Lewisham Borough 1-5 Sporting Club Thamesmead - The response from the players was excellent tonight, says Lee Hill

Monday 25th September 2017
Lewisham Borough 1 – 5 Sporting Club Thamesmead
Location Ladywell Arena, Silvermere Road, Catford, London SE6 4QX
Kickoff 25/09/2017 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Monday 25th September 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Ladywell Arena

SPORTING CLUB Thamesmead joint-manager Lee Hill says his side can push for promotion if he can keep consistency within his squad.

The Acre climbed into fourth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table with 17 points on the board from 10 games – five points behind leaders Punjab United.

Lewisham Borough’s newly-appointed managers Sean Jarvie and Tim Moffatt were out on the pitch the entire game but they couldn’t stop their side crashing to a 5-1 home defeat as the away side bounced back from their 8-0 home thrashing at the hands of Walton & Hersham in The FA Vase Second Qualifying Round at the weekend.

Sporting Club Thamesmead were a direct outfit and striker Jamie Williams latched onto a long ball to score his first goal of the season, before talisman Josh Patrick tucked home a penalty just 135 seconds later.

Winger Merrick Simms was put through to score their third to give the away side a commanding 3-0 lead at half-time.

A poor pass from Minnott was intercepted by Patrick, who rounded the keeper to slot home, before Minnott made amends by driving in a consolation for the home side in the final 10 minutes.

Patrick completed his hat-trick – his 13th goal of the season – at the end of the game, which leaves Lewisham Borough in the bottom three with seven points from eight games.

“On Saturday, it was a bad day for the club really, a couple of players let us down but we played a very good Walton & Hersham team, we just didn’t get out of the traps,” admitted Hill.

“It was a good response to come here to Lewisham and win 5-1. We got beaten by them earlier on in the season so it was a good response from the players. We got them up for playing and a pat on the back to them.

“We played at a very high tempo, especially first half. We had a good talk before the game, a good talk after the game on Saturday and the response from the players was excellent tonight, so credit where it’s due.”

It was same old, same old for Lewisham Borough, despite new management.

“Too many individual errors tonight, lots to work on, lots of positives in the game, I thought but in general mistakes let us down,” admitted central defender Jarvie, 34.

“They’ve been letting us down a few times in the last few weeks but I can take the positives from the game and so can Tim and we’ll learn from it and come again strong next week.

“Before the game we said we wanted to start strong and start fast. We want to play to our strengths. We kept a clean sheet against them a few weeks ago and it was just down to us to try to perform and unfortunately individual errors let us down tonight.”

Lewisham Borough missed a glorious chance to open the scoring inside the opening three minutes when shaky left-back Daniel Akintimehin and goalkeeper Simon Vanderhook allowed Jamie Richards to get in but the winger’s touch inside the box was poor and the keeper gathered.

Patrick saw Lewisham goalkeeper Alexander Kibbey off his line and tried to lob him from 40-yards, but the keeper read the shot and gathered comfortably.

Lewisham Borough should have tested Vanderhook less than a couple of minutes than Sporting Club Thamesmead took the lead.

The home side handed debuts to left-back Gary Webb (Banstead Athletic) and central midfielder Tony Martin (Chipstead) and Martin cut the ball back to Webb, who whipped in a quality deep cross towards the far post towards Kristian Robinson, who miss-timed his header and failed to get the ball on target.

“There were lots of good chances, not just individually by Kris,” added Jarvie.

“Normally he finishes those. He’s a good player, he’s strong for us and unfortunately not the right timing for him tonight.”

It proved to be costly, as Sporting Club Thamesmead opened the scoring with 21 minutes and 7 seconds on the clock.

The impressive Ryan Minnott hit a subline through ball in between Webb and Michael Morgan, 35, to put Williams through on goal and he drilled his right-footed shot into the right-hand corner from 16-yards.

“It was a good finish, a great bit of football leading up to it. He ran on behind the central defenders and he slotted it away, it was an excellent finish,” said Hill.

“I think we deserved it, it was a bit even but we showed just that little bit more desire early on to get the goal.

“Ryan Minnott’s been in and out of the team for the last few games and tonight he’s shown us what he can do. Credit to him because he’s been out of the side but he came back in and done really well.”

Jarvie added: “What can we say? We thought there was a hint of offside there.  The lino kept his flag down but as a team we’ve got to continue until we hear the whistle.  The ball goes in and we’re on the back foot. I thought the last ten minutes prior to that we’re in the ascendancy and it’s just a kick in the teeth at the time.”

Lewisham Borough swiftly folded like a pack of cards when right-back Malachi Gayle was penalised by referee Christopher Dodds for fouling Patrick, who stepped up to slot his left-footed penalty into the bottom left-hand corner, sending Kibbey the wrong way.

Hill said: “Josh scores again! It’s great to get the second goal so early as well. He does what he does and a great finish from the penalty.”

Jarvie added: “We all know Josh, Josh is always going to score goals. Unfortunately, we’ve given him an easy chance from 12-yards. It’s just disappointing with the officials again. We respect the officials and we gave them the respect that they deserve and occasionally they’re human beings and they can make mistakes.”

Patrick floated over a cross from the left towards the far post where Tony Hill, 26, came up from the back to sting Kibbey’s fingers with a shot from eight-yards on his 403rd appearance for the club.

“We worked it out, he’s been with the club since he was 15, he’s played every season since then.  I know he’s my son, everyone likes him in the team. He’s a valued member in the team and he does a lot of work as well so fully deserved really.”

Lewisham Borough were to be denied by a superb double-save from Vanderhook in the 35th minute.

Gayle, who was Lewisham’s best player on the night, whipped in a quality cross from the right towards the six-yard box towards striker Jay Jones, who has scored five goals this season.

The striker flicked a cushioned volley towards goal, which was parried by the keeper and Jamie Richards’ shot from a tight angle was clawed out of the top near corner by Vanderhook, high to his right.

Jarvie said: “From my angle it was a really good chance for Jay, normally he puts them in to the top corner.  You have to give the keeper all the credit there for the save he pulled off. It’s just come at him straight away from a couple of meters so in theory it’s a very good save and the follow-up, nine times out of 10 he puts them away but it’s not our night tonight.”

Speaking about Gayle, Jarvie added: “That was a new chance for him on the right, he plays on the right side on the left side but he’s a fantastic player. He’s played levels above us and every week he comes back stronger. He’s just come back from injury and we’ve asked him to do a job there and he’s done the job fantastically. I personally think he’s man-of-the-match, even though we lost.”

Hill added: “He’s done well, Simon. He was a bit down in the dumps after Saturday, like everyone else but it was a greats double save and that boosted his confidence so credit where it’s due again.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead scored their third goal with 38 minutes and 7 seconds on the clock.

George Jones, who protected the back four beside Mason Simms, clipped the ball over the top of Jarvie’s head and keeper Kibbey rushed out of his box but Merrick Simms showed more desire to get to the ball first, hook it over him, before calmly slotting the ball into the corner of an empty net with his left-foot.

Hill said: “He’s come to us about five weeks ago Merricck with his twin brother Mason and they’ve been good additions to the club and he’s scored four goals in four games now and just seems to be in the right place at the right time.”

Jarvie said: “Again, it’s individual errors. Normally we clean that up as a back four.  We get back or the goalkeeper and we normally sweep them up and it’s droppeed for him. The heavy pitch at that end of the pitch at Ladywell, it just allows the ball to hold up a little bit. It’s given the striker half a chance and at this level the strikers do what they do best and take the chances.”

Both joint-managers were asked their thoughts at the break.

Jarvie said: “Personally, I’m thinking we’re still in this! They’re on the back of a tough defeat against Walton & Hersham and I’m thinking we’re in this game.

“Unfortunately, we’ve come in at half-time 3-0, we’ve come out and we definitely needed to get on the front foot early. We’ve come out and we wanted to get at them and against-the-run-of-play they’ve scored.”

Hill added: “Just pretty much keep the high tempo going, keep closing them down when they try to play out and if we can keep doing that we’ll win the game comfortably.  The attitude was spot on at half-time. It was a good team talk and it was all about tempo.”

Lewisham Borough were poor in the final third.  They were presented with a chance after 61 seconds when Kibbey’s big kick was chased by Robinson, who robbed the ball off Elliott Johnson, before cutting inside and scuffing a weak shot that bounced into the keeper’s hands.

The next chance forced Kibbey to keep his side in the game.

Johnson’s threw the ball to Patrick, who cut along the edge of the penalty area before stroking a low left-footed drive, which was blocked by Kibbey’s legs.

Hill added: “It was a good save, at the goalkeeper, a yard either way, it’s a goal.
“Young Elliott at right-back, he’s been outstanding for us. He’s come down to play for us this season. He wasn’t in the side but he’s kept with it and he’s an outstanding prospect.”

Jarvie said: “Alex is phenomenal and he looks absolutely world-class with some of the saves he pulls off and that was just one of those examples there.”

Moffatt gifted Patrick his second goal of the night, exactly five minutes into the second half, which killed the game off as a contest.

The midfielder was on the left-hand side close to the touchline and he played a suicidal diagonal pass to a man in a white shirt.

That man was Patrick. He collected the ball at his feet outside the box, rode Kibbey’s attempt to bring him down inside the box, skip past him before slotting his right-footed shot into the back of the net from eight-yards.

Hill said: “Josh has had a few chances tonight but he latches onto the last man, back-pass, rounds the keeper, who tried to foul him, just slots home, great goal.”

Jarvie said: “It’s a gift but it’s unfortunate.  We know Tim’s got quality and we know he’s a class player. It’s unfortunate, we’re all human beings and sometimes we make the wrong decisions, like that.”

Webb failed to deal with Vanderhook’s big kick down the right channel and this gave Williams a chance to have a pop at goal, his attempted chip from 25-yards dropping over the bar.

Jerome Richards played the ball out to Robinson on the left, who cut inside Johnson, but his speculative right-footed daisy-cutter rolled into Vanderhook’s grasp.

Minnott slipped the ball through to Williams, who cut into the box from the right and Kibbey got down low to his right to tip his angled shot just past the foot of his far post.

“I was following in just in case, it was such a minute touch, I thought it was going to come back off the post so I carried on following it thinking it’s going to come back to me but he’s got enough on it and I’ve seen the ref five a corner so I heard a flick and I weren’t sure where it was.

“But Alex is capable of pulling off saves like that. That’s what he can do, he gets his angles right. Sometimes like all of us we all make errors but not then.”

The same two players combined again and Williams poked his shot across goal and past the far post as his marker came across him.

Patrick beat the offside trap as he was released down the left channel and whipped in a deep cross towards the far post.  An unmarked Minnott appeared to have time to bring the ball down, but he planted his free header over the crossbar from eight-yards.

Hill said: “I think he had a bit of time to bring it down from the cross.  They played very square tonight and we were hitting them on the break. Another great chance, we went on to have several more chances.  Jamie Williams has missed four or five chances.”

Patrick’s left-footed chip was caught by Kibbey as a dominant Sporting Club Thamesmead pressed for more goals.

Right-back Johnson drove into the Lewisham final third before playing the ball on the outside to substitute winger Samuel Dania, who cut in towards the edge of the penalty box only to drag his shot past the far post.

Sporting Club Thamesmead started to tire inside the final 20 minutes and Lewisham Borough scored a consolation goal with 34:10 on the clock.

Martin swept forward a free-kick from the half-way line towards the far post and Moffatt drilled a right-footed half-volley into the near corner from 10-yards.

Jarvie had a close look at the goal, saying, “Tim is a composed, good player, he’s strong and he will take his chances if he gets it.  We’ve worked on set-plays and I’m standing there next to him and if he misses, I put it in so in a way one of the managers would’ve scored tonight but Tim’s there but he’s fired it past the keeper and I just turned around and got on with it.”

Hill said: “We were all moaning at the referee!  It was a blatant foul on the far post, a blatant foul on Ricky Hardie, our substitute who came on.  The referee said in the game his view was unclear but from where we were, it was a blatant foul!”

Vanderhook them caught a speculative free-kick from Martin before Sporting Club Thamesmead rattled in their fifth – and the 19th goal that Lewisham Borough have leaked in their last three games – with 44:40 on the clock.

Substitute right-winger Dania won the ball off Webb and whipped in a lovely low cross and Patrick slid in with substitute central defender Nana Sarpong to poke his hat-trick goal into the bottom right-hand corner.

“Sam nicked the ball off their full-back, he could’ve had a shot on his own but he was unselfish and he passed it to josh and he’s got his hat-trick. He’s scoring a lot of goals but there were a lot of chances created tonight. I expect him to do that really, put the ball in the back of the net.”

Patrick should be playing higher but Hill insists his star striker is staying put.

“He’s just a one-club man, as you know other offers have come in for him but he's just happy to play for us at the moment.  He’s played for us for three or four seasons now, I got him from Welling United and he just loves being around the people at the club and it doesn’t matter what people want to pay him, he’s just happy to stay at the club and that’s how we’re keeping him.”

Jarvie said: “If you give Josh half a chance, he’s going to take it!  I’ve been told and I keep hearing umpteen times he keeps getting offers from higher above. Sometimes you can see that quality in and around the six-yard box. If you’re not close enough to him he will punish you and the hat-trick says it all. We need to do better against players of that quality.”

Patrick’s goals will ensure Sporting Club Thamesmead will be among the promotion contenders this season.

“We’re closing the gap. We should have even more points. We’ve drawn a couple of games when we should’ve won.  It’s all about our players’ desire really. We need to get the same side out every week. If we get the same side out we’ll be up there.

“I think there’s chances for four or five teams to go up this year or even more, everyone’s beat each other. It’s wide open this league, this year. A team goes on a five or six winning run, everyone’s up there.”

For Lewisham Borough, they remain in the bottom three with Crockenhill (6 points) and Gravesham Borough (4) below them in the table.

But Jarvie remains positive despite another long season ahead at Ladywell Arena.

“I’m very positive in terms of the future. I think we’ve got a strong squad that can compete in this division. I honestly, certainly do not think we are worst squads like we were a few seasons before.  We need to be harder to beat. Tim’s said it, I’ve said it. We need to be a bit more diligent in our defending.”

Lewisham Borough: Alexander Kibbey, Malachi Gayle, Gary Webb, Jerome Richards, Michael Morgan (Nana Sarpong 70), Sean Jarvie, Jamie Richards (Jeremie Lacaze 79), Tony Martin, Jay Jones, Tim Moffatt, Kristian Robinson (George Marsden 61).
Subs: David Smith, Morgan Wilkins-Oliver

Goal: Tim Moffatt 80

Sporting Club Thamesmead: Simon Vanderhook, Elliott Johnson, Daniel Akintimehin, George Jones, Mudiago Wanogho, Tony Hill, Merrick Simms (Jason Ward 66), Mason Simms (Ricky Hardie 78), Josh Patrick, Jamie Williams, Ryan Minnott (Samuel Dania 70).
Subs: Charlie Martin, Anthony Fenech

Goals: Jamie Williams 22, Josh Patrick 24 (penalty), 51, 90, Merrick Simms 39

Attendance: 83
Referee: Mr Christopher Dodd (Eltham, London SE9)
Assistants: Mr Lanray Alapafujah (Peckham, London SE15) &
Mr Amechi Onwugbonu (Lewisham, London SE13)

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