Bridon Ropes 5-1 Gravesham Borough - We just have to make sure we're still in with the running, says Gravesham Borough boss Kevin Hake

Wednesday 10th February 2016
Bridon Ropes 5 – 1 Gravesham Borough
Location Meridian Sports & Social Club, 110 Charlton Park Lane, Charlton, London SE7 8QS
Kickoff 10/02/2016 19:45

Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League
Wednesday 10th February 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Charlton Park Lane

BRIDON ROPES manager Mark Murison hailed his players after going out and delivering a shock result against Gravesham Borough.

Both sets of players and the match officials had to get changed in the dark after a powercut plunged the clubhouse at the Meridian Sports & Social Club into darkness for 40 minutes although the floodlights outside were not affected.

Bridon Ropes’ 11th league win of the season keeps them in ninth-place in the Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League table tonight on 36 points from 21 games, while Gravesham Borough remain in sixth on 40 points from 20 games – 11 points adrift of leaders Glebe and Sheppey United, who occupy the two promotion places.

Bridon Ropes got off to a flying start by taking the lead after only 171 seconds through a stunning volley from Jacob Marinus De-Vries, who only started the game following Justin Gould picking up a knock during the warm-up.

Winger Taylor Bowley slotted in a second, before striker Nick Dunsdon scored a contender for goal-of-the-season with a sublime 30-yard lob as the Charlton-based hosts went in at the break with a three-goal lead.

Left-back John Woodcock capped a man-of-the-match performance by shinning in the fourth, before substitute striker Abel Olatungi lashed in a fifth goal on 61 minutes.

A poor Gravesham Borough scored a consolation goal through striker Dean Bradshaw’s 22nd goal of the season.

“It was a good game,” said Murison, who added: “The boys went out there and delivered.

“We’ve been working hard in training over the last couple of months to press teams and tonight was a really good showing. We didn’t let any of their boys have any moment on the ball.

“Once we went 1-0 up for 5-10 minutes there we dropped off a little bit and I felt we was letting them back into the game but then after that we got back into it.

“Yes, it was a really good result and finally our performance have produced a result because we’ve had some great results but we’ve not really smashed a team and to come out here and win 5-1 finally by finishing is a good thing, a good step for the future.”

Gravesham Borough manager Kevin Hake admitted it was a poor night for his team.

“Obviously we’ve made improvements over the season but there’s a way to go,” he said after his side’s fourth league defeat of the season.

“We’ve got further improvements to make. We need to make improvements. We’ve made progress this season but look, it’s a work in progress.

“Obviously a 5-1 defeat is not great but scorelines happen sometimes, these things happen.

“You get results in football and you have to take it. That’s why we love the game so much.

“Just when you think you’ve cracked it you go and get hammered 5-1!  We don’t take it too personally, it’s life you know.”

Bridon Ropes made a dream start to the game by taking the lead with their first raid.

Dean Gould – who was soon forced off through injury after colliding with goalkeeper Ollie Dewey – was released down the right and skipped past the keeper but dwelled on the ball and allowed Gravesham Borough to get bodies back.

The ball rolled out to Woodcock, who whipped in a cross which was headed out to De-Vries, who cracked a stunning left-footed volley, which screamed into the left-hand corner from 16-yards.

“Good strike from Jacob,” said Murison.

“He came in a little bit late. He wasn’t here at the start of the season. He came over, started training a little bit and he’s come on so much because we brought him in probably around September time.

“I think he’s come on leaps and bounds and he’s getting stronger and quicker and he’s adding goals to his game now so that’s eight now that he’s scored in cups and league so he’s becoming a valuable member of the team.”

Hake added: “It doesn’t help when you don’t get off to a good start especially it takes everyone to give up their work and get here for the game.

“When you concede an early goal like that everything they did has gone in tonight. Everything we did hasn’t gone in tonight, that’s football.”

Bridon Ropes’ goalkeeper Jack Turner was virtually a spectator during a one-sided first half but his sliced clearance went straight to Bradshaw, who lacked composure and should have done better than to slice his shot behind for a goal-kick.

Gravesham Borough also should have done better with their first corner after 23 minutes.

Set-piece specialist, right-back Dan Nash, made a signal by raising both of his hands in the air before swinging the ball in towards the near post but central defender Lee Garlinge lacked direction with his header as it sailed across goal and the home side were able to clear their lines.

A big kick straight down the middle by visiting keeper Dewey was cut back by Bradshaw into Oscar Saxton’s path but his right-footed shot sailed harmlessly wide from 25-yards. 

Bridon Ropes doubled their lead with 25:45 on the clock.

Impressive Woodcock produced a sublime left-footed pass which cut open Andy Pierce and Garlinge to put Bowley through on goal and he got the ball from underneath his feet to stroke his first time right-footed drive into the bottom left-hand corner from 22-yards.

Murison said: “It’s nice actually because Taylor has been playing brilliantly! He’s absolutely quality but he’s been lacking a little bit in front of goal. He’s been having a bit of a moment where every time he has a shot he’s either unlucky, the keeper’s pulling off great saves or he’s just putting it wide.

“To get it out of his feet and slot it straight past the keeper, it was a really good neat finish.

“It’s good for him because that will give him a confidence boost because everything else in his game has been outstanding. The way he addresses his energy on the ball, if he can add some goals he’ll be a talent.”

Hake admitted Bridon Ropes were by far the better side on the night.

“I thought Bridon Ropes were value for money tonight. I thought they deserved the victory. They turned up, everything they hit went in and everything we didn’t go in really.

“There’s not much to say after you get beat 5-1 like that!”

Nash floated in a free-kick into the Bridon Ropes’ penalty area but central midfielder George Snelling ghosted in to drill a low shot just past the foot of the near post.

Murison added: “I can’t remember Jack having a shot to save, a couple of shots from distance - but they didn’t trouble us.”

Woodcock produced another sublime pass to release substitute Olatungi down the left and he cut the ball inside for Dunsdon to roll his shot into Dewey’s hands from just outside the Gravesham box.

Dunsdon produced a brilliant third goal for Bridon Ropes with 36:40 on the clock.

Shane Uings gave the ball away to the Bridon striker who took a touch before producing a moment of pure quality, on the right-hand side, a right-footed chip from 30-yards that sailed over Dewey’s head into the roof of the net.

Murison said: “It was actually a bit of a press. They had a throw-in and Taylor pressed their left-back into the position we wanted him to be in.   Abel cut off the supply and the player played it straight to Abel. A little bit fortunate in a sense and ricochet off his knee into Nick’s path but we pressed high and that’s what happens sometimes.

“You get the luck of the roll of the ball if you press high.

“Nick, it’s a brilliant finish. He’s a quality player, we know that. He’s probably scored three or four this year that are challenging for goal-of-the-season for Bridon. He keeps pulling them out. He doesn’t seem to score easy ones Nick.”

Hake added: “Fantastic finish! Sometimes defenders give the ball away but the guy goes and shoots from 30-yards into top bins. Sometimes you have to take your hat off and say it’s not your night!”

Gravesham Borough’s left-back Karlton Blake won the ball inside the Bridon half and fed the ball into Jordan Greaves, who set up Bradshaw, whose right-footed drive sailed over the crossbar from 20-yards.

Honest play by De-Vries, when he could have gone down when his shirt was pulled by the last defender, and he stayed on his feet before laying the ball out to Olatungi, whose shot sailed over the crossbar from the right-hand side of the box.

Murison said: “Jacob was running through on goal and was probably a bit honest, which is fine.  I would never ask my players to dive or anything!

“But he was getting tugged all the way, the player was last man but he did the right thing, he did the honest thing and played it into Abel and to be quite honest it should’ve been four and he’s put it over the bar.”

Bridon Ropes’ brilliant first half performance saw them go into the upstairs dressing room with a commanding and well-deserved three-goal lead.

“The only negative of that first half apart from five minutes after the first goal when we decided to drop deep for some reason was the fact that we just couldn’t get the fourth,” said Murison.

“We talked a little bit because there was a couple of things that I weren’t happy with.

“A couple of times players were out of position so we had a little bit of a re-organisation on certain parts of our game but overall it was positive, go and get the fourth before they get back in the game.

“I could not see at that point, knowing Gravesham are going to make some changes and I thought they might to a little bit more attacking and we’ve got to be prepared or that as well so just planning for all sort of circumstances that they could throw at us, to put us in the best position to get the fourth.”

Hake revealed he had a glimmer of hope that his side could stage a dramatic comeback - but on his side’s first half performance that was unlikely.

“Don’t give up. We don’t give up. You sort of keep on going until the end, like we always do,” he said.

“Even when you pull a goal back on 70 minutes, we’ve done it before, we came back against Seven Acre & Sidcup and scored four goals in the last 15 minutes and you think here we go again.

“Bradshaw had a chance. If he could’ve got the second one back in, who knows?

“To be fair, 5-0 down with 20 minutes to go is some comeback but that would be one for the record books.”

Gravesham Borough came out early for the second half, but it was Bridon Ropes that got off to a dominant start.

Woodcock swung in a corner from the right, which was headed back to him by the first defender, but Dewey made a comfortable low save at his near post to deny the player who on tonight’s impressive performance will alert clubs in the league above.

Bowley cracked a right-footed drive from 35-yards, which dipped just over the Gravesham Borough crossbar, before Bridon Ropes netted their fourth in the 56th minute.

Dunsdon swung in a corner from the left which was cleared away, only as far as Woodcock lurking on the edge of the penalty area.

He danced into the penalty area, leaving three Gravesham players in his wake and showed more desire to shin his shot into the bottom left-hand corner.

“Funny goal that one,” admitted the Bridon Ropes manager.

“John was brilliant today. Going forward he’s such a threat and we’re working hard on him on his defensive duties and he’s getting so much better as well.

“He did deserve his goal. A bit fortunate probably but he was in the right place.

“He kept bundling himself through. It was one of them, every time they went to clear the ball he’s just got a touch before them and he’s knocked it past three of them. 

“It probably wasn’t the sweetest finish in the world, he short of shinned it really but that’s all you need when you’re in front of goal, just get something on it and normally nine times out of ten it will go in.”

When asked about Woodcock’s man-of-the-match performance, Murison added: “John has been a quality player for us. He can play in a couple of positions as well, so he’s an option either at left-back or left-wing. He’s having a great season.”

Hake added: “Three-nil down, I’m the type of manager who is always going to go for it and sometimes it’s going to come off and you’re going to get the plaudits and you’re going to win 4-3, or you’re going to concede further goals like we did tonight.

“You’ve always got to gamble. I’m not going to settle for a game and think it’s done until it’s done really.”

Bridon Ropes completed their scoring in the 61st minute with a fine goal on the break.

Bowley released Dunsdon down the right and he was given time and space by Blake and Garlinge to whip in a cross towards the far post for Olatungi to ghost in to lash his shot into the roof of the net.

“Good finish by Abel, he deserved it,” said Murison.

“He’s come back to the fold. He was around at the start of the season and one of those players unfortunately where things kept coming up. He couldn’t quite commit to training or to the club and he rang me probably a month ago and really wanted to commit back.

“He’s been phenomenal in training so got him back into the first team fold and he’s put in a hell of a lot of effort.  I had to sub him off later because he put in so much effort and he hasn’t played a lot of football and he’s run himself into the ground really.

“He deserved a goal. Tireless effort sometimes pays off.”

Hake added: “Good move. It caught us on the break, we’re pushing, we’re pushing bodies forward chasing the game. These things happen.

“The second half performance was arguably better than the first but look sometimes it’s your night. Tonight it isn’t your night, its football.”

To their credit, Gravesham Borough rallied in the final 25 minutes as Bridon Ropes saw that their excellent night’s work was over.

Star-striker Danny Hockton, 37, came off the bench to power his free-kick into the defensive wall, before Gravesham Borough scored a consolation with 20 minutes left.

Nash floated in a deep free-kick from the right, which was headed across goal by Garlinge and the defence allowed Bradshaw to turn and hook his shot into the bottom right-hand corner from inside a crowded area.

Hake hailed his star-striker by saying, “He’s done it all season. It’s great that we’ve got him but on another night he could’ve scored four or five so it wasn’t his night, it wasn’t our night.”

Murison added: “Disappointed. I’ve had a chat about that at the end of the game. Not happy about that at all! Poor defending, didn’t attack the first cross and then just stood off and allowed him to do his thing.

“He’s a good player, I know he scores a lot of goals in this league but anyone can score a lot of goals if you give him that much time on the ball in the area. It’s just not good enough!

“Maybe being 5-0 up the players switched off a little bit.  The last 20-30 minutes was disappointing really. In the end it got to the point we just had to do a little bit of game management.”

Bradshaw, who was now playing out on the right wing, whipped in a cross towards the far post which was met on the volley by Blake, the ball screaming just over the crossbar.

Murison added: “They scored a goal, one thing you don’t want to do when a team scores a goal is concede another one straight away.”

Despite leaking in five goals, Dewey pulled off a brilliant save to deny Bridon Ropes a sixth.

Dunsdon cut the ball inside to Bowley, who unlashed a left-footed dipping drive that was destined for the top corner, but a diving Dewey stuck out a hand to palm the ball over the crossbar.

Hake said: “It’s a great save, a great save! I don’t think it’s an awful lot he could’ve done about any of the goals tonight to be fair and he did pull off a great save towards the end there.”

“Brilliant save! As soon as it got struck I was right behind Taylor’s foot, it was going top bins, top bins in the corner,” said Murison.

“Suddenly I saw this hand come out of nowhere and pull off this unbelievable save.

“Sometimes that happens. You just have to give it to that keeper for a quality save. To be fair to him he’s a good keeper and sometimes it’s difficult when you’ve had five past you to stay switched on and he was fair play to him.”

Hockton cut the ball back from the right by-line, the ball was missed by Oliver Hickman but Bradshaw couldn’t capitalise on getting a shot away from 12-yards.

Bridon midfielder Adam Saunders went close with a right-footed dipping drive after the ball came out to him following Dunsdon’s corner from the left.

Gravesham Borough registered a shot on target at the death.

Substitute Sam Gordon pumped a long free-kick into the Bridon penalty area and the ball was hooked away for George Snelling to shoot straight at spectator Turner, who made a routine catch.

Gravesham Borough host eighth-placed Lydd Town on Saturday, Liam Smith’s side thrashed fourth-placed Bearsted tonight.

“Looking forward to that as they’ve done Bearsted 4-0 tonight,” quipped Hake.

“We’ll always give a good account of ourselves, we’re unbeaten at home so far this season but I’ll be looking for a reaction on Saturday.

“These are the games you want to be involved in.

“Bridon have come on well of late, I know they took Glebe to extra-time on Saturday. Glebe are a decent team. It’s all there. We just need to make sure we’re still in with the running.

Gravesham then host Sheppey United next Wednesday, a side that climbed two places into second place tonight as striker Andy Constable, 37, scored four goals in their home 6-0 win over Kent Football United.

Gravesham Borough return to Bridon Ropes to play them in the Challenge Trophy Quarter-Final on 20 February.

Hake said: “I don’t want to lose 5-1! I’m sure it will be a different case and I think even their manager knows his team had a great night and we had an off night so I can’t see a repeat performance of that.

“I’ve got a decent set of lads here. They’re as gutted as what I am. There was not an awful lot you could say in the dressing room after a defeat like that. They’re gutted. They’re going to go away and think about their own performance as I will.

“Look, we’ll look at our own performances, everyone will, after a defeat like that. It’s very hard not to take it to heart. I’ve been in the game a long time and realise you do get results like that. It’s just how you react from it and I’ll be looking for a reaction from myself, my players and we move on.”

Bridon Ropes travel to fifth-from-bottom Crockenhill, who confirmed on Monday that manager Liam Kelly has stepped down and has been replaced by his assistant John Bourke.

Murison said: “I only heard about that today, I don’t know what’s happened with Liam. We heard that he’s decided to step down. I don’t really know, that doesn’t bother me. I don’t really care about what goes on with other clubs.

“For us, it’s no different. We’re going there with the same philosophy. I’ve got a typical way I want my boys to play and we need to perform and if we do perform how we should we will get the three points.

“The only way we won’t get the three points is if the lads switch off or allow silly mistakes to creep into their game.”

Bridon Ropes: Jack Turner, Oliver Hickman, John Woodcock, Matt Dennis, Kemel Chakarto, James Doherty, Taylor Bowley, Adam Saunders, Dean Gould (Abel Olatungi 17, Oliver Soulsby 81)), Nick Dunsdon, Jacob Marinus De-Vries (Eamon Gaughan 81).
Sub: Kieran Fanner

Goals: Jacob Marinus De-Vries 3, Taylor Bowley 26, Nick Dunsdon 37, John Woodcock 56, Abel Olatungi 61

Booked: Matt Dennis 69

Gravesham Borough: Ollie Dewey, Dan Nash, Karlton Blake, George Snelling, Andy Pierce, Lee Garlinge, Shane Uings (Danny Hockton 58), Chris Carcary (Sam Gordon 46), Dan Bradshaw, Jordan Greaves, Oscar Saxton (Keelan Mooney 46).
Subs: Jeffrey Omergie, Lee Challis

Goal: Dan Bradshaw 70

Booked: Lee Garlinge 60

Attendance: 30
Referee: Mr Dan Doyle (Walderslade)
Assistants: Mr Anthony Andrews (Erith) & Mr Jamie Eacott (Walderslade)