94TH MINUTE PENALTY SINKS TOWN
By David Hollingsbee
A HEROIC Faversham Town performance ended in heartbreak as they succumbed to a controversial extra-time penalty.
Over the years. a trip to Tolworth has proven to be a difficult tie from which to secure points. But with Town only able to muster two outfield substitutes, the pre-match news wasn't encouraging. An already tough task just got tougher.
The early exchanges suggest it is going to be another difficult afternoon in southwest London.
A misplaced defensive pass in the Town penalty area falls for Hamilton Antonio who flashes a low shot across the face of the Town goal. It makes it all the way to the right touchline. The subsequent cross is headed over.
Casuals work the ball down their right flank. Fraser Walker delivers a cross. Once again the header is off target and wide of the post.
Faversham are robbed of possession in midfield. Again Casual advance down their right. Reyon Dillon gets to the byline, into the area and sends a low centre into the crowded area. Luke Griffiths gets an important interception to send it out for a corner.
But Town weather the early pressure and ease themselves into the game.
Ashley Miller picks up possession on the right, inside to Carl Rook and one-touch releases Liam King. A promising move is ended as King is brought down. King blasts the 30 yard free-kick low into the area, Rook gets away from his marker, sticks out a leg and sends the ball hurtling towards goal only for Casuals' keeper Danny Bracken to pull off a stunning reflex save to send it past the right hand post.
Danny Walder's corner is cleared but only as far as King. King works himself some space, sets and curls a 20 yard strike just the wrong side of the upright.
At the other end as Casuals again approach down their right. Renford Tenyue blocks a cross, but is penalised for handball. Jordan Clarke delivers the free-kick and again a Casuals head wins. This time Antonio's powerful header flashes past the post.
Rook wins possession following a long clearance from deep in the Faversham half. He finds Griffiths on the left who approaches the area and sends a curling strike towards goal. With a back-peddling Bracken beaten the ball cannons off the bar and Casuals clear.
with the first-half into it's final moments, Dillon is allowed to drift through the centre of midfield and slides a ball through for Gabriel Odunaike into the area. Simon Overland gets out quickly, spreads himself and makes an excellent block. Fine, fine save. Casuals recycle but the shot flies past the right hand post. Despite the possession advantage Casuals have enjoyed, Overland's only save of the half is just before half-time.
0-0 at H-T.
Early in the half Walder slots a fine ball to find King in the area. King goes to beat his man who slips on the wet turf. For a split second the chance is on, but forced wide, King's low cross is blocked for a corner.
Casuals break quickly. Dillon is released into the area. Overland comes to meet and shepherds him wide and away from the goal. Dillon crosses into the area and a header from Jordan Clarke lacks power and straight into the arms of Overland.
Town concede a free-kick in a dangerous position-25 yard out. Dillon sends it over the 5 man wall and over the bar. It always looked like going over.
As the half progresses, the Casuals attacks become more intense as does the Town defending.
Walker weaves himself into the Town penalty area. Chris Barnard makes an excellent block. Body on the line stuff.
Clarke and Antonia make progress down the right and into the area. Dan Carrington steps in to make a timely interception.
With 27 left on the clock, Town break quickly. Harry Stannard wins possession on the left, inside to Rook who finds King on the right. King finds Miller who in turn finds Stannard. Stannard unleashes a shot but into the midriff of Bracken.
Back come Casuals.
A corner from the right is somehow missed. Numerous leaps fail to make contact as it curls past the far post for a goal-kick.
Dillon attacks down the right, a low ball into the area for substitute Coskun Ekim, who fluffs his lines and miskicks in front of goal. Barnard completes the clearance.
And with that miss, the feeling that had been growing stronger. The Town defence had been heroic and dealt with everything Casuals had thrown at it. Casuals had not created too many clear cut chances. And when they did-not taken them. Was this to be Town's day?
Casuals start to make mistakes. Passes begin to go astray. Goal kicks and throw-ins are conceded when previously a teammate was found.
As the match goes into the final five minutes. Casuals reassert the threat-but still Town resist.
Clarke and Ekim attack down the left. Ryan Cheek makes a fine saving tackle to avert the danger. Corner conceded.
The corner is headed backwards by a Faversham head for another corner. The next corner is hacked away by Rook.
With the board held up showing 4 minutes extra time, Town catch Casuals on the break. Barnard breaks out of defence, finds Miller who plays it into the path of Stannard. With the Casuals' defence split, Bracken has read the situation and snuffs out the danger.
And finally, with Casuals mounting one last push. Ekim gets into the area, Rook stretches a leg and pokes the ball clear. Ekim goes down under the challenge. The referee looks, seemingly moves forward for a closer look, still takes his time and finally points to the spot. Clarke steps up and sends the penalty just right of central as Overland goes the other way.
1-0 at F-T.
Defeat for Faversham Town in the harshest of circumstances. Much will be made regarding the controversy surrounding the penalty award. But this was an excellent Town performance that so very nearly yielded a deserved point away from home against a very good Corinthian Casuals side. COYW.