Faversham Town 1-1 East Grinstead Town - It's my job to keep things calm when you lose and keep things calm when you win, says Faversham Town boss Ray Turner

Tuesday 09th October 2018
Faversham Town 1 – 1 East Grinstead Town
Location Salters Lane, Faversham, Kent ME13 8ND
Kickoff 09/10/2018 19:45

Bostik South East Division
Tuesday 9 October 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Salters Lane

FAVERSHAM TOWN manager Ray Turner says his side have taken a step forward after ending a run of three straight defeats.

The Lilywhites were defeated by Hythe Town (5-4); Whitstable Town (2-1) and suffered a 7-2 humiliation at Hayes Lane by Bostik South East Division leaders Cray Wanderers at the weekend.

But Faversham Town halted that slide by claiming a point against an East Grinstead Town side that extended their unbeaten run to four games with a point at Salters Lane tonight.

Both goals were scored within the final 10 minutes of the game.  Daniel Carrington notched his first goal of the season to give the home side the lead, before Mitchell Chapman powered home a header to score his third goal of the campaign to restore parity.

Both sides have 11 points from their opening nine league outings, with Faversham Town in 12th place in the table, one place below Matt Longhurst’s side.

“I think the boys are just frustrated we haven’t seen it out,” said Turner during the post-match press conference.

“It was quite a thing to come back from Saturday after what happened on Saturday so I’m proud of the performance (tonight).

“I thought we played some good stuff tonight, my only caution is possibly we should’ve been out of sight before we got the first goal and then I thought we defended very well.  I thought we dominated most of the second half and someone lost their player in the box right at the end and that’s a massive disappointment because I thought we deserved three points tonight.”

When asked what he said to his side after being thrashed by Tony Russell’s Cray Wanderers in Bromley at the weekend, Turner replied: “I spoke about perspective a little bit.  I think we had a really good honest chat at the end of the Cray game and there were a few things laid on the line in terms of where we are and after the disappointing performances.  Alright, they’re difficult places to go, Hythe, the derby with Whitstable and Cray coming on the back of each other and we obviously didn’t play well against Whitstable at home.

“It was important we got something tonight. When you concede that amount of goals, I think it can knock any team and what I’m pleased about is you can tell what kind of dressing room you’ve got when they just don’t lay down.  You’ve got two choices, you lay down and get kicked when you’ve just lost by seven-two or you stand up and have a bit of a response, albeit it’s not the ultimate response - we wanted the three points - but I think the supporters saw a much better performance tonight.”

Faversham Town set the tone right from the off with Ashley Miller hitting a left-footed drive from 25-yards, which was tipped around the post by Sheik Ceesay, diving to his right, after only 50 seconds.

“He was good, he was lively all night,” Turner said of Miller, who played on the left of an attacking triangle, with Goodger mainly behind Harris and Grant.

“We’re looking at him in a slightly different position. I thought he was a threat all night. I like Ashley coming from deeper areas running at players. I’m hoping it’s a role we can develop for him and if we can add the goalscoring back then it will be the icing on the cake.”

Ben Wilson, who started the season at East Grinstead, floated in a free-kick from the left, which Miller flicked his header across goal and harmlessly past the far post.

East Grinstead’s first opening arrived in the eighth minute when Chapman and O’Shaye Giraud-Hutchinson linked up down the left, lone striker George Landais played the ball out to Michael Wilson, who fed Orlando Smith, the winger cut inside and his shot was charged down and Simon Overland comfortably gathered.

Within the next couple of minutes, Overland launched a big kick upfield and Faversham target-man Jack Harris chested the ball down before drilling his right-footed shot across the keeper and past the far post from 25-yards.

“We’ve created numerous bits and pieces in the first half. Perhaps a more confident team might’ve got further ahead before half-time,” added Turner.

Smith clipped a cross-field-pass out to the impressive left-back Karn Miller-Neave, who ran forward before slicing his left-footed shot past the near post.

Faversham right-back Ryan Copper threw the ball across to Ben Wilson, who floated in a deep cross towards the far post for Dean Grant to loop his header over the keeper towards the top far corner, only for Sheik Ceesay to claw the ball towards safety, high to his right.

Good skill from Carrington, when he turned Miller-Neave to leave him on his backside didn’t produce the finish for Harry Goodger, who drilled his right-footed shot high over the crossbar from inside the East Grinstead penalty area.

Faversham Town were a lot closer in the 16th minute when Ceesay was called into action.

Miller played a give-and-go with Goodger and sped onto the return through ball but the visiting keeper was quickly off his line and made a low block to his left.

“I think it’s a continual theme. They had a bit of ball at times but I think we penetrated and created chances and had shots on goal.  Yes, we have to tidy up that finishing side but that will come with a bit of confidence,” added Turner.

Miller passed the ball to holding midfielder Danny Walder but his low left-footed drive from 35-yards was held comfortably by Ceesay as Faversham Town started the opening 20 minutes on the front foot.

Ben Wilson cut a corner back to Cooper, who took a touch before whipping in a great cross into the box but Goodyer rose to plant his header straight into Ceesay’s midriff from eight-yards – when either side it would have smashed into the net.

“It’s not the time to go in screaming and shouting. I’ve been around long enough to know that confidence is a big issue and we just needed to continue what we was doing and hope we got that break in the end,” came Turner’s reply to that glorious chance.

East Grinstead Town, however, weathered the storm and created a decent chance on the half-hour mark.

Michael Wilson played the ball out to Miller-Neave, who drove forward before floating over a cross with his left-boot towards penalty spot range when an unmarked six-goal Landais sent his downward header into Overland’s hands for a low save to his right.

“That was a good opportunity for them but we’ve far outweighed them in clear opportunities but as you know, if you don’t take your chances, sometimes they come back to haunt you and unfortunately it did today,” admitted Turner.

Michael Wilson and Chapman linked up well in East Grinstead’s midfield before playing the ball out to Giraud-Hutchinson. The left-winger cut inside and curled his shot towards the top far corner, which was held by the diving Overland, to his left.

Miller-Neave pulled down Harris as he was turned on the corner of the penalty area but Ben Wilson’s curling free-kick from a couple of yards outside the penalty area stung Ceesay’s fingers, before the visiting keeper gathered the ball at the second attempt.

Powerfully built targetman Goodyer played a lovely diagonal pass along the deck to put Grant through on goal but once again Ceesay moved swiftly off his line to make a second block with his legs to prevent the ball nestling into the bottom near corner.

Miller played the ball into the East Grinstead box and Harris chose not to shoot first time. He dug the ball out from under his feet and kept his composure to set up Carrington, who lashed his first time drive high over the bar.

“I was pleased with the intensity. We closed them down, they do move the ball quite well. It was a good surface to move the ball tonight but I can’t really fault the lads in terms of their attitude and what they’ve done tonight. It was just unfortunate that we didn’t get the three points,” said Turner.

“I wanted the players to just keep believing, just keep going. When you miss chances there’s that tendency to think things are just turning against you all the time and you just got to stay positive and that was the intention and I think on the whole we did that.”

Turner was forced to replace Overland due to a hip injury at the interval and Thomas Benham was the busier of the two goalkeepers after the break as East Grinstead Town put in a better performance.

“Simon’s had a problem with his hip for a while,” revealed Turner, when asked about Overland’s withdrawal.

“He’s played at Cray and tonight and I think one of the balls that went back, not a dead-ball, but one of the balls that got set back to him. It (his hip) went again. He did talk about staying on the pitch but it would’ve meant people taking goal-kicks and things like that and I don’t really like that.  Tom’s more than capable so we made the change.”

Longhurst replaced his holding midfielder Abodje Yao and changed formation to 4-2-3-1 with more pace going forward on the counter-attack.

Smith, who was pushed inside in a more central position, swept the ball out to Landais, who cut the ball onto his right-foot before sweeping his shot into Benham’s hands from 30-yards inside the opening five minutes.

Cooper launched his second long throw into the East Grinstead box and Dave Cook came up from the back to flick his near post header across the keeper and sailing past the far post.

East Grinstead substitute winger Jayden Antwi-Nyane danced his way into the penalty area but Benham was alert to collect the ball at his near post.

Michael Wilson teed up Smith, who dragged his shot across the diving Benham and also past the post just before the hour-mark.

East Grinstead Town kept knocking on the door and Smith exchanged passes with Landais in the final third before Giraud-Hutchinson cut inside and drove a right-footed shot which was comfortably held by Benham, whilst down on his knees.

East Grinstead played a long ball over the top straight down the middle and Cook slipped over outside the box and let in Giraud-Hutchinson but Benham got his team-mate out of a hole by making a vital block.

“I’ve got no problems with Tom. He’s here for a reason and he’s good enough to deal with that,” said Turner.

“It was very much counter-attack for them. We had to be careful because they had a lot of pace and things like that.”

Miller was penalised for bringing down Smith and Landais swept his right-footed free-kick dipping over the top of the near post from 30-yards as the game entered the final 22 minutes.

Faversham Town almost grabbed the lead when Cooper launched his third long throw of the night.  The Wasps allowed the ball to bounce a couple of times inside their penalty area and Faversham centre-half Matthew Bourne nodded the ball straight into Ceesay’s hands at the far post.

“We had a few situations like that second half,” added Turner.

“Yes I know, there’s lots of things to reflect on in terms of chances.  It was one of those nights!”

It appeared at this stage of proceedings that Faversham Town were on course for their first goal-less draw of the season.

Turner said: “Well, after the amount of goals that we’ve been conceding that was a strange (thought).  It certainly wasn’t the score line I was expecting but I did feel as thought we were in control. It was whether we had enough about us to try and create and take that opportunity and thankfully we did and we did get ahead.”

Miller-Neave took over free-kick duties and floated over a great delivery from the right which was met by centre-half Dean Gunner, who flicked his header straight into Benham’s hands.

Benham launched the ball up field, Miller’s deflected cross came in from the right and Harris’ flicked header sailed across the keeper and past the far post.

But Faversham Town grabbed the lead with 34 minutes and 55 seconds on the clock.

Cooper was inside his own half when he swept a long free-kick towards the edge of the Wasps’ penalty area. Harris rose to flick the ball on and Carrington brought the ball under control before unleashing a low left-footed drive that flashed through a crowd of players and under the keeper, into the centre of the goal.

“He took up some great positions him and Ashley tonight and I’m trying to encourage Dan to shoot a little bit more. He’s got that sort of ability to do that,” said Turner.

“It was at that time we were all up, a bit of relief getting ahead and we felt we could see it out from there.  I think goals do change things, you saw us momentarily for a few minutes look a very confident outfit and fairly in control.”

But East Grinstead Town equalised to earn a share of the spoils with 40 minutes and 34 seconds on the clock.

Once again Miller-Neave swung in a precise free-kick with his left-foot and the Faversham defence let in Chapman to plant his powerful header over Benham’s head into the roof of the net from 10-yards.

Turner admitted: “It was a set-piece that done us in the end.  It’s just a lost man in the box and it shouldn’t happen!

“Someone’s put their hand up for it in the dressing room but there’s just a situation where concentration needs to be at the maximum. If you defend properly then you don’t concede.”

East Grinstead Town felt they had won it inside stoppage time and they have a case as Miller-Neave’s 30-yard free-kick smashed against the underside of the crossbar and appeared to have dropped down over the line but assistant referee Robert Columb gave the home side the benefit of the doubt from his angle.

“It looked a good strike, he’s good from dead-balls. Yes, I think perhaps we deserved that little bit – if it was a bit of luck then it was well-deserved from us,” admitted Turner.

Faversham Town created one last chance when Goodger played the ball on the diagonal to Miller and his deflected angled drive was held low down by Ceesay.

Faversham Town are only four points adrift of fifth-placed Whyteleafe but all attention now turns The Buildbase FA Trophy Preliminary Round clash at home to local rivals Sittingbourne on Saturday, with £3,000 up for grabs for the winner.

“Just a step forward, we’ve had a couple of steps back.  Things don’t change dramatically over night.  They’re not a bad group of players,” insisted Turner.

“They’ve stuck together and we’ve put on a performance for the supporters tonight. They could see that we probably should’ve won the game but it’s a step forward and we’ve got a cup game on Saturday to hopefully relax a little bit and take our mind of the league.

“It’s a local derby and we owe our supporters one on Saturday, so hopefully we can not just maintain that level but increase it a little bit more.

“It’s just another good game for us. The crowds have been great, they’ve been patient when we’ve had a couple of bad games so I want the crowd to get behind us.

“The FA Trophy is a good competition, a decent amount of money for the club. I’ve got full belief in this group that we can turn up on Saturday and win.  Hopefully we’ll play with a little bit of freedom and less pressure in terms of the league points on Saturday and go out and put a performance on for the supporters.

“It’s my job to keep things calm when you lose and keep things calm when you win. 

“I think we’re about four or five points behind where I’d like us to be and that will put us back in the play-offs. That’s a bit of perspective but we can make those points up.”

Faversham Town: Simon Overland (Thomas Benham 46), Ryan Cooper, Ben Wilson, Danny Walder, Matthew Bourne, Dave Cook, Ashley Miller, Daniel Carrington, Jack Harris, Harry Goodger, Dean Grant.
Subs: George Monger, Renford Tenyue, Michael Jenner, Luke Griffiths

Goal: Daniel Carrington 80

Booked: Harry Goodger 16, Dave Cook 43, Ashley Miller 57, Dean Grant 85

East Grinstead Town: Sheik Ceesay, Ollie Boulding (Andrew Cooney 87), Karn Miller-Neave, Abodje Yao (Jayden Antwi-Nyane 46), Callum Emptage, Dean Gunner, Orlando Smith, Mitchell Chapman, George Landais, Michael Wilson, O’Shaye Giraud-Hutchinson (Steven Sargent 87).

Goal: Mitchell Chapman 86

Booked: Mitchell Chapman 47, Jayden Antwi-Nyane 60, Sheik Ceesay 89

Attendance: 157
Referee:  Mr Kane Dempster (Hythe)
Assistants:  Mr Richard Joss (Margate) & Mr Robert Columb (Rochester)