Farnham Town manager Paul Johnson hailed his side’s character after they beat Knaphill 1-0 at the Memorial Ground on Saturday in the Combined Counties Premier Division South.
Lamar Koroma scored the only goal of the game for the home side, but Johnson’s troops showed plenty of resolve to withstand some concerted pressure from Knaphill.
“We showed a massive amount of grit,” said Johnson.
“We could have actually scored two or three, but the final ball let us down at times.
“Tom Smith cleared one off the line at the end – it was a crazy way to win.”
Johnson praised the quality of Koroma’s finish, but admitted he was surprised by it.
“Lamar is not known for that – although he might say different,” said Johnson.
“He showed lovely feet and it was a well-taken goal.”
Then came the goal.
Latching on to a Tom Smith pass down the left, Lamar Koroma strode into the Knaphill area, turned his man inside and out, and coolly despatched his shot past the Knaphill keeper, off the inside of the far post, and into the net.
Looking to get level before the break, Knaphill fashioned chances for Farnham old boys George Pilbeam and Will May, but neither really troubled Town keeper Liam Harris who, in truth, had little to do in a first half where Farnham defended well.
That would change three minutes into the second half, when Harris was forced to make a superb reaction save with his feet.
That chance set the tone for the second 45 minutes.
As Knaphill pressed hard for an equaliser, Farnham dug deep in defence and looked to catch their opponents on the break through the hard-working Connor Young and the mercurial Owen Dean, returning from injury as a second half substitute. By now both sides were working hard to create, and deny, clear-cut chances.
On 68 minutes, Owen Dean latched on to a route-one clearance only to see his shot well saved. Then, just two minutes later, Harris made an even better save to deny May.
As the clock ticked down it was the visitors who seemed the stronger, and Knaphill were awarded a free kick in the last minute.
A well-worked routine saw the ball headed back across the Farnham six-yard box at a perfect height for the Knaphill keeper to rise and direct a fine header towards the bottom left corner of the net, but Smith scooped the ball off the line before getting up to block a follow-up shot.
Farnham will hope to pick up another three points in the Combined Counties Premier Division South on Saturday, but they will face a tough test when they host league leaders Raynes Park Vale at the Memorial Ground (3pm).
Johnson is up for the challenge. “I know we’ll create chances – it’s a game to look forward to,” he said.