AN injury-ravaged Farnborough Town showed just what they are made of, coming from two goals down to register a point in this entertaining clash at Wincham Park on Saturday.
The point was as hard earned as any they will win this season and after having just ten men on the training ground all week it carried particular satisfaction of a job eventually well done.
But their defence, freely praised in the match programme by Vics' boss, the former Reading manager Jimmy Quinn, was ragged and uncertain at the start and were duly embarrassed with the loss of Jim Rodwell noticable.
They faced a gusting wind and before they could settle Vics piled on the attacks, though their first goal was a fluke. Andy Taylor's eighth minute corner seemed to hang in the air, before dipping and swerving beyond the waving arms of Tony Pennock into the net.
Three minutes later Jon Allan, 20-yards out, clanged the crossbar, but the 19-year-old was not to be denied for long. In the 15th minute Mark Devlin pierced the visitors' defence, Kevin Street ushered the ball on and Allan picked his spot — the net's top corner — from the edge of the box.
The robust and uncompromising defending of Nathan Bunce brought some unity to the Boro back line and Danny Carroll and Lenny Piper also responded well to the emergency.
But there was a moment of panic when another Taylor inswinging flag kick caused confusion in the Boro penalty area. The ball skimmed off the head of Barry Laker and looked destined for the net but for the last gasp intervention of Carroll.
From that escape Boro launched their first serious attack of the game and proved Vics a careless bunch.
Unaccountably, they left ken Charlery unmarked at the side of the area and he dropped a short cross on to the head of Piper, who headed home easily from six-yards for his third league goal of the season.
It signalled a period of Boro dominance and Charlery ought to have levelled before the break from close range.
It wasn't long however, before Boro regained the upper hand, but they still had to run more risks than Vics and were in danger of being caught on the break.
Pennock saved with his feet from Allan and his nimble fingers picked the ball off Blundell's toes when danger threatened.
At the other end Dean Green stung Paul Gibson's palms, before Charlery again punished Vics' slack marking in the 79th minute. Justin Gregory's cross in from the left dropped into the space where Charlery had slipped unnoticed and the veteran striker stooped to guide the ball beyond Gibson's left hand with his head.
Although Green then turned an elusive Micky Warner throw in into the side netting an entertaining game had little more to offer and petered out to an overall fair conclusion.
Boro will be hoping to see more players back in training this week and head into tonight's (Tuesday) home tie with Margate with an air of confidence (ko 7.45pm). See left for half price voucher.
BORO: Pennock; Warner, Gregory, Bunce, Laker, L Piper, Carroll, Charlery (sub Lee 88 mins), Butterworth (Vansittart 76), Holloway, Annon (Green 65). Ref: M Harris. Att 658
l Off the field Farnborough Town have had some good news this week. An agreement has been reached with Rushmoor Borough Council regarding the provision of new facilities for the club.
Boro will remain at its current site in Cherrywood Road for the near future and improvements will be made to bring it up to Football League standard.
The council will, however, include provision of land for a new stadium in its planning brief for Project Connaught and it is hoped that a permanent home may be found for the club using current MoD land.
For full details of the plans see Friday's News.
l Joff Vansittart netted a hat-trick in his return from injury in Wednesday night's Capital League fixture at home to Harrow Borough.
Vansittart bagged three from right-wing Dean Green crosses, while Green himself and Nathan Bunce also scored in a 5-0 victory.
The reserves play Aldershot Town tomorrow night at the Rec (Wednesday, ko 7.45pm).
l Saturday's game at home to Kettering Town will kick off at 3pm after all. This is due to the Slovakian FA putting back the kick off time for the England game to 6.15pm.
A new television will be installed in the club house, which will remain open, and plans for ground improvements will also be on show.