Town edged out by league leaders
Farnborough Town 2 Clevedon Town 1 - CLEVEDON travelled to Hampshire to play big spenders Farnborough but, despite putting in a great performance, they were narrowly edged out by the runaway league leaders.
Farnborough Town 2
Clevedon Town 1
CLEVEDON travelled to Hampshire to play big spenders Farnborough but, despite putting in a great performance that was full of teamwork, endeavour and commitment, they were narrowly edged out by the runaway league leaders.
The Farnborough ground staff and volunteers had done a marvellous job to clear the pitch of snow to allow the game to go ahead, and so it was a heavy, glue-pot of a playing surface that welcomed the new-look Seasiders' line-up.
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Clevedon started on the attack, and in the second minute Farnborough's Sacha Opinel was fortunate to receive only a yellow card for a nasty foul on new centre forward Chris Hartland. Both sides wasted free kicks from good positions before Hartland hit a shot that forced Farnborough goalkeeper Stuart Robinson into a save low down.
The hosts then attacked with vigour as Kezie Ibe found space in the box to strike the ball across Clevedon's goal line. Dean McDonald then had a deflected effort sail just over the bar and Gary Holloway ran along the edge of the box before shooting straight at Clevedon keeper Danny Greaves.
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On 22 minutes Hartland's great run and cross found Pete Sheppard and he turned in the box and laid the ball back to Ellis Wilmot who hit a firm shot that was well saved by Robinson. Farnborough hit back as McDonald dribbled through the Seasiders' defence but could only find the side netting. Then a free kick from Jack King took a huge deflection and just went wide of the post with Greaves stranded. A goalmouth scramble ensued from the resultant corner, but the ball was finally blasted over. With a couple of minutes left Bradley Bubb stung Greavsie's hands with a fierce shot, but the game remained scoreless at the interval.
On 52 minutes the hosts made the breakthrough when a clumsy tackle in the box gave away a penalty, which McDonald placed in the corner of the net to put Farnborough one up. Ibe then missed his kick when well placed and King had a shot charged down, but Clevedon kept up their work rate and application as first Loxton, making his 100th appearance for the Seasiders, and then Matthew Walsh put efforts over the bar.
On 69 minutes a strong run by Hartland set Loxton up for a shot, but it was comfortably saved by Robinson. However, four minutes later Clevedon were level as Ellis Wilmot benefited from some hard work by Pete Sheppard and hit a shot from 25 yards which skidded on the slippery surface through the Farnborough defence and just inside the post.
Unfortunately this shock woke the home team up again and they increased their efforts in attack as Daryl McMahon shot just wide. Matt Townley then drew a save from Robinson and it looked as if the Seasiders were going to come away with a deserved point, but five minutes from time disaster struck as a poor clearance allowed Farnborough to cross a dangerous ball low and hard into the box where Nic Ciardini popped up at the back stick to tap the ball into the net. McMahon then had a shot saved, and a powerful run from Ciardini set up Ibe, who side-footed the ball wide.