Bromley 7-0 Thamesmead Town - Hopefully we'll get over the line, says Bromley Academy manager Steve Baker
Bromley 7 – 0 Thamesmead Town
|Location||Priestfield Stadium, Redfern Avenue, Gillingham, Kent ME7 4DD|
BROMLEY 7-0 THAMESMEAD TOWN
The Football Conference Youth Alliance East Sussex/Kent Division
Wednesday 22nd April 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane
BROMLEY Academy manager Steve Baker says his title-chasing side have had a productive week at Hayes Lane.
The Bromley Blues side have enjoyed playing two games on the 3G pitch at the back of Hayes Lane this week.
They thrashed bottom-of-the-table Margate 12-1 on Monday, the Long Lane based outfit have now conceded an embarrassing 160 goals in 18 league games.
Bromley followed that up to thrash second-from-bottom Thamesmead Town 7-0, which ensures that the Mead have now leaked an embarrassing 127 goals in their 20 league outings.
Bromley remain at the top of The Football Conference Youth Alliance East Sussex/Kent Division with 54 points with one game left and while Dover Athletic (52 points) and Ebbsfleet United (46 points) can no longer win the league but fourth-placed Maidstone United (44 points), with three games remaining, can still snatch the league title on goal-difference.
Bromley dominated from start to finish on a sunny and windy day, racing into a 3-0 lead inside the opening 31 minutes through Matt Bennett and two from striker Nicholas Johnson, who completed his hat-trick just before the hour.
Jack White capped off his man-of-the-match performance with a stunning goal to score Bromley’s fifth before Jason Bloor and substitute Eden Dewar-Douglas completed the rout.
Baker was pleased with his side’s seventeen-league win of the season as the club bids to complete a Conference double after Mark Goldberg’s first team squad sealed the Vanarama Conference title on Bromley’s Greatest Day last Saturday after beating Weston-super-Mare 3-0 at Hayes Lane.
“It’s a good performance. We’ve got a really good squad of players together this year,” said Baker.
“We’ve had two games this week as well so it was good to have another good performance. To score seven and it was important to keep a clean sheet as well. They’ve had a productive week with six points so they’ve done well.
“I know it’s Margate’s first year of their programme so it’s always difficult to play two games in three days, even when you’ve got a decent squad so to get the points and rack up a few goals in the process, especially when there’s a bit of pressure on the boys at the moment, is important.”
Thamesmead Town’s manager Adam Mounder said: “Well, it’s still a learning curve for the boys. It’s still a development. They’re still first years’ so the idea is to work towards next season but it was a poor performance today.
“We kept losing the ball, turning it over, not defending, the whole lot really so we’ve got a lot to work on but we’re looking forward next season.
“You could see the difference between Bromley and us,” admitted the Norwich City and Greenwich Borough coach.
“I think they’re (Bromley) all second years’ so you can see the difference between first years and seconds.
“Their movement off the ball and on the ball, just everything, they’re all round play really.”
Thamesmead Town put in a spirited display when the scores were level and central defender Ezekiel Alade played the ball into striker George Jeffery, who drilled his right-footed shot high over the post from 20-yards.
Bromley’s opening chance arrived inside four minutes when skipper Jordan Higgs released Johnson down the right, who skipped past Thamesmead keeper Tiawo Aliu to centre for Bloor, whose shot was blocked on the edge of the six-yard box.
Higgs then played the ball inside for Albert Caton to hit a first time right-footed shot straight at Tiawo Aliu from eighteen-yards.
The crossbar saved Thamesmead Town as Bromley looked certain to open the floodgates inside ten minutes.
Striker Johnson was freed down the right and he whipped in a low cross which slid off the artificial turf towards the far post, which saw Bloor lay the ball back for Matt Bennett to crack a left-footed hooked volley smashing against the crossbar from sixteen-yards.
Baker said: “Matt played well today. He’s been in and out a little bit. He started last week and came off with sunstroke funnily enough but he’s done well this week. He’s got quality, he’s got a good left-foot, delivers a good cross in the box and I’m glad he got his goal today.”
Bromley’s left-back Conal O’Leary whipped in a free-kick but White’s diving header from six-yards flashed across goal and just past the far post.
Taiwo Aliu rushed off his line towards the left corner of his penalty area to instinctively catch a flicked shot from Bromley’s right-winger Caton.
But Bromley finally opened the scoring with 14:08 on the clock.
Talented central midfielder White played a sublime diagonal to find Caton on the right who played a cross across the face of goal and Bennett ghosted in at the far post to simply tap the ball into the bottom left-hand corner from two-yards.
It seemed pointless to go through each of the seven goals that Thamesmead shipped in.
Mounder added: “Seven to remember, I can’t remember all of them! I’m trying to remember the first one!”
Baker certainly remembered, saying: “Tap-in but he was at the right place and that’s where you want your wide players attacking the far post when the balls come in from the opposite side.”
White whipped in a free-kick into the Thamesmead penalty box but Higgs screamed out in agony as he planted his free-header wide from sixteen-yards.
Bromley right-back Theo Newton clipped the ball into the Thamesmead box where Bloor nipped in front of the advancing keeper to hook his right-footed shot past the near post.
Bromley doubled their lead with 29:27 on the clock when O’Leary’s cross from the left was stabbed into the bottom left-hand corner by Johnson.
Baker said: “Conal’s been good all year. He’ll certainly be up there for contender for player-of-the-year. He’s really improved.
“It was a good goal and Nick’s got three today. He’s getting himself into the right areas, getting himself in the box and making sure he’s getting in front of players and getting on the end of things.”
Bromley raced into a 3-0 lead just 54 seconds later when Caton looped in a cross from the left and Johnson’s free-header from six-yards looped over the keeper and dropped into the far corner.
Baker said: “Albert’s second assist and a good header from Nick, going back across the goalkeeper, which is the right technique to use in that situation.”
Mounder admitted: “I said to Steve (Baker) before the kick-off, once we concede one or two our heads seem to go down.
“At the start of the season there were four or five games when we conceded 50 goals and we’ve been working on defensive (play). We haven’t been worried about the final third, we’ve been worrying about the defending third.
“It showed last week against Ebbsfleet (when we lost) 6-0 and we lost to Ebbsfleet at home 14-0 so we’re trying to show improvements and that’s what we’ve been working on at the moment.”
Thamesmead Town created an opening in the 39th minute when Abdul Koroma broke down the right and Jeffery got involved in the box to set up Tiago Silva, who poked his shot past the near post.
Johnson should have scored when he sliced his near post shot across the face of goal and behind after Bloor latched onto a poor clearance from Thamesmead defender Chris Farrell.
Bromley created the final chance of the first half when O’Leary’s throw dropped at Higgs’ feet, the midfielder hitting a right-footed angled drive which was palmed around the post by Tiawo Aliu’s outstretched right-hand.
“What can we say, he’s unorthodox,” Mounder said of his keeper.
“He’s getting there so he lets in more but he also pulls off so many saves as well. He’s got a lot to work on. He’s an unorthodox goalkeeper but he does keep us in games. He pulls off some saves but again he’s learning as well.”
Mounder added: “The main thing we said to them this week and the last couple of weeks was to show a bit of character, carry on working for each other and don’t worry about the score.
“We’re trying to develop them into better players. A lot of them don’t play 11-a-side-football. They come from the street, street background football and the idea is to try to develop those players and it’s going to take time.
“I said to them to keep going, keep working and you can play right through the 90 minutes. Don’t worry about the score really and that’s the key really.”
Baker revealed what he said to his players during the half-time break out on the pitch.
“Just to sustain the level of their performance. Thamesmead were competitive so to make sure we carried on competing with them and not let the levels drop and make sure we’re tight when we haven’t got the ball and make sure we add to the scoreline!
Bromley created the first chance of the second half after 52 minutes when Higgs played the ball into Bennett, whose left-footed shot was poked just wide of the post.
Higgs received a pass from Caton and his right-footed drive deflected wide from 20-yards and from O’Leary’s resulting corner, Johnson’s far post header went wide.
Johnson netted his hat-trick in the 58th minute.
Bloor played the ball inside to Bennett, who stroked his left-footed shot from 20-yards, which was spilt by Tiawo Aliu and Johnson gobbled up the gift to roll the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.
Bloor released Bennett down the left who played a clever low centre in behind Farrell at the near post but Johnson missed the chance and poked his shot past the foot of the near post.
Bromley keeper Bradley Morgan pulled off the Save of the Season in the 68th minute.
Thamesmead Town substitute Darren Holland played the ball into Abdul Joroma who was given time and space to unleash a stunning right-footed drive from 30-yards, which was destined to scream into the top right hand corner.
But Morgan flew high to his left to produce a brilliant save to tip the ball around his post.
Mounder certainly remembered Thamesmead’s brightest moment of the game.
“Top corner. A nice little set-up, played into the guys’ feet and he’s had the shot and that’s what we tell them to do. We want them to do more things like that and they don’t do enough of that.”
Baker added: “We spoke to Brad at half-time and the goalkeeping coach always makes sure he’s on his toes. As a goalkeeper if you’re in a game like that it’s important to keep your focus because you’re going to be called upon at some point and he made two good saves today, two really good saves. His distribution for a keeper was very good as well, which gives us another skill set that we can use.”
Morgan also plays for Southern Counties East Football League side Cray Valley, which is important for youngsters at a higher league club.
“Once the boys enter their second-year in the Academy it’s important that they get some senior experience and start experiencing some senior football and we find them other local senior clubs to get them some game time.”
Bromley’s impressive striker Bloor was put through on goal, only to roll his shot past the far post when he only had the Mead keeper to beat.
White produced a brilliant goal in the 71st minute to cap off his man-of-the-match performance.
The talented midfielder swept a right-footed volley on the turn from 25-yards, which sailed over the keeper into the top far corner to give Bromley a commanding 5-0 lead.
“The boys’ actually voted Jack man-of-the-match,” revealed Baker.
“Jack’s really good. We like Jack, he’s a clever player. He positions himself well, had a good game and he’s got that quality and the brain to spot the keeper was nowhere to be seen – it was a great finish!”
Taiwo Aliu used his outstretched left hand to prevent Bloor from scoring, before Thamesmead Town’s second shot on target arrived in the 75th minute.
Jeffery cracked a first time right-footed shot from 30-yards, which was destined for the top right-hand corner, but Morgan once again dived to his left to push the ball around the post.
Mounder said: “If you look at him (Jeffery) and all of the other players’, you can see the difference between him and the others because he plays for Greenwich Borough, so he plays in a regular side so I expect more from him.”
Bromley tucked home their sixth goal of the game with nine minutes left.
Bloor played in striker Dewar-Douglas down the right and the Mead keeper came off his line to make a smart block.
Billy Carter picked up the loose ball and centred for Bloor, who dinked his shot from 15-yards across the keeper, rolling the ball into the bottom far corner for a deserved goal.
Baker said: “I was glad Jason got a goal today because he always works hard, probably could have had another couple. When you’re in that position you’ve got to finish across the keeper in the corner.
“Jason’s been really good this year as well. He’s scored a lot of goals. He’s a very clever player. He’s got a very good brain and he travels well with the ball.”
Bromley went route one when they made it seventh heaven in the last four minutes.
Keeper Morgan’s long ball saw his right-back Newton release Caton, who played the ball to Dewar-Douglas, who skipped past Taiwo Aliu, took a touch before drilling his shot into an empty net from ten-yards.
“It was a good team move that one,” said Baker.
“It was good passage of play and we know at the club that Eden’s got bags of quality. He’s very quick, playing on the shoulder and he knows where the goal is so it was nice for Eden to come on and get one.
“He got four on Monday so he’s had a very good week.”
Bloor sent his right-footed chip narrowly over the bar whilst under pressure before Taiwo Aliu gathered the ball at Higgs’ feet.
A centre circle clash between Carter and Silva saw the ball go up towards the edge of the Bromley box but the impressive Jeffery curled his right-footed free-kick agonisingly around the far post.
Thamesmead Town travel to Maidstone United on Friday, before completing their campaign at home to Lewes on Wednesday 29 April.
Mounder said: “It’s going to be interesting! We lost to Maidstone at home 8-0 or I think it was 7-0.
“For the boys it’s playing in Maidstone’s stadium. It’s going to be difficult for them but we’ll be saying about the same things, work-rate, work for each other, try to keep the ball. We’ll see what happens.
“I’m looking for a good performance. It’s all we want really. Ideally some points but what we’re looking at is the last game. That’s the main one. The Maidstone game is to get a good performance really.”
But Mounder’s job is to produce players for Terry Spillane’s Ryman League Division One North first team squad in the longer term.
He said: “The thing is all about development. If we can get them developed, the idea is to get them through to the first team, that’s the key.”
Bromley travel to Ebbsfleet United, hoping Maidstone United slip up against Thamesmead Town, Eastbourne Borough and Crystal Palace.
The Stones are favourites to grab the title away from Bromley, who won the title in 2010 for the first time under Murray Jones.
Baker said: “I think that means Dover and Ebbsfleet after today’s results can’t win it but Maidstone can possibly still pip us on goal difference. We know they’re really strong and have a big chance of winning their remaining games and will probably have a stronger goal-difference when it comes to it.
“We’ll go to Ebbsfleet and hopefully get at least a point, we’ll go for the three but hopefully we’ll get at least one and get over the line.
“It’s a really tough league this year. There’s six or seven teams who are all very strong with established programmes and it’s been the toughest league.
“Thamesmead and Margate are in their first year of their Academy programmes. It’s always tough, the first year, especially when there’s so many good sides in there as well.”
Bromley: Bradley Morgan, Theo Newton, Conal O’Leary, Jack White (Oscar Cotting-McMillan 77), Billy Carter, Dwight Barnett, Albert Caton, Jordan Higgs, Nicholas Johnson (Eden Dewar-Douglas 65), Jason Bloor, Matt Bennett (Kai Brewster 79).
Subs: Ayo Thompson, Josh Dowding, Tobi Akemi, Charlie Wooton
Goals: Matt Bennett 15, Nicholas Johnson 30, 31, 58, Jack White 71, Jason Bloor 81, Eden Dewar-Douglas 86
Booked: Oscar Cotting-McMillan 90
Thamesmead Town: Tiawo Aliu, Kyle Hyland (Darren Holland 46), Kehinde Aliu, Chris Farrell (Omar Gordon 66), Dayvon Jones, Ezekiel Alade, Billy Hogan, Abdul Koroma, Tiago Silva, George Jeffery, Alex Rolfe.
Sub: Isaac Robinson
Booked: Billy Hogan 43
Referee: Mr Rob Williams (Beckenham)
Assistants: Mr Nick Fruin (Hayes) & Mr Derek Peck (Bexleyheath)