Borden Village 3-4 Tudor Sports - We weren't good enough to stay up, admits Tudor Sports boss Marc Sandford

Saturday 21st May 2016
Borden Village 3 – 4 Tudor Sports
Location Woodstock Park, Broadoak Road, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 8AG
Kickoff 21/05/2016 14:00

NRG Gym Kent County League Premier Division
Saturday 21st May 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Woodstock Park

TUDOR SPORTS manager Marc Sandford says his relegated side have not been good enough this season despite impressing in their last game of the season.

The Sidcup-based outfit claimed only their fourth NRG Gym Kent County League Premier Division win of the season by coming away from Woodstock Park with an impressive 4-3 win over tenth-placed finishers Borden Village.

Tudor Sports raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes through winger  Joseph Adesina and Daniel Speed, before Borden Village pulled a goal back through winger Joe Sands.

Striker Speed slammed in his second free-kick of the game before Borden Village scored on the stroke of half-time through Steve Goldsmith’s flicked finish.

Speed slotted in his hat-trick with a twice taken penalty on the hour mark before substitute Ashley Taylor wrapped up the scoring in a thrilling, physical clash.

A physical Borden Village side had two players sent-off for picking up two yellow cards.  The first to go was diminutive left-back Billy Graham, while central midfielder Goldsmith was sent-off after the final whistle for showing dissent towards referee Daniel Barham.

“It was a good game to be fair. It was a tight game.  Yes, I don’t know what to say,” said Sandford after the game.

“We was good in the first half, the wind probably played its part. They came into it well. They missed a gilt-edged chance at the end that they could’ve got themselves a draw.

“It was a tight game, that’s about it really. They contested well. I thought they were a good side.”

When asked about his side’s impressive performance, Sandford replied: “We’ve been playing well since Christmas. We’ve just not been banging goals in. Today, we got goals.  Every game that we play, we’ve only been able to get one goal in front of anyone and they managed to peg us back.

“We’ve got eight draws in our campaign which on another day they could’ve been wins, it could’ve been three points.  Some teams that have lost the same amount of games as us have managed to stay up!”

Scott Teague, who has been in charge of the side following the suspension of their manager, said: “I was a little bit disappointed with our start. We were a bit unorganised and a bit shaky. Missed a couple of key players I think. Our normal central midfielder was in goal because our keeper wasn’t here today and Paul Teague, our central midfielder, was missing today but I thought the boys did alright.

“It was a close game really, we had opportunities to win it but we probably didn’t take them when we should’ve and (we conceded) a few sloppy goals.”

Tudor Sports ripped up the league table and put in a performance that didn’t show evidence that they were rooted to the foot of the table and getting relegated alongside Halstead United.

They were to be denied inside the opening four minutes.

Central defender Elliot Wright clipped a deep free-kick into the Borden Village penalty area, which was hooked back across goal by Jack French and the ball fell to Noah Adebayo, whose poked shot was destined to find the bottom corner, but for a strong left-hand by central-midfielder turned goalkeeper Samuel Brown.

Another chance fell Tudor Sports’ way when right-back Reece Machin released French down the right and his attempted chip was caught by the advancing Brown.

The busy Brown then smothered the ball at Speed’s feet after he was played in behind the sloppy Borden Village defence by Adesina’s fine pass.

Borden Village created a couple of chances but Ashley Baverstock’s first time drive sailed past the left-hand post from 25-yards before Matthew Cunningham fed striker George Latham who found Baverstock in space but his first time drive looped high, high, high over the crossbar from 15-yards.

Tudor Sports deservedly opened the scoring with 11 minutes and 20 seconds on the clock.

Striker Danny Jones, who swapped shirts with Wright just before the kick-off because of a tight fitting, played Adesina in behind the defence, beating the offside trap, skipped past the advancing Brown and swept his right-footed shot into the bottom near corner of an empty net from eight-yards.

“We did start the game well,” said Sandford.

“We probably ran out of legs a little bit but it’s to be expected I suppose, people carrying knocks and that late in the season when you’re playing two games a week, the players don’t always come through it.

“Nice finish, I thought. He went around the keeper and nearly missed it to be honest with you, yes, he done well.

“The pitch is one of the best pitches that we’ve played on for weeks. It was nice and flat, had a nice bit of grass on it. It’s been cut recently and we managed to knock the ball on it.”

Teague admitted: “Definitely not the greatest of starts! We looked a bit shaky at the back and really nervous and they didn’t compose themselves as well as they have done recently I’d say.

“It was just a bit of a mix-up at the back I thought. They sort of broke the offside, a communication mix-up and he’s took it well. He took it around the goalkeeper, he couldn’t really miss!”

Borden Village started poorly and they were thankful for Brown to smothering the ball at the feet of Adesina and Speed.

Speed swung in the away side’s first corner of the game but Frank Lodge came up from the back to plant his free header over the crossbar.

Borden Village managed to get a shot on target when Latham was fouled by Wright and Cunningham’s right-footed curling free-kick brought a comfortable save from Paul Agu, Bromley’s second-choice goalkeeper in Conference South in 2015.

But Tudor Sports deserved their two-goal lead, the second timed at 19 minutes and 37 seconds.

Adesina won the set-piece after being fouled by Goldsmith and Speed stepped up and stroked his right-footed 25-yard free-kick over the wall and the ball bounced into the bottom left-hand corner past the stranded keeper.

“Quite a good free-kick,” said Sandford, who added how he was feeling being deservedly 2-0 up, “About time! That’s it. Keep doing what we’re doing, we’re playing well.”

Teague added: “A free-kick on the edge of the box, you can’t really concede those sort of mistakes. He did well with the free-kick, up and over the wall and the goalkeeper’s probably was unsighted. It was a clever finish and the free-kick killed us.”

Teague admitted his players felt all they had to do was turn up to collect the three points.

“I was worried before the game started, just the fact that we’ll turn up and just walk about really and I think we did really,” he said.

“I made a change, one of the strikers George Latham had a knock, he was off the game so I brought Ashley Taylor on, he’s always going to fire the boys up.”

Borden Village gave themselves a lifeline by pulling a goal back, the goal timed at 31 minutes and 38 seconds.

Brown launched a big kick down towards the left channel and a mix-up between right-back Reece Machin and Elliot Wright let in Sands, who kept his composure to slot his right-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner when he only had Agu to beat.

Teague said: “That’s what Joe does really well, he does that all season. He’s just picked up on mistakes and he’s very, very quick so he knows where the back of the net is and when he gets half a chance he normally puts it away.

Sandford added: “We gave it didn’t we? We gave them a goal didn’t we? Our mistake gave them a goal so we let them back in the game.

“At the time they were down and we should’ve really put them to bed but we let them back in the game and made it tight, didn’t we?”

A back-peddling Agu denied Sands scoring from a right-footed chip after the winger sprinted down the left.

Daniel Hudson then swung in Borden Village’s first corner of the game but Baverstock’s downward header at the near post bounced wide.

Baverstock chopped down Adebayo as the winger cut in from the left but the ball came to Jones who flashed his driven shot just past the left-hand post from 20-yards.

Speed’s third corner of the game was powered past the post by Lodge’s towering free-header.

Tudor Sports increased their lead with their third goal in the 43rd minute.

Jones fed the impressive Adesina, who was chopped down by Thomas Bullock and Speed swept his right-footed free-kick from 25-yards into the wall, the ball bouncing into the bottom right-hand corner past a struggling keeper.

Sandford, who was a man of very few words, said: “Deflection, weren’t it? A big deflection. Yes, same, like a carbon copy weren’t it. Free-kick, same distance out, same side of the goal.”

Teague added: “It was another one, a free-kick through the wall. Basically someone in the wall has turned their back, it’s split between them and got a deflection. Other side of the goal, the goalkeeper’s got no chance. It’s disappointing because it should never go through a wall.”

But Borden Village showed character to pull a goal back just 189 seconds later following an eye-catching move down the right.

Taylor and Hudson linked up well with one-touch passing and Taylor cut the ball back from the by-line and Goldsmith ghosted in to flick his first time shot across Agu into the bottom far corner from six-yards.

Teague said: “Actually it was a fantastic goal. One of the better goals that we’ve had all season football wise. We played really well. It just shows when we work as a unit we can play some really good football, very happy with that.”

Sandford added: “It was a good goal, they put three or four accurate passes together, got a tap in, in the six-yard box. Finished it well the kid, didn’t he?”

Both managers were asked their thoughts at the break.

Teague said: “We went into the break, I’ve had a look at a few things and we brought off Nick Fuller so we swapped him with Jack Brown. I thought he looked composed on the ball second half and did well, shored it up a bit at the back and we also brought on Jay Law and we pushed Matthew Cunningham to the right just to give it a bit of spice, a bit of a battle and a bit of energy.”

Sandford added: “I think we were miles better than them in the first half. We were really good. We were a bit disappointed that we weren’t more in front but we weren’t. Maybe the wind helped us a bit.

“Like the second half, it was played that end a bit. It was probably a bit easier to get out of your defensive half but other than that it was a good first half. They battled hard in the first half, they were a physical team.”

Both sides were off-target inside the opening four minutes of the second half as Borden striker Hudson leaned back and skied his shot over from 25-yards, before French (a face double of Greenwich Borough striker Michael Power) hit a left-footed drive screaming wide from 30-yards.

Tudor Sports were awarded a penalty when Jones knock down put Adebayo through on goal and it appeared that goalkeeper Brown clattered into him.

Referee Mr Barham pointed to the spot and booked defender Jack Brown when the goalkeeper should have been sent off for a last-man foul.

Speed stepped up and slotted his right-footed penalty into the bottom corner, but the referee ordered a re-take and Speed kept his cool by placing his second attempt into the bottom right-hand corner on the hour.

Both managers were asked their thoughts on the foul.

Teague said: “I think we all thought that (was going to be a red-card) because the defender got clattered by our goalkeeper and he took the player out so if it’s a penalty, he’s got to go really.”

Sandford added: “I didn’t see it, I didn’t see it to be honest with you. I was talking to someone at the time, I didn’t see it, that’s my honest opinion of it.

“He actually took that penalty twice. He took it once, the ref pulled it back and he put it in the other side.”

Cunningham was close with a chip from the right corner of the penalty area which dropped agonisingly past the foot of the far post after Agu came rushing out.

Borden Village scored from a clever free-kick routine in the 65th minute to complete the scoring.

Cunningham, who was 30-yards from goal, spotted and found Sands in space inside the penalty area on the left-hand side and he played in a lovely ball which was guided across Agu into the far corner by Taylor from six-yards.

“It was a fantastic goal,” said Teague.

“It’s an example of the football we can play. Disguised free-kick, the ball’s down the line, ball across the box and an exquisite finish to tuck it away and put us back in the game and I thought with the momentum we were probably looking forward to get the equaliser.”

Sandford added: “Another good goal, they got didn’t they? Put a good ball into the box, finished it well.”

Brown pulled off a brilliant double save to deny both Adebayo and Speed as Borden Village players failed to deal with Tudor Sports’ pace and quality in the final third.

Teague said: “Considering the fact he’s a stand-in goalkeeper I thought he had an excellent first couple of saves. They were fantastic saves so yes he did very well. I wish he talked a bit more, that’s all.”

“Unexpected, they had very few chances second half I thought. They countered very well. We dropped a bit too deep actually. He did very well to perform the saves he did, considering he’s not normally a goalie, he’s a centre midfielder, skipper.”

Sandford admitted: “I can’t remember that incident to be honest with you. Do you know what? At times it was like the Alamo the way we were running through there but I can’t take that chance from another chance do you know what I mean?”

Taylor then curled his shot around the far post for Borden Village as an eighth-goal in this thrilling end-of-season game seemed likely.

It almost arrived in the final 22 minutes but Agu dived to his right to parry Sands’ driven shot and Taylor directed his diving header past the left-hand post.

Speed clipped a ball over Bullock’s head and Jones failed to get his chip on target, the ball going over the Borden Village crossbar.

But Agu pulled off a brilliant diving finger-tip save to his right to tip around Hudson’s curling shot from the corner of the penalty area which left the winger and his manager punching the deck in sheer agony.

Sandford said: “Their goalkeeper had a good game, he had a good game, he had a very good game. To be fair even our goalie’s made a lot of good saves at the end of the day, so keeper’s were kept in the game weren’t they?”

Teague added: “Fantastic save from the keeper. He showed good hands, really curled it into the top corner and the goalkeeper’s managed to get fingertips to turn it around.

“I was obviously gutted because that was the one, that was the one that would bring us back in the game.”

Borden Village peppered the Tudor Sports goal during the latter stages of the game.

Bullock’s right-footed drive from 30-yards went through a number of bodies and Agu saw the shot late and pulled off a fine low save to his right to keep hold of the ball.

Borden Village were reduced to ten-men with ten minutes left when Graham, the smallest player on the pitch, picked up his second yellow card for a lunge on Tudor substitute Joe Stone. 

Teague revealed he was disappointed with Graham’s pre-match preparation.

“I’m disappointed. I was a bit frustrated with Billy because I picked him up today, I know he hasn’t had the best preparation after last night so I think it showed today. I think his performance was below his normal standards. He can’t really argue with two yellow cards, he had to go!”

Sandford said: “He (Stone) flicked it wide and that was it and he was away and he made a challenge and brought him down. It was a booking all day.”

Tudor Sports went close through French’s drilled left-footed shot from 25-yards, which flashed past the left-hand post after the ball came out to him following Speed’s corner from the right.

Borden Village got in behind twice late on as Scott Forster whipped in a high-quality free-kick from the left which was hooked wide by Brown.

But only Cunningham will know how he failed to equalise in the final minute.

Substitute Jay Law released Sands down the left and he floated over a cross towards the far post which should have been headed in by the winger but somehow Cunningham guided his free header past the near post from a yard out, a head in hands moment for the player and his frustrated manager.

“He tells me it’s a defensive header, it’s a natural reaction,” said Teague.

“It’s a clear cut incident, a yard out, he should score! It’s flicked off his head, wide which is unbelievable! That was a chance and you know the nail’s in the coffin. We weren’t going to get back in now.”

Sandford added: “He should’ve got them a draw, shouldn’t he? If he headed it correctly, he tried to flick it in the post but he didn’t need to, he just needed to head it straight.

“It was a great move to be honest with you and the kid got on the end of it well but how he managed to get it wide of the post there, was a bit of a miracle really.”

The final whistle blew and referee Barham issued his second red card of the game as Goldsmith was shown his second yellow and then a red for dissent and faced Teague’s anger at the final whistle as both sides made their way towards the second-pitch dressing rooms.

Teague said: “It flabbergasts me really, two yellow cards both mouth, both for dissent. You cannot get away with and after the game you’re not going to change anything, the game’s done so it just frustrates me and to mouth me after just infuriates me. He should know better.”

Sandford admitted: “I didn’t see none of it to be honest with you mate, I walked away by then!”

Reflecting on their campaign, Sandford said: “Not good enough, was it? It weren’t good enough. Too many draws, weren’t good enough. Weren’t good enough up until Christmas we were dead and buried at Christmas.  We got so far behind, we’re left with 10 games to go and we’ve got to win eight, only one thing that can happen now (relegation).

“The aims of the club will be to come back, so good luck to them.”

Teague revealed the club will be looking for a new manager next season and reflecting on their tenth-place finish, he said: “Well, it depends. We’ve still got three points to come from Metrogas hopefully because they couldn’t field a side so it may push us up to seventh but it does depend on the league rules but the league will make their decision on that so we’ll see.

“Tenth is good considering where we were two months ago when we looked like we were going down. 

“We had a manager suspension and we lost a lot of players. Considering the fact that we had such a great start last year and we lost a manager at the start of the season we knew it was going to be tough.

“Last few weeks we’ve got us out the relegation battle. We’ve done admirably in the last six weeks.

“But overall I would say disappointing because of how well we did last year.  Looking at the league position, we we’ve done quite well to get out of where we are and probably exceeded expectations if we do finish up in seventh, which is crazy. If you asked us that two months ago, I would’ve bit your arm off.”

When asked about the Sittingbourne-based club’s aims for next season, Teague replied: “We want to win the league, that’s where we want to be.  We were top three last year and Faversham Strike Force came up and we beat them in a cup final last year and we beat them both times this season as well so it shows we’ve got the quality. It's just the consistency but we want to be winning that league.”

Borden Village: Samuel Brown, Scott Forster, Billy Graham, Steven Goldsmith, Thomas Bullock, Nick Fuller (Jack Brown 46), Joe Sands, Matthew Cunningham, George Latham (Ashley Taylor 21), Ashley Baverstock (Jay Law 46), Daniel Hudson.
Sub: Scott Teague

Goals: Joe Sands 32, Steve Goldsmith 45, Ashley Taylor 65

Booked: Billy Graham 34, Ashley Baverstock 39, Jack Brown 58

Sent Off: Billy Graham 80, Steven Goldsmith 90

Tudor Sports: Paul Agu, Norbert Osei, Reece Machin (Sam Head 46), Frank Lodge (Joe Stone 69), Elliot Wright, Jack French, Noah Adebayo (Ben Wilders 69), Fabio De Jesus, Danny Jones, Daniel Speed, Joseph Adesina.

Goals: Joseph Adesina 12, Daniel Speed 20, 43, 60 (penalty)

Booked: Noah Adebeyo 34, Daniel Speed 90

Attendance: 35
Referee: Mr Daniel Barham (Margate)
Assistants: Mr Barry Jeal (Gravesend) & Mr Paul Franks (Sittingbourne)

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