Stevenage Borough 3 Farnborough Town 2

Last updated : 08 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Stevenage earned the spoils from this hotly contested clash thanks to an own goal from Farnborough defender Anthony Charles just three minutes from the end.

And it was fitting that this game should turn on such a controversial note after the ill feeling which had been apparent between both sets of supporters throughout this clash and the earlier 2-0 victory for Farnborough at their Cherrywood Road ground on Boxing Day.

With the Farnborough fans launching a barrage of insults at Stevenage boss Graham Westley before the start it was little surprise that the home manager had his team fired up for the clash.

Stevenage tore into Farnborough from the outset and had the sole intention of scoring goals from the very beginning.

Indeed it took just three minutes for Stevenage to open their account and it was former Farnborough man Danny Carroll who provided a glancing header from a Jamie Cook cross to set the home side on their way.

Carroll again came close before the shell-shocked visitors conceded their second on 123 minutes. Dino Maamria provided the final touch blasting home from close range after the visitors were all at sea in failing to clear a Stevenage corner.

With the game all but secured early on, Stevenage then contrived to throw away their advantage.

Just a minute after grabbing their second, they gifted Farnborough a penalty. Mark Smith inexplicably handled in the area and it was Richard Hodgson who drove the ball high into the centre of the goal to leave Lionel Perez with no chance and bring Farnborough back into the contest.

Farnborough then saw an effort disallowed before they capitalised on a shaky Stevenage back three to grab the equaliser on 24 minutes. Paul Harkness was the man who guided the ball home after an accurate cross was fired in by Marc Thompson.

With the scores level both sides seemed content to play out the half with little further incident and the second period began in a similarly muted fashion until Thompson caused consternation amongst the away support when two yellow cards in the space of four minutes saw him receive his marching orders just before the hour.

Farnborough settled back to defend the point with their ten men and it was Stevenage who looked unlikely to grab the winner as, but for a few tame efforts from Maamria, Steve Watson and Michael Warner, they failed to truly test Mark Osborn in the Farnborough goal.

It was ironic then that with the clock running down it proved to be a Farnborough player who provided the decisive touch as Charles guided the ball past his own keeper from a Cook cross.