Rayners Lane FC 1 Finchampstead FC 2By Arthur Strand
February 07, 2011
Still smarting from last week’s 5-0 defeat by Hellenic Division 1 East title challengers Holyport, Finchampstead travelled to Harrow to take on league rivals Rayners Lane.
Steve Cox and assistant Jon Laugharne were desperate for three points to stay clear of the bottom, and they weren’t helped by the unavailability of three first-team regulars.
Both sides traded blows in the early stages, with Rayners Lane’s Ryan Upton having the best opportunity, only to shoot wide with only keeper Neil Griffith to beat.
At the other end, Matt Wright had a chance to give Finch the lead, but his header didn’t threaten the goal, while the ever-busy Chris Hollis shot just over the bar from an acute angle.
Finch began to build their attacks with some steady, controlled passing and they took the lead moments before the break.
Hollis delivered the ball into the area only for Rayners’ Andy Forbes to stab the ball into his own net.
The second half began with both sides searching for goals as Wright threatened for Finch and Tom Farrell headed wide for Rayners Lane.
From a free-kick, Richard Kell supplied Jordan Mace who was thwarted by home keeper Craig Nicholson, before two stunning saves from Griffith kept Finch in front.
After a period of midfield play with neither side dominating, Dan Willis forced Nicholson into a smart stop.
The home side pulled level nine minutes from time with a route one goal when Nicholson punted upfield, Ryan Upton collected and netted the equaliser.
Finch were not to be outdone, however, and in the 87th minute Jordan Mace collected the ball and finished well to restore the visitors’ lead and earn them their first ever win at Rayners Lane.
Skipper Adam Barnard was delighted with the character his team showed.
“After the last two heavy defeats, I am proud of the team’s performance,” he said.
“We all knew that if we won our individual battles, we would get a result.”
Finchampstead: Griffith, Green, Kell, Mace, Brown, Barnard, Willis, Wright, Bowyer, Pickersgill, Hollis. Subs: Brazier, Winship, Manicom.