game, The Yellows knew they had to pick up the pace if they wanted to come away with anything from this game. Jonathan Page tried his luck with a brilliant strike from distance, however Cousins got down well to save the shot.
The chances were coming in thick and fast for Spencer Day’s men now, and with 4 minutes of added time announced they had to make one count. They came agonisingly close in the 91st minute when striker Harry Parsons headed the ball onto the post from close range.
However, Parsons’ moment did come in the end, in a very dramatic fashion. In the final minute of the game, Parsons had a shot on goal and Cousins parried the ball straight into the feet of Kandi who lashed the ball into the back of the net and wheeled away in celebration as the Stadium erupted with joy. It was absolute bedlam in the PRE, and rightly so – this was a huge goal for Boro.
The full-time whistle blew and the game finished 2-2.
FULL-TIME: Farnborough 2-2 Ebbsfleet United
Farnborough earned a well earned point, putting them in 11th place in the League, and will hope to add to this away to Oxford City on Saturday 4 March.