Beckenham Town 3-5 Corinthian - We're delighted to get through, says Corinthian boss James Collins

Saturday 04th October 2014

The FA Vase Second Qualifying Round
Saturday 4th October 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Eden Park Avenue

CORINTHIAN manager James Collins praised his side for outscoring Beckenham Town during this eight-goal thriller in The FA Vase.

Corinthian went into this game with three wins on the bounce and sitting in eighth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League table with 15 points from nine games.

Beckenham Town’s seven-match unbeaten run was ended at Tunbridge Wells last weekend and Jason Huntley’s side went into the game sitting in the top five with 20 points from 10 games.

This game was played at a frenetic pace for the entire 90 minutes but Corinthian will be included in Monday’s First Round Draw after coming out on top.

Hat-trick hero Mohammed Eisa opened the scoring inside nine minutes, but Corinthian’s lead was short-lived as Jamie Turner smacked home a stunning volley.

Diego Da Silva won and smashed home a penalty, before Eisa’s second goal put Corinthian in the driving seat after only 25 minutes.

Beckenham Town striker Jamie Humphries finished off a sweeping move to bring his side back into the game just six minutes later.

And when Humphries scored his sixteenth-goal of the season to bring Beckenham Town back on level terms with 20 minutes remaining, the game was on a knife edge, before Corinthian regained control.

Eisa scored his hat-trick but Adam Wadmore’s red-card for his second booking proved to be Beckenham Town’s downfall before Nad Nwitua came off the bench to complete the scoring at the death.

“Well delighted to go through,” said former Sutton Athletic manager Collins, 31, afterwards.

“I thought we played well in patches.  Defensively we were probably as bad as I’ve seen us defensively. Beckenham are a very good team going forward.

“At 3-1, I thought we should have killed the game off but credit to them they got back into it.

“I’m delighted to go through.   We showed a bit of character at three-all to get back to win the game.”

Beckenham Town coach Jason Clews, 39, was sent out by Huntley to undertake post-match press duties

He said: “A bit hard to take, especially at home, losing at home. We expected to win at home because we want to make this a bit of a fortress to play against us.

“We were a bit slow out of the blocks today from the start. We didn’t get going until we were one down and then we started to play a bit of football because the goals that we scored, we played some good football, passed it around and slotted a few goals with perfect football from what we saw from the bench but then we collapsed towards the end.

“We’re trying to push forward to get the equaliser and we went 4-3 down and when you’re pushing forward to get the equaliser you got caught again with a sucker punch.”

But Clews added: “I missed the last game for us but by all accounts it was a better performance today than it was against Tunbridge Wells.  We’re quite pleased with some of the play that we played today so yes we can take a lot out of the game. We played some good football in spells, but disappointed losing.”

Harry Draper’s boss at work can be partly blamed for Beckenham Town’s FA Vase exit at the first hurdle after the midfielder failed to turn up for the game.

Draper’s name was crossed out at number eight on the team-sheet after it was handed to referee Adam Bakalarz, but his place was taken by Turner, while George Horne slotted in at right-back.

Clews said: “He’s kept him there. We were hoping he was getting here by half-past-two but he got stuck at work and we tried to get him here for half-time but he had to get all the way from Bow/Mile End so unfortunately he couldn’t make it today so that set-us back a bit. He was starting today so we had to swap it around a bit.”

Corinthian were without first choice goalkeeper Sam I’Anson, who was away on a stag weekend, so understudy Taylor Gable came in and made a world-class save at the start of the second half.

However, this was a game that would have had former Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen crying himself to sleep because defending was non-existent.

Beckenham Town created the first chance of the game inside the opening six minutes.

Humphries swung in a right-footed free-kick from the left wing and James Marshall made space at the near post to plant his header wide.

But clinical Corinthian drew first blood in this extraordinary game with nine minutes on the clock.

Jack Billings played the ball up to midfielder Jack Mahoney, who played a sublime defensive splitting pass to release Eisa in between Horne and Nathan Paul and the former Dartford striker maintained his composure to round advancing keeper Dean Nash before slotting the ball into the empty net.

“When he went through one-on-one I think there was only going to be one outcome, so it was a good start,” said Collins.

“A good early goal and just carrying on where we left off against Fisher.

“I thought for the first 20 minutes we were really good and we’ve been playing like that, but I think we showed it in fits and starts because we’re a little bit naïve sometimes and we always want to score. We’ve got to realise you don’t always need to.”

Clews can see a regular problem for his players.

“It was a bit of a slow start from us. We’ve been talking to the others. We’ve been a bit slow in the last few games from the start and I think it continued today. We were a bit disappointed conceding quite early, was it after nine minutes?”

However, Clews praised his players for their reaction, after they equalised just 50 seconds later.

A long ball found Humphries down the left channel and he clipped in a cross towards the edge of the penalty area.

Turner brought the ball under control with his chest before cracking a stunning left-footed volley into the roof of the net, just kissing the underside of the crossbar on its way.

Clews said: “Again, a brilliant finish by Jamie Turner! He took it down. It reminded me of Charlie Austin’s goal last week for QPR.

“He done well. I thought he missed his chance because I thought he should have hit it with his head but he brought it down and showed a bit of composure in front of goal and slot it right in the roof of the net.

“A very good recovery. Again it seems to be they respond to going a goal behind.  We’re slow out of the blocks. We respond quite quickly. We’ve been brilliant getting back in the game quite quick but it takes that to get us started, but we shouldn’t be like that. We should be starting from the first minute to the last minute but we haven’t been doing it!”

Collins added: “Terrible goal from our point of view. We set things where once we score, from kick-off you have to get the ball back in ten seconds.

“We chased the ball down. We should have won it. We made them go long.  Our centre half let the ball bounce. The rest is a good goal but we couldn’t defend. We forced someone to go long.  You have to win a header!”

Corinthian were playing some delightful passing football on an immaculate Eden Park Avenue pitch that welcomed the light rain that fell during the first half.

Jamie Billings and Da Silva exchanged passes before Eisa was given an opportunity on the edge of the box to curl a deflected shot over the crossbar.

Right-winger Nathan Palmer then whipped in a cross, which was controlled well by Eisa inside the box and he cut the ball back out to Da Siva, who swept the ball back out to Palmer, whose angled right-footed drive was well held low down by Nash at his near post.

But Corinthian were 2-1 up after 21 minutes.

Da Silva went flying in a crowd of players just inside the Beckenham Town penalty area and referee Adam Bakalarz pointed to the spot.

Da Silva stepped up and smashed his right-footed penalty high into the top left-hand corner, sending Nash diving the wrong way.

Collins said: “Great penalty! He scored one last week as well. I just fancied him on penalties. We stuck him on it and (it was) a great finish.

“I think we might be a little bit fortunate there on the penalty. It was a good passage of play.  You have to get into those positions so there’s many times when you’re on the wrong end of it.”

Clews added: “I think the player ran into our player, Nathan Paul, and sort of made a meal of it.

“I think they spoke to the player at half-time and they sort of pulled out of it but the player’s momentum took him into it and they sold the referee a good penalty really. That’s how I saw it.

“I think the goalkeeper might have had a chance but he slotted it right in the corner and gave the keeper no chance really.”

Corinthian were awarded a free-kick some 30-yards out, which Eisa curled his right-footed free-kick narrowly over the top of the near post.

Corinthian raced into a 3-1 lead when Da Silva played the ball inside to Eisa, who curled his right-footed angled drive around Nash to find the top far corner of the net from 25-yards.

Collins said: “That one was a good finish! That was very similar to the last goal we scored against Fisher trying to get the boys to press and press high, stay in their positions. We’ve made them make a mistake but it’s still a great finish!”

Clews added: “He’s curled it in the top corner. I think young George (Horne), our right-back, got caught on the wrong side of the player. There was a gap between centre half and the right back.

“I think the goalkeeper showed him the way really to score it because he made the move too early so he showed him where to put it.”

When asked how he was felling with his side coming to terms with being 3-1 down after 25 minutes, Clews admitted: “Just to keep going really. We were playing good football and I think we always create chances so we’re never out of a game, even at 3-1 down.

“We’re never out of the game. Stick to it. Continue playing the way we’re playing and we create chances and they can put them away, especially with Jamie Humphries up front.”

Corinthian’s quality passing performance stunned Beckenham Town, but the home side were always still in the game.

Paul clipped a long ball out of defence, which was headed away by Corinthian’s central defender Miguel Pascal-Johnson and moments later Travis Gregory turned well and hit a deflected left-footed drive wide from 20-yards.

But the game’s fifth goal arrived with 31 minutes on the clock with Beckenham Town finishing off a high-quality sweeping move.

Humphries played the ball into Alex Wilks and the winger played the ball inside to Humphries, who exchanged a one-two on the edge of the penalty area with Marshall, whose dinked pass set up Humphries to slot his right-footed shot underneath Gable.

“Brilliant football on the edge of the box, quick one-twos, triangle passing in there which created the chance, opened them up and that’s what we’re capable off,” said Clews.

“Great finish from Humphries. We were pleased with that because that’s the spells of football that we enjoy playing and we know we can play.

“Very typical of our play when we do play. We do play like that.”

Collins added: “It all came about because we’re in a spell for five minutes where we all started doing everybody’s jobs instead of sticking to the jobs that they were given.

“We started tearing all over the place, trying to score another goal when all we wanted to do was sit in.

“Give them credit for that, it’s a very good goal.  They broke through the middle of us, which is disappointing, but that’s a good goal.”

Gable thwarted Beckenham Town a way back into the game with two crucial saves either side of half-time.

Wilks linked up well with Marshall down the left to cut in before cracking a right-footed angled drive, which was beaten away by the Corinthian keeper in the 40th minute.

Jamie Billings produced a quality pass from midfield to play in Eisa through on goal, which was deflected for a corner.

Mahoney swung in the ball from the right, Marcus Evans came up from the back and stroked his shot straight at Nash, who gathered while he was on the deck and with plenty of bodies in front of him.

The crowd of 52 caught their breath at the interval and light rain turned to blue skies for the second half.

When asked about his thoughts at half-time, Collins said: “We just said at 3-1 if we scored the next goal we could end up scoring four or five. We was in complete control.

“Our desire to keep scoring and scoring is admiral but sometimes when you’re in control you need to take the sting out of the game. We were pressing at the wrong times. It’s all about pressing at the right times.

“I was saying you’ve got to do your jobs. I think we were under the cosh a little bit. I was pleased to get us in at half-time but we had a good chat and what I like about them, they come up with suggestions with things maybe we didn’t quite see. We sorted it out at half-time and they pressed us for a little bit I think.”

Clews added: “To be honest with you, I wasn’t in the changing room at half-time!”

Beckenham Town kicked-off for the second half and Corinthian quickly grabbed possession and sprinted forward in an attempt to kill the game off.

But the home side thwarted that opportunity and broke quickly and Humphries picked the ball up some 35-yards from the Corinthian goal, turned and drilled a right-footed shot towards the top far corner of the net, but Gable produced Save of the Season, diving high to his left to tip the ball over the bar.

Clews said: “The keeper’s pulled off a worldy save! I think it set up really well for Jamie to just hit it and sitting in the dug-out it looked like it was going in all the way and the keeper got his hands to it and pulled off a great save!”

Collins said: “I’m so pleased for him. He just came out of youth football last season. He played a couple of games for the first team last season.

“Sam (I’Anson) has come in from Orpington and he’s been unbelievable but to have an understudy like that, like I said to him whether you play well, whether you played poorly today, it wouldn’t define your season.  He’s the future of the club hopefully. Sam’s a great goalkeeper as well and he’s got the number one shirt but Taylor came in and I can’t blame him for anything really. I thought he was pretty faultless.”

And on the save, Collins added: “Great save, really good save. That’s probably better than the first one I thought.

“I can’t really remember the passage of play leading up to it. It was pretty hectic wasn’t it? It’s a great save.  You want your goalkeeper to be saving shots like that but I still think it was a good save.”

Turner cut in from the left and from 30-yards flashed his right-footed angled drive across Gable and past the far post.

Mahoney’s speculative left-footed free-kick from 30-yards bounced into Nash’s gloves before Corinthian wasted a great chance to kill the game off.

Eisa was released down the left and he reached the by-line before cutting the ball back to midfielder Da Silva, who opted to spread the ball out to Palmer in space on the other side of the box but the winger drove his shot into the side netting.

Beckenham Town went close to levelling when Wadmore clipped a sublime ball sailing over the Corinthian back-four and Humphries ghosted in and clipped a volley sailing agonisingly over the crossbar from a tight angle.

Humphries cut in from the left again and drilled his low right-footed shot across Gable and past the far post with 65 minutes on the clock

Nwitua came off the Corinthian bench and his right-footed shot on the turn from 25-yards forced Nash to make a comfortable low save to his right.

But Humphries equalised for Beckenham with 20 minutes still to play.

Beckenham produced their slick passing game to leave Corinthian struggling to cope.

Nunn played the ball up to winger Wilks, who played the ball inside to Marshall on the edge of the box. Instead of shooting, he swept a precise low diagonal pass to Humphries, who brought the ball under his spell and drilled his right-footed angled shot across Gable for the ball to nestle into the bottom far corner.

It got the small crowd on the edge of their seats.

Clews said: “Again, a great finish.  You only need to give Jamie a couple of chances and he will stick them away. It’s a great finish from the edge of the box into the far corner. Good movement, good football.”

Humphries, who now has sixteen goals to his name, is another player in this division who is capable of playing higher.

Clews said: “He’s on fire. We’re not too sure. He shot off straight after the final whistle because he’s going to Ibiza for a few days. Hopefully we should have him back on Saturday. He’s only going for a few days. We need someone like that he’s on fire.”

When asked whether the club have received any offers for the striker, Clews replied: “Not that I heard off anyway. We’re just pleased that we’ve got him. He’s happy at the club. He’s happy to play here and he gives everything in the game. He worked his socks off for 90 minutes today.”

Collins added: “Tom (Carlse) has gone in and if he probably stood his ground. Again it was completely hectic. They moved us about in the middle of the pitch in the second half quite well.

“They’re a hard team to play against. One of the best teams we’ve seen. There’s been loads of goals, both teams try to play football against each other. It is gung-ho football a little bit. It’s a great finish, he’s flying!”

When asked what he was feeling at 3-3 with 20 minutes remaining, Collins replied: “There was definitely another goal in it, weren’t there?

“You’re sort of thinking they’re in the ascendancy, have we got the character to dig it back?

“But we had the character to keep playing and we needed to score on the counter attack.  They were leaving three up so it was you attack, we attack, you attack, we attack and whoever scored the next goal I think would probably win it so it was no surprise that we then scored.”

Clews was delighted with the manner that his side clawed themselves back from the dead – but Eisa had other ideas and scored his hat-trick within three minutes.

Mahoney played the ball out wide to Eisa, who cut into the penalty area to drill a powerful right-footed angled drive past Nash.

Clews admitted: “It’s a hard way to take. As soon as you get back into the game at 3-3, they go 4-3 up but again we always feel we can get back into the game.

“We’ll never give up. With the sending-off it’s hard for the last ten minutes with ten-men, you’re still trying to get back into the game. We got caught with it.”

Collins said: “John Mahoney picked up the ball. He played Eisa in, great reverse ball and another great finish for his hat-trick. Three really god goals as well.

“We done what they done to us after the first goal. It was a case then of making sure that we locked up - breath taking!”

Collins paid tribute to the former Dartford striker for his contribution – and 12 goals so far this season.

“He’s been unbelievable to be fair, not just the goals but he’s come a long way since he joined us,” he said.

“His defensive work is something else at the moment. He’s really brought into that and that’s the pleasing thing. He’s completely a team player. It’s not all about himself. I know he gets all the plaudits but he’s a complete team player and he’s been unbelievable.”

Collins revealed that Sittingbourne manager Matt Wyatt has already submitted a seven-day approach for the player.

“That was a couple of weeks ago.  I let them speak to Eisa and he said he’s not interested.  He just wants to play and enjoy himself.

“He wants to go higher and we want him to go higher but we feel keep doing the right things here and at the end of the season you’ll have seven, eight, nine offers and you can have your pick.

“He’s enjoying himself at the minute and I said to him I don’t see any reason to change that.  He’s getting all the plaudits and people are talking about him.”

Beckenham Town should have equalised with a great chance from a corner.

Wilks swung in a corner from the left towards the near post where the unmarked Humphries guided his header straight at Gable from eight-yards.

But any chance that Beckenham had of getting back in to the game were ended when Wadmore picked up his second yellow card (for a foul on Palmer) with seven minutes remaining.

Both were asked their thoughts on the red-card incident.

Clews said: “We’re a bit disappointed with the sending off as well. It was probably a sending off with the two yellow cards he had in quick succession. He said he actually forgot that he got booked ten minutes before. I think he was a bit upset because there should have been a foul just before that for us and I think he went in a bit hot-headed.”

Collins added: “I think it was a booking and he should have been sent off but I think Beckenham are a bit aggrieved that there was a foul before that. I think it was two yellows and I don’t think they can have any complaints about that.”

Corinthian completed the scoring inside injury time after hitting Beckenham Town on the break.

Palmer released Nwitua through on goal and Nash came rushing out of his penalty area to make a block tackle on the striker, but Nwitua got the lucky break as the ball broke onto his right foot and he slotted his shot into the empty net.

Collins added: “I’m pleased for Nad. He was playing well and he got suspended.  Nad did all of the donkey work in the game against Beckenham last time and Brima (Daramy) came on and scored two goals and he’s kept his short so it’s nice that Brima has done all the donkey work and Nad’s come on and got a goal. He’s been patient. I’m pleased for Nad. He’s got a great attitude.”

Clews added: “Dean came out, he was off his line quickly and he’s tried to clear the lines but he’s made a block tackle with the forward and it’s just fell in his path and he’s slotted it home.  Not much you can do. We had three at the back. A centre half got caught to allow the lad to break through.  The left-back kept him onside. Unfortunately Dean’s not had a good clearance and it’s just hit him.”

Corinthian have banked £1,400 after winning two FA Vase ties.

“I’m well pleased.  We didn’t do well in The FA Cup. We were poor against Ringmer, which was disappointing so we’re trying to make up for it in The Vase,” said Collins.

“I’m really looking forward to going into the next round. I don’t know who we’ve got?

“It (the prize money) is nice for the chairman. They spoil us at the club. We’ve got tracksuits, training kit, they look after you so it’s a lovely club to work for. I’m pleased to get them a little bit of money.”

When asked about the next round, Collins said: “I know I’m being boring because I always say the same thing, we’ll take every game as it comes but I’m ambitious. I don’t see the point being in things if you don’t want to win them.

“In a Cup it’s the luck of the draw, isn’t it? We might get a favourable draw. We might draw the favourites in the next round.

“We’ve beaten Erith & Belvedere and Tunbridge Wells. We know on our day we can beat anyone. We’ve still got a lot to learn but we’re on a great little run so we’ll feel confident playing anyone.”

After winning four games to reach the Third Round last season, Clews was disappointed going out of the first hurdle.

He said: “We’re gutted about that because we know we can go quite far in this. We were looking to go far in the cup, this cup because it’s a cup we can go far or even win but obviously today’s performance is a bit disappointing that we’re out.”

Beckenham Town: Dean Nash, George Horne, Adam Wadmore, Nathan Paul, Jalloh Gassimu, Alfie Nunn, James Marshall (Jamie Gayle 77), Jamie Turner (Eddie Walker 68), Alex Wilks, Jamie Humphries, Travis Gregory.
Subs: Harry Draper, Frankie Warren, Danny Lawson

Goals: Jamie Turner 10, Jamie Humphries 31, 70

Booked: Adam Wadmore 71, Jamie Gayle 82, George Horne 87

Sent off: Adam Wadmore 83

Corinthian: Taylor Gable, Jack Billings (Adam Cooper 46), Tom Carlse, Jamie Billings (Michael Hagan 57), Marcus Evans, Miguel Pascal-Johnson, Nathan Palmer, Jack Mahoney, Brima Daramy (Nad Nwitua 64), Diego Da Silva, Mohammed Eisa.
Subs: Sam Hayes, Ryan Croucher

Goals: Mohammed Eisa 9, 25, 73 Diego Da Silva 21 (penalty), Nad Nwitua 90

Booked: Marcus Evans 45, Jack Mahoney 50

Attendance: 52
Referee: Mr Adam Bakalarz (Greenhithe)
Assistants: Mr Brian Woodhouse (Sittingbourne) & Mr Scott Waters (Sittingbourne)