Sevenoaks Town 7-4 Barking - I'll take 7-4 every single week until the end of the season but I don't think my ticker would, says Sevenoaks Town boss Micky Collins

Tuesday 16th July 2019
Sevenoaks Town 7 – 4 Barking
Location Greatness Park, Mill Lane, Seal Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 5BX
Kickoff 16/07/2019 19:45

Pre-Season Friendly
Tuesday 16 July 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Greatness Park

SEVENOAKS TOWN manager Micky Collins admits their pre-season win over Barking turned into a stupid game.

The Oaks completed their debut Isthmian League South East Division campaign in tenth-place, having collected 47 points from their 36 league games, while Barking finished in 12th place in the Isthmian League Northern Division with the same number of points from two fewer games.

Collins’ charges were defeated 1-0 at home to Vanarama National League South side Dartford on Saturday 6 July 2019 and came away from Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Deal Town with a 3-0 win seven days later.

Barking were held to draws by Burnham Ramblers (3-3) and Southern Counties East Football League First Division side Sporting Club Thamesmead (1-1).

This was a prime example why people hate watching pre-season games.  Barking manager Justin Gardner, who is preparing for life in the Isthmian League Central Division, only gave names of nine of his starting eleven and refused to reveal the identities of his substitutes, something that The Football Association must tell club’s to do, especially when people are paying money to watch!

Sevenoaks Town raced into a two goal lead after only just 184 seconds as Ainsley Everett and Tommy Whitnell punished some woeful defending.

Barking pulled a goal back courtesy of their best player on the pitch, a winger wearing the number seven shirt going under the name of Trialist or if you listen carefully, Sherry.

Sevenoaks Town went into the interval with a 3-1 lead as winger Everett notched his second goal of the game.

Sevenoaks Town made four changes at the break, while Gardner made a change in goal, at right-back, three in midfield, and a new striker, and in the 53rd minute, a new centre-half entered the fold.

Tyrell Richardson-Brown slotted in an early fourth goal, before Barking pulled a goal back through substitute Jed Chaumen, before Bradley Schafer punished a woeful clearance from Barking’s substitute goalkeeper Tyler Ford.

Barking’s impressive number seven drilled in Barking’s third goal in the 74th minute and Frankie Sawyer scored twice inside the final 10 minutes before Barking’s midfielder Ryan Mallett chipped in the game’s eleventh goal of the game.

Collins said: “Crazy game! It’s a friendly but it got a bit stupid at the end but positives that’s all you look for.  We had a couple of little niggles so that’s a bit disappointing.

“I thought we was good in stages and they scored a couple of good goals against us and that’s how it is.  You just glean what you can out of pre-season.

“I can’t stand pre-season! I hate every single minute of it because it’s actually pointless and it means nothing!

“All you’re doing is getting people minutes and playing games of football.  You have to go through the rigmarole of doing it because it happens every year but do you come away from here and go we’re a fantastic side and they’re not because we’ve won 7-4?  No! It means nothing, absolutely nothing!

“The only good thing is sometimes you’d rather play a game than train because you get to do set-pieces, which we scored from early and bits and bobs and that’s the only positives.”

Sevenoaks Town opened the scoring after only 130 seconds following their first corner of the game.

Sevenoaks left-back Nathan Gordon played the corner in from the right, the poor Barking defence let the ball bounce several times inside the penalty area and Everett pounced to sweep the ball past the Trialist goalkeeper from inside the six-yard box.

“You’ve got to look at them and they haven’t defended it well at all but we’ve asked them to do that set-piece so it has gone into the area where we wanted it and we’ve managed to get something on it and then you’re 1-0 up and then you’re in the ascendancy,” said Collins.

Barking played out from the back and were caught out when Mallett and his goalkeeper weren’t on the same wavelength and Whitnell latched onto the ball and swept his right-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

“Pre-season all over, but Whitnell is a clever player and he’s anticipated the guy might have a heavy tough. All off a sudden it’s ricochet and it’s in,” added Collins.

The Barking keeper was all at sea during the early exchanges and he got away with another mistake when his clearance was charged down by striker Whitnell and rolled towards the bottom near corner, only for the mystery keeper to pick the ball up before it crossed this line.

Sevenoaks Town were the dominant force for the opening 20 minutes and good link-up play down the right involving right-back Gideon Acheampong and Schafer saw the ball worked to Whitnell, whose cross-shot from the right wing sailed over the keeper and crashed off the top of the near post and dropped behind for a goal-kick.

“Half-chance! I thought we controlled the game quite well for the first 15-20 minutes and we were quite solid and then I thought we changed the way that we were playing,” said Collins.

“We changed our style a little bit and then we sort of came out of the game. We dropped out of the game a little bit and then they scored a really good goal on the break.”

Acheampong played a one-two with Whitnell down the right flank and Whitnell was put through on goal before drilling his shot into the side netting as he tried to find the bottom near corner from the edge of the Barking box.

A knock to Barking winger Nana Boakye-Yiadon gave Gardner’s men a chance to re-focus and they approached the final 15 minutes of the first half a more composed outfit.

Barking pulled a goal back with 29 minutes and 57 seconds on the clock.

Kojo Apenteng played the ball inside to Mallett, who sprayed the ball out to the number seven, who cut inside before drilling his right-footed shot across the keeper to find the bottom far corner.

“Our trialist right-back (Acheampong) just got caught out under it ball watching unfortunately but credit to the guy because he brought it down and slotted it really well,” said Collins.

The goalscorer noticed Ben Bridle-Card was off his line and tried to score from close to the centre-circle but his speculative effort sailed past the right-hand post.

Sevenoaks Town raced into a 3-1 lead with 39 minutes and 58 seconds on the clock.

Sawyer released Everett through on goal and left the keeper on his backside as he slotted the ball underneath him to roll the ball into the bottom far corner from 16-yards, pleasing Collins.

“Good link up play that, a good goal that. Bradley Schafer into Frankie Sawyer, Frankie slipped it through, Ainsley Everett came off the winger into the centre and slipped it under the keeper.”

Barking produced a good move on the stroke of half when that number seven played the ball inside to Abs Seymour, who teed up striker Olu Akinsayna, who should have played the ball on his outside to an unmarked Boakye-Yiadom but chose the wrong option and drilled his shot over the crossbar from inside the Sevenoaks box.

It's pretty pointless to go through the Barking chances during the second half when their manager said they’re all Trialists – so I won’t!

Sevenoaks Town scored their fourth goal with only 106 seconds on the clock when a ball was worked to physically strong target-man Connor French on the edge of the D, he outmuscled centre-half Donnell Anderson (who was soon to be substituted) before laying the ball off to an unmarked Richardson-Brown, who found the bottom right-hand corner, comfortably beating the substitute keeper.

Collins said:  “Frenchie came on (for Danny Cumbers at half-time) because we know Whitnell is going to start the season with us, so we need to give him a good run and he did and he got himself a goal and all off a sudden French comes on and gives you a bit more dynamic and his physicality is ridiculous! 

“The boy is clever, he can play football and the difference with him, you see it, his physically held them off, two of them, kept the ball and he could’ve shot and laid it on a plate for Tyrell to slot it.”

Sawyer was played in behind Anderson and only had Ford to beat, but the substitute Barking keeper did well to beat the ball behind for a corner as Sevenoaks Town’s attacking play was a real threat.

Sevenoaks’ first-choice keeper Ben Bridle-Card received a huge slice of luck when he spilt Mallet’s low drive and watched the ball roll towards his goal-line, before grabbing hold of the ball before it trickled over the line.

Barking pulled a second goal back with 17 minutes and 52 seconds on the clock when their two number 14s – yes two Barking players were wearing the number 14 shirt – linked up and substitute Chaumen cut across the edge of the penaty area and rolled the ball across Bridle-Card to find the bottom far corner.

“We’ve got to stay disciplined and we haven’t there and some of the goals we’ve conceded today, we’ve not been good defensively,” admitted Collins.

Halfway through the second half and Sevenoaks Town created another chance from a set-piece.

Gordon floated in their eighth corner of the night and centre-half Ben Gorham came up from the back and rose at the far post to plant his header over the crossbar from 15-yards out.

The final 20 minutes then turned into a Sunday League game with goalkeepers and defenders going missing, possibly due to a lack of fitness.

More woeful goalkeeping from Barking gifted Sevenoaks Town their fifth goal, timed at 26 minutes and 3 seconds, when a poor clearance from Ford landed at Schafer, who gleefully stroked the ball into the bottom near corner of an open goal from 30-yards.

“He’s still 30-yards out and he’s still got to hit the target and do you know what on another day it could’ve gone wide or over but fair play to Bradley Schafer he’s tucked it away,” said Collins.

Barking pulled a third goal back with 28 minutes and 40 seconds on the clock when the ball was played in from the right and their number seven drilled his shot into the bottom near corner and Collins reaction was to bring Bridle-Card off for substitute keeper Stan Hill.

Collins said: “It’s a pre-season goal.  The kid has hit it well, really well but Ben will be disappointed that he got beaten at the near post but it’s one of those, he’s a keeper, he’s only played three games and he’s trying to get his eye in.  He’s really hit it well, it’s a great goal.”

Gorham launched a long ball forward, which was knocked down by French and Alec Fiddes smacked a right-footed hooked volley from 20-yards, which was tipped over the crossbar by Ford.

Sevenoaks Town scored from their resulting corner, their sixth goal coming with 34 minutes and 42 seconds on the clock.

Fiddes played in the corner, Barking failed to clear their lines and substitute centre-half Jack Miles flicked the ball across goal and Sawyer was left unmarked at the far post to flash his shot across goal to find the bottom far corner.

“We were good at set-pieces, again it’s worked.  You look at the positives tonight, we were quite organised with that and that’s early for us to be like that,” added Collins.

Sevenoaks Town scored their seventh goal with 43 minutes and 16 seconds on the clock.

Gorham split the poor Barking defence with a 60-yard ball over the top of the defence and a fine touch from French saw him play the ball across the penalty area to Sawyer to simply tap the ball into the back of the net at the far post from within the six-yard box.

Collins said: “Goal of the game! A great diagonal from Ben Gorham, picks out Frenchie. Frenchie has one touch outside of the right-foot, slides it across the box past two of their men and Frankie’s at the far post to slot it.”

Barking scored the 11th goal of the game with 44:29 on the clock when Mallet played a one-two with one of his team-mates and dinked the ball over Hill’s head and watch it land into the bottom far corner.

“Poor, poor from us midfield wise and I’ve just had a moan about it in there.  I know it’s late in the game and the game’s got a bit silly.

“They’ve just had a rocket over that and I know it’s pre-season but you’ve got to get into good habits.  That’s probably the downside about tonight, that’s what’s made it into a stupid game.

“Credit to Barking because the goals that they’ve scored, some were well worked and they were good goals but we need to be better than that!

Collins revealed three of his players picked up knocks tonight and their next pre-season outing is at home to their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division neighbours Tunbridge Wells on Saturday (15:00).

“One of the trialists (centre-half Patrick Campbell) has got an Achilles issue; Bradley Schafer was a bit tight at the end and Danny Cumbers has got a tight hamstring or groin so they’re early door niggles and you get that.

“The boys are honest enough to come off and they’ve had a run out. Everyone’s gone through it and some of the shape was good, some of the football we played was good. We’re ahead of where I thought we would be three games in.”

Sevenoaks Town cannot be afford to be so sloppy defensively during their League campaign, which starts with a trip to Three Bridges on Saturday 17 August, before relegated Whitehawk visit Greatness Park three days later.

Collins said: “I’ll take 7-4 every single week until the end of the season but I don’t think my ticker would! 

“It turned into a silly game for us to score seven was stupid and for us to concede four is just as stupid!  It just became a wide-open game and that’s how it is.  Two early goals and that normally happens in pre-season.

“It just means you need to be a bit more disciplined at certain times of the game when it gets a bit stretched.  They know that, they’re not stupid in there. The boys’ understand and it’s something we’ll work on (in training on) Thursday and then we’ll address it on Saturday.”

Tunbridge Wells, bottom five finishers in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division last time out, are under new management in former Lordswood boss Richard Styles.

Collins said:  “It’s another run-out. It’s nice to see them and they’ll bring a great crowd, a good bunch of lads.

“Richard Styles will go in there and put his mark on it and do what he wants to do and try to push them on this year.

“They’re a good club. It will be nice to see them here and welcome them here. Hopefully it’s not too hot and hopefully it will be a good game and not so a ridiculous scoreline!”

Sevenoaks Town: Ben Bridle-Card (Stan Hill 75), Gideon Acheampong (Daniel McCarthy 46), Nathan Gordon (Harry Kingdom 72), Danny Cumbers (Connor French 46), Ben Gorham, Patrick Campbell (Jack Miles 46), Dan Parkinson, Bradley Schafer, Tommy Whitnell (Alec Fiddes 58), Frankie Sawyer, Ainsley Everett (Tyrell Richardson-Brown 46).

Goals: Ainsley Everett 3, 40, Tommy Whitnell 4, Tyrell Richarson-Brown 47, Bradley Schafer 72, Frankie Sawyer 80, 89

Barking*: Trialist, Ricky Tarbard, Jordan Pert, Ryan Mallet, Jack Hayes, Donnell Anderson, Trialist, Abs Seymour, Olu Akinsanya, Kojo Apenteng, Nana Boakye-Yiadom

Goals: Trialist (number seven) 30, 74,  Jed Chaumen 63, Ryan Mallet 90

* Barking’s manager refused to reveal the identities of most of his players’ so only their starting XI is listed.

Attendance: 67
Referee: Mr Liam Vitoria (Sevenoaks)
Assistants: Mr Jack Owen (Sevenoaks) & Mr Matthew Sell (Rochester)