Old Bromleians 2-1 Ide Hill - The whole club has improved in all recognition over the last two years, says Old Bromleians manager Danny Wakeling

Saturday 12th May 2018
Old Bromleians 2 – 1 Ide Hill
Location The John Cooper Ground, Scrubs Farm, Lower Gravel Road, Bromley, Kent BR2 8LL
Kickoff 12/05/2018 14:45

Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Division One West
Saturday 12 May 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Lower Gravel Road

OLD BROMLEIANS manager Danny Wakeling says winning back-to-back titles is a massive achievement by the club.

The Bromley based outfit will be playing in the Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Premier Division football for the first time in August after winning the Division One West title by finishing 14 points clear of runners-up Chipstead, who beat Long Lane 4-2.

Wakeling’s side finished their 24-game campaign on top of the pile with 62 points in the bag. Chipstead were second on 48 points, Halls Athletic in third on 47 points and Ide Hill had to settle for a fourth-place finish with 45 points.

Old Bromleians opened the scoring early through central defender Gary Beckett’s only goal of the season, coming up for a corner to powerfully head home.

But Wrotham based side Ide Hill, who had to win this final game to leapfrog over Halls Athletic to finish runners-up, enjoyed a good spell and deservedly equalised on the half-hour mark through central midfielder Jack Edmeads’ penalty.

Old Bromleians snatched the victory, however, when Jamie Treadgold came off the bench to thrash in his seventh goal of the season just past the hour mark.

“We won the league four games ago, the league table doesn’t lie, there’s quite a points gap and these boys still motivate themselves and keep themselves at that fresh hold four games after winning the league is massive.  Every game counts for these lads,” said Wakeling.

“It wasn’t the greatest game of football but I thought the guys with the greatest of will won the game and when you consider our opponents needed to win to get promoted and you have to flip that and look at our lads who knew nothing was riding on it other than pride, so they deserve a lot of credit but we should’ve stuck the ball away a couple more times.”

Ide Hill manager Paul McDonagh felt his side should have finished their campaign with a point.

“I thought 2-1 just flattered them a little bit.  I thought the game could’ve been a draw, which would have been a fair result but the game’s about taking your chances and I think they took their chances well and we didn’t take our chances,” said McDonagh.

“Amazingly we’re top goalscorers in the division (scoring 86) but the amount of chances we create week-in-week-out we score only half of them so I’m pleased with the season but a bit frustrated with today’s result in the end.”

The home side started the game on the front foot on a wet day as pacey striker Gareth Jones turned his man and from inside the box poked his shot which was comfortably gathered by visiting keeper Michael McKay after only 194 seconds.

The home side should have opened the scoring when right-wing-back Darrell Ditchburn was given space to float in a cross but Mitch Hyland glanced his free header across goal and past the far post from 10-yards.

“He doesn’t play in that position Mitch. We had to change shape today.  We needed 13-14 players for the second team and we had 10-11 in the first team, so we used other players carried over from the other pitch (who played in the third team game earlier on).”

McDonagh admitted: “Do you know what, as a side there’s one thing we don’t do, we don’t start well! It’s a little bit frustrating. We always finish quite strong and it’s something we need to work on going forward.”

Ide Hill’s holding midfielder Ben Holder floated in their free-kicks from the half-way line and Edmeads’ free-header wasn’t going to trouble Jon Beale in the Broms goal.

Ditchburn launched a long ball which was chased by Jones down the right and his low cross was hooked towards goal by Adam O’Neill, but McKay pulled off a brilliant diving save to his left to tip the ball around the post.

But Old Bromleians deservedly opened the scoring with only 12 minutes and 17 seconds on the clock from the resulting corner.

Left-wing-back Chris Round floated in a right-wing corner and Beckett rose to plant his header across the keeper into the far corner from 10-yards.

Wakeling admitted he wants more from his centre half in front of goal next season.

He said: “That was his first goal!  He said in the dressing room before the game he had a bit of an end-of-season mentality about him but he was quickly knocked into shape and how he was going to celebrate if he scored.  He does his best not to score sometimes but a player of his timing has got an elegant leap and his timing is good. If we can get more out of him I think he can get three or four from dead balls next year. It’s something to work on in pre-season for us. He’s happy he’s scored, he’s a good player Gary.”

McDonagh added: “I’ve talked about it this season as well. At times we switch off and I think at that particular time it’s a good finish but we need to make sure we pick up players and it’s obvious whose marking who at times. Players get free too easily in the box so we need to make sure we pick them up!”

But Ide Hill fought back and enjoyed a decent spell of pressure after 20 minutes.

Skipper Edmeads delivered a deep free-kick from the left and central midfielder George Kensell slid in and hit a wayward volley, which flashed out for a throw-in than the far post where it was intended.

Edmeads then cut in from the right before hitting a left-footed drive sailing harmlessly past the far post from 25-yards.

A big kick upfield by Ide Hill keeper McKay was allowed to drop into the Bromleians box and keeper Beale took a knock when challenged by a jumping Holder and the ball went behind for a corner, which was swung in by Columb Grant and Beale pounced on the ball on the goal-line following a scramble.

Ide Hill deserved their equaliser when it came from the penalty spot with 29 minutes and 47 seconds on the clock.

Kensell played the ball into Matthew Bunn, who was tripped by Old Bromleians’ centre half David McDonnel and referee Adam Clayton pointed to the spot.

Edmeads drilled his right-footed penalty straight down the middle as keeper Beale dived to his left.

McDonagh said: “We start a little bit shaky for the first 10 minutes despite trying to gee them up.  We can play, we can create chances and I felt at half-time 1-1 was a fair scoreline.

“We’ve missed a few pens this season as well so I was quite nervous for that one and I had to turn away a little bit but it was a well taken penalty and I think Matthew was pushed so I would agree with that.”

Wakeling added: “It was a penalty!  They never actually had a settled (passage of play) in our penalty area or final third in the first half, nothing to play off and build from anywhere.  The ball went over our three centre halves and our goalkeeper was injured before that and didn’t quite come off his line quick enough.  Dave would normally take an extra step and get his body across and shield that football. He’s got a long leg, hit it out and it was a foul and it was a penalty.”

Old Bromleians missed a couple of glorious chances to increase their lead before half-time, with a move that involved their attacking three.

O’Neill played the ball inside from the wing to Jones, who cut the ball back for Hyland, who smacked his right-footed half-volley over the bar from eight-yards.

Ditchburn played the ball down the line and Jones burst into space once more to reach the by-line to cut the ball back for O’Neill, who smashed his first time shot over from similar distance than his team-mate.

Reflecting on both chances, Wakeling said: “That’s when we’re getting to the by-line and cutting them open and not hitting the target.

“Two good players Adam and Mitch.  Mitch captains Ireland’s under 20s. He was at Millwall as a kid, Southend, played at levels.  Adam played out in the States, Charlton, West Ham as a kid, Tonbridge Angels.  He’s played at Isthmian League level. We’re lucky to have those two players but at half-time they were lucky to avoid a hairdryer!”

McDonagh revealed he played with three reserve team defenders and that is why Jones got in behind them too many times.

“There was only one player in our back line that’s a regular player which was our right-back Callum Heath. The other players were actually reserve team players because we’ve picked up a few injuries over the last few weeks.  I wasn’t expecting us to keep clean sheets or anything like that today.  I thought they did well considering.”

A diagonal long ball from Ide Hill’s Shaun Boyle wasn’t cut out by defender McDonnel but Beale came out to smother the ball at Bunn’s feet.

At half-time, Wakeling said: “We were calm actually.  We felt aggrieved it was one-all at half-time but because of that seven or eight minute spell when we weren’t decisive defensively we kind of deserved to get punished.  We weren’t getting out passed or out run.  We were definitely the more composed side and missed some gilt-edged chances when we got to the by-line. They never got to our by-line.

“We got in at half-time and said right they need to win, they have to win and we also had to win because we had our pride.”

McDonagh called for more confidence going forward from his troops.

“Just to come out and be confident! We’re a confident side.  We went into the game with six wins in a row up until today. 

“When they were 2-1 up I switched formation which is normally a 5-3-2, which we tend to do quite well with.  There’s two formations, 4-3-3 and 5-3-2 that we do well so I knew when I changed it to that they’ll still be comfortable and we can play.”

Ide Hill were the better side during most parts of the second half and they missed a glorious chance to take the lead in the 48th minute.

Edmeads whipped in a low cross from the right wing into Bunn’s feet inside the box and he put the ball on a plate for wideman Boyle, who lacked composure by hitting his left-footed shot straight into Beale’s legs.

McDonagh said: “It’s a funny one that.  We create a lot of chances like that and Shaun didn’t really connect with it properly, he just has to put his foot through that a little bit more.  That’s a really big chance for us, putting that in, it’s just a little bit of composure that sometimes we lack.  If we score all the goals that we’ve created, we would be well in the 100s of goals this season.”

Wakeling said: “It was one of the few times when we went to the diamond and we took the back three away we then left a little bit of space between the two full-backs and the two centre halves. 

“I can’t take nothing away from the lad because that’s how they want to play.  They want to go on the front foot so sometimes we do ship an opportunity or two but we’ve got the best goalkeeper in the league so you have to beat him.”

Old Bromleians, who were dangerous on the break throughout, immediately went up the other end and within 31 seconds could have scored themselves.

Jones swept a crossfield pass from the right to pick out O’Neill in acres of space and he tried to place his shot across the keeper into the bottom far corner, but McKay dived low to his left to tip behind for a corner.

“He knows himself he needs to score that one,” admitted Wakeling.

“He dropped in and I thought he was going to pass it into the bottom corner.  It ended up being a great save. The keeper bucked his knees and got up to make the save. I’m a little bit disappointed because Gareth played the ball across and hasn’t continued into the box. If that ball comes out it’s a tap in.  We created chances all afternoon and we definitely should’ve scored two or three more in my opinion.”

McDonagh added: “Mike’s a good keeper, he’s a very good shot-stopper.  He’s brave as well for someone of his size of a goalkeeper.  I thought their nine (Jones) was their main threat all day long. He likes to get in behind. He’s got very good feet, you can see why their an attacking threat in there.”

Old Bromleians went route one with a great chance in the 53rd minute when Ide Hill allowed Beale’s big kick to bounce into the box but Jones smacked his right-footed volley over the bar when he only had the keeper to beat.

Ide Hill adopted three centre halves and two wing-backs in the second half and Callum Heath got down the wing before cutting the ball back but the ball bounced off Bunn’s heals at the near post and Beale gathered the loose ball.

Ide Hill were pressing for an equaliser that their dominance deserved as Edmeads drove down the right and set-up Bunn, whose right-footed shot was blocked by Beale, getting down low to his left to make a vital save.

McDonagh said: “We’ve got Jack Edmeads and George Kensell who are good attacking midfielders and I was encouraging them to get involved but we’ve had to go for it today, we knew we needed to win. If we got the win we’d guaranteed our second place but it wasn’t to be.”

Old Bromleians hit their opponents on the counter-attack as Jones, O’Neill and Simon Warman linked up in the final third and a chance fell to Round, who got in behind to drive his shot towards the near post, which was palmed behind by McKay.

“That’s what he does well from the left-back position. The way he gets down as a winger and makes an extra man on the overload,” said Wakeling.

“He’s had a great season. When I came into the club he was midfield/number 10 at 31.  I’ve converted him into a left-back and he’s absolutely smashed it!”

Old Bromleians were clinical in front of goal when they grabbed the winner with 16 minutes and 45 seconds on the clock.

The impressive Jones ran down the right channel and cut the ball back for Treadgold to thrash his left-footed drive into the roof of the net from six-yards out.

“That’s what I spoke about at half-time, getting to the by-line and when we do get that extra body in the box, Jamie came in, not as a classic number 10 but a midfield runner that can play a little bit higher so he could’ve got on top of the ball a bit more often and it paid off.  That’s what we were missing in the first half, someone else getting to the six-yard box. If you’ve got one of your forwards going wide, the box needs to be filled from someone in midfield and Jamie does that.”

McDonagh added: “They looked quite dangerous on the counter-attack, as we do normally as well. In terms of chances I thought it was fairly even but they took their chances well. You’ve got to give credit to the finish really.”

A cross from substitute winger Antony Mansfield was brought down by O’Neill, who turned Kensell at the near post, cut inside but his shot sailed past the far post from 16-yards.

Mansfield then whipped in a low cross into O’Neill, who teed up Warman, who dragged his shot past the far post.

Ide Hill kept pushing men forward in the search for a deserved equaliser and it should have come inside the final five minutes when Holder whipped in a cross from within the left channel and Kensell’s free header sailed across the keeper and past the far post from eight-yards.

“I thought it was a tough header really,” added McDonagh.  “He does well in the air George but I think the angle was a little bit tough for him to really get any power on it so he was just trying to direct it and he was unlucky.”

Old Bromleians created a couple of chances late on.  Winger Mansfield played in a low centre from the left and Jones got the ball out from underneath his feet to reach the by-line again to cut the ball back for Treadgold to hook his first time left-footed shot against the top of the left-hand post.

“I felt for Jamie because he arrived in time on the top of the box like the first run.  Gareth had a touch too many on the by-line and the ball was pleased into Jamie’s ankles. It was quite close, it hit the apex of the bar and the post.  Jamie made the right run at the right time.  I can’t criticise him. It’s an outstanding shot at the end, again, it’s another shot that went begging!”

McDonagh added: “We were going for it. At times we left three-on-three at the back. We just went for it. I knew they were going to create chances.  I think the lads who stepped in for us today at the back from the reserve team did really well to hold them to two goals is pretty good. I wasn’t expecting a clean sheet, they looked good going forward.”

And with the last kick of the game Warman cut into the box and dinked his shot straight into the keeper’s hands.

Despite officially winning the league title with a 2-0 win over Chipstead on 28 April, Old Bromleians will be presented with their trophy at the Kent County League’s Awards night on 2 June.

Wakeling said: “It’s a great achievement from all of the boys involved, especially the ones that we’re here that we inherited when we were second-from-bottom in Division Two West two years ago and stayed up with a technicality when teams dropped out of the league.

“From July right the way through to May in both years the players have hit the ground running, got out in front both leagues that we’ve won and never looked back.

“Next year is a different proposition but they’ve got to enjoy it this year.  It’s a tremendous effort from all of the boys over the last two years.

“The whole club has improved in all recognition over the last two years, it’s an amazing achievement and we all probably need a good drink and get slaughtered to enjoy it!”

McDonagh was happy with his side’s final day performance but disappointed in missing out.

“Do you know what, you look at the results in the league and teams beat teams. I know they’ve won the league quite well but I knew we could come here and have a good game and have a good go at them.  If we had a couple of our back four in that would normally be in there, I thought we could’ve taken that game today but they’ve done well and full credit to them, they’re a good organised side.”

Old Bromleians: Jon Beale, Darrell Ditchburn (David McDonnel 87), Chris Round, David McDonnel (Jamie Treadgold 46), Gary Beckett, Jack Baines, George Sheehan, Simon Warman, Gareth Jones, Adam O’Neill, Mitch Hyland (Anthony Mansfield 63).
Subs: Daniel Godfrey, Greg Barton, Gary Owens

Goals: Gary Beckett 13, Jamie Treadgold 62

Booked: David McDonnel 30, Darrell Ditchburn 85

Ide Hill: Michael McKay, Craig Jackson (Steve McGinn 59, Daniel Butterworth 77)), Callum Heath, Ben Holder, Pete Dance-Harvey, Charlie James, Shaun Boyle, George Kensell, Matthew Bunn, Jack Edmeads, Columb Grant (Flynn Davidson 46).

Goal: Jack Edmeads 30 (penalty)

Attendance: 25
Referee: Mr Adam Clayton (Crayford)

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