For the first of two games this Saturday, I came to the Aquatherm Stadium, in Faversham, to watch Faversham Town play in the Isthmian League (South East Division) against Lancing FC who play their home games in Lancing, which is situated on the coast, in Sussex, near Worthing.
Salters Lane (Aquatherm Stadium) has been Faversham Town’s home since 1948, and boasts a capacity of 2000, with 200 seated. The pitch is grass and in good condition. The ground is shared this season, with Faversham Strikeforce, of the Southern Counties East Football League, acting as tenants at Salters Lane. There was a crowd of 196 in for today’s match.
Lancing, managed jointly by Alex Walsh and , Dale Hurley, sit currently in 16th place in the league, with six points from eight games, just above the relegation places. Louis Veneti has top scored this season thus far, with five goals.
Faversham Town, currently occupy the relegation places in the Isthmian League South East Division, coming into the fixture in nineteenth place, with just four points from seven matches. Bradley Schafer and Nathan Wood have both poached three goals already for the home side this season and joint managers, John Embery and Jermaine Darlington, know that with an average gate of 251 this season and a decent squad, there is enough support and backing behind Faversham Town to move up the table.
The game opened with both teams clearly lacking confidence in the final third. Defensively the sides played well but the movement from midfield to the forward line was clunky and often the wrong pass was selected. As the first half hour came and went the scores remained locked at 0-0.
In the 37th minute Lancing’s Tyrone Madhani broke free, on the left hand side of the Faversham Town penalty area and slipped the ball into the opposite corner of the net, across Fanshawe, in the Lilywhite’s goal.
This seemed to unlock previously hidden belief in the Lancing FC forward line and just four minutes later, the away side were two goals ahead. Reece Hallard finishing comfortably, after a fine pulled back cross, from the right hand side.
The score remained 0-2 at the break but in the 49th minute, Lancing FC’s top scorer Louis Veneti fired the ball home from the edge of the area to make it 0-3 and effectively end Faversham’s chances.
In the 61st minute Faversham Town scored, against the run of play. A free kick on the edge of the box, allowed Danny Rumbol the chance to scramble the ball home, to make it 1-3, providing a glimmer of hope for the home fans.
Faversham town continued to press for another goal as the game drew to a close, with substitute Timi Toluwanile showing some spirit and competitiveness that had been much lacking. However as the whistle went for full time the score remained Faversham Town 1 Lancing FC 3.
Faversham Town will need to find some of the spirit they showed in the final fifteen minutes, if they are to creep clear of the relegation battle. Lancing will know this victory allows them a platform to push towards the top half of the league.