Fantastic performance by first team at Farnham
By Chris Burnett
United into next round of Aldershot Senior Cup after dominant display
Woodley made the trip to Surrey on Tuesday evening to face a Farnham Town side that are flying high in the Combined Counties Division One. A superb showing, arguably the best in the five years I have been involved with the club, saw United into the next round where they will face Fleet Town.
The game started with action at both ends. Harry Hawkins tested Ed Scurfield in the home goal whilst Woodley skipper Luke Axton-Hall did well to snuff out a right wing cut back before it could reach a Town player who was well placed.
Seven minutes in saw United go ahead when Hawkins got his first for the club. A foul on Pablo Fernandez to the right of goal saw Hawkins head into the right corner an Adam Barnard free kick. Minutes later a second Woodley goal was chalked off for offside; a real shame as the finish by Chace Jewell was first class.
It was all United; Freddie Barron missed to the left before the away side doubled their lead on seventeen minutes. Jono Malone got up well to win a header just inside the hosts half, gaining possession, Fernandez ran at the home defence before firing a shot through Scurfield into the left corner.
Three minutes later it was three and like the first it came from a Barnard set piece. This time the free kick was further out, a header on ended up at the feet of Toby Briggs who drilled in from fifteen yards.
Farnham had no answer as Woodley pressed for a fourth. Ryan Alexander tested Scurfield, Briggs missed the target before some good play by Pele Hagger, playing on the left of a back three, saw him bring the ball down, dribble into space and find Jewell who had his dangerous cross headed clear at the back post.
The nearest the home side got to pulling one back came on the half hour. A left wing free kick was headed goalwards forcing Tom Bryant in the United goal to pull off a fantastic reflex save.
Fernandez was unplayable, causing problems every time the ball was at his feet. An ambitious outside of the boot shot from a good thirty five yards ended up in the side netting after Scurfield was caught in no man’s land. This was followed up by the player bursting away from a defender after a dummy just inside the Town half; running at the home defence and beating several players, Scurfield was again called into action.
HT Farnham Town 0-3 Woodley United
Woodley were forced into a change at the break. Axton-Hall, who had an injury was replaced by Harrison Moore. This saw a change to 4-2-3-1 with Hawkins and Hagger moving to right and left back, Alexander joining Malone at centre back, Barnard and Moore anchoring the midfield and Barron, Fernandez and Jewell playing behind Briggs.
Moore was immediately involved in the action. Showing decent skill to beat a defender after a right wing throw in he rolled in Jewell on the left who saw his shot just miss to the right.
With the change in formation and most players moving positions you would have thought United might have struggled to find any rhythm. That wasn’t the case, as the visitors completely dominated. Jewell had a well struck shot blocked for a corner. The following Barron set piece was headed goalwards by Malone who was denied by a block.
An hour gone saw Scurfield pull off an excellent stop to thwart Barron whilst Moore narrowly missed from twelve yards after a Fernandez assist.
The Woodley deliveries from both flanks were excellent all evening. Malone was within inches of heading in a Jewell corner before a nice move involving Fernandez, Barron and Jewell ended with the latter missing to the left.
Farnham’s best chance after the break fell to Elliott Cardona. Rounding Bryant he took the ball too wide and wasn’t able to get a shot off.
With the game winding down, Alexander did well to keep another Barnard free kick in play; finding Malone the United man saw his shot blocked.
Woodley made a second change on eighty minutes; Alex Aldrich made his debut in place of Briggs.
The final chance of the game came courtesy of a dazzling Fernandez run. Beating four players he was denied a second goal by a good block by substitute Rowan Sharratt.
FT Farnham Town 0-3 Woodley United