Sporting Club Thamesmead 5-1 Stansfeld - Serious contenders? It's too early to say, far too early, says Sporting Club Thamesmead joint-boss Owen Jones

Friday 15th September 2017
Sporting Club Thamesmead 5 – 1 Stansfeld
Location Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, London SE28 8NJ
Kickoff 15/09/2017 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Friday 15th September 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Bayliss Avenue

SPORTING CLUB THAMESMEAD joint-manager Owen Jones says it’s too early in the season to say his team are serious promotion contenders after thrashing Stansfeld.

Stansfeld beat Bedfont & Feltham 4-0 on their FA Vase debut last Sunday, before beating Erith & Belvedere 2-1 on Tuesday night but they ran out of puff during the second half on a wet Friday night at Bayliss Avenue.

Stansfeld, with three men at the back, two wing-backs, three in midfield and two up front, were the better side during an uninspiring first half, but they got chopped up during the second half by a clinical home side.

A blunder from Stansfeld goalkeeper Louis Collier allowed Merrick Simms’ shot to slip through his fingers and from that moment Sporting Club Thamesmead rattled in the goals.

Ramell Lake’s second gave it a flatting look at the time, before Josh Patrick poked in a third goal on the hour-mark.

Stansfeld pulled a goal back through Michael McKenna’s penalty, before Merrick Simms hit the away side hard with a devastating breakaway goal, before Patrick’s tenth goal in nine games finished them off.

While Stansfeld manager Jamie Phipps declined a request for an interview following his side’s biggest defeat of the season, Jones was naturally delighted with his side’s best performance of the season to date.

“Fantastic! A great result after the last few games where it’s been poor, but we showed character and we came back into it so I’m pleased about that!

“It was very even-Stevens for the first half.  I thought really they slightly edged it but I thought we kept our shape well and we carried on working and matched them where we could.

“They had a couple of opportunities that they should’ve put in and we had one as well but maybe it could’ve been 1-0 to them at half-time.”

Stansfeld were to be denied by a brilliant near post block by Sporting Club Thamesmead goalkeeper Simon Vanderhook after 242 seconds.

Sam Ryan swung in their first corner from the left, Vanderhook punched the ball out and McKenna swung in a deep cross from the right which was met by Harry Gamble’s header, which was somehow clawed away by the keeper before the ball was cleared towards safety.

Jones praised his goalkeeper for making a vital save at the time.

“Great save!  I actually thought it was a goal but he did really well, he reacted the quickest,” he said.

Sporting Club Thamesmead’s direct approach out from the back failed to reach their intended target of Patrick, whom was living of scraps during the first half as Stansfeld’s back three of Lennie Wise, Casey Killilea and George Martin was dominating.

“With Josh, everybody thinks let’s double up or triple up on him,” said Jones, who knew his star striker would come good later on in the game . 

“They didn’t realise that’s a lot of work to be doing in the first half against a centre forward like that who is tenacious and doesn’t give up and it told in the second half.   They couldn’t keep that up but he just kept getting through in the second half.”

Elliott Johnson threw the ball in from the right and Lake cut inside and flashed his left-footed angled drive paste the foot of the near post from 25-yards.

Central defender Mudiaga Wanogho picked the ball up in midfield and ran forward with the ball but his shot from inside the Stansfeld box was poor and he powered his shot harmlessly wide of the near post.

Right-back Johnson slid in to poke the ball inside to George Jones, and the Acre holding midfielder looped his speculative effort from 30-yards past the left-hand post, goalkeeper Collier going down injured as the ball went past the post.

Stansfeld were playing good football in the first half with midfielder Ryan the architect and he played a one-two before playing in Gamble on the right but his right-footed shot from 20-yards was comfortably gathered by Vanderhook, after 20 minutes.

Stansfeld striker Billy Shinners over-hit a cross from the right, which was retrieved by left wing-back Greg Summersby, who put the ball back into the box.  The ball was cleared out to Perry Holland, who hooked his volley wide from 25-yards.

Sporting Club Thamesmead’s only clear-cut first-half chance arrived in the 38th minute.

Lake stroked his left-footed free-kick over the wall from 28-yards and Collier raised both hands above his head to push the ball towards safety.

Jones said: “Ramell’s good at free-kicks, although the team talk I said make sure that Tony Hill takes the free-kicks but that’s the way it goes.  They decided between themselves and I thought it was a good free-kick but a very smart save.”

Whatever Jones told his troops during the interval certainly worked as they rattled in five goals in 34 minutes.

“I told them to just move the ball quicker in little areas so we’re turning them and they’ve got to run,” said Jones.

“Stansfeld played Sunday, Tuesday and today and I said they’re going to get tired.  I don’t care who you are or I don’t care how good you are, you’re going to get tired. I said if you move the ball quickly so they need to react because they will slow right down and we’ll get in and that’s what happened.”

The start of the second half was delayed as assistant referee Medhi Golchehreh spotted there was a hole in the goal-net at the car park end of the ground and that had to be sorted out before the second half could begin.

This must have distracted Stansfeld goalkeeper as he gifted Sporting Club Thamesmead the lead, only 73 seconds into the second half.

Merrick Sims was in acres of space out on the left, 25-yards from goal and he drove his right-footed shot towards goal.  The ball should have been comfortably gathered by Collier, who got down on his knees but allowed the ball to slip underneath his hands and legs and allowed the ball to roll into the middle of his net.

“That wasn’t a gift. It was a gift from God, if you want to say it was a gift,” said Jones.

“I think it was one of the best goals I’ve ever seen,” laughed the former Greenwich Borough man.

“He’s a great player. It was a good start, let’s be honest, he’s got into position. I told him it’s going to come. I said at half-time he’ll get in that position to get there.

“It’s been raining all evening, it’s a wet surface, the ball’s slipping all over the place and he’s done the right thing, he’s had a shot.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead raced into a 2-0 lead with seven minutes and 25 seconds on the clock, courtesy of a decent three-man move inside the final third.

Merrick Simms played the ball into Jamie Williams, who rolled in Lake, who placed his left-footed shot across Collier to find the bottom far corner of the net from 14-yards.

Jones said: “Great move. If you talk about Merrick Simms, his movement was making their defence back-peddle. That’s why we started to open them up because of Merrick’s pace and his movement, so yes, good goal, again, moving the ball quick.”

Five-goal Stansfeld striker Shinners went close to pulling a goal back when he was given time and space to hit a right-footed drive towards the far corner from 30-yards, forcing Vanderhook to dive to his left to push the ball around the post.

“He was unlucky,” said Jones.  “I’m a great fan of Billy Shinners. I thought he played well actually, held the line really. Just thank god it went wide and not in the back off the net.”

Summersby got forward in his wing-back role again and whipped in a cross, which was missed by Shinners inside the box and right wing-back Joe Brown played the ball inside to McKenna, who curled his shot around the far post.

Sporting Club Thamesmead’s third goal was flattering when it arrived with 14 minutes and a second on the clock.

Williams raced down into the right channel before whipping in a low cross towards the near post for Patrick, who took a touch before poking his right-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner from six-yards.

“You know Josh Patrick better than I do, so does that surprise you?  It’s a typical Josh Patrick goal isn’t it really and again, just at the right time for us,” admitted Jones.

Stansfeld substitute Ryan Hassan, who played down the left wing, received the ball from Summersby’s forward pass, but his low shot was poor and Vanderhook used his feet to control the ball rather than scooping down to use his hands to gather.

Martin played the ball up to Shinners, who laid the ball into McKenna, who dragged his shot across the keeper and past the far post from 30-yards.

An even better chance fell to Stansfeld when McKenna, Summersby and Martin linked up and Summersby floated in a cross into the area for Shinners to bury. He took a touch but Vanderhook raced swiftly off his line and smothered the shot, low to his left.

“If that had gone in maybe psychologically we might have been in trouble.  Simon did really well to keep it out,” came Jones’ reply to the crucial save.

Stansfeld’s goal was deserved when it arrived with 22 minutes and 3 seconds on the clock but it came from the penalty spot when referee Danny Roberts penalised Tony Hill for handball.

McKenna stepped up and rifled his right-footed penalty high over the diving Vanderhook into the roof of the net.

Jones admitted his captain switched off.

“Unfortunately, when you play it’s human error, you switch off. There were  always going to be times when individuals switch off and unfortunately Tony Hill switched off for a second and that’s why it led to the penalty.”

A long diagonal pass played Shinners in but he lacked composure, rushing his shot from an angle, drilling it past the near post.

Stansfeld decided to throw three men up front and they were punished in a clinical fashion by Sporting Club Thamesmead.

Hill’s clearance from inside his own penalty area sailed over last defender Brown and Patrick latched onto the long pass, skipped past the advancing keeper, was forced wide and his left-footed shot was cleared away by Brown, who showed enough desire to get back on his goal-line to clear.

Jones said: “He should’ve scored, he should’ve scored!  The minute he goes too wide, he had an opportunity just before, he decided to go round. He could’ve put it in the far corner but he made the decision, there’s nothing wrong with that.  Unfortunately, the guy got back in time to stop it.”

Stansfeld wasted a glorious chance to make it 3-2 in the 76th minute.

McKenna played the ball out to Hassan, who ran down the left channel before whipping in a great cross towards the far post for an unmarked Gamble, who steered his header past the near post, dropping to his knees in despair.

Jones said: “Well if you’ve played on Sunday then Tuesday and today maybe he’s tired? I don’t know him that well.  You could see he gets in those positions, who knows why he’s missed it?”

Merrick Simms intercepted a poor pass and raced down the left, played the ball inside to Patrick who rolled in Merrick Simms, who slotted in his left-footed shot past an exposed Collier with 31 minute and 50 seconds on the clock.

“What I like about Merrick, he will always get you a goal. First half I said just be patient, he’s got bags of ability, just be patient.  Just wait and all off a sudden it’s going to come and it did,” added Jones.

The Acre wrapped up the game with 35 minutes and 22 seconds on the clock through talisman Patrick.

Williams released substitute Ryan Minott down the right channel and his low cross seemed to be heading in but Patrick bundled the ball over the line from close range as he got to the ball first before Wise.

Sporting Club Thamesmead do not pay their players and a home club official revealed that a Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division club  offered Patrick £250 per week to prise him away from Bayliss Avenue.

“That’s all we ask of Josh Patrick, that’s all you’ve got to do, just keep working, keep breaking down defenders and you’re a one-man show sometimes,” admitted Jones, who is lucky to have such a talent at his club.

“Well, I know the next question you’re going to ask. He’s staying at the club! He’s scored 10 goals but it’s just not about him!  What about all the other lads that have come in? The twins (Mason and Merrick Simms), you’ve got the sub who came on Jason Ward, I thought he did well. Ryan Minott did well when he came on. It’s a team thing. It’s about people helping each other out and without the players Josh won’t be able to get the goals.”

Substitute Jason Ward released Patrick down the left, who sprinted past his marker to reach the box and instead of going for his hat-trick he rolled the ball across to Minott, who dwelled on the ball and his poor shot was blocked by Jake Williams.

Jake Williams’ deep cross from the left was steered wide by an unmarked Shinners at the far post.

Minott’s fine diagonal pass put in Patrick in a one-v-one situation but his shot was blocked by the advancing Collier.

Sporting Club Thamesmead have climbed up four places into fifth in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division with 14 points in the bag from nine games.  They are only a couple of points adrift of leaders Punjab United.

“Yes, it’s a bit of a topsy-turvy season at the moment because anybody can get to the top can’t they,” said Jones.

“But it doesn’t mean they’re going to be up there, as you know, but I think if we can keep the team together, if all of the boys combine to what I’m trying to do and keep that respect and that family unit together, I think we can do something there.”

When asked whether he feels his side are serious contenders for promotion, Jones replied: “Too early to say, far too early.  I’m serious about what I expect from players but are they serious about how far they want to go with this?

“That’s what we’ve got to buy into.  I think it’s a bit too early to say, let’s see after another five games.”

Stansfeld remain in tenth-place with 11 points from eight games.

Sporting Club Thamesmead: Simon Vanderhook, Elliott Johnson, Daniel Akintimehin, George Jones, Mudiaga Wanogho, Tony Hill, Mason Simms (Anthony Fenech 86), Merrick Simms, Josh Patrick, Ramell Lake (Ryan Minott 70), Jamie Williams (Jason Ward 83).
Subs: Emmanuel West, Ricky Hardie

Goals: Merrick Simms 47, 77 Ramell Lake 53, Josh Patrick 60, 81

Booked: Merrick Simms 90

Stansfeld: Louis Collier, Joe Brown (Jake Williams 77), Greg Summersby, Casey Killilea, George Martin, Lennie Wise, Perry Holland (Ryan Hassan 60), Sam Ryan, Billy Shinners, Michael McKennna, Harry Gamble (Michael Zanelli 83).
Sub: Billy Jolley

Goal: Michael McKenna 68 (penalty)

Attendance: 92
Referee: Mr Danny Roberts (Maidstone)
Assistants: Mr Medhi Golchehreh (Sittingbourne) & Mr Tarik Amari (Abbey Wood, London SE2)

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