Farnham Town manager Paul Johnson hailed his side’s character after they beat Crowborough Athletic 2-0 in the preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Town were reduced to ten men in the ninth minute when Max Meaton was sent off for a last-man challenge, but soon took the lead on 17 minutes when Dean Rule finished into the far corner.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Farnham continued to create a plethora of chances and controlled the match.

Rule made it 2-0 on 66 minutes when he reacted quickest to volley home after Harry Cooksley’s free kick hit the post as Town booked their place in the next round.

After starting the season with three successive 4-0 wins, Johnson was pleased to see another side to his outfit after playing for so long with ten men.

“It was a very pleasing afternoon,” said Johnson.

“We showed a different side to our game and dug in. We didn’t let the sending off affect us and were in control of the game.

“Going down to ten men was probably our stiffest test so far – but we came through it.

“We made a difficult decision to take Charlie Postance off as we didn’t want to have the option of lumping the ball long to him. It was a tactical change.

“We kept Dean Rule and Darryl Sanders on and it worked well.

“Dean was excellent all game and fully deserved his two goals. We brought him off and he got a deserved ovation from the fans.

“We had other chances as well with Darryl hitting the bar, and Lewis Flatman could have scored.

“It’s the furthest the club have gone for eight years, and if we get through the next round it will be more history for the club.”

Saturday’s win means Farnham goalkeeper Pat Nash has started the season with four clean sheets, and although he hasn’t always been particularly busy so far this season, Johnson praised his number one.

“Pat probably had his busiest game of the season on Saturday,” said Johnson. “He had a couple of saves to make and was switched on to make the right decisions.”

Farnham have been drawn away to Combined Counties Premier Division North outfit Flackwell Heath in the first round qualifying of the FA Cup.

The tie is scheduled to be played on Saturday, September 2 (3pm) – and Johnson is looking forward to it.

“It’s a good tie for us to look forward to,” said Johnson.

“It will be great for the fans to go there with the drums and bring the atmosphere – it’s what you want in the FA Cup.”

Farnham are organising a fan coach service for the FA Cup tie at Flackwell Heath. Spaces will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.