Pyrford came out on top by the odd goal in 9 in an end-to end game against promotion chasing Farncombe. It was in complete contrast to the corresponding league game earlier in the season, and Pyrford’s extra effort and better interplay paid dividends, and shell-shocked their hosts in the first half.
Pyrford started brightest and almost went in front with a bullet header from Rob, but the keeper made a terrific save. From the resulting corner, Alex broke free down the right, and his low cross was turned in superbly by Sam. It was no less than Pyrford’s early play deserved and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead soon afterwards. Lawrence linked well with Rob down the left, who squared the ball to Sam. Sam beat his man before curling an inch-perfect effort into the far corner for his second.
Farncombe woke up soon afterwards and showed why they are challenging at the top of the table. Following neat build up play, their striker, who has amassed a hatful of goals this season already, took time out from moaning at the officials and kicking people, and scored twice in quick succession to level the scores.
Pyrford still looked dangerous however, and Rob’s good work down the right gave him space to cross, but the ball was clearly handled by the Farncombe defender, and with no advantage available, the referee correctly pointed to the spot. Sam made no mistake from the spot to complete his hattrick.
Farncombe took the game to Pyrford in the second half, knowing that only a win would be good enough to keep alive their slight hopes of a title challenge. They profited from some weak defending to equalise soon after half time, and were on top for a period afterwards, but Pyrford regained their lead with a simple goal. Brad’s free kick from the right was met with a good header from Rob, whose placement got the goal his play deserved.
Rob missed a few one-on-ones to seal the game and was crudely brought down when clean through with 20 minutes to go. The referee had no option but to send the Farncombe defender off, albeit doing so by a ban-limiting second booking rather than a straight red. More chances were spurned, and Rob’s free kick was tipped onto the bar by the home side’s excellent keeper, before more weak defending gave 10-man Farncombe another equaliser. Denyer was fouled in the build-up and could take no further part in the game, so it was 10v10.
Pyrford reshaped themselves and pressed again, and finally got the winner with a brilliant goal. A corner was half cleared to Brad, who played the ball square to Stubbs. He then beat his man, then another, before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the far corner from the edge of the box.
An excellent win and a good performance - proof of what might have been had Pyrford been able anywhere near their strongest side all season.