Dan Bennett's future at Farnborough is hanging in the balance this week after manager Spencer Day revealed the decision to haul him off at half-time against Boreham Wood on Monday was made for “disciplinary reasons”.
Day admitted he had been involved in a heated dressing-room exchange with the mercurial midfielder at the interval, even though Farnborough were leading at the time through JJ Hooper’s 26th-minute strike.
Bennett was then immediately substituted and replaced by Ade Cole, and now Day admits he doesn’t know what the future holds for the enigmatic former Chertsey wide man.
“There’s only so much I can say but I can reveal there was an issue and it is being dealt with in-house as we speak,” Day said.
“It was a disciplinary decision to bring Dan off at half-time. I’ve been the biggest supporter of Dan for the past two years and I’ve backed him when others haven’t, but he knows he’s fallen below the levels of commitment and attitude that we set ourselves and I’m not having it anymore.
“It wasn’t the time or place to talk to Dan there so I’ll pull him in this week and we’ll see what we can resolve. But he knows how angry I am with him and that I won’t tolerate that attitude anymore.”
The row with Bennett marred an otherwise productive evening’s work by Day’s Boro, who held an experienced and improving Boreham Wood side to follow up their impressive 2-1 success over leaders Bromley a little over 48 hours previous.
And Day heaped praise on his new loan signing, Hooper, who now has two goals to his name in 110 minutes since joining the loan on a month-loan deal from League Two Northampton Town.
“JJ’s goal was a wonderful solo effort and a class finish,” Day beamed. “In fact both goals were excellent. We couldn’t do anything about Mario Noto’s free-kick for their equaliser – they were the only two real bits of quality in the game.”
Day was also encouraged by the performance of full debutant Darryl Siaw, who slotted in at centre-back in place of the unavailable Adam Doyle, with the former Walton Casuals man pivotal in breaking up a number of promising Wood attacks early on. When they did get through, Kevin Scriven was on hand to deny Kudus Oyenuga and Junior Morais.
But after Connor French forced a first save of the night from James Russell, Boro broke the deadlock and in some style – the pacey Hooper bursting down the right, cutting in and firing an excellent shot through Russell and into the far corner from a tight angle.
Bennett saw a 35-yard lob attempt sail inches over the top but that was to prove to be the end of his night as a warring manager looked to repair the damage of the half-time dust-up and capitalise on their superiority.
But when captain Alan Inns was pulled up for a foul ten minutes into the start of the second half, Noto stepped up, 25 yards and brilliantly bent the ball into the corner, giving Scriven no chance.
To their credit, Boro still looked to attack their hosts with wide man Cole and Hooper going close, while, at the other end, former Aldershot man Graeme Montgomery twice produced saves from Scriven from distance.
The draw, however, completes an encouraging four-point return from the weekend ahead of two tough trips this week; to Bishop's Stortford on Saturday and play-off chasing Dover Athletic on Tuesday night.
Day, though, has strengthened his squad with the signing of versatile young defender Fraser Colmer, from Southampton, until the end of the season.
Colmer, 19, is predominantly a left-back who began his scholarship with the Saints in 2011, initially deputising for England international Luke Shaw, but suffered a nasty injury against Chelsea during the end of 2011/12, which hampered his development somewhat.
After a spell at Conference South with Dorchester – playing against Boro just last month – Colmer has been training with Championship side AFC Bournemouth, but has been drafted in as cover on both flanks, especially with Oli Treacher struggling with a groin injury.
BORO: Scriven; Huggins, Berry (Lowe 88), Bosch, Inns, Siaw, Bennett (Cole 45), Ball, Hooper, French (Page 72), Harry Lee. Sub: Fearn.
* Farnborough fans looking forward to seeing their team play a cup final will have to wait another season after the club were thrown out of the Russell Cotes Cup for fielding ineligible players.
Boro were due to play Fareham Town in the final of the competition on May 6 but have since been told by Hampshire FA that the young players that they fielded needed to have signed Conference forms with the club.
Boro boss Spencer Day said: “It’s an unfortunate misunderstanding, but it now means we don’t have to pay players beyond the season end.”