Glebe 2-3 Canterbury City - I thought they were marginally better than us but I would say that becuase we under performed, admits Glebe boss Simon Copley

Friday 17th July 2015
Glebe 2 – 3 Canterbury City
Location Foxbury Avenue, off Perry Street, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6SD
Kickoff 18/07/2015 15:00

Pre-Season Friendly
Saturday 18th July 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Foxbury Avenue

GLEBE manager Simon Copley says his side underperformed in their opening pre-season friendly of an expectant season.

The Chislehurst based club played at Foxbury Avenue for the first time and lost to a Canterbury City side that were playing their fourth warm-up game of the new season.

Both managers agreed to play three lots of 35 minute sections, thus controversially playing for 105 minutes and it was Canterbury City that came out on top.

They raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of right-winger Matt Martin and striker Dan Gonzales-Bello (penalty) both finding the corner, before Glebe pulled one back at the end of the first period through captain Thomas Fitzgerald.

Glebe clawed themselves on level terms towards the end of the second period through Jaie Nuttall’s 35-yard daisy-cutter, before Chris Lewis came off the bench to tap home the winner for Canterbury.

Copley, who has left West Ham United in the summer to manage the under 11s at Premier League giants Arsenal, reflected on his side’s first of four pre-season outings, which was played on the club’s main large pitch.

“Disappointed with us because we’ve recruited five or six players’ to add to the players we had from last year. A couple have left and we’ve been training really well and looked really sharp but didn’t bring that to the game today.

“A couple of mistakes for their goals, probably the last goal was fairly clean in terms of passage of play.

“I’m disappointed because I know we can do better.”

Canterbury City’s joint-manager Ben Smith felt his preparations were altered with the match arrangements.

“Pleased to get a win. The performance, fits and starts really,” he said.

“It’s very difficult with the three 35’s. It mixes up the consistency of the game when you have been on top for the first half-an-hour. We had a break and it killed our rhythm a little bit and it gave them time to actually get into their players and they needed to adapt to the tactics.

“We started playing the ball very nicely and we were on top and creating chances but when we got to that little break at 35 (minutes) they were able to adjust what they did, press us higher up the pitch and that made us change what we were doing.

“It wasn’t particularly helpful but that’s pre-season football!”

While Glebe face a race against time to get the ground up to Step Six standard ahead of the start of the Kent Invicta League season in three weeks’ time, Copley has a squad of players that will be pushing to join Canterbury City in the Southern Counties East Football League in the not so distant future.

Canterbury City were the better side during the first period.

Sam Staunton and Connor Partridge linked up inside the opening three minutes and striker Gonzales-Bello hit a left-footed shot on the turn, which rolled into the arms of Glebe keeper Alfie George at the near post.

Glebe went close inside five minutes when Fitzgerald whipped in a free-kick from the left and striker Ryan Golding made space at the near post to direct his free header sailing across goal and past the far post.

Canterbury City took a deserved lead inside the opening 11 minutes and full credit must go to the best player on the pitch, pacy left-winger Chevan Xavier.

Xavier picked the ball up inside his own half and dominated Glebe right-back Jordan Clark with an electrifying 60-yard run to reach the edge of the penalty area.

He played the ball inside to Rob Lawrence, who laid the ball off to Martin, who drilled his right-footed drive across George for the ball to nestle inside the bottom far corner of the net.

Smith was full of praise for Xavier.

“Chevan, he was here last year, he couldn’t quite commit to the side.

“I’ve seen him a few times. I’ve been out watching a few Sunday games, having a look for Herne Bay actually. I’ve seen him and he could be a player that could step up to Ryman level!  He’s got ridiculous pace. It’s just that end product at times and the decision making, which will decide if he can push on or whether he stays at our level.

“But as you can see there was spells there when their defence couldn’t deal with him.  He’s come from Sunday football. He’s going to take a bit of coaching but the good thing is he’s got a fantastic attitude, he wants to learn and he’ll take on anything we say to him and he’ll take on board and try to implement it in the game and that’s all I can ask for.

“There’s a lot there that I’m really excited about.”

Smith spoke more about Xavier than he did the goalscorer.

“Matt Martin has been around Ryman clubs, not quite made it. He wants to play football. He loves his football. He wants to enjoy it and he’s been unlucky at times when he goes through on goal and he gets clattered. He’s a tricky customer. He’s not got the blistering pace that Chevan’s got but he has got that little bit of quality to find gaps in the back four.

“He hit the post, just ran out of play when he took it round the keeper, he got booted in the face when he went through on goal.

“I’m very pleased with him. He’s very much a confidence player. That should set him up really well for the Sheppey and Ramsgate games in midweek.”

Copley blamed poor defending from his full-backs.

He said: “I would say that started because my left-back was on the ball. My right-back decides to go on a run on the halfway line so he’ll be out of balance. My left-back decides to play a 70-80 yard pass which isn’t on. It gets cut out straight away. We’re out of balance and all the things that you’ve just said was correct because we’ve allowed it to happen so we class that as a mistake. I class that as being countered and I class that as something we need to look at.”

Clark was given a torrid time by talented Xavier, who cut inside him again before cracking a right-footed drive which sailed over the crossbar from 30-yards – after Canterbury City’s back four got at least one touch of the ball.

Glebe striker Golding called Canterbury City keeper Shannon Harris into making a low save to his left after 26 minutes after Golding turned his marker on the edge of the box after being threaded in by James Day’s low pass.

Canterbury City then doubled their lead from the penalty spot in the 27th minute.

Xavier skipped past Clark down the left again and centred the ball inside to Lawrence, who was fouled in the box by Day and referee Alexis Stacchini pointed to the spot.

Gonzales-Bello sent George the wrong way with a clinical penalty, finding the bottom left-hand corner with his right-foot, while the keeper danced to his left.

Smith said: “In the changing room he wasn’t put down for penalties today but last season he had a real hard luck in front of goal. He had more bookings than he had goals last season, which wasn’t great!

“When I came in - I haven’t seen him before - I was very sceptical whether he would stay at the club but in pre-season his attitude and work rate has just been unbelievable!

“He’s someone who we can rely on as a target man up there. If he had the confidence in front of goal, there was a time in the first ten minutes he went through and tried to pass it, which I wasn’t too happy with, but I thought to myself let’s take Stephen Baines off the penalties and let’s get DB on there to see if we can tuck one away, which he did!”

Copley said: “Go back prior to the penalty being given away! It was given away because my right-back wins the ball cleanly inside his own box, rolls his foot on the ball, which is disastrous for us and loses the ball. I told him clear about that and then in our ambition trying to recover the ball and get it back it was a clear cut penalty.

“You have to look at why the penalty has taken place, not necessarily the actual pen itself. We’ve made a poor decision, a chance to clear our lines. An individual has over played and we’ve been punished for it.”

But Glebe showed signs of recovery when Fitzgerald played the ball into Jamie Williams, whose shot deflected just over the bar.

James Alderman drove in the corner from the right, the ball was headed back across goal, the ball wasn’t cleared away by the Canterbury defence and Fitzgerald drilled his right-footed shot through a crowd of players to pull a goal back in the 30th minute.

Copley said: “I’m glad we scored, obviously a goal’s a goal! It doesn’t matter if it’s a bad one or a good one!

“If I’m their manager, I’ll be a little bit annoyed with the way they defended that corner! It’s spilt out and we’ve just shot through a bunch of bodies so in the same way we conceded two goals from mistakes today, their manager will probably say something similar about the corner.

“I’m pleased with the goal. I’m pleased it’s come to my captain. He’s committed his future to us for this season because other clubs wanted to sign him.

“I’m pleased it’s come for him. There was happiness when he scored. I’m glad he scored.

“I think at that point in the game, to bring it back to 2-1, if they get a third goal then frustration kicks in. It’s hot and it’s the start of the season and people get a little bit irate with things but no, it was a good time to score.”

Smith added: “That sums up our start, the pre-season regime up anyway!

“We’re playing very well, on top and then we get 2-0 up and my centre backs go to sleep a bit and think they want to play like Barcelona!

“It actually comes from a centre half trying to clip the ball into centre midfield needlessly trying to overplay, being too confident and possibly showing a little bit of disrespect to the other team, so that caught us out a bit and they get the corner.

“I said to my assistant Allan Birchard they’re going to score here. Bang! They do just that! It’s just naivety really, which we’ve got to cut out if we’re going to push on!”

Glebe keeper George got down swiftly low to his right to ensure that Xavier’s shot wasn’t going to flash into the bottom near corner, before Ben Gorhan came up from the back, peeled off his marker to plant his header over following a corner.

As agreed, the whistle was blown for the end of the first period and Copley explained the reasoning behind this move.

“It’s not unusual if you work in professional football,” he said. “That’s what you do in professional football in terms of minutes. Unusual probably the duration, it’s gone on a little longer but we wanted to try to get an equal amount of time for our players.

“I spoke to their manager and he was quite happy to do the same because he had a fairly substantial squad like us.

“Not unusual if you work in football, but I understand what it looks like, yes.”

Smith said: “Ideally I wanted to play 90 minutes! We’ve already had three friendlies so we had a look at trailists. It was a case of today of trying to get 80-90 minutes out of people.

“I’d preferred to test them for staying out there for 45 and staying out there for the last knockings of the second half and I want to prepare my squad for the league season.

“I’ve come in (from Herne Bay) and I’ve had to start from scratch and I know it’s a tough job coming in and putting your own stamp on it, especially a young manager. It will be a test for me so I want to replicate that league season and The FA Cup straight away what it’s going to be like, so three 35’s doesn’t quite do that but I was happy to do that to help these guys out as it was their first game.”

Canterbury City were to be denied a killer goal after only 45 seconds into the second period.

Lawrence’s fine pass released Martin, who shrugged past Glebe’s central defender Tunde Adeniyi with ease, before clipping his shot over the keeper, the ball clipping the top of the far post.

Xavier was released down the left but George rushed off his line to parry the talented winger’s dinked shot on goal.

Fifteen minutes into the second period – 50 minutes into the game – Fitzgerald won the ball inside Canterbury’s half but his speculative lob was caught by Harris, who was yards off his line.

Glebe’s substitute keeper Ade Adeniyi made a fine save with his legs to deny Canterbury in the second period.

Xavier played in a low centre from the right, which bamboozled the falling Gonzales-Bello at the near post and Lawrence stroked his shot towards the far corner, but the keeper used his legs to divert the ball around the far post.

Glebe were to be denied by the crossbar in the 55th minute.

Keeper Adeniyi launched a big kick straight through the heart of the pitch and Canterbury defender Gorhan used his hand to control the ball.

Fitzgerald curled his right-footed free-kick over the wall from 25-yards, beating keeper Shannon, but the ball agonisingly bounced down of the underside of the crossbar and Canterbury cleared their lines.

Copley said: “It’s great that we hit the bar – we had some good chances – great we hit the post, but I’m seeing the ball hit the bar and I’m seeing eight other players watching it hit the bar!”

Smith admitted: “We started getting a little bit scrappy. They pressed us. They worked us hard, they harried us. They took the time we had on the ball out of the game. Fair play to their management team for spotting that and adapting what they were doing.

“We became a little bit sloppy in possession. It’s disappointing really because we were in our stride in the first section of the game but we started giving away needless free-kicks when we was trying to force things because we weren’t able to do the same things we were doing in the first section.

“From the needless free-kick that we gave away, bang, they’ve smashed one on to the bar! It was a great free-kick and luckily enough we’ve cleared the danger but it was a close one really!”

Glebe – who played the majority of the game with one striker up front – created an opening when substitute striker James Pinnock rose to plant his header over the bar after Nuttall whipped in a cross from the right.

Sixty-five minutes into the game, Lawrence played a pass into Martin’s feet, who attempted to curl his shot around keeper Ade Adeniyi, the keeper diving low to his left to catch the ball.

Glebe were then to be denied an equaliser following a piece of quality.

Lee Warren produced a quality 50-yard diagonal pass which sailed over to lone striker Pinnock, who produced quality to bring the ball down under his spell before cracking a stabbed volley across Harris from 12-yards, the ball beating the keeper but agonisingly hitting the far post.

Copley added: “I’m seeing a great touch and strike across the face of the keeper from James. He was a little bit erratic in training with a couple of his shots. He done well, took that strike across the goalkeeper today. It’s hit the post and again I’m watching players watch that happen. I’m wanting players to follow up and play in the future, just don’t think that’s a great chance. Let’s go and push up the pitch and nick something!”

But Glebe didn’t let that disappointment last for long as they deservedly equalised with 69 minutes on the clock – the last minute of the second period.

Nuttall collected the pass on the right hand side close to the touch-line and strode forward before drilling a low right-footed drive towards the edge of the penalty area from 35-yards.

Ben Williams was lurking unmarked on the edge of the box and he let the ball flash underneath his feet, which tricked keeper Harris as it went on to nestle into the bottom far corner of the net.

“If you look at that goal, Jaie’s won that ball first and foremost because he was where I told him to be on the half-way line,” said Copley.

“He’s not allowed the winger to turn. We put pressure on him, he’s stolen the ball. He’s then cut inside the player expecting it to come back to him in a wide area and he’s taken the shot across goal.

“Ben’s been clever with that. He stepped over the ball and it’s gone in the far side. We had fun with that. Did it touch his foot on the way through? But we’ve given the goal to Jaie!

“Pleased with the goal but pleased it’s come by pressing up the pitch, like I asked!”

Smith said: “Really disappointed! Although it’s pre-season, I want to replicate what I want us to do in the league – that just wasn’t good enough!

“It was poor defending out wide. The full-back’s got the ball, he’s likely to cross it in the box. Matt Martin’s gone out to press the ball and he’s just turned his back on it and that’s really schoolboy defending and he’s just smashed it across the box from quite a distance so I’m really disappointed!

“I’ve told the players’ those sort of areas, we’ve got to be clearing the ball. No-one’s reacted to it and it’s gone into the back of the net!

“I just feel sorry for the keeper Shannon (Harris), who had a good game and he’s picked the ball out of the net twice for defensive errors.”

Glebe created the first chance of the third period, moving the ball from left to right in a sweeping four-man move.

Charlie Sharman played the ball inside to Ben Williams, who then laid the ball off to Alderman, who set-up Pinnock, who lashed his right-footed drive over the bar from a tight angle.

Alderman’s flicked pass then set up former Rusthall attacker Sharman, but he swept his shot past the near post.

Canterbury City could have made life easier for themselves when Gorham came up from the back again to plant his towering header over the bar following Staunton’s corner from the left.

But Canterbury City edged the game with an 87th minute winner.

Substitute winger Henry Dasofunjo sprinted down the right and as keeper Adeniyi came off his line he played the ball inside for Lewis to sweep his shot into the empty net from eight-yards.

Smith said: “We’ve picked Henry up from Herne Bay – he had chances in the Ryman League last year there but didn’t quite make the grade but he’s a real raw talent. He’s come on today, he’s probably disappointed that he didn’t start.

“He started previous games and looked good but it was important we keep him on his toes. We’ve got high standards and high expectations of him and if he doesn’t meet those high standards he’s going to be on the side.

“But he’s come on, right attitude, made an impact straight away and really good decision making from him, He could have shot, taken it on his own. It was a tight angle, the keeper might have had a chance but he’s got the presence about him to slide it home to Chris Lewis.

“Chris Lewis is another signing from Whitstable and he’s come on, pressure of his debut, tapped it home to get the goal.”

The Glebe manager said: “It may sound silly but I said the next goal wins the game! We just said that’s going to be decisive but because both teams started to get a little bit tired.

“I thought they were marginally better than us if I’m honest, but I would say that was because we under performed.

“But we looked a little bit tired and a little bit weary at times. That’s a big pitch, it’s hot.

“They’ve come down the pitch, three or four passes later, it’s in the back of the net and I think at that point everyone kind of thought let’s call it a day and go home!

“They’ve broken down the wing. They had pace down wide areas and that’s understandable. I’ve got a right-back playing left-back, maybe on his weaker side. He didn’t deal with it very well. It’s a clean goal. It’s a fairly good goal and it’s won them the game!”

Canterbury City also hit the woodwork for a second time with ten minutes left when Stephen Baines’ right-footed free-kick from 35-yards easily beat the flapping keeper and the ball clipped the top of the crossbar and dropped behind for a goal-kick.

Smith said: “Midweek Bainsey smashed a volley from 40-yards from a corner into the top corner! He showed his quality again there with a great strike. He was unlucky there not to get on the scoresheet.

“It’s really pleasing for me, the squad I’ve got, the strength in depth in midfield. We’ve got Sam Staunton, Stephen Baines and Dan Lawrence, our captain who wasn’t here today.  Those three could play in the league higher, no problem. It gives me a headache to play well today, but it’s a nice headache to have!”

Glebe deserved a draw and Golding created a couple of late chances after a couple of passes from Nuttall.

Golding stung Harris’ fingers with a powerfully hit right-footed drive, which the keeper parried away high to his right and then Golding’s last attempt easily rolled into the keeper’s hands for a comfortable save.

Copley said: “Ryan has always got goals in him.  He’s a handful. People find him difficult to mark. He’s got a whole range of goals in him. He scored a few scruffy ones. He can bundle the ball in. He can put his head in where people don’t even put their feet. Typical Ryan, he’ll always have chances and always scores goals.”

Glebe: Alfie George (Ade Adeniyi 49), Jordan Clarke (Jaie Nuttall 36), Daniel Palfrey (Charlie Sharman 71), James Day (Ryan Golding 71), Tunde Adeniyi (Jack Hooper 71), Ian Varley (Lee Warren 36), Jamie Williams (Ben Williams 36), James Alderman (Aaron Guard 36), Ryan Golding (James Pinnock 36, Ben Williams 90),Thomas Fitzgerald (Jamie Williams 71), Danny Gannon (Jordan Clark 71).

Goals: Thomas Fitzgerald 30, Jaie Nuttall 69

Canterbury City: Shannon Harris, Stuart Fitchie (Barry McWilliam 85), Connor Partridge, Sam Staunton, Ben Gorhan, Sam Baker, Chevan Xavier (Alex Kendall 78), Stephen Baines, Dan Gonzales-Bello (Dom Snee 82), Rob Lawrence (Chris Lewis 78), Matt Martin (Henry Dasofunjo 71).

Goals: Matt Martin 11, Dan Gonzales-Bello 27 (penalty), Chris Lewis 87

Booked: Dom Snee 98

Attendance: 42
Referee: Mr Alexis Stacchini (Orpington)
Assistants: Mr Matt Gregory (Bromley) & Mr Desmond Chin (Erith)