Hythe Town 1-2 Greenwich Borough - We can turn up and give the best teams a real good go, says Greenwich Borough interim boss Huseyin Torgut

Tuesday 11th December 2018
Hythe Town 1 – 2 Greenwich Borough
Location Reachfields Stadium, off Fort Road, Hythe, Kent CT21 6JS
Kickoff 11/12/2018 19:45

Bostik South East Division
Tuesday 11 December 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Reachfields Stadium

GREENWICH BOROUGH interim manager Huseyin Torgut says moving up the table is a positive thing after his side pulled off the biggest shock in the Bostik South East Division so far this season.

Sam Denly’s side went into the game sitting in fifth-place in the table with 27 points from 15 games but have now suffered back-to-back home league defeats, having lost 4-2 at home to surprise package Horsham at the weekend.  The Hornets followed that up by losing 2-1 at Three Bridges tonight.

Torgut’s first game in charge was a 4-1 home defeat to Haywards Heath but they bounced back with a 3-1 win at East Grinstead Town at the weekend but this result and performance will send shockwaves around the division.

Hythe Town took the lead through right-winger Charlie Webster but Greenwich Borough showed character to bounce back from that and scored twice in the space of 203 seconds around the hour-mark to seal their third league win of the season.

Holding midfielder Ryan King-Elliott equalised on the hour-mark before winger Laurent Mendy capped off an excellent performance by stabbing home the winner following a set-piece.

Greenwich Borough have climbed over Faversham Town and Sittingbourne and are now in the bottom four with 15 points from 16 games, seven points clear of bottom-side Herne Bay, who came away from Whitstable Town with a 4-0 win at the weekend.

“Delighted, happy for the boys more so for the fact that their efforts have been rewarded on a cold Tuesday night in Hythe,” said physio-turned-manager Torgut.

“There’s not many teams that come here and pick up points. I was speaking to Sam (Denly) beforehand, he mentioned that here against Horsham was their first defeat of the season so to add to that is absolutely massive and more so to follow up on Saturday’s win builds good momentum.

“We need to harness that energy, that wow factor because we have got that wow factor.  On our day we can turn up and give the best teams a real good go.

“There’s defiantly things we need to improve on.  There’s things we’ve got to improve on as a group and there’s a hell of a lot of learning. We’re a very young squad, our average age I think is 21 years old so it is a bit of a shock result but we’ll take that all day!”

When asked how he has turned things around after replacing Luke Medley, Torgut replied: “Just structure really, a little bit of discipline.  I think too draconian but just getting people here on time, getting people harnessing the club’s facilities, harnessing the boys kind of Academy up bringing and putting in place a team to kind of deal with that as well.”

Denly had to shoot off straight away after the game so he sent out his assistant coach Herbie Tyler to face the post-match questionining.

“Obviously disappointed, that’s our second home league defeat on the bounce now and to go through 2018 unbeaten (here in the league) all through that time and then to lose two on the bounce, it’s disappointing,” said Tyler.

“It’s not helping, we’ve been forced to make changes at times. We’ve had a few niggling injuries that’s caused us issues and it’s hard when you’re forced to make those changes.  I think it caused a bit of disruption but we’ve just got to look to the next game and see if we can bounce back from it.

“When you look at some of the performances that we have had this season, some of the results we’ve had this season, some really good games of football, some great performances, some great individual performances and then to turn out a performance like that, a second half like that, I don’t think we were too bad in the first half but second half kind of leaves you scratching your head a little bit.

“It’s about how we dig in now, get a good weeks training in and go and get some points on the road.”

Hythe Town were profligate in front of goal and they should have opened the scoring after only 70 seconds.

Striker Zak Ansah swung in a great free-kick from within the left channel and Nathan Daly came up from the back to glance his free header across the keeper and past the far post from 12-yards.

“A good opportunity. You’ve got to look at it, we can be going in at half-time two or three nil up and then it’s a different game of football in the second half.  To give us that cushion but I think going in 1-0 up we weren’t clinical enough in the first half, we left the game wide open,” admitted Tyler.

Greenwich Borough left-back Connor Peters played a delightful crossfield pass over to Teshaun Tyreece-Walters – who like Mendy was excellent – and he cut inside but drilled his shot harmlessly past the far post from 20-yards.

Greenwich Borough keeper Thomas McGill, who is on loan from Premier Leaguers Brighton & Hove Albion, pulled off a great save in the eighth minute.

Ansah prodded a short pass inside to his strike partner Junior Aikhionbare, who placed his right-footed shot towards the bottom far corner from just outside the corner of the box.  The ball bounced in front of McGill, who dived full-length to his left to tip the ball around his post.

Torgut said: “Tom’s made that his bread and butter. He’s got us out of jail a few times. For such a young keeper he shows incredible maturity and consistency in performance as well and we’re very privileged to have him and we’ll do our upmost best to look after him while he’s at the club.”

Greenwich Borough then had a spell of being on the front-foot and Ryan Nicholls – who is on loan from Vanarama National League South side Dartford – pulled off a great save of his own in the 17th minute.

Mendy swung in a corner from the left and lone striker Reece Deakin found a pocket of space at the near post to guide his header towards the near post, which was clawed out by Nicholls.

Torgut added:  “A good save! We need to work hard at set-pieces as a group, concentrate and we need to be in the right areas at the right time. That’s what you want to see, you want to see the opposition keepers being worked.”

Hythe Town played with complacency, thinking they could just turn up and come away winners and they paid the ultimate price tonight.

Ansah drove through the heart of the pitch and played the ball out to Kieron Campbell on the left but his weak shot lacked conviction and rolled into McGill’s gloves for a comfortable save.

Hythe Town were losing the midfield battle with Zach Fagan and Nigel Neita both putting in poor performances – and this lifted Greenwich Borough’s players spirits.

Neita stabbed the ball into Ansah’s feet, who played the ball out to Campbell and after getting the better of right-back Bradley Savage, a back-peddling McGill was happy to see the ball drop onto the top of the side netting.

Greenwich Borough centre-half Simba Kudyiwa tried to play the ball out of defence but his pass out was poor and was intercepted by Campbell, who found Ansah on the other side of the penalty area and he drilled his left-footed shot over the crossbar from 16-yards.

Greenwich Borough were the better team on the night but Hythe Town grabbed the lead with 27 minutes and 52 seconds on the clock.

Centre-half Mitchell Dickenson launched a long ball with his left-boot which sailed over Tyreece Owen’s head and gave Ansah the chance to spray some magic on the night’s events. He threaded a lovely pass along the deck to an unmarked Webster, who cut inside to drill his right-footed shot across McGill to find the bottom far corner from 12-yards.

Tyler said: “It was a good goal, a really good goal. It was good to see him score. It was a good team goal.  It’s something that we’ve really worked on, getting the ball wide and getting the ball into the box and dropping the ball in those areas so that was a goal that’s come from the training ground.

“That’s what I’m talking about, the difference between the two halves. You go and attack the ball the right way and we’re doing the right things in the first half and then in the second half, we don’t do it!”

Torgut added: “Well finished but a goal we’ll look to kind of prevent really if we could help it.  It’s in an area that we should be challenging at least and dominating but he went through on this occasion and the lad put it away well.

“We had to respond and that’s very much a testament to their character, their work-rate as well. We felt we had a decent share of the first half and to go 1-0 down, not necessarily hard done by but definitely we felt we were in a game as well and if we stepped up our concept and chances would come really.”

Greenwich Borough teams in the past would have folded like a pack of cards but Torgut has given his young squad belief during his short time in charge of the club.

Hythe Town had glorious chances to increase their lead.

Webster drove down the right and played the ball out to an overlapping right-back Salvyn Kisitu, who passed the ball back to Webster. He hung over a cross from the right and Aikhionbare rose at the near post but headed straight at McGill from 10-yards.

Torgut added: “Marking at set-pieces these are the things we need to improve on defiantly as a group and we’re trying to defend.  No ones born with the ability to defend set-pieces or crosses. It’s very much an attitude and concentration really so that’s something that we’re working on in training.”

Webster moved inside but scuffed a speculative 35-yard shot that apologetically trickled into the gloves of the untroubled visiting keeper.

Twenty-four goal striker Ansah should have buried a chance that came his way five minutes before the interval – everyone looked on in disbelief that he skied the ball over the crossbar.

Dickenson launched a long ball over the top to release Campbell down the left and he put the ball on a plate for Ansah by cutting the ball back but the striker lashed his first time shot over the crossbar with only the keeper to beat.

Tyler said: “We can’t always rely on one player to score our goals! At the end of the day the other boys around him have to put the ball in the back of the net as well.  Zak’s had a couple of chances today but I think the glaring misses are the other chances.”

Torgut admitted: “You’re as shocked as I am in regards to that! I’ve seen so many times on video you expect to see Zak hit the back of the net there.  That’s what’s he’s been absolutely phenomenal at in this league but we’ll take him missing from there anytime!”

Greenwich Borough were lifted by this miss and called Nicholls into making a comfortable save on the stroke of half-time.

Mendy played a crossfield pass to release Peters in acres of space down the left and his cross was cleared out to central midfielder Reece Cave, who cracked a right-footed volley straight into the keeper’s midriff from 30-yards.

“It’s a good job he’s hit the target really! I wouldn’t really want him shooting from there on normal occasions so I was ready with a rocket for him. He got away with that one,” admitted his manager.

Tyler added: “I think towards the end of that half we sat off a little bit and they started coming into the game a little bit more and started to put us under a little bit of pressure and it was an indication of what was to come after half-time, I think.”

Both camps were asked their thoughts at the break.

Tyler said: “It was quite positive.  The main thing is we should’ve been ahead, further ahead sorry. We should’ve been two or three up and that we had to go out and work hard because they were going to come at us.”

Torgut added: “Just keep going, keep believing. We thought we could create chances.  We always believed in our shape and our ability to cause them problems and ask questions of their defence as well and it proved fruitful in the second half thankfully.”

Greenwich Borough took only 33 seconds to create their first chance of the second half, with their best two players combining well.

Mendy was on the left wing when he received the ball and he swept a crossfield pass over to Tyreece-Walters on the other side of the pitch. He cut inside and from 20-yards stung Nicholl’s fingers with a powerfully hit strike.

Greenwich Borough have got Tyreece-Walters and Mendy on contract, which is geat news otherwise rival clubs will prise the talented pair away.

“I mean if TT can go inside, TT can go outside and the unpredictable nature of his game makes him such a fantastic winger.  I’ll take him doing that and I want to get him in those kind of positions as much as possible really,” said Torgut.

“TT and Laurent (Mendy) on their day, if we can get the ball to them in the right areas, will cause problems for sure.”

Tyler added: “They had a couple of players who were pulling us about a little bit and causing us issues. They had some good individual players in there.”

Hythe Town received two huge slices of luck seven minutes into the second half.

Daly was keen to shepherd the ball out of play on the by-line but Tyreece-Walters stole the ball off him and cut inside and appeared to be tripped by Nicholls, who stopped down but referee Kirsty Dowle waved play on. 

Seconds later, the ball was worked to Kayne Roberts who cracked a shot against the underside of the crossbar, thanks to Nicholls fingertips, high to his left.

Torgut admitted: “I thought it was a pen but I’m in the dug-out and the referee was a lot closer than me so I have to back her on that occasion. I thought she had a solid game to be fair.  Unfortunately it wasn’t given and then the keeper’s made a good save.  I like the fact that we were alert to the second phase and got the shot off and forcing him to make saves, that’s what we want to be doing really.”

Tyler added: “I was a bit far away to tell what kind of contact Ryan had really but the danger should’ve been dealt with before that.  We tried to see the ball out and we put ourselves in a difficult position and time and time again Ryan’s digging us out of situations with lots of really good saves.”

Hythe Town should have killed off Greenwich Borough when Neita played the ball out to Webster, who played in Ansah on the outside and his angled drive was superbly tipped away by McGill, diving full-length low to his right. The ball came out to Webster in the centre of the goal and he slipped after connecting with a wild shot that sailed harmlessly wide.

Greenwich Borough’s equaliser was deserved and it came with 14 minutes and 12 seconds on the clock.

Cave slipped the ball out to left-back Peters, who whipped in a first time hanging cross into the penalty area. The ball was knocked down by Mendy and fell at the feet of an unmarked King-Elliott, who placed his left-footed shot across the keeper and watched it trickle into the bottom far corner.

Torgut added: “Delighted for Ryan! He’s a cornerstone of the team for me in terms of his mental abilities and his leadership qualities are far beyond his age and he’s played a real good performance and I’m delighted that he got on the end of that really, well finished, right place, right time again.

“I think we deserved to be in the game at that stage. At half-time, 1-0 down, I thought it was a little bit harsh so to get to 1-1, I think it was just deserts.”

Tyler added: “Again, it’s just a failure to deal with pressure. I thought that was a weak goal to be fair. I think we should’ve done far better.  Looking back at that the boys will realise how weak that goal was.  I think it was a dodgy five minutes from there and conceding that goal put it back on a negative spin. We didn’t respond.”

Greenwich Borough stunned Hythe Town by scoring the winner with 17 minutes and 55 seconds on the clock – it was fully deserved too.

Tyreece-Walters delivered a free-kick from the right into the penalty area and Owen came up from the back to knock the ball down for Mendy to poke his shot into the right-hand corner from eight-yards.

Torgut said: “In this league if you can get the ball in the right areas there’s going to be problems.  Luckily for us it fell to us on this occasion and we managed to convert it and delighted to take the lead.”

Tyler added: “That was our moan because then you look back at the first half, actually how well we did play at times.  The opportunities we had to put the game out of sight early on and it came back to bite us!”

King-Elliott found Mendy in space within the left-hand side of the penalty area but he drilled his shot into the side netting as Nicholls scrambled across his goal.

Greenwich Borough then started to wind the clock down by taking their time and parked the bus and soaked up the pressure that came their way for the rest of the game.

Campbell’s shot trickled across the face of goal before it was cleared to safety but Greenwich Borough forced their seventh and final corner with seven minutes left.

Roberts swung the ball in from the right and Owen jumped up at the far post to steer his header over the crossbar.

Owen put his body on the line at the other end when he got back on his goal-line to head Ansah’s looping header up in the air and the chipped McGill got back at the nick of time to flick the ball away inside the final five minutes after Aziz Lyoubi put the ball into the penalty area.

“With the weather we had at the weekend, the pitch at East Grinstead was really, really heavy. It was a fantastic pitch here tonight but quite heavy one in the legs and really tough on the boys as well,” added Torgut.

“We haven’t managed to have enough training sessions to work on any fitness or any conditioning, which is quite normal at this time of the year anyway but it was backs against the wall but I felt we kept our structure quite well.

“I thought when those balls were there to be won, we tried our best to do so and managed that relatively well considering.

“Tyreece (Owen) was very good to sense danger and show alertness to the situation to get himself up and that was absolutely fantastic!”

Tyler added: “Towards the end of the game we did get in there a little bit more but we left it too late. They got the lead, they done the right thing, they’ve parked the bus and put bodies in front of their goal and that’s’ very hard to go and attack and break down.

“I think that summed up the second half for me, they just wanted it more and they were just going to put their bodies on the line to stop the ball going in the back of the net.”

Webster put the ball into the box and Dickenson’s flicked his shot straight at McGill, who grabbed hold of the ball at his near post as Greenwich Borough came home from the Kent coast with a valuable three points.

Eleventh-placed Three Bridges (19 points from 15 games) arrive at Middle Park Avenue to play a now resurgent Greenwich Borough on Saturday.

“The league table is not exciting at this time of the year.  In a months time if we carry on going in the right direction then we’ll be doing the right kind of things. Moving up the table is always a positive thing,” said Torgut.

“We’ll take it one game at a time, try to prepare well at training and assess the squad in terms of any knocks or injuries and have a go really.  Any team on any day can beat each other in this league so if we’re not on the ball and we let our standards slip then Three Bridges will be more than happy to take three points off us.”

Tonight’s shock result means Hythe Town are 12 points adrift of unbeaten league leaders Cray Wanderers, who have a game in hand.

Tyler insists his side bounce back when they travel to Whyteleafe on Saturday, a side one place and one point below them.

“There’s going to be a time that we do lose games and every team is going to have a rough patch when they do lose games and drop points and it’s all about the reaction now. 

“We’ve had a positive start to the season with some really good points on the road and at home and we now need to respond and put it right before Christmas.

“Whyteleafe is a tough game, it’s always a tough game that one. It’s not about the opposition now, it’s about us turning up and doing our job!

“If we do the right things and play the way we know we can, the way we played up at Guernsey (winning 2-0) which was fantastic.

“We had a decent half on Saturday and a decent half today but we need to be turning that out for 90 minutes and not for 45. We want a see a reaction from the boys and if they don’t respond we’ve got a lot of ability in the changing room and a lot of talented lads.”
Hythe Town: Ryan Nicholls, Salvyn Kisitu, Aziz Lyoubi, Zach Fagan, Nathan Daly, Mitchell Dickenson, Charlie Webster, Nigel Neita (Chris Kinnear 64), Zak Ansah, Junior Aikhionbare (Jack Sammoutis 46), Kieron Campbell.
Subs: Elliott Capel, Charlie Owen, Billy Lewins

Goal: Charlie Webster 28

Booked: Zach Fagan 68

Greenwich Borough: Thomas McGill, Bradley Savage, Connor Peters, Ryan King-Elliott, Tyreece Owen, Simba Kudyiwa, Teshaun Tyreece-Walters (Rio Davidson-Phillips 83), Reece Cave (Olakunle Giwa 69), Reece Deakin, Kayne Roberts, Laurent Mendy.
Subs: Yanis Borges, Olutoyosi Olusanya

Goals: Ryan King-Elliott 60, Laurent Mendy 62

Attendance: 130
Referee: Ms Kirsty Dowle (Canterbury)
Assistants: Mr Joseph Dann-Pye (Maidstone) & Mr Nick Dunn (Deal)