Memorable afternoon at The Memorial Ground
It was a well contested mid-table clash at The Memorial Ground on Saturday afternoon as Tadley picked up all 3 points on the road for only the 2nd time this season.
There were new signings on show for both sides as 4 of Farnham's 6 new recruits started the game while Jack French making his return to Tadley, started against his former club.
The hosts got the game underway in front of a crowd of 424 but it was Tadley who made the much brighter start.
Chances were aplenty for Tadley in the opening 15 minutes with the best coming just 4 minutes into the game. Jack French's effort was fantastically saved by the Farnham goalkeeper who got up quickly to also block the rebound from Kieran Rodgers.
Ben Wright also saw an effort saved on the 15 minute mark following some great pressing by the Tadley front line.
The opening goal looked increasingly likely. A clearance from deep in the Farnham half was won well in the air by Jordan Goater, the ball dropped to Ben Wright who controlled well, turned and played Jamie Johnston off down the left wing. The tricky winger beat his man, cut into the box and fired home into the top corner.
Farnham 0-1 Tadley
The remainder of the half was much of the same with the hosts unable to create any chances to trouble to Tadley goal. The best chances after goal fell both to Rodgers which both bought good saves from the Farnham goalkeeper to ultimately keep them in the game going into the half.
An incident in the first half involving Farnham number 5 Pat campbell appearing to slap Ben Wright went unpunished by the officials.
Half Time Farnham 0-1 Tadley
The hosts knew that had to come out and be aggressive in attack and they did just that. For the first 10 minutes of the second half they controlled the play and managed to create a few half chances. The best coming right after the break from a corner that was audaciously flicked at the near post but met well by Atkinson to put it behind.
The chances rarely threatened Craig Atkinsons goal. A corner on 57 minutes was swung into the back post, nodded down by the rising Brad Neal. The ball fell to Rodgers on the by-line who cut it back to Ben Wright for a tap in and Tadley's second of the game.
On the 69th minute, Farnham number 9 Roberts collided in the box with Brad Neal. Both players went to ground and to the amazement of The Memorial Ground the man in the middle awarded the home side a penalty.
Smith's attempt from the spot was saved by Atkinson down to his left hand side, however the rebound fell straight back to smith who was there to put the ball into the empty net.
Tadleys lead was back to just the 1 goal. Jack French who put the ball past the goalkeeper. However, the officials flag was raised and the goal was chalked off for offisde.
The game became scrappy with both sides putting in meaty challenges. It came to a head in the 86th minute when a late tackle on the near side on Alfie Saunders saw both sets of players involved in 'handbags' in the closing stages of the game.
Tadley could have had the game wrapped up if not from yet another brilliant save from Farnham Goalkeeper Ferguson. Yet another ball pulled back from the by-line found it's way to Cousins who looked certain to score but for a ery very last ditch save from the goalkeeper.
No less than a minute later, and what proved to be the last kick (Head) of the game, Farnham looked to have spoilt the Tadley party and salvaged a draw.
A ball in from the left hand side found the head of the Farnham Town midfielder who was unmarked in the middle of the 6 yard box. A point blank header looked destined for the back of the net. Atkinson had other ideas, he got down well and saved the headed shot with his feet to win Tadley the game and take all 3 points back to Barlow's Park.
A fantastic performance both individually and as a team.