Struggling Rams pay price for missed chances

Petersfield Town chairman Graeme Moir admitted the Rams are paying a heavy price for missed chances after falling to a 2-0 defeat at Farnborough Town.

Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 10:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:42 pm
Former Pompey midfielder Nick Awford made a late substitute appearance in Petersfield's 2-0 loss to Farnborough Picture: Joe Pepler

The Southern League division one central strugglers are eight points adrift of safety, with their latest defeat a particularly hard one to take.

Moir said: ‘The main frustration at the minute is that we are not where we are in the table because we are being hammered week in, week out.

‘We are actually competing well in games – last night we played second in the table and it was a close contest, there was not much in it.

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‘But at the moment we are just lacking in one or two areas, particularly up front and that is stopping us.

‘That’s three defeats in a row but in each of those games we have had chances to effect potential outcomes.

‘We are also losing concentration defensively with small lapses proving costly – it’s those two things that are what we need to work on.’

High-flying Farnborough took the lead on 18 minutes when Olly Searle failed to flick the ball out of play for the Rams – and left Petersfield stretched at the back.

An ensuing cross from the left found Perry Coles stood in between two defenders and free to touch the ball home from close range.

Petersfield remained competitive throughout the first half and on 28 minutes had their best chance of the opening period when Stuart Green let fly with a shot from the edge of the box, which had former Rams keeper Arron Bufton at full stretch to make sure the ball didn’t cross the line.

At the other end, Farnborough went close to doubling their advantage five minutes before half-time.

Petersfield’s defence was still trying to organise as a free-kick from the left found John Oyenuga in space, but he headed over the crossbar.

The Rams then had the opportunity to turn the game on its head in the opening moments of the second half when Will Essai’s through ball found Adam Cripps, whose shot came back off the post.

And the hosts made them pay, doubling their lead on 54 minutes, following a series of corners.

A delivery from the left gave Michael Onovwigan a free header on goal that Harry Giles diverted over the crossbar.

But from the next corner, a number of Petersfield players got in each other’s way at the near post and a misdirected header fell to Keith Emmerson on the edge of the box, who hit a first-time shot into the net off the inside of the post.

As the half wore on, both sides strugged to control possession as conditions turned icier and colder on an increasingly tricky surface.

Petersfield, though, were left to lament missed chances once again late on when they failed to take a great opportunity to force a way back into the game with 11 minutes to play.

With Essai and Alfy Whittingham causing problems in the box, the loose ball feel to substitute Harry Wedlake, whose first-time shot was partially cleared.

But as he followed up his own effort, with the ball running towards the goalline, he somehow bundled it wide under pressure from a yard out.

Former Pompey midfielder Nick Awford came off the bench for the Rams late on but was unable to make an impact as the visitors slipped to a third straight loss.

Petersfield: Bray, Searle, Medway, Green, Benjamin, Geddes, Giles, Cripps, Andrews, Whittingham, Essai

Subs: Wedlake, Graham, Awford