Lowest ebb to ultimate high for Boro boss DayBy Jon Couch
January 31, 2013
SPENCER DAY admitted he went from almost quitting as Farnborough manager to enjoying his proudest moment after another rollercoaster 24 hours at Cherrywood Road.
A downbeat Day revealed he came close to resigning on Monday after his club lost an appeal over a four-point deduction by Conference chiefs for failing to secure international clearance for their former Congolese midfielder Medi Abalimba in the opening month of the season.
Thankfully, Day was persuaded to stay and was given his just reward the following night when his Boro battlers rallied to a fine 2-1 victory over Blue Square South leaders Salisbury City in a rain-sodden match which saw both sides reduced to 10 men in the opening quarter.
“I considered quitting,” Day told. “I just feel that everything is going against me and the club at the moment and I can’t thank the players enough really.
“We thoroughly deserved to win the game and it’s that massive boost in the arm that we desperately needed, myself included.
“When you consider everything that’s happened over the last couple of days, you’ve got Salisbury here and you get your keeper sent off in a very harsh decision, you just think ‘what else can happen?’.
“Today though, and not for the first time, the players have pulled it out of the hat and I couldn’t have been prouder.”
The vehemently-contested points deduction saw Farnborough slip from the verge of the play-offs to just two points above the relegation zone in a ridiculously tight table.
But despite softening the blow with a vital three points over the all-conquering Whites on Tuesday, ultra-cautious Day is still mindful that the decision by Conference chiefs could yet prove crucial.
“The four-point penalty is incredibly excessive and I feel that we, as a club, get the butt of these decisions and I think that’s down to history.
"This club does have a bad name and as much as we desperately try to put it back on an even keel on a shoestring, I feel that everything we do we get severely punished for.
“We put our case forward, we understand that we are ultimately responsible, but if this isn’t exceptional circumstances then I don’t know what is. We had done nothing wrong but if someone goes to that level of deceit then there’s not a lot you can do.
“I’m just concerned now that the table is so tight I don't want to get dragged into a relegation battle.
"It would be a travesty if that was the case but travesties don’t avoid relegations. It’s such a tight division, we just need to get to 47 points.”
After the week he’s had – starting with an unfortunate 3-1 defeat at Eastleigh on Saturday – Day must have wanted the ground to open and swallow him up when goalkeeper Craig Bradshaw was sent off with just 13 minutes gone against Salisbury.
Chris McPhee played a ball through to James White, Bradshaw came rushing out and won the ball cleanly with sprawling body, but referee Nigel Lugg pulled out the red despite much protestation.
Fortunately however, Mr Lugg wasted no time in redressing the balance. Just four minutes later, Steve Laidler’s sliding goalbound effort struck the hand of Whites’ captain Ben Dutton, prompting another straight red.
This time Boro had the chance to take full advantage from the penalty spot but Reece Connolly saw his driven spot-kick parried onto the underside of the crossbar by Mark Scott.
Substitute keeper Jamie Norris kept Boro in the match with two fine saves from close range to deny White.
And they proved crucial when Scott Donnelly saw his 20-yard effort deflected past Mark Scott and into the corner of the net a minute before the break – his first goal in Boro colours.
Connolly could, and should, have wrapped up the points for Boro in an end-to-end second half, squandering a hat-trick of chances, while, at the other end, Norris denied McPhee from 25 yards and Theo Lewis twice came close to levelling.
Any fears though were allayed in the final minute when a sweeping counter-attacking move involving Connolly and Reece Jones found Donnelly, who rounded Scott and fired home into the corner from 12 yards.
White set up a tense finale with a cool finish into the corner three minutes into injury time, but Boro were not to be denied.