Groundhopping

Why does rain make football games better?…. Farnham Town v Jersey Bulls

Hello!

Welcome back to an exciting midweek edition of the Groundhoppers Guide to the Pyramid, where this week we saw the enigmatic Jersey Bulls play for the first time ever…

Midweek ticks are always great, after a long day at work, there is no better way to unwind than watching a nice competitive game of football under the lights, and this is exactly what we hoped Farnham v Jersey was going to be.

I have actually already been to Farnham Town, a couple of years ago, and unfortunately they were at the hands of a comprehensive beating, and upon my return, the same fate was looking possible.

Farnham were facing Jersey Bulls, who have garnered the reputation as the by far the best side playing at step five and six, so the home side were to have their work cut out.

We arrived in Farnham about half an hour before kick off, and actually found the perfect parking spot on the high street, no further than five minutes from the ground. We stopped in the bar for a quick pint (half the price of a pint in Guildford nowadays by the way) and then made our way into the ground just in time for kick off.

Nice welcome!

The game started and it was soon clear why Jersey were the favourites, they imposed themselves on the game and looked really sharp, especially in attack. However Farnham held strong in the early exchanges and even had the best of the early opportunities, but Jersey held strong in defence to deny Town.

The breakthrough came in the 23rd minute, when a slick move down the left hand side found its way to Sol Solomon in the box, who smartly finished, giving Jersey the lead.

You could tell the visitors were a really strong side, but Farnham were more than holding their own despite this goal midway through the first period, and even fashioned a few chances for themselves, which on another day may have hit the back of the net.

Our view for most of the first 45

But we made it to half time at 0-1, after an injury to Farnham’s Kayode Conteh. He was treated on the pitch for the best part of half an hour after an ambulance was called, but thankfully he was able to walk off and avoid a trip to hospital, and nearly an hour after play was halted before half time, we were ready for the second half.

This break did give me the chance to sample the Farnham Town cuisine, and boy was I impressed with the burger I had there, really hit the spot and I was so tempted to get another one, luckily for my waistline I resisted this urge…

In this time the rain had picked up, and seemed as if the atmosphere of the match had too. Farnham clearly felt they were well in the game, and the second half started with the sides matching each other blow for blow.

I don’t know why but there is something about the rain beating down that just adds to the matchday experience, especially under lights and when the game is poised so nicely.

However after 70 minutes Sol Solomon dashed a major blow to Farnham’s hopes of picking up anything from this game with his second goal of the game (which was apparently his 17th goal in 12 starts, impressive!) The forward was sent through on goal and cooly rounded the keeper, a brilliant finish from a clearly talented player.

Jersey in the ascendancy

You would have forgiven the home side for throwing the towel in at this point, they had performed admirably up to this point, but they could not quite stop Jersey’s superiority from shining through, however they continued to press forward, and hold on to hope of a recovery.

Hope is exactly what they got just four minutes before the 90 was up, after a goalkeeping error following a free kick led to the ball hitting the back of the net (unfortunately at this level there isn’t MOTD so I have no idea who scored as we were standing far away and it was pretty much a goal mouth scramble.)

But nevertheless Farnham were back in it, and this goal really rejuvenated them for the final throws, they lumped the ball forward aiming to cause havoc among the visitors’ defence, but unfortunately nothing was to come from it, and Jersey left these shores with all three points.

Images of an attritional final five

I was surprised at how gripped I was by this game, both sides played their part in what was a fascinating contest all the way through (apart from maybe the 50 minute interval!). Farnham did themselves proud and i’m sure Jersey are over the moon that they managed to take three points from an incredibly tricky away trip in conditions that we saw last night.

So overall it was a very pleasant evening watching another Combined Counties Premier Division South game, I can’t wait to see how this league ends up come May!

Anyway, that’s all from last nights thriller, I will catch you all again on Saturday, where I am actually doing a new tick for the first time in two weeks!

  • GROUND: Memorial Ground Farnham
  • GAME: Farnham Town 1-2 Jersey Bulls
  • COMPETITION: Combined Counties Premier Division South
  • GROUND NUMBER: 91 (retick)
  • WOULD I GO BACK: Yes
  • TICKET PRICE: £7
  • DAYS SINCE LAST 0-0: 963
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