Beckenham Town 4-2 Corinthian - I don't think we were great tonight, admits Corinthian boss James Collins
BECKENHAM TOWN 4-2 CORINTHIAN
Macron Southern Counties East Football League Challenge Cup First Round
Tuesday 6th January 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Eden Park Avenue
CORINTHIAN manager James Collins admits Beckenham Town are the best side he has faced this season after these two sides produced another goal bonanza.
PITCH PERFECT: The playing surface at Eden Park Avenue
Beckenham Town defeated Corinthian 2-0 to win the Macron Southern Counties East Football League Challenge Cup last season at Bromley’s Hayes Lane – and they successfully navigated their way through to the quarter-finals.
This was the third meeting between the two sides and they have now produced 20 goals between them, with Beckenham Town holding the upper hand with two victories.
Corinthian, who arrived at Eden Park Avenue in third-place in the table with 42 points from 20 games, three points behind unbeaten leaders Phoenix Sports, who have three games in hand, took the lead through Brima Daramy’s placed finish.
But Jason Huntley’s Beckenham Town – in sixth-place in the table on 36 points from 21 games - scored four second half goals as Damien Ramsamy equalised, before Nad Nwitua scored his eighth goal of the season to give Corinthian their second lead of the night.
But Jamie Humphries went on to score a thirteen minute hat-trick towards the end of the game to take his goalscoring tally to 25 goals for the season to send Beckenham Town through, much to the delight of assistant manager Chris Hiscock.
He said: “They’re a good side, a good footballing side. We knew what to expect but I thought we matched them, more than matched them.
“We gave away a silly goal. We showed resilience. We came back into the game. We were strong, kept the football going, playing through the thirds and I thought we more than deserved the win.”
Collins, who last season guided Kent Invicta League side Sutton Athletic to a cup double in his only season in charge, said: “They play football, probably focus more on the attacking aspect of the game. They left themselves open and we left ourselves open today. We’ve had high scoring games against them so that was always going to be the case.
“I don’t think we were great tonight to be honest. I just said to the players in (the dressing room) for our league position if anyone came tonight to watch us I don’t think they would be overly impressed. I can’t remember having a passage of play where we opened them up. Most of our chances came from their mistakes or us catching them on the break.”
The first half was a frenetic affair and Beckenham Town started the game on the front foot.
Hiscock said: “It was at a very high pace. It was never going to stay at that pace. Credit to both sides. There weren’t many bad tackles flying in. Both teams played football. I thought it was a very good game of football.”
Beckenham broke with pace down the left through wingers Tyrone Guthrie and Ramsamy before Harry Draper flashed his right-footed angled drive past the far post inside the opening three minutes.
Chris Hubbard was then released down the right and he cut inside before cutting the ball back to Ramsamy, whose flicked shot was smothered by Corinthian keeper Taylor Gable at his near post.
Guthrie then played in Humphries through on goal and with Gable advancing off his line, the Beckenham marksman sent his right-footed chip just over the crossbar.
But Corinthian should have grabbed the lead through their first chance after thirteen minutes.
Skipper Grant Brown swung in a corner from the left towards the near post where striker Daramy glanced his free header across goal and agonisingly past the far post from six-yards, holding his head in his hands in agony.
Collins said: “He hasn’t been playing for a while. He’s had injuries and Luke Tanner’s come in and done well so he hasn’t been playing.
“He got up well. I don’t think he could’ve done much more. It was a good header, it just flashed wide.”
Beckenham Town right-back Jamie Turner pinged some excellent passes all night and he went close to scoring when he cracked a right-footed half-volley screaming past the post from 35-yards after the ball came out to him following Hubbard’s corner from the left.
Corinthian created a decent opening when Gable’s big kick bounced over Beckenham Town left-back Adam Wadmore’s head but Nwitua stroked his shot harmlessly wide.
But Corinthian opened the scoring on the half-hour mark through Daramy’s fifth goal of the season.
Nwitua slipped the ball in behind the Beckenham back-four and Daramy took the ball in his stride before placing his right-footed shot past Rilwan Anibaba when he only had the goalkeeper to beat.
Collins said: “Brima ran straight through. I’m pleased he’s scored because up until when he was left out he’s been playing really, really well, but he just couldn’t score so I was pleased he got a goal tonight. I thought he was a positive tonight.”
Hiscock added: “I thought we gave the ball away and they capitalised on that and scored. Up until then I thought we were the better side but a good side like that you can’t give them easy chances.”
Beckenham Town responded from that set-back and almost levelled within a minute.
Turner played a sublime ball which cut open the Corinthian back four to release Humphries through on goal, the striker taking a touch before seeing his right-footed chip from 25-yards being pushed over by Gable’s outstretched right hand.
Hiscock added: “He’s a confident boy Jamie. He’ll hit them from anywhere. He gave it a go and their keeper came up tops on that one.”
Ramsamy swung in the resulting corner from the right and Jalloh Gassimu came up from the back to direct his header just wide.
Turner produced yet another quality long pass out of defence and Gable saved low to his right as he held on to Humphries’ powerfully struck right-footed drive.
Ramsamy whipped in another corner from the left, which was cleared out to Turner, who powered a stunning right-footed volley from 35-yards screaming towards the top left hand corner, which Gable palmed over.
“Yes, good save, but I suppose that’s what he’s there for,” added Collins.
Both camps were asked their thoughts at the break.
Hiscock said: “I thought that we outplayed them, at least matched them. We were a bit downhearted. We gave them the goal and we just came out, back to basics again. We kept the pressure on and tried to make them play it from the back a little bit more.
“I think with 4-3-3 you’ve got to play their half of the pitch so it suited us that they were a good footballing side. We wanted them to play it from the back a lot more and we used the tactics which allowed us to do that and we pressed them from there.”
Collins added: “I just went through them all individually, instead of being negative. We didn’t play well on Saturday against Croydon. I didn’t think we started well again so I just gave a little bit of constructive criticism.
“We just needed to get on the ball and for the first fifteen minutes of the second half. We had a couple of good chances. We could’ve killed the game off. I know they scored but after that we were in good positions three or four times, especially when we were 2-1 up.”
Corinthian pushed forward immediately after kicking off and created their first opening after 48 seconds.
The ball fell to left-back Jack Mahoney, whose left-footed drive sailed over the bar from 25-yards.
Beckenham Town went close when Hubbard swung in a corner from the right and Ramsamy’s downward header dropped the wrong side of the far post.
But the home side equalised with only 3 minutes and 43 seconds on the second half clock.
Beckenham used the pristine playing surface at Eden Park Avenue to spread the ball around the pitch at pace and Draper slipped the ball through to Ramsamy, who kept his composure to drill his right-footed shot across Gable for the ball to nestle inside the bottom far corner.
Hiscock said: “He’s very dangerous, Damo, getting into these situations and I thought it was a good passing move and he finished it off really well.
“He easily could not score them but he showed good composure after a good passing movement and put the ball in the net. It got us back into the game and I thought we deserved the goal.”
Collins added: “It was a good goal from their point of view. It started from our throw in and we’ve given the ball away from a throw in. Then we’ve tried to play out of a tackle, instead of hitting a tackle. It was a nice little one-two and he’s finished it well. It was a good goal from their point of view, disappointing from us, so sloppy.”
But Hiscock admitted he was not pleased in the manner that Corinthian regained the lead in the 53rd minute.
Mohammed Eisa drilled a right-footed angled free-kick towards the far corner from 25-yards, which forced Anibaba to dive to his right to parry, but the ball fell kindly at the feet of the unmarked Nwitua, who steered his shot into the bottom left-corner from six-yards.
Praising his goalscorer, Collins added: “He’s been left out recently as well, probably unfairly. He usually plays well when he plays. He scores a fair share of goals for us.
“Up until then I don’t think we came to life until we scored the second goal. When we scored the second goal we looked better. I thought we were fortunate to go 2-1. I have to be honest.”
Hiscock was clearly disappointed with his side’s marking.
He said: “To be honest with you, it’s been a bit of a bug-bear for us this year and it’s something that we’ve got to work on.
“We’re not reacting to the second ball! Without being too harsh, I thought the keeper in that situation has to put the ball around the post. Having said that they were quicker to follow in which is probably natural for a forward and we stood there and watched them go 2-1 up.”
Corinthian had chances to progress through to the last eight.
Anibaba almost gifted Corinthian a third just past the hour mark when he found himself out of his goalmouth and his clearance went straight to Eisa, who took a touch before drilling a right-footed shot towards the bottom right-hand corner of an empty net from 35-yards.
Anibaba made a desperate attempt to scramble across and dived full-length to his left to push the ball around the post, hurting himself in the process.
“He (Anibaba) done very good there after making the mistake,” said Collins.
“I think Eisa done the right thing there. A glaring opportunity. I don’t think Eisa could’ve done much more. Like I said I think that was a good opportunity.
“There was another one when Luke Tanner’s played him in and he probably should’ve played it across the box and Brima had an open goal.
“I said to him he’s been brilliant for us so far. He’s been unbelievable but it’s those big decisions in the big games, at a big time, that’s where he’s improved a little bit. Unfortunately he could’ve done a bit better there.”
Anibaba was almost guilty of losing their grip on their trophy at the first attempt.
Hiscock admitted: “He has his moments Rilwan. He got across well. I think he’s an excellent goalkeeper but he does seem to have his moments every now and again. He does some little crazy things but he recovered well luckily for him and luckily for us because if we’re 3-1 down against a team like that, I think you’re struggling to come back into it.”
Mahoney swung in the resulting corner from the right and Sam Hayes came up from the back to loop his header, which skimmed the top of the crossbar.
Corinthian went close when Eisa broke and played right-back Nathan Palmer on the overlap and after reaching the by-line he cut the ball back and Eisa’s shot was cleared off the line by Nathan Paul.
However, Humphries clicked into gear and showed the crowd of 91 why he should be playing at a higher level of football.
Beckenham Town produced a sweeping move forward which included Turner and Ramsamy, before Humphries’ dipping right-footed drive from 30-yards only just cleared the crossbar.
When asked whether he felt the game would require an extra half-an-hour, Hiscock replied: “Not really. It was an open game against a good side that you always run the risk of the nicking goals but I was confident enough if we played our football and kept pressing and playing the ball in their half early we’ll create chances.
“We’re good enough to create chances. It’s one thing we’re not done this year, we’ve not put them away but we create a lot of chances.”
But Humphries produced a moment of sheer excellence to equalise in the 77th minute.
He was given time and space by the Corinthian defence to unleash a right-footed drive from 35-yards, which sailed over Gable’s head into the roof of the net.
Hiscock said: “Very good strike. That’s what he’s capable off. You can see what he lacks in height, he’s skill and his know-how, his confident, he’s definitely a match-winner.”
Collins added: “He keeps on scoring against us! He was at Erith Town when I had a brief spell there. He’s a brilliant player, a really, really good player.
“He shoots early. I think he caught Taylor a little bit by surprise there. It was a good goal. He’s scored a lot of goals this year, hasn’t he?”
The crowd feared that the game would go into extra-time on a cold night but Humphries scored his second of the game with six minutes left.
Turner clipped another sublime pass which found Ramsamy down the left channel and he hooked the ball into the box for Humphries to guide his right-footed shot across Gable to find the far corner.
Hiscock said: “He’s a great pinger of the ball Jamie Turner. Jamie scores again. A great strike and he sets us on our way then.
“I thought at 3-2 with six minutes to go and to be fair to them they’re a good footballing side. I’m not sure if they had a plan B but credit to them they tried to play their way through it but at 3-2 down it done us more of a favour.”
Collins felt Daramy should have done better in the build-up.
He said: “I’ve just dug Brima out to be fair because he was told to go back for set-pieces.
“But he hasn’t played for a month so he was physically tried as well as mentally tired. The 90 minutes done him good but he just switched off and I said to him there he’s had a great game but that was your man in there and you have to do better but that’s the basics of giving away silly goals.”
Turner drilled his right-footed free-kick sailing past the right-hand post from 40-yards, before Humphries scored his hat-trick with 48:18 on the clock.
Guthrie played a free-kick inside to Humphries, who cut inside before stroking a right-footed drive towards goal from 25-yards, but Gable let the ball slip underneath him and roll apologetically into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
Collins admitted: “He’s got to do better! It’s gone through the middle of him. I don’t think that’s what defined the game. I don’t think we deserved to win it. I didn’t think we looked like scoring and if we did get into extra-time we were dead on our feet anyway so all a little irrelevant but I know he’ll be disappointed with that.”
Hiscock added: “Sometimes you do make your own luck in football. I felt we deserved to win the game overall and those bits of luck just emphasised that really.
“It was a bit unfortunate for their keeper. He’s a good keeper. He had a good game. It was just one of those things really. It was probably about right on the night I think, with the way that we played tonight.”
Corinthian are now left in one cup competition and play Woodstock Sports at home in the Kent Senior Trophy Quarter-Finals on 24 January.
Collins said: “I thought they controlled most of the game for the first half but we were fortunate to go 1-0 up. I thought we defended well as a team against a really good side.
“I think Beckenham are the best team we’ve played this season. We’ve played them three times and no-one’s caused us as many problems as they have.
“I’d like to have gone through today. I want to win anything. We’re in the quarter-finals of the Kent Senior Trophy against Woodstock. I think we’re the form team in the league with Phoenix at the moment and Cray Valley are playing well but there’s no disgrace in losing to Beckenham. I think they’re the best team we’ve played against this season and we didn’t play particularly well.”
Beckenham Town: Rilwan Anibaba, Jamie Turner, Adam Wadmore (Ben Lockett 52), Jalloh Gassimu, Nathan Paul, Frankie Warren, Damien Ramsamy, Harry Draper (Kieron Tarbie 85), Chris Hubbard (Danny Lawson 74), Jamie Humphries, Tyrone Guthrie.
Subs: Junior Alade, Justin Hemmings
Goals: Damien Ramsamy 48, Jamie Humphries 77, 84, 90
Booked: Frankie Warren 90
Corinthian: Taylor Gable, Nathan Palmer, Jack Mahoney, Jamie Billings, Sam Hayes, Marcus Evans, Josh James (Luke Tanner 58), Grant Brown (Ryan Croucher 58), Brima Daramy, Nad Nwitua (Henry Goodwin 84), Mohammed Eisa.
Subs: Miguel Pascal-Johnson, Michael Hagan
Goals: Brima Daramy 30, Nad Nwitua 53
Booked: Nad Nwitua 79, Jack Mahoney 86, Marcus Evans 90
Referee: Mr Ryan Whitaker (Bexleyheath)
Assistants: Mr Luke Challinger (Crayford) & Mr Ross Alexander (Maidstone)