The Tucker Park pitch had held up well to the recent wet conditions as Town welcomed old North Berks foes, Kintbury Rangers Reserves for this Hellenic Division Two West fixture.
Town gave 18-year-old Dinesh Gurung his first start in a Town shirt and he had a full debut to remember, when in the 1st minute he overlapped down the right-wing, crossed with perfection for Adam Sly to hammer home the ball, into the top of the net at the far post to give Town the lead.
Town were in control in the early stages, not allowing the visitors to settle and Matty Pill had a shot on the angle saved by the keeper, but Town failed to react quickly to the rebound and the ball was cleared. Kintbury were gaining momentum and Connor Guinness-Smith had to be alert on two occasions saving well with his feet at the near post and from the resulting corner, he saved a volleyed effort. Midway through the half and Adam Rudman broke through the Rangers backline, but his attempted lob missed the goal, as it sailed past the far post.
However, shortly after, Town seized on a misplaced Kintbury pass in their own half, Dan Courtney played in Pill, whose first touch took him wide, but he calmly placed the ball past the keeper with his left foot for 2-0. Town were still winning the midfield battle and looked dangerous going forward, but with the half coming to a close Kintbury did have a strike on goal after sloppy play by Town, but were saved by a deflection taking the ball wide.
To be fair to Rangers they upped their game in the second period, but Town were mostly in control. On 58 minutes Rangers missed a glorious opportunity to bring themselves back into the game as their substitutes first touch was to head a free kick, played deep into the Town penalty area, against the foot of the upright when unmarked, before Town cleared.
Just after the hour mark and Town lost Courtney to a knee injury and this caused Town to lose control of the game for a period as the ball failed to stick up top. The visitors made Town pay on 66 minutes, when they grabbed a goal back as the small diminutive winger didn’t give up on the ball and hooked it across goal, Guinness-Smith was back pedalling and managed to get a hand to the ball, but the Rangers number 9 was on hand to put the ball home from a yard out.
Rangers pushed for an equaliser but the Town centre halves of Luke Davenport and Andy Goodchild held the backline together and despite a late onslaught of corners, one of which was handballed into the net and spotted by the referee, Town grabbed another three points for the season.
An impressive opening 45 minutes from Town, good to see a sizeable bench available with others unavailable due to injury etc, so selection headaches for the management.
A massive plus was the late introducing of Will Bazen to the game, following an operation to his shoulder and six months out of the game. Good to have you back Baze!
Final Score: Faringdon Town 2-1 Kintbury Rangers Reserves
Team: C Guinness-Smith, D Gurung, A Lynham, L Davenport, A Goodchild, J Forth(c), A Rudman (sub 78 W Bazen), R Bradbury (sub 63 K Muhid), D Courtney (sub 65 J Vaughan), M Pill, A Sly; Subs not used: M Wood, J Broadfield
Town welcome Letcome FC to Tucker Park next Saturday. The two sides met three weeks ago in the Chairmans Cup, drawing 2-2 and Town winning on penalties, so the men in purple will no doubt be looking for revenge as they sit top of the league. Kick-off will be at 2.15 pm.