Glebe 4-1 Tooting Bec - It wasn't a surprise we knew the sack was coming, says Glebe manager Simon Copley

Tuesday 03rd May 2016
Glebe 4 – 1 Tooting Bec
Location Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Donkey Lane, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 3PL
Kickoff 03/05/2016 19:30

London Senior Trophy Final
Tuesday 3rd May 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Queen Elizabeth II Stadium

GLEBE manager Simon Copley says he’s feeling delighted for his players after the club celebrated winning the London Senior Trophy for the first time.

Copley and his assistant manager Ian Varley were told by chairman Rocky McMillan last Tuesday that they won’t be in charge of the Chislehurst based club next season but agreed to take charge of their last league game and two cup finals.

PARTING GIFT: Glebe celebrate winning the London Senior Trophy for the first time, in Simon Copley's penultimate game in charge of the Chislehurst-based club.
Photo: London FA

They defeated struggling Rusthall 3-0 in their last league game of the season on Saturday to complete their Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League campaign in third-place, winning 26, drawing four and losing 8, finishing five points adrift of promoted runners-up Sheppey United and nine behind promoted champions Bearsted.

Copley claimed a bitter-sweet-victory to claim the London Senior Trophy with a comfortable 4-1 win over top-seven Surrey Elite Intermediate outfit Tooting Bec.

Gary Lockyer opened the scoring inside the opening eight minutes, before Tooting Bec deservedly equalised through pacy striker Johnathon Ogidi’s close-range finish, scoring his 20th goal of the season.

Lockyer bundled in his second of the night to take his goalscoring tally for the season to 22, before Carson Dennis came up from the back to steer home a third goal before the break.

Glebe striker Ryan Golding notched his 30th goal of the season and showed unity within the camp by running over to Copley to celebrate with his manager as his jubilant team-mates jumped in.

“I’m just delighted for the boys because it’s been a little bit tough at the end of the season,” said Copley, who coaches the youngsters at Premier League giants Arsenal in his day-time job.

“The chairman agreed that we should go because that was the deal if we didn’t get promotion so it was a little bit tough. The boys found it a little bit difficult, awkward on our side if you like but we decided to see the games out, be professional.

“What’s going on in my mind? I’m delighted for them, totally for them.”

Copley added: “It wasn’t a surprise, we knew it was coming! I think it would be fair to say even though the chairman sat us down and said he was making changes that conversation came before maybe we were looking to make our own changes so it was a fairly mutual decision, something that we discussed anyway prior to the chairman making it clear to us so it’s not a surprise.”

Calls to switch the venue  from the soul-less Queen Elizabeth Stadium were ignored by London FA officials and there was little surprise that only 87 people bothered to make the trip to Enfield to watch a game played on a dusty pitch, when a crowd of over 300 would have watched this game had it been played at Beckenham Town’s Eden Park Avenue ground.

Copley said: “I don’t know who makes these rules up? Why not leave the venue until you’ve got your two teams selected, find the best neutral venue you can.

“Someone may tell me different but like at Beckenham or somewhere, I know it’s a bit close, but a decent pitch where both teams can play football. 

“That was a dust bowl tonight, no disrespect to Enfield Town. I’m grateful they’ve offered to do it.  I don’t know if they watered the pitch. We turned up and said ‘really?’ This is a London Cup Final and that’s what you provide us with! That’s not being disrespectful to Enfield Town but that wasn’t a sufficient surface for two teams to play football at all!”

Glebe created their first opening inside the opening four minutes.

Tooting Bec keeper Zdenek Machacek’s clearance was headed forward by Glebe right-back Jordan Clark and Golding hooked his first time drive across goal and past the far post from 15-yards.

Glebe took only seven minutes and 41 seconds to score against Step Seven opposition.

Jaie Nuttall split open Tooting Bec’s two central defenders Matthew Stone and skipper Chris Thurbon with a sublime pass and Lockyer stroked his first time left-footed drive into the bottom right-hand corner from 14-yards.

“When those two play, when Gary and Ryan (Golding) play, we kind of need to feel them that high up the pitch or it’s normally balls from crosses because the other two we play Danny Gannon and Jamie Williams tend to have the pace,” explained Copley.

“It was quite nice to see Lockyer score the kind of goal that maybe the other two would.  He got the ball straight over the top of him and he’s put it straight into the bottom corner.  It was a great start from us.”

Busy midfielder Nuttall then hung over a cross from the right channel which was planted over the bar by Golding’s header.

Tooting Bec were lively with a pacy forward and two wingers and they created their first chance inside 17 minutes.

Right-back Ben Wright threw the ball to Jordan Wright who laid the ball into the path of Eddie M’Bango and the pacy winger’s angled 20-yard drive was comfortably saved by Alfie George.

“I thought they played quite well the other team,” said Copley.

“They did better in possession than us, or shape or how we played our shape let us down a little bit.  We were too deep, we gave them too much respect and then we changed it.

“We adjusted it and we went from a back three and a five to a four and a diamond and as soon as we did that we contained them without any real problems.”

The Glebe keeper then launched a big kick forward and Golding’s speculative right-footed angled drive from 25-yards brought a comfortable save from Machacek.

Copley revealed his goalkeeper was playing with a broken finger and George pulled off a vital save in the 22nd minute.

Winger Kieran Patel made progress down the left flank and cut the ball back to central midfielder Panikos Oritis, who cracked a dipping drive towards the top far corner of the goal from 30-yards, George doing brilliantly to palm the ball away, high to his left.

“He’s got a broken finger, which is why we played the young under 16’s goalkeeper in the previous game against Rusthall because we rested Alfie,” revealed the Glebe manager.

“I said to him in the warm up ‘is it going to be playing on your mind?’. He said, ‘No,”. 

“He’d tell me that anyway because it’s a cup final. He was fine. He’s handling was fine. He punched a few, his hand was fine.”

Tooting Bec deservedly equalised with 23 minute and 9 seconds on the clock through their pacy striker Ogidi.

Ogidi raced down the left and played Martin Allison on the overlap. The left-back cut the ball back from the by-line, which was parried by George, diving low to his left at his near post. 

Glebe failed to clear their lines and an instinctive Ogidi poked his shot into the bottom left-hand corner from two-yards.

Copley admitted: “I thought they deserved it. They were more dominant than us. They had a bit more desire than us.  I thought they passed the ball better than us, the first 20 minutes, first half-an-hour of the game and it wasn’t a surprise they scored.

“There was no panic from us when the goal went in. We made a little adjustment and I think you saw the rest of the game, we dominated.”

Glebe captain Daniel Palfrey launched a long throw into the Tooting Bec penalty area and Lockyer’s looping header was caught by Machacek above his head.

The left-back then whipped in a quality cross into the Tooting Bec box where Golding launched himself to the ball, flying his header across the goal and past the far post.

Glebe were thankful to their goalkeeper for making a vital save when the scores were level, coming out of his box to use his legs to deny Ogidio scoring when he only had the keeper to beat.

Glebe regained the lead with 29:24 on the clock through goal-poacher Lockyer.

Nuttall floated in a deep free-kick towards the right hand side of the penalty area.  Dennis launched a towering header across goal, which appeared destined to bounce into the far corner, but Lockyer stabbed the ball over the line from very close range.

“Carson has won so many headers from corners, he tends to jump too early gets underneath the ball,” said Copley.

“When he headed it across, I think Ryan Golding was celebrating and then Gary being a typical striker he’s put it in.

“It was nice to see Carson get that header back across the face of goal and obviously Gary tapped it in so it was a mixture from Gary, a good finish for the first goal and a poachers goal for the second one.”

However, Dennis did get his name on the scoresheet, scoring Glebe’s decisive third with 42 minutes and 37 seconds on the clock.

Jordan Clark launched a throw into the Tooting Bec penalty area and Lockyer played the ball across goal towards the back post along the bobbly pitch and Dennis steered his shot into the bottom near corner from eight-yards.

“It went to Carson and we’re all kind of, it’s Carson and Carson’s an absolutely beast of an athlete, he’s so well developed. He can head it, he can tackle and refine things like simple little touches and that kind of finish,” said Copley.

“I was a little bit worried but I don’t think anyone could’ve missed that but I was pleased for Carson because he’s been hardworking, industrious all season and he deserves more credit than he gets so I was so pleased he got the goal.”

Glebe almost made it four with the last chance of the first half when Dennis came up again and powered his free header straight at the keeper after Palfrey launched a big free-kick forward.

When asked his thoughts at the break, Copley said: “I kind of stole Ian’s lines really. It was a case of all the basics that we do, so every tackle that we do, every pass that we do, everything that we do has got to be better than them. 

“If we match them and beat them on the basics so let’s not chase the game, let’s not try to get another goal, Let’s just do the basics better, be harder to beat, match up with the and we did do that. I thought we did that very well.

“It’s an old cliché in football, the first ten minutes. I said to them what that means is don’t give them any momentum, don’t get them any foothold in the game for ten minutes, don’t let them into it and we did that.”

Tooting Bec’s set-piece specialist Jordan Wright whipped in his third of ten corners into the Glebe penalty area and George palmed the ball towards safety while being under pressure early on.

Glebe almost scored their fourth goal following a quickly taken free-kick in the 51st minute.

Nuttall slipped the ball into James Alderman’s feet, who turned and drove his left-footed drive towards the bottom far corner from 30-yards, the keeper diving full-length to his right to tip the ball around the post.

“Aldo’s very good finding little pockets of space. He’s a clever little player,” said Copley.

“Jaie played it quickly into Aldo’s feet, he’s taken a quick turn, he’s hit the shot and anything can happen. I actually thought if Gary could’ve been a little bit sharper he could’ve got on the end of the save from the keeper, he didn’t read it.”

Allison crossed into the Glebe penalty area again but this time Ogidi’s shot on the turn deflected just past the foot of the left-hand post from 12-yards, and once again Glebe dealt with the corner.

Glebe wrapped up their comfortable victory through Golding fine finish, timed at 15:43.

Nuttall played the ball inside from the right and Golding turned inside the box and stroked his shot across Machacek to find the corner and sprinted half the pitch and jumped into Copley’s arms before being mobbed by his team-mates.

“Ryan was on 29 goals and he was desperate to get his 30th goal,” revealed Copley.

“We started him tonight because of the quality he brings. I’m just delighted for him that he scored. He made a beeline for me straight after he scored, jumped all over me. The physio’s zip went up my nose and they all bundled me, everyone’s shouting and screaming. I’ve got a zip up my nose. I’m actually screaming because it’s hurting me and in the middle of that you just saw the relief on Ryan’s face.

“Ryan’s a hardworking player, he’s a hustling and bustling player. I’m just pleased for him that he’s got his 30 goals.”

Tooting Bec twice threatened to score following two corners from Jordan Wright but Thurbon came up and sent his free header into George’s hands before looping his second headed attempted looping over the crossbar.

“I think we defended their corners really well,” added Copley.

“We’ve been suckers with set-pieces in the past. In fact I’d probably say 60% of the goals we concede have been from corners, bearing in mind we’ve got quite big and strong centre halves.  It’s been really disappointing but I was really, really pleased how we defended set-pieces and their corners.”

The remainder of the game was played out in a comfortable fashion for Glebe as Tooting Bec didn’t have the quality to find a second goal.

Copley made a triple substitution with 21 minutes left and sub striker Jamie Williams hit a shot straight at Machacek, before fellow sub Danny Gannon, who was playing just behind, stung the keeper’s hands with a rasping shot from the left-hand side of the penalty area as the clock ticked down.

Glebe’s four strikers; Golding (30 goals); Lockyer (22);  Williams (14) and Gannon (13) have each taken it in turns to lead the line during the course of the season.

“With the strikers, we’ve got two big lumps (Golding and Lockyer) and we’ve got two speed merchants (Williams and Gannon).

“I think Ian said to me we’ve got it taticially right again. Jamie Williams, we played him as an out-an-out nine and we played Danny Gannon slightly behind him.

“We’ve got four strikers who we play. We said before the game how have we kept four strikers happy all season? We don’t know. It’s testament to them and maybe a little bit of credit to us that we’ve got the balance right in certain games if you look at all of their returns it’s been great for us.”

Copley and Varley take charge of their last Glebe game on Saturday when they travel to Sheppey United’s Holm Park to lock-horns with fourth-placed finishers Sutton Athletic in the Kent Invicta League Challenge Trophy Final.

It will be many of these players’ last outing for Glebe too, as Copley will take these players’ to his next club.

“My thoughts are I’m going into that totally relaxed like I came into tonight’s game, which it’s a bit odd our situation,” said Copley.

“We pretty much know the team, it’s already been picked.  We’ve told them.

“I like the guys at Sutton, I like youngie (Ben Young) and his crew there.  I’ve known him a long time. I respect them, they’re not screamers and shouters, they’re a bit like us.

“I’ll be relaxed and it will be my last game for Glebe and I’ll just relax and enjoy it and there’s no pressure on us or the players’ whatsoever.”

Glebe: Alfie George, Jordan Clark, Daniel Palfrey, Jack Hooper, Carson Dennis, James Day, Connor Charlton (Ismail Ismail 71), Jaie Nuttall, Ryan Golding (Jamie Williams 71), Gary Lockyer (Danny Gannon 71), James Alderman.
Subs: Cameron Reardon, Jamie Rawsthorne

Goals: Gary Lockyer 8, 30, Carson Dennis 43, Ryan Golding 61

Booked: Ryan Golding 45, Daniel Palfrey 90

Tooting Bec: Zdenek Machacek, Ben Wright, Martin Allison, Tom Scriven, Matthew Stone, Chris Thurbon, Kieran Patel (Mark Tcheang 70), Jordan Wright, Jonathon Ogidi, Panikos Oritis (Gareth Brown 85), Eddie M’Bango.
Subs: Dave Whyte, Alistair Simpson, Paul Metcalfe,

Goal: Jonathon Ogidi 24

Booked: Chris Thurbon 57

Attendance: 87
Referee: Mr Hossain Tavakkoli (Sydenham, London SE26)
Assistants: Mr Mario Stetakovic (Enfield, Middlesex) & Mr James Kerten (Enfield, Middlesex)
Fourth Official: Connor Scott (Tyne & Wear)