Tunbridge Wells 6-1 Farnham Town. Farnie asks fans for more "emotion" - EXCLUSIVE

Saturday 23rd September 2006

Saturday 23rd September 2006
FA Vase (Sponsored by Carlsberg) Second Qualifying Round
Stephen McCartney reports from Culverden Stadium

Tunbridge Wells manager Martin Farnie has urged fans to be more vocal after his side cruised into the first round proper of the FA Vase today.

Farnie’s side, bottom of the Kent League table with just one point from their first six games, dominated from start to finish of this second qualifying round tie, but Wells fans were silent throughout.

But they had every reason to cheer as their side thrashed a team that were currently second in the first division of the Combined Counties League table.

The lower league visitors, however, had a miserable day and arrived at Culverden Stadium 45 minutes before kick-off as the Tunbridge Wells players were going through their pre-match warm-up.

And it took just 53 seconds for the Kent side to take the lead as Alex Rich scored his first goal of the season.

Dave Blundell’s diagonal ball found experienced campaigner Wayne Balmer, whose right-footed drive from distance was parried up into the air by Farnham Town goalkeeper James McArthur and Rich was on hand to smash the loose ball home from close range.

Things got better for the home side as they doubled their lead within eight minutes of this one-sided clash.

Skipper Jason Bourne played the ball over the top of the Farnham defence for Rich to race onto down the left.

Rich, who was taken off at half-time with an ankle injury, whipped in a cross from the left, which was flicked towards Ross Campbell off a defender’s head, but Campbell unleashed a right-footed volley from 16-yards, which flew into the net.

Campbell turned provider as Tunbridge Wells raced into a 3-0 lead after 16 minutes, when his cross from the by-line was slammed home on the volley by Blundell from eight-yards.

Shell-shocked Farnham created their first chance after 22 minutes. Allan Green received treatment on the edge of the Wells’ penalty area for a head injury and this short delay caused complacency in the Wells’ ranks and Farnham’s skipper Matthew Wheeler drove a 30-yard, right-footed drive over the bar.

With 33 minutes on the clock Farnie bemoaned about the lack of vocal support coming from the home faithful.

Speaking to a player on the bench he said: “We’re 3-0 up and we ain’t heard a word from the bank have we?”

Blundell latched onto Andy Garrett’s ball over the top in the 42nd minute but was denied by a fine block at his near post by McArthur, but the goalkeeper was picking the ball out of his net for the fourth time in the third minute of stoppage time.

David Bridger was adjudged to have handled Campbell’s cross from the right hand side and Adrian Hatcher opened his account for the season by sending the goalkeeper the wrong way with his right-footed penalty.

Wells made it 5-0 after just 171 seconds of the second half when Garrett passed to substitute Sam Phillips, whose cross from the left was stroked home by Campbell into the bottom corner.

But Farnham scored a consolation after 51 minutes when Green’s cross from the right was met by Nathan Abery’s glancing header, which went across former Dartford goalkeeper Jimmy Simpson and into the corner.

And had Farnham pulled another goal back just five minutes later then they might have made a game of it.

Goalscorer Abery turned provider when his cross from the left was met on a volley by Lucas Allegro, and although stretching, he sent the ball high over the bar.

Hatcher’s ball over the top presented the home side with another chance after 62 minutes but Blundell was pushed over by last defender John Duff. However, the defender escaped with just a yellow card.

The resulting well struck free kick from Balmer, some 30-yards out, was saved at the second attempt by McArthur.

Substitute Ben Hilden carved open a couple of chances for two other substitutes when he played in Danny Nicholls, whose shot was blocked by the advancing goalkeeper, and then an unmarked Joe Fuller powered his header into the side netting.

Tunbridge Wells squandered an excellent chance to score in the 77th minute when Nicholls’ blazed his right-footed penalty high over the bar after Fuller was brought down by Dean Dixon.

But goal number six did arrive with seven minutes left when Hilden’s cross was knocked down, on the volley, by Fuller and Phillips’ tapped home from close range.

Tunbridge Wells will have to wait until Tuesday night before they know who their first round opponents will be.

Kent League rivals Slade Green held Pagham to a 2-2 draw in Sussex today and will replay at the Small Glen on Tuesday night, with the winners travelling to Culverden Stadium on 7 October.

But after the break in at Culverden Stadium seven days ago, Farnie was delighted that his side put smiles back on the faces of club officials.

He EXCLUSIVELY told www.kentishfootball.co.uk :”I said to the boys in the changing room during the week “we’ve got to come here Saturday and perform for the people behind the scenes”, because we’ve had a terrible time with the break-in and everyone’s been a bit low at the football club.

“There’s been a bit of a bad atmosphere around because of the break-in but today it’s put smiles back on everyone’s faces.

“We’re moving in the right direction at this moment in time so I’m pleased.”

Despite being knocked out of the FA Cup at the hands of Farnie’s former club Dartford on 2 September, the Wells have turned things around.

East Grinstead Town were defeated 3-2 in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase seven days later before they picked up their only league point, drawing Erith & Belvedere 2-2 at Park View Road on 12 September.

But Farnie insists their league position at the foot is a “false position.”

“I think we’re in a false position,” he said. “I think we’re a far better side than the league position shows, but because we are in it people are saying “they’re not very good,” but I think we’re a better side than we’ve showed this season.

“We’ve been unfortunate in front of goal, we’ve conceded some sloppy goals so hopefully we can turn it around now and start getting some league points.”

But Farnie demands noise from the fans that sit or stand on the banking of terracing behind the goal at the car park end of Culverden Stadium.

“It’s always quiet here,” he said. “The fans never get behind you, they’re not very vocal. It’s something you’ve got to put up with.

“I said to someone “look at the north bank, we are 5-1 (Farnie’s side were 3-0 up at the time) up and they ain’t even blinked an eye lid all afternoon,”

“You expect a bit more emotion out of them but that’s the way they are and that’s the way they’ll always be.

“They were like that when I won the league down here. There was two men and their dog when we won the league down here so I don’t see it changing.

“Hopefully they will start coming back and get a bit more vocal for us.”

Tunbridge Wells: Jimmy Simpson, Jason Bourne, Bradley Mortimer, Adrian Hatcher, Justin Shea, Wayne Balmer, Ross Campbell (Ben Hilden 70), Andy Garrett, Dave Blundell (Danny Nicholls 66), Sam Phillips, Alex Rich (Joe Fuller 45).
Subs: Mike McKeown, Jamie Graham.

Goals: Alex Rich 1, Ross Campbell 8, 48 Dave Blundell 16, Adrian Hatcher 45 (pen), Sam Phillips 83

Farnham Town: James McArthur, Lewis Clack (Ross Shepherd 36), John Duff, David Bridger, Matthew Wheeler, Dean Dixon, Allan Green, Simon Pullman, Nathan Abery, Lucas Allegro (Simon Chivers 63), Thomas Wray (Sean Hayes 56).
Subs: Timmy Rosewell, Kevin Sims.

Goals: Nathan Abery 51

Attendance: 98
Referee: Mr John McGann (Feltham, Middlesex)
Assistants: Mr Mark Ford (Sutton, Surrey) & Mr Aiden Farelly (Hampton, Middlesex)