Glebe 4-1 Lewisham Borough - We're confident we can perform this season and we will be nobody's pushover, insists Lewisham Borough boss Ray Simpson

Tuesday 09th August 2016
Glebe 4 – 1 Lewisham Borough
Location Foxbury Avenue, off Perry Street, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6SD
Kickoff 09/08/2016 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Tuesday 9th August 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Foxbury Avenue

GLEBE manager Adam Woodward admits his side made hard work of beating a Lewisham Borough side that have finished their last two seasons at the foot of the Kent Invicta League table.


The Chislehurst based side claimed a 4-1 win on opening night but they were thankful to striker Ryan Golding, 25, for getting them out of a hole with a second half hat-trick.

SAVE: Glebe winger Ola Kukoyi is denied by a fine right-handed save from 18-year-old Lewisham Borough keeper Justice Owusu.
Photo: Glebe FC

Glebe humiliated Lewisham Borough 9-1 on their last visit to Foxbury Avenue on 27 December 2015 and when Steve Jerrom opened the scoring after 15 minutes here tonight, the floodgates were expected to open.

But Lewisham Borough showed character to keep it down to one at the break.

Lewisham Borough produced an equaliser four minutes into the second half through Ryan Harris’ glancing header and they were the better side for the first 15 minutes of the second half.

But with the pressure hitting Woodward in the home dug-out, Golding scored a hat-trick, adding to the 31 goals that he scored for the third-placed finishers and Cup double winners last season.

“I thought we made hard work of it if I’m honest,” admitted Woodward, who has been told he must deliver promotion at the end of his first season in charge of Glebe.

“We had chances, more than enough to win two or three games. That’s the same thing on Saturday (losing 3-2 after extra time at Bearsted in the Shield).

“In the end we won 4-1. Let’s be honest, how many shots did my goalkeeper save? He didn’t have a shot all game so at the end of the day I’m here to win football matches and we’ve won so that’s the main thing.”

Lewisham Borough manager/chairman/secretary Ray Simpson added: “Truly disappointed but pleased and proud of my players. I think the turning point was one of our key players (Alan Robinson) getting injured.

“I thought we started the game well. That was what I said to the players’. I wanted to come here and try to dominate Glebe for the first 15 or 20 and see how they responded.  We did that for the first five or six minutes and then we started to struggle and I thought it was key.

“Do you want my thoughts overall in terms of the game? Overall, fitness was a big factor clearly. I’m proud of the players’, we’ve clearly learnt a lot from last season and we had to.  We had to have a mass clear out. We did that. We have brought in a lot of players who a lot of them are playing together for the first time. There’s a few left from last season, there’s a few that have not turned up to the fitness levels that I would like and I think that was crucial in the game and clearly when your fitness goes everything else goes. Your decision making goes, your passing and I think that was the turning point.”

Lewisham Borough went into this game on the back of a miserable record over their last two wooden-spoon campaigns of losing 55 of their last 68 league games before tonight.

Simpson spoke about a comment made by Woodward after the final whistle.

“It was a real compliment from Adam Woodward, when he said ‘well we (Glebe) didn’t really deserve that!”

Woodward said: “They won’t finish bottom this year, that’s for sure! They’ll surprise a few teams if Ray keeps that side together, they’ll definitely surprise a few teams.

“First half we done ok but it was too pretty in certain areas. Instead of playing the ball through, we were trying to play a perfect pass.”

Glebe gave eight players their debuts, as only goalkeeper Alfie George, central defender Carson Dennis and Golding were the only members of last season’s squad, although two other survivors from Simon Copley’s squad, captain James Day and Carson Reardon, are currently on holiday.

Lewisham Borough handed five starters their debuts tonight, including head coach Sean Jarvie, who slotted in at the heart of defence alongside skipper Hamed Coulibaly.

Lewisham Borough created the first chance – on the pristine playing surface – inside seven minutes.

Central midfielder Billy Ryan played a diagonal pass to winger Nadem Zarifi, and the ball dropped to Harris, whose speculative 30-yard drive went harmlessly past the far post.

Sam Long, who last played Conference South football for Bromley before a long-term injury, floated in a free-kick towards the far post where Fraser Cronin rose with the goalkeeper to nod past the post.

Ryan lost the ball to Long, who danced into the penalty area, but scuffed his shot into the keeper’s hands.

“We should’ve been, again, like Saturday, should’ve been five or six up at half-time but we’ve come in at 1-0,” said Woodward.

“Sam’s got quality about him. If I’m honest and he knows himself, I don’t think he had a very good game tonight but then again there’s two or three others that didn’t as well.”

But things went according to plan, as Glebe opened the scoring with 14 minutes and 15 seconds on the clock.

George King played a short corner to Long, who whipped in a cross from the left by-line, which was poorly cleared by Jarvie and the ball fell kindly at Jerrom’s feet to poke his shot into the bottom left-hand corner.

“He poked it in. Steve is good in and around those areas,” said Woodward.

“He’s done very well for us in pre-season. He done well Saturday and tonight he’s taken his goal well but after 15 minutes you’re thinking you’ll score (more).

“Credit to Lewisham, I think last season once they let a goal in, their heads dropped but tonight fair play to them, they kept it 1-0 at half-time.”

Simpson admitted he was expecting the floodgates to open following Glebe’s breakthrough.

He said: “A little but of that did go to the back of my mind.  Thank you for reminding me. My thoughts did go back to last year. 

“We’ve got a few more characters in the team.  We’ve just got to get the fitness levels better than what they were.  I was pleased with the response.

“Uncharacteristic from Sean, he’s my head coach. It was just sloppy. It was a poor goal to give away, probably slightly against-the-run-of-play but they got that and their tails were up, their dug-out was quite pleased.”

Lewisham Borough were to be denied an equaliser, while Glebe raced up the other end and almost doubled their lead on the counter-attack.

Jeremie Lacase swung in Lewisham’s first corner of the game towards the far post and George saved Ryan’s downward header.

George then launched a big kick upfield to winger Ola Kukoyi, who picked the  ball up on the halfway line, raced forward, cut inside and his right-footed angled drive was tipped over by Justice Owusu, high above his head.

Woodward said: “Ola’s got that in his locker.  Look, I’m one of Ola’s biggest critics.  I thought he done ok tonight but he’s set himself such a standard I expect him to play that well every week and sometimes maybe myself, I have to realise that he is human and the level we’re playing at.”

Simpson added: “I thought it was a really good game to watch actually. You could probably hear my voice is quite hoarse. I know I get over-excited at times but it was two great chances, for us to get level, for them to extend their lead to 2-0.

“But I was just pleased with the effort in the first half, the application of the players’.  I’m pleased as well that we kept it to 1-0. I think that was important that we managed to do that.”

Dennis came up from the back to nod his near post header just past the post after meeting Davy Jo Anderson’s corner from the right.

Lewisham Borough’s right-back John Sklar was walking on a tightrope when he fouled Kukoyyi on the very edge of the penalty area in a central position.

Kukoyi stroked his right-footed free-kick over the wall and Owusu dived high to his right to use his right hand to palm the ball over the crossbar.

“Another chance, another chance,” added Woodward.

“I don’t know how many shots that we had tonight but I gave up in the end, if I’m honest.”

Simpson was full of praise for his 18-year-old goalkeeper.

“Justice Owusu has just turned 18. He’s very, very talented. I think he’s good enough for this level and he will only improve. He’s been at a goalkeeping development centre. He needs matches. He wanted a team and I managed to get him through some contacts. He needs matches and I’ll give him matches, I believe in him.

“It was an excellent save. He’s trained really, really well. His confidence will grow, he’s only just started playing men’s football. I was keen to give him that opportunity, he’s got good size and he’s still got things to learn. He’s got to dominate his 18-yard box a bit more. He’s vocal, he cares, he’s passionate.”

Lewisham Borough should have done better when Jarvie floated in a deep free-kick from the right.  George dropped the ball and Dean Robinson played the ball inside and substitute Charlie Barrall (who had replaced Alan Robinson, who had pulled his right hamstring) couldn’t turn and find the bottom near corner from inside the six-yard box.

Coulibaly and Jarvie kept Golding quiet until the 39th minute.

Anderson clipped the ball up field, Golding brought the ball under his spell, turned and drilled his low drive across the keeper and past the far post.

Woodward said: “Great touch. Look, we all know what Ryan’s about. Again, he’ll tell you himself, I don’t think he had a good game tonight but in the end he’s got a hat-trick.

“First half he wasn’t very good and he’ll tell you that himself. I spoke to him at half-time and he said to me ‘I owe you one’ and he’s gone out there second half and he’s put a performance on.”

Simpson added: “I spoke to Ryan before. Obviously, I know Ryan well. He’s played Kent County, this level, gone up to Ryman League level, dropped back down. Ryan Golding is a goalscorer and you can keep him quiet for 63 minutes but can you keep him quiet for 90?  You know you’re not going to be able to do that!”

Owusu was forced into making a low save to his left to deny Kukoyi, who had danced into the area and tried to find the bottom far corner after a forward pass from holding midfielder Fraser Cronin, who sat deep beside Shaquille Richards, who hit a dipping drive just over the crossbar from 30-yards in the last action of the first half.

Woodward said: “It was a bit of a carbon copy of Saturday. We should’ve been five or six up but we’re not and we needed to concentrate and we needed to make sure that we just don’t concede and we’ve come out second half and within four minutes we’ve conceded!”

Simpson took plenty of positives going into his half-time talk.

“I was quite calm, quite patient. We just had to believe in ourselves. We’re in this game. I said to one of the players who played in the 9-1 defeat last year, and I said ‘how does this compare to last year?’  What was it at half-time last year? I think it was 5-0 and he was saying ‘it’s completely different, we’re well in the game!”

Lewisham Borough left Glebe shell-shocked with an equalising goal with only  three minutes and 26 seconds on the clock.

Lacaze whipped in a quality corner from the right towards the far post for Harris to glance his header over the man on the line into the top far corner.

Simpson said: “We had to start well again. We had a chance to rest and we did start well and I thought we came out the stronger of the two sides over the first 15 minutes.

“Jeremie Lacaze, who’s our left-back. I have to say I did criticise my full-backs but what Jeremie does have – they are both good players, I’m not going to slate them – Jeremie has got great delivery and you saw that tonight. A delivery on a six-pence and we’ve got players who can take advantage in that and that is what happened and we deserved it at the time.

“Four minutes into the second half and that’s a credit to the boys and then we managed to get on top for 10 minutes after that.

“The question is do you try to consolidate and be patient and hit them on the break, which is the kind of instruction I was giving out.”

Glebe boss Woodward added: “I told the players’ at half-time exactly what was going to happen. I told them at half-time how they would score a goal if we didn’t concentrate.

“We shouldn’t be conceding from a set-piece! The defenders I have on the pitch, they know better.  But look, that’s football. Credit to the boys. As I said to them, they got themselves in the mess, they need to get themselves out of the mess. All credit to them, they did!”

Woodward barked out “I need characters now, someone grab it,” as his side were on the ropes for the first 15 minutes of the half.

The nerves started to kick in to Glebe’s play. Long swept the ball out wide to Kukoyi, who took a touch and drove his shot over the crossbar.

Dennis fouled Nadem Zarifi some 35-yards from the Glebe goal but Jarvie drilled his right-footed free-kick just over the crossbar.

Golding missed a great chance in the 59th minute after Long whipped in a great cross from the right.

He took a touch inside the box and an unmarked Golding blazed his shot over the bar when he only had Owusu to beat.

“It wasn’t his night up until then,” admitted Woodward.

“Listen, credit to Ryan. I know a lot of strikers that after they miss chances they get frustrated, they go missing but look I was always confident. Me and Charlie (McCarthy) spoke and listen, we always knew Ryan would come good tonight – and he did!”

Simpson felt it was going to be Lewisham Borough’s night after that glaring miss.

He said: “I did think that it was, it was virtually an open goal. You wouldn’t expect him to miss that sort of chances and I did think to myself I’d settle for a draw tonight, coming to Glebe, who are probably the title favourites, I would certainly take a draw after 9-1 last year, who wouldn’t?”

Lewisham Borough sub Danny Foot noticed George was off his line and hit a speculative 45-yard drive just over the crossbar, before Golding got Glebe out of jail.

Left-back George King produced a whipped in cross of high quality, which flashed across the face of the penalty area and Long cut the ball back to Golding, who steered his low shot into the bottom far corner from 15-yards after 64 minutes.

“He snatched at one on Saturday,” reflected Woodward.  “Listen, I didn’t think it was the cleanest finish but Ryan just needs to put the ball over the line and he’s done it and once he’s scored, he got the duck of his back.  Listen, strikers, they need confidence and he's got a goal, he’s got confidence.”

Simpson said: “It was a disappointing goal to concede. I had a slight go at my two centre halves today, Hamed and Sean because you look to them as the leaders of the team and it’s disappointing that we lost our discipline slightly. We lost our shape, we weren’t compact. You probably heard me calling ‘we’ve got to be more compact and we’ve got to play more in units’, and we didn’t do that and when you don’t do that someone of Ryan Golding’s quality is going to punish you.”

Midfield enforcer Ryan flashed his speculative right-footed drive past the left-hand post from 35-yards for Lewisham Borough, who were now tiring.

A poor headed a clearance away from Sklar – after Long’s deep cross into the Lewisham box – went straight to Kukoyi, but the pacy winger fluffed his lines by screwing his shot wide from inside the penalty area.

But Kukoyi made amends by setting up Golding for his second goal in the 76th minute.

Kukoyi swung in a corner from the left towards an unmarked Golding, who powered his free header into the net from 8-yards.

Woodward said: “Listen, he’s got himself in the areas. Ola’s put a decent ball in, Ryan’s headed it home. It’s a free header. I expected him to score from there and he has so that’s the main thing.”

Simpson added: “Disappointing again, disappointing defending. It was good movement from Glebe, good finish. I thought that’s what Glebe did show tonight actually, their fitness levels are really good.  You could see they’ve had a good pre-season, they’ve played better opposition than us and I think their fitness levels were a little bit above ours and I think that was the difference in the last 20-25 minutes.”

Golding headed another cross (this time from Cronin) but this time the ball sailed across goal and wide.

King lashed an angled drive in from the left, which stung Owusu’s fingers, before Golding netted his hat-trick in the 87th minute.

Long played the ball inside to sub Bradley Killick, who played a sublime through ball to put Golding through on goal, the striker slotting his right-footed shot across the keeper to nestle inside the bottom left-hand corner.

Woodward said: “He slotted it home. I thought Bradley done very well when he came on. Listen, the ball Bradley Killick put in was different class for Ryan. Bradley’s got that in his locker.  I’ve known Bradley a long time from youth team football. He’s lost his way a little bit but he’s back, he’s trained hard. Look, he’s put a ball in for Ryan and Ryan’s got to finish it and he has!”

Simpson added: “I didn’t realise he got a hat-trick by then because it was getting a bit all emotional in the dug-out and on the line.  We want to try to keep as calm as possible but it’s difficult.

“I think 4-1 did flatter Glebe slightly, I think on the balance of things overall, they just about shaded it tonight.”

There was still time for substitute Sidney Warren to chip the ball into Owusu’s hands at the death after Long whipped in another cross.

Woodward takes his side to Gravesham Borough on Saturday, a side that lost 5-2 at Epsom & Ewell in The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round before opening their SCEFL1 campaign with a 2-2 home draw against K Sports tonight.

“I watched them Sunday. Listen it won’t be easy to go down there. I’m under no illusions of going down there and expecting an easy ride.  They play a certain (direct) way of football and we’ll have to deal with it. We’ll be in on Thursday and we’ll work on a few things and roll on Saturday.”

Glebe are clear title favourites for the SCEFL1 title this season – but Woodward is having none of it!

He said: “Title favourites? No-one within Glebe is calling themselves title favourites. A lot of people are doing a lot of talking about Glebe. Listen, we know our goals. Title favourite? I think is a bit strong if I’m honest but people can talk all they want, we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.”

Lewisham Borough keeper Owusu was bitterly disappointed as he lost his cool with his team-mates and stormed into the dug-out while his team-mates reflected on the loss out on the pitch.

“He was a bit upset. He was in tears at the final whistle. That shows you an 18-year-old disappointed with the performance of his team-mates because they let him down quite badly. He’s pretty upset now but he’ll get over that and he’ll come good,” added Simpson.

Lewisham Borough’s first five games of the season are being played away from Ladywell Arena due to pitch improvement works.

They travel to Crockenhil on Saturday, a side that opened their campaign with a 3-0 home defeat to Meridian VP last weekend.

“Well, my first thoughts are my former captain and goalkeeper (Danny Cox) is now the goalkeeper at Crockenhill,” said Simpson.

“He decided to part company with us. I suppose that’s the polite way of pitting it but we go to Crockenhill, we believe it’s a game we can go there and win.

“We need to add a few more players, probably another three I would say.

“We’re confident we can perform this season. We will be nobody’s pushovers this season, that’s for sure, not while I’m in the dug-out this season.”

Glebe: Alfie George, Scott Whibley, George King, Shaquille Richards, Carson Dennis, Davy Jo Anderson, Sam Long, Fraser Cronin, Ryan Golding (Sidney Warren 88), Steve Jerrom (Sam O’Keefe 71), Ola Kukoyi (Bradley Killick 86).
Subs: Tamer Bilal, Ryan Fopossi

Goals: Steve Jerrom 15, Ryan Golding 64, 76, 87

Booked: Carson Dennis 55

Lewisham Borough: Justice Owusu, John Sklar, Jeremie Lacaze, Hamed Coulibaly, Sean Jarvie, Billy Ryan, Naden Zarifi, Ryan Harris (Cameron Deighton 81), Dario Goutto, Dean Robinson (Danny Foot 58), Alan Robinson (Charlie Barrall 14).
Sub: Osman Kebapci, Leon Reid

Goal: Ryan Harris 49

Booked: John Sklar 28, Sean Jarvie 41, Ryan Harris 65

Attendance: 71
Referee: Mr Nick Fruin (Hayes)
Assistants: Mr Daniel Wyatt (Woolwich, London SE18) & Mr Notis Liappis (Croydon, Surrey)

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