Colliers Wood United 0-2 K Sports - The lads have got to keep their feet on the ground, says K Sports boss Kris Browning

Saturday 09th September 2017
Colliers Wood United 0 – 2 K Sports
Location Wibbandune Stadium, Robin Hood Way, West Wimbledon, London SW20 0AA
Kickoff 09/09/2017 15:00

The Buildbase FA Vase First Qualifying Round
Saturday 9th September 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Wibbandune Stadium

K SPORTS manager Kris Browning says his players must keep their feet on the ground after causing a shock win on their FA Vase debut.

Colliers Wood United rose to fourth-place in the Combined Counties League Premier Division table after Dean Ennor’s side defeated Guildford City here 1-0 courtesy of Mario Embalo’s seventh goal of the season on Wednesday night and they went into this game with a 100% home league record after three games.

Aylesford-based K Sports, meanwhile, arrived at the Wibbandune Stadium in the top-five in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division and came away with a battling 2-0 victory.

Striker Caine Smith, 23, went down in K Sports’ history books by scoring their first ever FA Vase goal with only 10 minutes and 41 seconds on the clock, to score his fourth goal of the season.

K Sports sealed a home tie against Abbey Rangers in the Second Qualifying Round, courtesy of a composed penalty from substitute Jason Perry, 82 seconds into time added on at the end of the game to wrap up the victory.

“Really just over the moon really to be honest with you,” said Browning after his players earnt the club £550 in FA prize money.

“To even be here today in this Cup, really pleased, just delighted for the lads.

“We had them watched, we’ve done our homework on them.  It’s the sort of style that we enjoy playing against. They knocked it around and do their diagonal balls so we had a game plan and obviously it paid off.

“Barry Fenn (our kit-man) who caught the train up from Maidstone, watched them to do a scouting job for us and it’s priceless.  He kind of picked the side for me in my mind so to have somebody like that and everything else, it’s just how the club is.  People are willing to do bits and bobs, the feedback, pushing the club forward.”

Referee Panos Fellas set the tone for an embarrassing poor performance when he and his two assistants pulled up into the car park at 14:32 for a 15:00 kick-off.

A science teacher, he needs to sit down in a classroom and understand the Laws of the game as a number of his decisions during the game were baffling!

Colliers Wood United were keen to play diagonal balls in behind K Sports’ left full-back Jack Acourt, as K Sports’ makeshift back four and debutant goalkeeper Rhys Coates were kept on their toes during the early exchanges.

Cedric Abraham, who played as the lone striker in the first half before dropping back into his natural position at the heart of Colliers Wood’s centre of defence after the interval, had the first chance after only 98 seconds but he chipped his right-footed free-kick over the crossbar from 22-yards.

“We dived in a bit too much.  We knew they were tricky, we kept saying to the lads ‘don’t dive in, don’t dive in,” but with the adrenaline pumping and everything else, a few of them were a bit harsh, the free-kicks we gave away, especially with their antics and everything else, a few dives here and there but it’s what you kind of expect when you come to these London clubs.”

K Sports’ opening opportunity followed shortly afterwards when Tommy Vine won the ball on the edge of the box and played the ball inside to Nick Nowotny, who drilled his right-footed drive past the top of the left-hand post.

The referee failed to book Abraham after he dived inside the penalty area in a poor attempt to con the referee to award him a penalty.

But K Sports grabbed the lead, with their first shot on target.

Left-back Jack Acourt, swept a deep sixty-yard free-kick from inside his own half, which sailed over the head of Colliers Wood’s left-back Carlos Talbot, formerly of Bromley and Cray Wanderers.

Sam Read, from the right by-line, wrapped his foot around the ball to whip in a deep hanging cross towards the far post for Smith to guide his downward header through the keeper’s legs from a tight angle from four-yards out.

When asked about being the club’s first FA Vase goalscorer, Smith, who said he has targeted 40 goals this season, put it into words.

“Unbelievable really!  I didn’t think it would’ve happened. I didn’t see the club getting here a couple of years ago when I was at APM but it’s real now, it’s happened, I’m glad it’s me really.

“As the centre half got under the ball, I could see him not reading it so I thought I’ve got to play it back across goal or head it down into the ground and as I’ve headed it down into the ground it went through the keeper’s legs and went in at the back of the net.  It was unbelievable!

Manager Browning added: “He deserves something like that. I haven’t asked him if he meant it or not? I don’t really care!

“We stuck with him, he had a bit of a dry patch in August, but he’s come up trumps again for us today and he’s got us up and running.”

Colliers Wood United should have had a penalty when Cedric Abraham was fouled INSIDE the penalty area but the hapless referee awarded the home side a free-kick OUTSIDE the box and Theo Woodhouse’s driven attempt deflected against the wall and only just cleared the crossbar.

Visiting keeper Coates was outstanding, especially when he plucked crosses out of the air during the game and he tipped over Alberto Lubango’s right-footed free-kick from 25-yards, before watching Duvaine Lindo come up from the back to steer his towering header at the far post past his right-hand post after Lubango floated over his second corner of the game.

Browning said: “Rhys was making his debut for us today because our other keeper (Dean Warford) wasn’t available, so he’s come in and he’s been absolutely outstanding. He’s deserved his chance, he’s been number two for us all season and I was really, really pleased with him.”

Ashley Cooper fouled Tyrone Newton as Colliers Wood broke down the right and the referee allowed the resulting free-kick to be taken in the wrong place.  Lubango chipped the ball into the penalty area and Lindo guided his free header over the crossbar from eight-yards.

Colliers Wood midfielder Newton took a dive to the ground after side-stepping Smith, which resulted in Browning yelling out to the referee to “watch the diving!”

K Sports weathered the storm, however, and wasted a glorious chance to grab a second goal in the 39th minute.

Smith played the ball out to Read on the right, who delivered the ball into the penalty area and Vine did well to hold the ball up despite having his marker on his back. He cut the ball back for Smith, who smacked his right-footed volley over the crossbar from the corner of the six-yard box.

“Great chance!  It was a good bit of football there but Caine should’ve done better with that one but that’s Caine for you,” added Browning.

Colliers Wood United went close to equalising when a lucky bounce ensured Abraham didn’t score.

The home side hit a long diagonal ball out of defence to William Efame down the right channel and he cut the ball back to Abraham, who took a touch and swept his curler towards the bottom far corner.  The ball would have nestled just inside the far post had it not bounced, but the lucky bounce ensured the ball bounced just past the foot of the upright.

“The bounce took it away, away from home you need a bit of luck,” admitted Browning.

“He’s a great player, been around the block for years and years. I remember playing against him myself when he was coming into the game, so he’s always tricky and a handful and we rode our luck there.”

Newton found space down the left wing, slipped over before regaining his composure to whip in a deep cross which was met by Abraham’s free header at the far post, which whistled just past the post from eight-yards.

Efambe did well to keep the ball in down the right flank before stroking in a low cross towards the near post and Coates grabbed hold of the ball after Newton flicked his shot towards goal from close range.

Colliers Wood’s right-back Jalen Gravesende released right-winger Efambe, who cut into the box before dragging his left-footed shot past the far post as another chance, whilst kicking down the slope, went begging for the home side as K Sports went in at the break with a lucky lead.

“I just said ‘stick to the game plan!’ said Browning, when asked about his half-time thoughts.

“We came here with a game plan, we worked on it in training in the week, what positions we should be picking up when they were on the ball.  I just said ‘stick to it!”

“I knew the way they would be, they would rather be embarrassed and they would come at us and would leave holes in around the back. We just pinpointed areas where to hit the ball every time we got it and it paid off for us.”

Assistant referee Ernie Constantine allowed Colliers Wood substitute striker Embalo to come on to the pitch without taking his name before he entered the field of play at the start of the second half. If he did, then he did so in the wrong place!

K Sports went close to grabbing a second goal with just eight seconds on the clock when Read knocked a long ball down and striker Vine drilled his shot across goal and just past the far post from the right hand side of the penalty area.

Browning said: “He shoots on sight! We know what we get from him. He won’t mess around on the edge of the box. I think if that’s on target, it’s in.”

The heavens opened for around 10 minutes, which made conditions difficult for both sets of players, but K Sports defenders were immense.

“Absolutely outstanding!  George Snelling, who was alongside Ashley Cooper, is a centre midfielder. We’ve lost Liam Dawson, who has got a bad back at the moment, he’s our skipper. Mike Russell was away for the weekend with family so that’s the first time that back four has all played together, so for George and Coops to hit it off like that was absolutely delightful.”

K Sports striker Smith had a glorious chance to worry Colliers Wood further when keeper Sean Fallon made a vital save in the 50th minute.

Coates launched a big kick, which sailed over Abraham’s head and Vine ran down the right channel before cutting a low pass along the six-yard box to Smith, who took a touch before stroking his right-footed shot towards goal from eight-yards, only for Fallon to parry.

“He makes a great save, the keeper.  Again Caine should score that and it makes us 2-0 up but again the keeper’s made a great save there,” added Browning.

K Sports were playing well during this period of the game and right-back Martin Di Fede reached the by-line to cut the ball back for Smith, who teed-up Sam Brown, who hit his first time drive past the left-hand post from 20-yards.

Paperboys midfielder Notwotny played the ball out to Read, who cut inside and his left-footed curler sailed around the far post from 25-yards in the 62nd minute.

Colliers Wood should have scored when Lubango swung in a corner from the left and Abraham’s free header from 10-yards sailed past the right-hand post.

Colliers Wood were to be denied by the crossbar in the 71st minute, with K Sports hanging on.

Daniel Hughes and substitute Ryan Doherty linked up well down the right wing and Hughes’ deep cross was met at the far post by Embalo, whose free header clipped the top of the crossbar and dropped behind for a goal-kick.

“We did limit them to a few chances and that’s the chance they had but I thought he could’ve maybe done a bit better with his header but he’s headed it onto the bar,” added Browning.

K Sports’ central defender George Snelling glanced his header wide at the far post after meeting Acourt’s free-kick.

A big kick from Coates was chased by Read down the right channel and his cross clearly struck Abraham’s raised hand but assistant referee Mr Constantine nor referee Mr Fellas awarded K Sports the penalty.

Coates had a dream debut in goal for K Sports.  Woodhouse, who was always a threat when he was on the ball, found Hughes, who crossed towards the far post for substitute Andrei Patraseli, who hooked his shot towards the far corner, forcing Coates to dive full-length low to his left to grab hold of the ball before it rolled over the line.

On Woodhouse, who sat in front of the back four, Browning said: “He’s a good player, a very good player. He got it down and played and everything else.  Our lads didn’t give him a lot of time on the ball, got around him and in the end he picked up a booking and was lucky to stay on the pitch really.”

K Sports SHOULD have been awarded a STONEWALL penalty inside the final eight minutes.

Snelling’s diagonal ball out of defence released substitute Sam Winch down the left and he put in a lovely low cross into the corridor of uncertainty, on the edge of the six-yard box at the near post.

Smith got to the ball first, Abraham was immediately behind him and only keeper Fallon was behind the pair.  Abraham took out Smith hitting the K Sports’ striker on the left ankle.  The hapless referee, somehow, waved play on. Smith needed treatment for his injury and was forced off the pitch.

“I knew he didn’t give a penalty as soon as it happened,” admitted Smith.

“I took the touch, just about to strike the ball and he’s (Abraham) gone straight through my standing leg, which absolutely, it felt like it just popped and that’s why I couldn’t get up or anything.  I thought he (the referee) was going to give a penalty and I’d probably have tried to get up and take the penalty.”

Reflecting on Perry’s successful spot-kick, Smith added: “Very good penalty, kept his head and it’s the side that I’ll go so any other side he wouldn’t have scored it.”

“Well it’s disappointing, I think if I’m honest with you,” came Browning’s response to the awful decision.

Browning then claimed: “It’s something I learnt as a player and as a manager, you come to these places away from home, you very rarely get those decisions go for you.  I think if it was in the box for the home side, I think it’s a penalty all day long.  There was a handball down there as well when Abraham’s got his arm up in the air and it’s not been given but like I said you come away from home, it’s got to be stonewall to get penalties.”

Di Fede played the ball out of the Paperboys defence on the counter-attack and substitute Perry’s first-time pass put Sam Winch through. He cut in to the box and he was clipped by Woodhouse and it was assistant Mr Constantine who awarded the penalty as referee Mr Fellas reluctantly blew his whistle and pointed to the spot.

Parry stepped up to send Fallon the wrong way with a composed right-footed penalty, the ball nicely nestling into the bottom right-hand corner to send K Sports through to face another Combined Counties Premier side in Abbey Rangers, who won 3-2 at Hailsham Town.

“Finally!  Winchy has come on, he was on the bench today and he was very disappointed, as was Ed Morant because they’ve been with the club now three or four years, they knew how important it is,” said Browning.

“Winch has made that lovely run inside, drove at them and just gone past a tired leg and he’s caught him. Luckily, the linesman’s put his flag up and helps out the referee and Jason Perry was very, very disappointed today to be on the bench because he’s been my main man for two and a half seasons.   He took the ball, stepped up and put it in the back of the net and that’s the sort of character that we’ve got here at this club.”

Colliers Wood average crowds of 68 in their opening five games of the season but only 25 bothered to turn out to watch the first hurdle of The FA Vase.

“I think we’ve got to put it in context, it’s a great performance from us,” said Browning.

“I’m absolutely delighted for people like Mark Pickup, Paul Atkins, co-chairmen of the club; Alan Dennington, who runs K Sports’ organisation, who have got us in this position today, doing our ground up, getting us into a position where players don’t have to pay subs anymore, they still have to pay a signing-on-fee but they’re not paying subs for home or away games now. The kits properly done, the chairman’s put his hand in his pocket today to pay for a coach to get us all here - it’s all about togetherness.”

When asked about K Sports’ Wembley hopes, Browning played them down, saying, “I took the kids on holiday last week down to Bognor Regis and won the nobly knees contest!  Everyone’s got to dream to play at Wembley but no. It’s just one of these things. We’ve done well today and that’s it.  The lads done really well for me, I’m just over the moon for them.

“We’ll look forward to Abbey Rangers, it’s a home game and take it on board.  The lads have got to keep their feet on the ground because we’ve got Lydd on Wednesday night.  We’ll have a good day now and my mind tomorrow afternoon with the coaches will think about the Lydd away game.”

When asked what today’s result means to him, star-striker Smith added: “It was a big shock!  We got written off all over Twitter and stuff like that, it probably puts us on the map really.

“Me personally it’s a massive achievement because I’ve been written off a couple of times by other club’s and stuff like that but I show what I am. I can score goals and I always will score goals.”

Stand-in captain Di Fede, meanwhile, said he enjoyed making history for the Aylesford-based club.

“I think we defied the odds a little bit,” said the 32-year-old right-back.

“We came in patched. I think that’s what we’re all about, we just dug-deep together and worked hard.

“It’s our first time as a club in The Vase, some of us have played in it at other club’s in the past and a lot of us it’s our first time so we just wanted to enjoy the occasion and whatever the outcome was, I don’t think people expected us to come away with anything because they are flying in their league.

“We’ve always travelled well over the years.  We have a certain way of playing at home and a certain way of playing away and everyone’s on board with it and it makes a big difference.”

Di Fede described Smith, who has now scored 64 goals for the club since August 2015, as “a special little kid.  He’s got a lot to do but he just can’t stop scoring. When he gets a chance like that, he’s five foot four or something silly and he managed to beat a six foot three kid in the air to win his header from a tight angle. He’s clinical like that, he’s great.”

And on Perry’s late penalty, Di Fede added: “Do you know what? JP doesn’t get enough credit for us but he’s the most composed player we’ve got. He’ll take the ball anywhere and any big moment, any big occasion, JP will always step up and he will do what he has to do for us.”

If the club do go all the way to Wembley, Di Fede said he will hand over the loaned captains armband back to Dawson.

“I only stepped in for Liam today so when he comes back he’ll take the armband,” he added.

Colliers Wood United:  Sean Fallon, Jalen Gravesende (Mario Embalo 46), Carlos Talbot, Theo Woodhouse, Daniel Hughes, Duvaine Lindo, Alberto Lubango, Tyrone Newton, Cedric Abraham, Moses Kaddu (Andrei Patraseli 57), William Efambe (Ryan Doherty 66).
Subs: Justin Scott, Mohammed Mohammed

Booked:  Theo Woodhouse 73

K Sports:  Rhys Coates, Martin Di Fede, Jack Acourt, Sam Brown, George Snelling, Ashley Cooper, Bailey Pearce, Nick Nowotny (Ed Morant 72), Caine Smith (Jason Perry 87), Tommy Vine (Sam Winch 82), Sam Read.
Subs: Tyla Clements, Charlie Himbury

Goals: Caine Smith 11, Jason Perry 90 (penalty)

Booked: Ashley Cooper 25, Bailey Pearce 90

Attendance: 25
Referee:  Mr Panos Fellas (Bushey, Hertfordshire)
Assistants:  Mr Ernie Constantine (Green Park, London SW1) & Mr Simon Cudner (Edgware, Middlesex)

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