Holmesdale 5-1 Chipstead (Kent) - We want to compete and do well for the club, says Holmesdale coach Ross Mitchell

Monday 03rd August 2015
Holmesdale 5 – 1 Chipstead (Kent)
Location 68 Oakley Road, Bromley, Kent BR2 8HQ
Kickoff 04/08/2015 19:45

Pre-Season Friendly
Tuesday 4th August 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Oakley Road

CHIPSTEAD manager Lee Roots suffered a miserable return to Oakley Road after his side were completely outclassed by Holmesdale.


The former Holmesdale skipper suffered relegation from the NRG Gym Kent County League Premier Division by finishing bottom of the table and are now preparing for life in Division One West this season.

Holmesdale, who begin their Southern Counties East Football League campaign with a home game against title-favourites Greenwich Borough next Wednesday 12 August, ripped apart a side that play three levels lower in front of a sparse crowd, which included former Crystal Palace, Bromley and Cray Wanderers favourite Simon Osborn.

Holmesdale opened the floodgates by scoring the first goal after only 145 seconds when lanky attacker Tre Zialor was left unmarked at the far post to head home.

Marcus Cassius capitalised on a Chipstead mistake to drill home a second goal, before Zialor cracked a stunning strike into the top corner from 25-yards five minutes into the second half.

Michael McKenna came off the bench to net two goals for Holmesdale, the first a penalty, before scoring the game’s final goal at the death.

Out-played Chipstead did pull a goal back with six minutes remaining through right-winger, substitute Kevin Moleka.

Dominant Holmesdale, who won the corner count by 14-2, could have rattled in a cricket score had it not been for a heroic second half performance from Chipstead substitute keeper Kane Charles, 17, who made a string of brilliant saves.

Holmesdale manager John Wilfort put forward assistant manager Ross Mitchell to face the questions following their convincing victory.

Mitchell said: “I think it was a good run out. I thought the boys played well, all game to be fair.

“We dominated possession. How we ain’t scored 10, I don’t know! Their keeper’s made about six or seven fantastic saves in the second half.

“Should have scored 12? I think so and that’s no disrespect to Chipstead! I thought our boys played well and created chances when we needed to, got shots off, worked the keeper and he’s had one of those games that he won’t have for a long time.”

“I think it’s a good experience for us at this point,” said Roots after the game.

“It’s a lot of tough lessons but not nice to lose 5-1 but I think it’s a fair result.

“Holmesdale are much a better side, obviously we’re quite a few league’s below and it’s a new squad we pieced together two weeks ago.  We’ve come a long way, a little bit too far tonight. A little bit of inexperience as well but we’ll take away a few lessons, a lot of positives and a lot of stuff to iron out.”

Reflecting upon his first visit to Oakley Road since leaving the club, Roots admitted: “A little bit of mixed emotions for me.  Obviously never played against the club. I was down here as the captain. I’ve got great memories of the club, really like the club, great, great relationship with Ross (Mitchell) the assistant, he’s one of my close friends.

“Listen, we would have liked to come down here, I wasn’t really fussed about the result. I was more bothered about the performance.

“I don’t think Holmesdale let us perform tonight and I thought they were good and I’m pleased for them. They’re two clubs that hold a heavy part in my heart are Chipstead and Holmesdale so it was a bit of a bitter chalice really but it’s not the best night to come down here and walk away with that result. We know where we’re at and where we’re going to.”

Chipstead keeper Chris Dobbs was called into early action to swipe the ball at Zialor’s feet after the striker took too many touches on the ball after latching onto Cassius’ flicked pass from the edge of the penalty area, before Holmesdale opened the scoring.

Zialor actually started the move inside Chipstead’s half by cutting the ball back to skipper Aaron Day, a summer signing from Greenwich Borough.

Day pinged a sublime diagonal ball from right to left to find left-back Stephen Wickes, who cut inside and played the ball into Cassius feet.  The striker rode a sliding challenge from Ashley Cameron before sweeping the ball back out to the right to Dereece Thompson.

The winger floated over a cross towards the far post where the unmarked Zialor rose and looped his header back across goal and into the far corner of the net from eight-yards.

Mitchell said: “Good start! We’ve been working on that. We’ve told the boys what we want to do.

“Tre’s a big lad, he’s six foot two. He should be winning headers like that but I thought he controlled the header really well and put it back from where it came from – a textbook finish really.”

Roots added: “When I looked at my watch it was just under three minutes. We set the lads up to go out there and have a good 5-10 minutes, not to concede and be tight and it’s the worst start!

“The promising thing from the goal is actually we went and settled for another 30 minutes and conceded another goal before half-time – so bad start!

“Again, simple things that the lads know how to deal with, the ball coming across and we haven’t been tight enough to the guy and he’s got a free header really at the back stick.”

Holmesdale called Dodds into making a comfortable low save to his right to deny the unmarked Victor Okisor after Cassius cut the ball back to right-winger Thompson, who put over another fine cross.

Chipstead weathered the early storm and conceded another chance in the 21st minute.

Thompson comfortably skipped past Aaron Hutchings on the halfway line before racing through but lacked composure when he only had Dodds to beat, the keeper making a comfortable save low to his right.

Chipstead’s first opening arrived in the 25th minute after Holmesdale lost possession in the final third following a short goal-kick from Bobby Sturgeon and Sean Mason gifted the ball to James Potts, who played the ball inside to Callum Turner to loop his shot over the crossbar from 25-yards.

Holmesdale’s central defender Lee Coburn clipped a long ball over the top of Chipstead’s flat-footed defence to release Cassius through on goal but the striker stung Dodds’ fingers when he lashed in a shot after cutting in from the left.

Thompson fed Cassius in behind Cameron and the Holmesdale striker’s right-footed shot was palmed over by Dodds.

Brendon Hobbs swung in the resulting corner from the right and Coburn came up from the back to plant his downward header into the Chipstead keeper’s hands.

Day played a short free-kick inside to Cassius, who cracked a dipping drive just over the crossbar, before Chipstead squandered an excellent chance to grab an equaliser on the half-hour mark.

Winger Lanre Adebayo did well to beat his man to reach the left by-line before cutting the ball back to striker Bradley Setters, who completely missed his kick only eight-yards from goal.

“It could have been a different story,” admitted Roots.

“Bradley is someone who we have brought up from the reserves, new into the club this year and maybe it’s a little bit of a lack of confidence or a lack of awareness of being at this level.

“Lanre’s done great feet out on the wing, took the guy to the line and tucked it back and if he just gets a good connection with that it could have changed the outlook on the game but yes he totally misses the ball!”

Holmesdale continued to pepper shots at Dodds’ goal. Zialor cut the ball back for Thompson to hit a first time shot straight at the Chipstead keeper.

Cassius produced a woeful finish when he blasted high over the bar after being played in behind the Chipstead defence, but the striker finally bagged a goal after 33 minutes.

Chipstead right-back Aaron Hutchings attempted to roll a pass inside to central defender Cameron but Cassius read it, took a touch before drilling a stunning right-footed screamer across Dodds to find the far corner from 15-yards.

Mitchell said: “They gave the ball away. Cass had a few chances tonight and I think he disappointed.

“I think he tried to smash balls into the back of the net rather than have a bit more composure but Cass is a quality striker. We know what we’re going to get with him, not just the shots tonight but his overall build-up play, I thought, was fantastic so credit to him.”

Roots admitted: “That’s a gift from us! We’re promoting the lads even coming to this level to still try to play out from the back. Aaron is actually a centre back playing at right-back tonight and it showed! He’s played a bad square ball to Ashley. It’s totally not even in his path and Marcus nips in before Ashley has even had a chance to read it and scored.

“Very disappointing for us but we’re promoting them to try to play that way so in pre-season, it’s an old cliché as you know, in pre-season we will allow it while we’re trying to experiment new things but it’s a gift really, it’s a gift!”

Holmesdale produced an impressive one-touch sweeping move which included Zialor, Cassius, Hobbs and Mason, who put Okisor through on goal, but the winger dragged his shot across Dodds and past the far post when he only had the keeper to beat.

Roots said: “We were concerned overall. We kind of felt they might come at us. We kind of knew why this fixture was put in place so we felt they would come at us like that.

“We were a little bit square at the back. We had two trialists playing at the back. We didn’t do some real basic stuff correctly.

“Listen, if we’re going to step off teams and let them turn and let them put balls in behind you, you’re going to have a lot of chances against you, but a bit disappointing with some of the balls over the top.”

Out-played Chipstead created their second chance in the 38th minute when Adebayo clipped a high pass over the head of Holmesdale left-back Wickes to pick out Setters, who took a touch before hitting an angled volley over the crossbar from 25-yards.

Both were asked their thoughts at the break.

Mitchell said: “We just asked them to keep doing what they were doing! We’ve been working on a plan all pre-season. We wanted more shots – we certainly got that second half – and they followed instructions really well.

“It would have been easy for them to become complacent and I think we did with the goal that we conceded but overall 95% of the play I thought we was fantastic.”

Roots said: “We were a little bit disappointed with the way that my players expressed themselves. 

“Listen, we’re a few leagues below these guys and we still tried to play at times and at times they have to realise when to play and when not to play and we basically told them they’ve been better prepared than what they were.  They need to be less square at the back. We made a couple of changes at the back, not to be so tight on the number 9, which was Marcus (Cassius), who was turning quite easily and play a little bit more clever and actually look to go out and express themselves a little bit more going forward.

“We were quite slow with our build-up play and we was looking to get them the ball a little bit quicker out on the wings and really try and have a better start in the second half than we did in the first half and I think we came out better. Obviously we didn’t concede in the second half like we did in the first half so that was an improvement.”

Holmesdale continued their dominance of the game during another one-sided half of football.

Zialor played the ball inside to Cassius, who stroked his left-footed drive which bounced just past the foot of the near post, before Holmesdale added a third with 4 minutes and 26 seconds on the clock.

Midfielder Hobbs played the ball out wide to winger Okisor who set up Zialor, who took a step to drill a stunning first time right-footed drive into the top right-hand corner of the net from 25-yards.

Roots said: “The third goal, it’s a great finish! They looked dangerous at that point.

“Again our build-up was quite slow and stand off-ish and they came out quite quick and it looked like they was going to press us for more goals and they took the goal well.”

Mitchell simply added: “Fantastic finish! He ain’t really known for his shooting but he struck that one sweet and the keeper’s got no chance!”

Dodds then made way for Charles, who pulled off a brilliant one-man performance for Chipstead to keep the score respectable.

Hobbs’ dinked pass was hit on the volley by Okisor from inside the corner of the Chipstead penalty area, the ball sailing across the keeper and past the far post.

Chipstead’s best chance arrived in the 55th minute when Kent journeyman striker Ross Cable went close to scoring.

Former Holmesdale player Mert Varli played the ball in behind the defence for Cable, whose right-footed shot forced substitute keeper Jack Yerlett to dive to his left to push the ball around his post.

Roots hailed signing Cable’s signing as Chipstead’s best for ten years!

He said: “It’s a massive signing for us. Whether he had his best night or not tonight….

“Anyone who knows Ross knows the level’s he’s been at. He’s local to us. He lives in the village and he’s looking to play football at a comfortable level with his kids and his family, which is understandable at that age.

“He’s been here since the first session. He’s been a pleasure to work with and against weaker sides he’s scored three hat-tricks in pre-season. He’s been superb.

“When we get the ball in to him and we play in to his strengths he really brings us on as a team.

“Hadn’t had a bad chance tonight. The keeper saved it. Another time one-on-one you fancy Ross to score for us.

“As a club it’s probably the biggest signing, I would say, the club’s made for the past ten years’ without a doubt.”

Lawson released Thompson down the right who cut inside Chipstead left-back Josh Crosswell before cutting the ball back for Dominic Weston to hit his volley over the bar from 12-yards.

McKenna played a defensive splitting pass to release Weston charging down the right and he lost and then won the ball off the last defender before floating over a cross towards the near post where Steve Karkari planted his diving header just wide.

Holmesdale deservedly raced into a 4-0 lead from the penalty spot in the 65th minute.

Lawson was tripped by Tom Whealon and McKenna stepped up and sent Charles the wrong way with a clinically dispatched right-footed penalty, which nestled inside the bottom left-hand corner.

Mitchell said: “Macca’s a good player. He’s been with us, he’s a good lad and I thought he probably had the most chances in the second half.  He’s played 40 minutes and scored two goals, probably could have had four or five and I think he’s come on and done well there.

“I always fancied Macca with penalties. Penalties and set-plays he’s so composed, so good.”

Roots said: “It was our right-back Tom Whealon. I think it was a mix between him and the centre back. I didn’t really get a good view of it myself, I was too far away to see it. It looked like a foul. Whether it was inside the box or not, I don’t know? Tom after the game said he felt it was outside but listen you give these guys chances inside or outside you get given the penalty and he stuck it away well. Again, another gift.”

Karkari and McKenna played a one-two down the left and set up a chance for Weston, whose first time drive deflected past the left-hand post, before Charles excelled again from the resulting corner.

McKenna swung in the ball from the left and the ball was headed out to Hobbs, who cracked a first time drive which forced Charles to dive low to his right to parry towards safety.

Mitchell, a goalkeeper himself, hailed the performance of Chipstead’s best player on the night.

“He’s had one of them where he’ll probably won’t have another game like that but credit to him!

“Everyone says he’s a small keeper but he’s probed there that he’s done really well, so well done to the lad.”

Karkari then played the ball inside to Weston, who skipped through the Chipstead defence and was destined to slam the ball into the bottom near corner, but Charles received a slice of luck by making a fine block and the ball bounced along the line before going behind for another corner as it bounced around the far post.

Wickes’ corner came out to McKenna lurking on the edge of the penalty area and he was denied another goal by another fine save from Charles, parrying the ball away while diving to his left.

The brilliant young Chipstead keeper pulled off another smart save in the 73rd minute when Lawson twisted and turned his man to curl his shot towards goal, which was pushed around the post by Charles, diving to his left.

“I would say he kept the score down,” praised Roots.

“He’s 17 years of, came from Whyteleafe. We were going to start with the keeper we started in the first half. He’s (Dodds) the reserve keeper and we give everyone a chance here.

“Kane has been impressive. He reads the box really well. He sweeps out. He gets a little bit caught a few times, a little bit of indecision but actually he kept the score down.

“He made a couple of fantastic low saves. He was a little bit at fault with the fifth goal when he palmed it back into the centre forward. Listen, he’s 17 years old but we’re looking for talent like that at the club.”

Charles made a comfortable save from McKenna, who easily cut inside Chipstead’s Crosswell.

McKenna was again thwarted by the keeper, who dived to his left to push the ball around the post as the game entered the last ten minutes.

McKenna took Holmesdale’s thirteenth corner of the night and the ball came out to Hobbs, whose right-footed drive from the edge of the box was palmed over by the busy keeper.

But to their credit out-played Chipstead scored a consolation goal with six minutes remaining.

Varli played the ball into Cable, who laid the ball off to Moleka, who produced a fine drilled finish, which flashed across Yerlett and nestled inside the bottom far corner of the net from the corner of the box.

Roots said: “Really impressed with the finish! Kevin only came to us on Saturday as well as Zac (Seamons) and Liam (Vandial), who we looked at.

“Kevin Moleka has played in Belgium, apparently as an ex pro and we don’t know much about him and actually when he’s got through he showed a nice bit of quality,. He’s relaxed, palmed off the full-back and drilled it across the keeper. Really impressed with the finish and that composure in that final third.  We still don’t know what his position will be. We’ll look at him this weekend, but yes, great finish.”

Mitchell added: “Poor goal from us to give away. I think we got into a position there when we got complacent. We gave the ball away in a very poor area and they should have dealt with it better.  We wanted a clean sheet and we’ve been sloppy and given the ball away.”

At the other end, heroic Charles made a near post block with his legs to prevent Weston scoring from a tight angle, before Holmesdale netted a fifth goal 40 seconds into injury time.

Wickes thought it was his turn to unleash a 25-yard drive towards goal, which Charles palmed away, but this time the ball fell at McKenna’s feet, and he steered the ball into the back of the net from eight-yards to break the talented goalkeeper’s resistance.

Mitchell said: “Right place, right time! A great shot from Wicksey, absolutely powered one in there. The keeper’s got one hand to it and Macca’s just slotted home nicely.”

Roots said: “Again it’s a disappointing way for us to finish. We’d like to have finished being the last team that scored! That would have been a nice bonus for us.

“They’ve gone through a period of lashing in shots from outside the box. Kane’s made a stop, it’s not the best of stops, he’s palmed it, kind of one hand back into the centre forward and he’s tapped it in for an easy finish.

“Looking at it irrespective of the result, but they created a lot of chances but we’ve gifted them the goals as well.

“There’s a few issues to crease out but listen he’s a young keeper. Next time he’ll palm it over his goal.”

Holmesdale are without a game on the opening day of the season but face a test against Greenwich Borough next Wednesday.

Mitchell hopes his young side can cause a shock against Ian Jenkins’ side.

“The group of lads that we’ve brought in are just not good quality but they're good lads as well,” he said.

“They’re playing for each other. The atmosphere in the changing room is really good. I feel we had a few players last year that spoilt that and we had to accept it.

“But it was key for us when we recruited players this year, not just looking at their ability but also looking at what they bring to the changing room, how they’re going to be around the younger players.

“Wilf (Wilfort) was quite clear with us when he came in and I share his view where we don’t want to be seen as a stepping stone club. We want to be able to create something.

“We won’t put a number on where we want to finish this season. We want to compete and we want to do well for the club but also for those boys in there.

“Some of them are quite young, quite inexperienced but they’ve got a lot of belief and a lot of talent and let’s see what we talk about at the end of the season.”

Holmesdale: Bobby Sturgeon (Jack Yerlett 46), Sean Mason (Jamie Fernandes 68), Stephen Wickes, Aaron Day, Jack Saunders, Lee Coburn, Dereece Thompson (Dominic Weston 63), Brendon Hobbs, Marcus Cassius (Steve Karkari 58), Tre Zialor (Michael McKenna 54), Victor Okisor (Adriano Lawson 52).
Sub: Greg Darmer

Goals: Tre Zialor 3, 50, Marcus Cassius 33, Michael McKenna 65 (penalty), 90

Chipstead (Kent): Chris Dodds (Kane Charles 52), Aaron Hutchings (Kevin Moleka 57), Tom Whealon, Zac Seamons (Charlie Hacksall 46), Ashley Cameron, James Potts, Lanre Adebayo (Josh Crosswell 46), Callum Turner, Ross Cable, Bradley Setters (Mert Varli 52), Rob Wells (Liam Candial 75).

Goal: Kevin Moleka 84

Attendance: 25
Referee: Mr Ricky Adams (Gravesend)
Assistants: Mr Martin Lehane (Bexleyheath) & Ms Louise Saunders (Rochester)