Goal ace Page in firing line as Day wields the axeBy Jon Couch
September 20, 2012
Farnborough 0-3 Welling
TOP SCORER Phil Page has become the most high-profile casualty of Spencer Day's early-season clear-out at Farnborough following his side’s powderpuff display against Welling United.
The 23-year-old striker, who followed Day to Cherrywood Road from Chertsey Town last November, had his short-term contract terminated by the Boro boss on Tuesday following a dressing room showdown in which team-mates questioned his commitment to the cause amid added pressures at work.
Page, who is training to become a police officer, had not trained with the squad at all in recent weeks and told Day that he would only be able to commit to two or three Saturdays a month.
The situation with Page came to a head after Boro capitulated to a crushing 3-0 home defeat by the high-flying Wings on Saturday, prompting Day to slam the attitudes of certain members of his squad.
Promising Jordan Clarke has also been released by the club, as has Polish striker Jacek Magdzinski, while former Derby County man Medi Abalimba, who was beginning to settle down nicely in the heart of the Boro midfield, has had his club registration cancelled as Day believes he has been remanded in police custody.
And all this comes just three weeks after Farnborough cancelled the contract of former captain Adam Bygrave for inappropriate comments made on Facebook.
Day explained: “I was as angry as I’ve ever been on Saturday. I pride myself on my teams giving it everything and that first 20 minutes on Saturday was the worst attitude I have seen in my time at Farnborough and it is totally and utterly unacceptable.
“Credit to Welling, they are a strong side, and yes, we have massive injuries and a tiny budget to work with. But I’m not interested in excuses, whatever happens you have to show spirit and commitment to the cause and I didn’t see too much of that on Saturday.
“I’m massively disappointed to have lost Phil Page. I’ve had him as a player for a couple of years and we will miss him on the pitch.
“But because of his job he can’t train at all at the moment, he can only commit to two or three Saturdays a month and is invariably late, and it was beginning to unsettle the dressing room.
“Unfortunately Phil’s attitude was all wrong on Saturday and it affected others so regretfully we have had to part company.”
With several holes appearing, in his squad, Day is looking to his thriving reserve set-up, as well as a number of loanees and trialists, to patch things up.
Left-back Joe Carter, 19, on a month's loan from Gillingham, made his Boro debut on Saturday in place of the injured Oli Treacher, while winger Joseph N’Guessan, 17, took his place on the bench for the first time having joined on a work experience deal from Stevenage.
Young right-back Yinka Salami was also named in the squad after impressing in the reserves, similarly centre-back Scott Day, who impressed after coming on to replace injured captain Alan Inns for the remaining 23 minutes of the Welling game.
Day also has an eye on four or five potential new faces who impressed during a trialist game on Tuesday night – all central midfield players, but at least two of which require international clearance before signing on.
“There are a lot of really exciting young players we have at this club and a lot of that is testament to Dave Tidey and his reserve team coaches who are really pushing some of these lads through,” Day enthused.
The Boro boss’ worst fears were realised after just four minutes on Saturday when Welling’s Joe Healy pounced after Craig Bradshaw fumbled Ross Lafayette's effort.
And the Wings doubled their lead on the quarter-hout when Kiernan Hughes-Mason’s intended shot ballooned over Bradshaw.
Healy made it 3-0 midway through the second half with a smart finish after Hughes-Mason’s spectacular overhead kick rebounded off the crossbar, but Boro were harshly denied a goal back when Dave Tarpey's neat finish was ruled offside.
Day must now focus his attentions on Saturday's big FA Cup second qualifying round clash with big-spending Hampshire rivals Eastleigh the visitors to Cherrywood Road.
Inns has only a 50/50 chance of being passed fit with a calf strain, while on-loan striker Reece Connolly has been refused permission to play by parent club Aldershot Town.
Serge Makofo (calf) and Treacher (leg) are also missing.
"It's probably the toughest cup draw we could have had," Daty added. "The new manager [Richard Hill] has had a fabulous start [4-2 win over Maidenhead on Saturday] and they have a squad littered with talented players.
"Of course we will respect who we are playing but ultimately we can only worry about ourselves. We ended their unbeaten record last season with a spirited performance and we have enough talent in this squad to do it again."
BORO: Bradshaw, Smith, Carter (Huggins 62), Bosch, Inns (Day 67), Moody, Bennett, Laidler, Tarpey, Ciardini, Page (N'Guessan 62). Subs: Salami, Norris. Ref: R Hulme. Att: 564.