Farnborough boss hopeful of keeper returnBy Jon Couch
March 15, 2012
SPENCER DAY is hoping his new fans' favourite will be on hand to clinch the club's survival this week.
Goalkeeper Craig Bradshaw was forced to withdraw from the 3-0 defeat by Dartford on Saturday with a suspected broken right thumb.
But x-rays show the injury is not as bad as first feared and Bradshaw is desperate to patch himself up and go between the sticks for Saturday's home clash with Weston-Super-Mare (ko 3pm).
Much-travelled Bradshaw has proved an instant hit with the Boro fans in recent weeks following a string of top-class performances which proved instrumental in the club's six-match winning run.
And, although Spencer Day has stumbled across a stroke of luck in providing adequate cover for Bradshaw this weekend, the Boro boss fully expects the charasmatic shot-stopper to make an immediate return.
"I've known Bradders a long time and I know he's desperate to get out there and play," Day said. "He's been fantastic for us these last few weeks and would be a big loss to us.
"Thankfully there is no break so we'll leave it up to him. I know he wants to play and if I were a betting man I'd say he probably will."
If Bradshaw doesn't make it, then Day can call on the services of young stopper Jake Somerville, who has returned from a successful loan at Godalming Town after it was ruled his spell could not be extended any longer.
"Although the ruling surprised both clubs, it's a bit of a bonus to us given the timing of it," Day added. "Jake's done tremendously well at Godalming and just as I had faith in Bradshaw taking over from Tom Lovelock when he left, I've got faith in Jake taking the gloves from him."
Indeed, Day has strengthened his squad even further this week by bringing in target man Lee Weemes to bolster his front line.
Weemes, 19, is a former Wycombe and Charlton Academy who earned a two-year professional deal at Tamworth last year and has been training at Farnborough this week after spending a brief spell with Day at Chertsey Town.
"He's a big lad who holds the ball up well and has an eye for goal," Day said. "We are particularly light up front so Lee gives us an extra option."
It's a double striker boost to Day after a deal to extend Michael Charles' month-long loan from AFC Totton was agreed in principal, allowing the fans' favourite to continue fronting the survival bid.
And there may even by another surprise name on the teamsheet on Saturday with midfielder Ashley Winn having returned to training this week - despite expectation that he would miss the rest of the season with a thigh/knee injury.
Winn trained pain free and could yet figure in the first-team, if not this week, but next, should there be no further complications.
This promises to be an important next few days for the club with Day insisting that four points from the two home games, against Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday and Dover Athletic on Wednesday, will secure the club's status - even if they do lose their appeal against their five-point deduction.
"It's another massive week for us," Day went on. "Four points from two home games and we're pretty much there.
"That gives us 43 points, if we lose the appeal, that should be the final nail."
One positive is that Boro won't have a face a side like Dartford again after the title-chasers tore through Day's six-match winning run with a dominant display at Princes Park.
With Football Association president David Bernstein watching from the stands, Dartford could have gone a goal up inside 20 seconds, although Bradshaw was alert in snatching the ball off the head of Jacob Erskine.
But it only proved a sign of things to come as the in-form Darts took the lead on 18 minutes when Erskine latched on to a pass, drew Bradshaw and glided a shot just inside the keeper’s left post.
Indeed Bradshaw was kept busy throughout, keeping the Darts a bay with a series of fine saves either side of the break until he was eventually breached again by a cheeky piece of skill from Erskine, knocking the ball past the on-rushing keeper before tapping home.
Bradshaw's injury compounded Boro's day and victory was assured two minutes from time when former Farnborough striker Tony Garrod netted goal number three – just eight seconds after coming on as a substitute.
"I thought we performed well and worked hard to stay with them," Day told the News and Mail. "I was just disappointed that we didn't get to show Dartford and their fans that we are a better side than that.
"Let's face it, the run was going to come to end at some point and it was no disgrace to lose out to a big, powerful team like Dartford going for the title."
BORO: Bradshaw (Tokarczyk 83), Smith, Treacher, Jeffrey, Bergqvist, Bygrave (Laidler 59), Bennett, Moody, Charles, Ciardini (Ferguson 60), Page. Not used: Orlu, Webb.
* Farnborough FC have been granted permission to extend their reduced price scheme for Saturday's game with Weston-Super-Mare and almost certainly for Wednesday night's visit of Dover Athletic.
Admission is £10 adults, £6 concessions and £1 for juniors.