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Farnborough 3
Oyenuga (42'), Bailey (52'), Allen (90')
2 Kingstonian
Beckles (20'), Bennett (90')

Farnborough Repeat the Last Minute Trick

“We’ll always have the Turvey”. By that we had meant the golden memories of a Trophy win. But midway through the second half at Farnborough we realised that we may in fact always have Alan Turvey himself, as the Ryman Godfather followed up his appearance at the eponymously named final by magicking himself amongst the K’s support once more. As this coincided with a rare spell of K’s pressure, including an impudent Peter Dean backheel, there was only time for a few renditions of “Alan, Alan Alan, Alan Alan, Alan, Alan Turvey!” before the nonagenarian supremo (ed: don't think he's that old...), seemingly sated, headed back for the main stand, though he graciously answered a series of questions relating to administrative decisions best consigned to the recycling bin of Isthmian history.

Turvey was also on our minds, given K’s collapse in form since the final. By the time of this final midweek away trip of the season, the season was already over, something reflected in an experimental team selection and a quiet crowd. And yet this game mattered much to the home team and their fans who, dispersed across the cavernous ground, in ones and twos high up in the mega-lego 2,000 seater behind the goal, later managed the most surprisingly loud Ryman roar since the Harrow “cauldron” made itself heard in the Autumn of 2015.

With the pressure off and a pre-season air to proceedings, Reece Beckles opened the scoring. Having controlled a chipped ball into the box, he turned and struck the ball into the net on the full. We celebrated, not because it mattered but because a goal is a goal and we haven’t scored many of late.

But John Oyenuga equalised before half-time and Oliver Bailey made it 2-1 shortly after the break in a double dose of “worst time to concede”.

Now it was clear that K’s had nothing to play for and little incentive to do anything other than go quietly into the night – and yet the next 30 minutes saw steadily growing pressure until Dan Bennett, booed by the home fans after coming on as a substitute, took a high ball down neatly in the heart of the box and poked the ball past a befuddled keeper in the final minute.

No sooner had the K’s support sung his name than Farnborough went up the pitch and scored a winner through Charlie Allen, a goal I didn’t see because I was studying the autograph Alan Turvey left in my programme.

At the final whistle, the stadium celebrated Farnborough’s great escape from double relegation and K’s… well, K’s pondered a final day journey to Merstham, with only pride and Charlie Penny at stake.

Match report by Taimour Lay.

Published Wednesday 12th September 2018