K Sports 0-2 Glebe - Top two was the aim at the start and that's where we need to be, says Glebe boss Adam Woodward

Tuesday 04th April 2017
K Sports 0 – 2 Glebe
Location Cobdown Sports & Social Club, Station Road, Ditton, Aylesford, Kent ME20 6AU
Kickoff 04/04/2017 19:45

K SPORTS 0-2  GLEBE
Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Tuesday 4th April 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Station Road

GLEBE manager Adam Woodward says it feels nice to be delivering a position at the top of the table with five league games remaining.

The Chislehurst based club leapfrogged over long-time leaders Rusthall to go two points clear at the top of the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table with 79 points from their 31 league outings.

Two goals within 156 seconds of each other early in the second half from strikers Aaron Jeffery and Ryan Golding sealed a comfortable victory at fifth-placed K Sports, who remain on 61 points with four games left to play.

The Paperboys finished the game with ten-men after teenage left-back Jack Salisbury collected his second yellow card inside the final eight minutes, as they suffered their third defeat on the bounce.

It was to be the home side’s third league home defeat of the season, while Glebe remain unbeaten in 15 away league outings.

“Great win,” was how Woodward described the outcome, as the press conference took place in the snooker room on the top floor of the clubhouse.

“Saturday took a lot out of the boys and the way we came here tonight, it weren’t pretty first half, I thought we were poor.

“I made a few changes at half-time tactically and spoke with the back room staff who agreed we needed a little change at half-time and it worked in the end, two quick goals in the second half.

“It was a professional job. I keep asking the boys to dig me out performances and credit to them they keep digging out performances and they keep working their socks off for each other.

“Up until tonight I don’t think we were the team to beat if I’m honest. Rusthall were sitting top of the league.  They’re the team to beat. We’ve gone top tonight so obviously now we’re one of the teams to beat.

“Teams do raise their game against us, I accept that.  The whole money thing everyone keeps talking about, budgets and money this and money that it drives me absolutely potty.  I’ve got an honest bunch of players and they work their socks off for each other and it’s a little family in that changing room.”

K Sports manager Kris Browning admitted his side were snookered against the title favourites.

“A bit disappointed, I think the best team won on the night.  We just seem to keep making the same mistakes,” said Browning, now in his eighth season in charge of the club.

“They shaded it, I will say.  They’re a good side, as we know. I was quite pleased with the lads how they battled away.

“We’ve got nothing to lose. We’re still learning. I dropped a few of the senior players today and put in some youngsters because I think it will be a good experience for them, especially when we’re having a go at it next season, so I just told them to be energetic, get at them and we did start well.”

K Sports created the first chance of the game inside the opening eight minutes.

Winger Sam Butterworth’s corner came back to him and he whipped in a deep cross from the right towards the far post and Liam Dawson’s towering header seemed destined to sail into the top far corner of the net but for Adam Molloy to dive to his left to claw the ball out with his left-hand.

“It was a good save. He’s done well, their keeper, but that’s what I said to them, get at them early and let them know they’re in a game, which we did do and it was a very good save form the keeper to be fair,” said Browning.

The Glebe manager said: “Great save by Adam Molloy.  We’re going to miss him for the next two games. He’ll miss the Semi-Final on Saturday and he misses the game up at Phoenix on Tuesday through his suspension.

“They got that chance there but if I’m honest we edged it. Other than that they didn’t have a shot in the first half.”

The Paperboys squandered another great chance shortly afterwards when Sam Winch launched a long throw towards the near post and the ball dropped at the feet of 28-goal striker Caine Smith, who hit his left-footed shot on the turn over the crossbar from eight-yards.

Browning admitted that he has been too reliant on the dimulative striker this season and is searching for more players to put the ball in the back of the net.

“The final third is an area that we need to work on,” he said.

“That goes to show where our goals have come from this season apart from Caine, we haven’t had anyone pop up with 10-15 goals for us so it’s an area I’m looking for next season, bringing in players who can score form midfield or from defensive areas and get us that extra 10-15 goals.”

Woodward said: “Credit to the boys Carson (Dennis) and Charlie (McCarthy). I keep saying it, I’ve got Scott Whibley on the bench, in my opinion he’s a Ryman League centre half and he can’t get in the side at the moment because Charlie and Carson are keeping him out and they’ve kept another clean sheet and that’s what we live and die for in our team, clean sheets.

“We’ve let in 20 league goals this season and that’s an absolute credit to everyone’s that played in that back four, credit to the defence really.”

Glebe took seventeen minutes to fashion their first opening.  A long throw came in from right-back Davy-Jo Anderson, the home side failed to clear the ball at the near post and Carson Dennis came up from the back to poke his shot straight at Joe Cullip from a tight angle.

“We’re pretty sure the game plan worked. We played the 4-5-1 system so I was pleased with how the lads worked.  I was pleased how the youngsters adapted to it and took on the instructions so I was pleased with that,” added Browning.

Cullip was called into serious action just past the half-hour mark when Jeffery’s flicked pass released Andres Felipe Losada Tobon through on goal and the Paperboys keeper rushed off his line to dive at the winger’s feet before grabbing the ball at the second attempt.

“I think Taz (Jeffery) has got his critics. We’ve had our run ins during the season but he’s one of my best pals and tonight I thought he was exceptional off the ball,” said Woodward.

“He took one for the team when we made a tactical change. Taz is a goalscorer. In the first half I thought him and Golding were very isolated. I thought they wasn’t playing straight down the middle. He was missing the 10 really and we wasn’t stretching the game. Once we made the change I thought it worked.”

Golding was enduring a frustrating first half as nothing fell for him.

Dawson’s back-header gave the Glebe talisman a chance from 35-yards, but the ball sailed about 35-yards over the crossbar and into the adjacent playing fields.

K Sports were keen to hit balls over the top of a Glebe defence, which was superbly marshalled by Dennis and Charlie McCarthy.

def

Salisbury played the ball inside to central midfielder Joe Lewis, but he dragged his shot past the left-hand post from 30-yards.

But Glebe squandered a glorious chance to break the stalemate on the stroke of half-time.

Tobon found himself sitting just in front of McCarthy before hitting a sublime 50-yard pass out of defence to put Golding through on goal straight down the middle but Woodward felt he should have gone down after Ashley Cooper’s last-man tackle before Cullip advanced off his line to make a vital block.

Woodward said: “I  thought if Ryan Golding goes down, he gets a penalty.  I think he’s too honest. He’s a goalscorer but I think he needs to go down from Cooper’s challenge. He’s rode the challenge. He’s too honest.  A foul’s a foul. If there’s contact in the box I think you should be going down as a centre forward.

“It seems to be nowadays referee’s seem to think because you don’t go to the ground it’s not a penalty.  Obviously he was clearly caught and it knocked him off his stride.  I don’t think he got a clean strike away if I’m hones but the ref’s not given a penalty, he’s missed, go in 0-0 at half-time.”

Browning was full of praise for his goalkeeper, adding, “He’s brave Joe, I give him that. Our goalkeeper is brave as they come. There’s areas that he needs to work on but his attitude and determination is outstanding in those situations. He usually comes out on top because he’s so brave.

“That chance came about by us losing possession in their half and then it was just a straight ball through.  Again, we can’t keep the ball in the final third.”

Both sides made the trek to their cramped temporary dressing rooms in the car park for the half-time interval.

Browning said: “I just said keep going. I could see they were getting slightly frustrated but I just said keep going, just keep working hard and we may get a chance, set-pieces we were working on.”

Woodward added: “I had a quick chat with (Tim Warden and Sam Long) and I had a quick chat with the lads and put something to them.  We spoke to the players at length for what we wanted from them and it wasn’t a moan. I don’t think we played well first half. I don’t think K Sports played very well first half.  As I said to the players, I need another performance from them. They looked tired, jaded, lethargic, can you dig deep for me?”

Glebe responded from Woodward’s demands by taking the lead with six minutes and 39 seconds on the clock, before doubling their lead with eight minutes and 54 seconds into the second half.

Recalled left-back George King sped past Gabriel Luckhurst to reach the by-line before wrapping his left foot around the ball to whip in a deep cross towards and unmarked Jamal Anderson. His header looped against the bar and poacher Jeffery was there to nod the ball into the back of the net.

“Right place at the right time, again,” said Woodward, after Jeffery notched his 18th goal of the season for Glebe, the other goals coming for Cray Valley.

“That’s his 34th of the season. Great ball in front Kingy again.  I think he’s great.

“Joe Borland deputised in there at left-back and I thought he was superb on Saturday (2-1 home win over Sutton Athletic). He was a bit unfortunate to be left out tonight.  George came in. I think he had a bit more balance with the left foot and going forward. A great ball in, Jamal a great header, off the bar, Taz, bang, goal!”

Browning felt his captain Dawson should have defended better.

“It came about through Liam Dawson really. The ball’s come in the air. He does what he does best, he’s headed it away. There’s no danger behind him. He just needs a call from the keeper or a defender near him and it just sails out.

“We’ve just lacked that communication this year but inexperience in the side. A lot of those lads haven’t played any higher than this level.  We’ve got them from Kent County football so I’ve kind of dragged them up from that level or some of them have dropped down so it’s just that inexperience of talking. They lack the communication so a bit better communication there and it goes through for a goal-kick and we shift up the pitch and we’re still in the game.”

Glebe killed the game off with a swift second as Alexander crossed from the left, the ball was cleared out to Golding, who hit a sweet right-footed half-volley into the top left-hand corner from 20-yards.

Woodward said: “A lot of people say to me and I’ve had this from opposition managers and people who come to watch the games that they don’t think that Jeffery and Golding can play in the same side.   Tonight, they both scored and won us the game and I think that answers that question for them.”

Reflecting on Golding’s 28th goal of the season, Woodward added: “He’s missed two months of the season with a broken leg so statistically, in my opinion, he’ll be on 35 now if he didn’t miss two months of the season.

“He’s scored important goals at important times for us. He seems to pop up at the right time.  I have a bit of banter with Golding, he doesn’t do anything all game and then he scores. It is what strikers do.”

Browning said: “Great finish! He’s got that in his locker!

“We’ve given the ball away down our right-hand side.  We haven’t tracked back. There were some tired legs out there. He’s been able to pick something out on the edge of the box and he finishes it from there.”

When asked his thoughts about conceding two quick-fire goals, Browning replied: “I just told them to regroup and everything else but I think the first one knocked the stuffing out of them and the second one he’s just hit it.

“With what they’ve got in their side, which they’ve had ability to bring in was the difference with the experience there.  The spine of their side is very experienced, which is what we’re aiming to achieve so we will look at that game tonight, as we looked against Rusthall (which we lost 4-1 here on Saturday), and we will learn from that.

“I will learn from that as a manager so it’s a great learning curve for me to see how they’ve seen a game out there and we will only get better ourselves and learn from that tonight.”

K Sports created a chance in the 62nd minute when Smith held the ball up on the right-hand side of the penalty area before cutting the ball back for Butterworth to lash his shot over the crossbar from 25-yards.

Butterworth fed Edward Morant down the right channel and his low centre flashed behind Smith on the edge of the six-yard box and Molloy collected the ball.

Luckhurst clipped a long ball into the Glebe box towards the far post where Winch knocked the ball down and substitute Nick Nowotny couldn’t flick the ball on target at the near post.

K Sports’ right-back Luckhurst stroked an angled drive from just outside the corner of the penalty box, which forced Molloy to make a low save to his right at his near post.

Browning said; “I think we deserved a goal but again it’s the final third problem we’ve got.  We just haven’t got anything going our way at the moment. It’s been our problem over the last eight or nine games and it was our problem the first eight or nine games of the season.

“We just haven’t got that fox in the box that we lack or someone up for set-pieces to get us those goals. We were a little bit unfortunate there but the pleasing thing is we just kept going, we kept looking to create.”

Woodward said: “Safe hands Molloy again. He’s missed two games now. Scott Howard will come in and deputise and he done very well when he played in the London Senior Trophy.”

King whipped in another cross from the left and Golding’s left-footed shot on the turn looped over the crossbar.

“We done what we do, like you say what we do best and be boring, ok.  Look, like I said the games about, especially at this level, it’s about winning games of football.  We got the 2-0, scored two quick goals. We just wanted to see it out and that’s what we done really.”

K Sports continued to press for a goal and Dawson clipped a ball forward towards the edge of Glebe’s box.  Smith’s dink was blocked and Nowotny’s low shot was blocked by Molloy’s legs with 10 minutes left.

Browning said: “We kept pressing, we kept having a go, which we’ll always do.  My sides will always have a go regardless of who we play against. We just kept going and going and going, which was pleasing.  We never crumbled. A lot of teams would’ve crumbled. We could’ve so easily crumbled tonight four, five or six with the quality that they’ve got in their squad but we didn’t.  We stuck to our guns. We dusted ourselves down and we still created chances.”

Woodward said: “We sat off them and allowed them to put balls in the box.  Charlie and Carson won their fair share of headers. We stayed nice and narrow and kept our shape like we’ve done for the majority of the season and we’ve done a professional job.”

Referee Brian Woodhouse pulled out a red-card out of his right pocket in the 82nd minute after Salisbury collected his second yellow card for his second bookable offence on Tobon.

Firstly, he fouled the Glebe winger on the edge of the penalty area six minutes into the second half, before he pulled Tobon’s shirt right in front of the away dug-out, inside the Glebe half of the pitch, which caused tensions between both dug-outs.

Both managers were asked their thoughts on the red-card.

Browning said: “I think the first card he got was a bit harsh. They were in the ascendancy going forward  and he has tugged him back by his shirt which in the rule book is a booking so that makes two bookings and a sending off.

“He’s only a young kid, I think he’s only 16-17 so he’s only learning the game himself but again I just think a bit of common sense may have prevailed there but the rules of the game states with two yellows he should’ve gone.  We’ve got no arguments with that but it just seems at the moment these things are going against us. Decisions are going against us like that.

“I think if he wasn’t being assessed I think he would’ve been given a stern word but it’s a problem playing next to the Kent FA offices because we get assessed nearly every week. I can’t grumble, two bookings so he has got go.”

Woodward said: “It’s a yellow card all day long, Andres is in on goal. The one in front of the dug-out is a yellow card and the other one he made no attempt to play the ball, which is a yellow card as well. They’re both yellow cards in my opinion. Correct decisions by the referee.”

K Sports host fourth-placed Sutton Athletic on Saturday, travel to Eltham Palace (15 April), before completing their campaign at home to Lydd Town (17 April) and Sporting Club Thamesmead on 22 April.

“We’ve done well at home. It took us time to get used to the pitch and everything but we’ve had a good run at home,” said Browning.

Tonight’s crowd of 112 was bolstered by a large number of Maidstone United supporters.

Browning said: “It was a brilliant turn-out.  We put something in the Maidstone United programme.  They’re our local team and there were a few of them here tonight and helping us out and it made it more of an atmosphere.

“When I’ve been in trouble trying to get a goalkeeper on loan and I’ve sent texts and emails out to people (Maidstone United manager) Jay Saunders is the only one who ever gets back to me and that’s credit to him and the club.”

Glebe host Newham United again in the London Senior Trophy Semi-Final on Saturday, which postpones a home league game against Orpington.

Glebe then travel to Phoenix Sports Reserves next Tuesday, 11 April and Forest Hill Park (15 April), before playing Kent Football United at Foxbury Avenue on Monday 17 April, before completing their campaign at Lydd Town on 22 April.

“Five games to go, so we’re top of the league. We haven’t been there all year. It’s probably the first time top, obviously, we’ve got three games in hand. All we’ll keep doing, as I’ve said all year to you, is we’ll keep winning games of football and see where we are at the end.

“It’s nice and when you’re top everyone wants to shoot you down. Hopefully we can stay there. Top two was the aim at the start of the year so that’s where we need to be.”

K Sports: Joe Cullip, Gabriel Luckhurst (Robert Norman 79), Jack Salisbury, Joe Lewis (Nick Nowotny 70), Liam Dawson, Ashley Cooper,
Sam Butterworth, Tom Carr, Caine Smith, Edward Morant (Jason Perry 79), Sam Winch.
Subs: Jimmy Funnell, Charlie Himbury

Booked: Jack Salisbury 51, Liam Dawson 68

Sent Off: Jack Salisbury 82

Glebe: Adam Molloy, Davy-Jo Anderson, George King, James Day, Carson Dennis, Charlie McCarthy, Andres Felipe Losada Tobon (Joe Borland 90), Jamal Alexander, Ryan Golding, Aaron Jeffery (Frazer Cronin 85), Stephen Jerrom (Jonathan Murray 70).
Subs: Scott Whibley, Sidney Warden

Goals: Aaron Jeffery 52, Ryan Golding 54

Attendance: 112
Referee: Mr Brian Woodhouse (Borden)
Assistants: Mr Dan Friar (Rainham) & Mr Ryan Andrew (Gillingham)

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