Sevenoaks Town 6-0 FC Elmstead - We want to win every competition we play in, says Sevenoaks Town boss Micky Collins

Wednesday 23rd November 2016
Sevenoaks Town 6 – 0 FC Elmstead
Location Greatness Park, Mill Lane, Seal Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 5BX
Kickoff 23/11/2016 19:30

Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Second Round
Wednesday 23rd November 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Greatness Park

SEVENOAKS TOWN manager Micky Collins says he’s feeling confident of keeping wing-wizard Kieron McCann after yet another impressive man-of-the-match performance.


Sevenoaks Town booked their place in the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Quarter-Finals after easing their way past an FC Elmstead side struggling for form.

This was their seventh defeat on the bounce and they are in the bottom six in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division with 16 points from 15 games, while Collins has put Sevenoaks Town on the map this season and they sit in the top four in the Premier Division table with 33 points from 14 games, four points adrift of leaders Ashford United but with two games in hand.

Sevenoaks Town extended their winning run to five games after their comfortable win over FC Elmstead. 

Billy Bennett gave the home side a slender one-goal lead going into the break – but Fabio Rossi’s side folded during the second half.

McCann took 82 seconds to double the lead, before Joe Bingham capitalised on a blunder from visiting keeper Dan Teeley, before Bennett added his 12th goal of the season in the 56th minute.

McCann scored a sublime curler into the top far corner for the fifth goal to take his goalscoring tally for the season to 10, before substitute striker Yacine Gnahore added a late sixth.

Collins said: “A win. I’m glad we’re though. I thought the first half was tight and I thought Elmstead came out and played with a decent game plan and they started the game really well.

“We got our noses in front but I thought we weren’t good enough first half at all and I let my feelings known at half-time and we came out and dominated the way we should’ve.”

FC Elmstead assistant manager Paul Gorman said: “First half I felt we was even. We gave a good account of ourselves. I thought the boys done really well.  I think we might’ve just nicked it and we could’ve, should’ve been one or two nil up but obviously the class told in the second half and they duly deserved what they got, a 6-0 win.

“I’m so pleased of the boys, they worked hard. That’s why they’re a league above us and near the top.”

But Rossi’s side squandered two glorious chances to shake Sevenoaks Town inside the opening nine minutes.

Set-piece specialist Christian Howell whipped in a free-kick from the left towards the near post but George Bryan’s free-header screamed over the bar from 12-yards.

Sevenoaks linked up well in midfield with McCann, Jimmy Rogers and Bingham, but Bennett’s loose pass out towards Harrison Carnegie was intercepted by Nick Wybrow, who clipped a long ball straight through the heart of Sevenoaks defence but Louis Sprosen’s left-footed chip looped into Rob French’s hands from 25-yards.

“We had chances, we could’ve gone one or two up but unfortunately we were 1-0 down. That’s part of football. If you don’t take your chances, you don’t win,” said Gorman.

Collins added: “They did have a really good game plan and to be honest they started the game really lively – and we just didn’t – and when we’re not on our mettle and we’re sloppy at times and we were and I wasn’t happy about that!”

Sevenoaks Town’s first opening arrived shortly afterwards when McCann sped past Elmstead’s right-back Dan Carpenter, cut inside Marcus Howell before dragging his shot past the near post.

FC Elmstead keeper Dan Teeley was forced into making a smart diving save in the 13th minute to prevent Rogers scoring from 20-yards and Bennett pounced on to the loose ball, clipping the outside of the near post from a tight angle.

McCann shouted in frustration after steering his low drive straight into Teeley’s comfortable grasp after the talented winger twisted and turned inside the Cockerel’s penalty area.

Another chance fell FC Elmstead’s way in the 17th minute.

Christian Howell’s driven free-kick was superbly brought under control by striker Sprosen, but French rushed off his line to make a vital block.

Lewis Gregory, who was originally listed on the team-sheet as a substitute but started when Ashley Wright arrived late – whipped in a cross from the right and Sprosen’s free header sailed over the bar.

Sevenoaks’ right-back Chris Edwards then delivered a deep free-kick towards the far post where Corey Holder came up from the back to force Teeley to dive low to his right to tip his header ball around his post.

Sevenoaks Town took 26 minutes and 21 seconds to break the stalemate.

Bingham sprayed the ball out to the right and winger Harrison Carnegie sped past his man (Charlie McLean) to whip in a low cross which was behind Bennett inside the box but he managed to hook his right-footed volley into the bottom right-hand corner from 12-yards.

Collins said: “He’s trying to claim an over-head kick! But we think he’s slipped and tried to hook it in but it’s the first bit of football that we’ve played properly and we got the ball down and we got it out wide to Harrison and he does what he does and he beats his man,  crosses in and Bill’s been doing that for weeks now, keeps despatching goals in, he’s flying.”

Gorman added: “That’s why he’s one of the top goalscorers in the league, he’s a goalscorer. I’d love to have him in my team but that’s why he’s at Sevenoaks.  That’s why they play in the league above us. He’s played Ryman football as well.

“The money they’re getting paid, I’d love to have half the money, even a third of the money they’re getting paid to pay my players, who give everything for nothing!”

Gregory should have done better than to clip his shot straight into French’s hands from 29 minutes as FC Elmstead competed well against a Sevenoaks side that were missing desire during the first half.

Christian Howell’s poor backward pass was intercepted by Walker, but his shot was equally as bad, stroked past the right-hand post from 30-yards.

Sprosen broke away for the away side and played the ball inside to Bryan, but the central midfielder dragged his shot past the post from 20-yards.

FC Elmstead’s right-back Dan Carpenter kept McCann in his pocket during the first half and forced McCann to cut the ball back to left-back Greg Benbow, who whipped in a first time cross, which Teeley juggled and dropped the ball but he made amends by throwing himself at Bennett’s shot from inside the penalty area

“We still kept going. We kept on battling and we could’ve got one back with one of the headers, two of the headers actually.  We gave a good account of ourselves in the first half but the class told in the second,” said Gorman.

“We just told them to keep on battling, give as much as they can, keep on working hard and see if we can nick a goal. Unfortunately, they nicked one straight away,” added the former Charlton Athletic professional.

“We just didn’t move the ball, we didn’t play with enough tempo and we just weren’t dynamic enough,” admitted Collins.

“We were just going through the motions and all off a sudden at half-time we’ve addressed it.  We’ve come out and one thing we’ve got here is the quality that we’ve got.

“When we put it down and play we’re a good side and we showed that for like 25 minutes of the start of the second half.  No disrespect to Elmstead, they couldn’t get near us!”

But it all went horribly wrong for FC Elmstead, who capitulated during a one-sided second half.

Walker played the ball out to McCann on the left, who went on the outside of Carpenter, cut onto his left-foot before hitting a screamer into the top far corner of the net from 12-yards – after only 82 seconds.

Collins said: “It’s a great goal, that’s a great goal. That’s what they’ve been doing, they’ve been linking up well like that. That’s why the goals have been coming from all different places and Kieron is so two-footed it’s ridiculous!

“He played out on the left and he cuts inside and goes on the outside and at the moment he’s on fire. He scored two on Saturday and he scored another two tonight but that’s what you want, you want your big players to turn up playing games like that.  They knew I wanted to win that. I wanted to get through to that round because I wanted three things top play for after Christmas and we’re in that position.”

Gorman said: “Good goal. They scored some good goals, a few good goals by them. They worked hard, they deserved it in the end.  Like I said before, the class told.”

McCann then sped past Carpenter again to reach the by-line and whooped in a cross towards the near post, which Walker sent his free header across goal and past the far post.

Peter Dale, FC Elmstead’s recently-appointed goalkeeper coach following his departure from league rivals Glebe, couldn’t have been pleased with Sevenoaks’ third goal in the 50th minute.

Benbow delivered a poor left-footed free-kick from the right which must have travelled 40-yards along the ground which should have been comfortably dealt with by Teeley, who dived low to his right, but somehow failed to gather and Bingham accepted the gift by poking the ball into the bottom far corner from close range.

“You ride a bit of luck and we had a bit of luck with that and at 3-0 it’s game over,” said Collins.

“I looked at the Elmstead guys’ body language and they’re looking like it’s going to be a long night and fair play to us though, we kept the tempo going. I didn’t want it to stop. They knew I wasn’t happy with them with the first half performance.”

Gorman added: “The amount of saves he’s pulled off today, I don’t blame the kid. He’s a brilliant goalkeeper. He’s not prone for a mistake, unluckily he’s done one today, unfortunately.”

Clinical Sevenoaks Town raced into a 4-0 lead, with only 10 minutes and 29 seconds on the clock.

Edwards played Walker in behind the Elmstead defence and he played the ball out to McCann on the left, who centred low for Bennett to tap in from inside the six-yard box.

Gorman said: “I didn’t see that, I couldn’t see because there was a big crowd coming across the goal, wasn’t it?  I thought our full-back got out of position but he’s learning, he's only a young kid, he’s only 17, Charlie (McLean), it’s unfortunate.”

When it was put to him that his side folded, Gorman replied: “It was just fitness. They (Sevenoaks) train twice or three times a week and it’s a bit hard for us because we only train once a week and that was on Tuesday so we can’t even train as we’re down to a match twice a week.”

Collins, meanwhile, revealed before the game that his side have trained just once in the past seven weeks.

He added: “It’s great football. That’s some good passing in there. There were four or five passes, we kept the ball and then we’ve been quick and that was why I was a bit annoyed first half. We weren’t quick enough in that final third and all of a sudden we passed our way in.  It’s a tap-in for Bill but he’s got to be there to miss it and he’s there again. It’s another two he’s got tonight.”

Teeley made amends when he dived low to his left to hold onto Walker’s 25-yard drive after Edwards’ run and ball inside just on the hour mark.

Teeley then made an even better save to deny Walker halfway through the second half, palming the ball just past the foot of the near post after the striker was played in by a ball over the top down the heart of the pitch.

Gorman said: “Like I say, he’s a great shot stopper, great deliveries on the ball. I can’t understand why he’s playing in this league. He plays with his mates and he done really well, he’s a good goalkeeper.”

Collins added: “Byron was unlucky, he’s been grafting because he was unlucky on Saturday. He came off the bench and he had a chance, which he tried to cut back and it didn’t work for him – but he’s been immense for us.”

Bingham’s right-footed angled drive from 30-yards was spilt by Teeley, who managed to grab hold of the ball as FC Elmstead were struggling with Sevenoaks’ class.

Gorman said: “We didn’t really fold, the fitness told. It’s mainly fitness  when you get teams like this, they’re all Ryman and Kent League players. My boys are like Kent County.  I’m really proud of them. They’ve done really well but the fitness told.”

Referee Nicholas Furin awarded the home side a corner, despite no Elmstead player touching the ball after Benbow clipped the top of the crossbar with a cross-come-shot from the left hand side of the pitch in the 76th minute.

McCann capped off his impressive performance with an excellent fifth goal in the 79th minute.

Substitute John Brown lofted the ball out to McCann, who brought the ball under his spell, looked up and bent a beautiful right-footed shot into the top far corner from 18-yards.

Collins said: “It’s a great goal! He’s opened his body, he’s looked at it and he’s put it where he wanted it to be. But he will be the first to say the last time he enjoyed his football like this was with me at Erith & Belvedere when we won the double. He’s enjoying it and he’s relishing that role and the boys give him the ball and he’s got players around him and the players around him trying to bring him into the game.

“It’s a joy to watch at times, I must admit. I stand there, I get frustrated at times when I watch us play and we move it like that, yes it’s been impressive.

Reflecting on McCann’s impressive run of form, Collins said: “He keeps making the headlines. There’s a dynamic here and you can go and play higher and then you lose that little bit of what you’re aiming at.  The boys wouldn’t go anywhere.  The boys are here to win. We’re Sevenoaks Town, people forget that!”

Gorman added: “Great goal, superb goal, bent it in the top corner.  We gave him too much time, sat back away from him. That’s inexperience.  In the Kent League you would’ve have got the time because in the first half the kid that was closing him down never made a mistake and second half the fitness told and gave him too much time.”

McCann continued his dominance when he raced down the left again and cut the ball back to Gnahore, who was denied by another save from Teeley, low to his left.

Christian Howell floated in a free-kick from the right and Reece Barratt came up from the back to loop his free header towards goal which was plucked out of the air by French from underneath his crossbar.

Sevenoaks striker Walker dragged his shot past the far post before Sevenoaks Town completed the rout with 45 minutes and 10 seconds on the clock.

Rogers played Edwards in behind McLean and he pulled the ball back from the by-line for Gnahore to score his fourth goal of the season from close range.

Collins said: “Goal for Yacine to get on the scoresheet.  He’s been in and out of the side lately and he’s come on and grafted again tonight and got some rewards. He’s been frustrated with himself lately with missing chances. He’ll be the first one to say he's not been on first and we’re pleased for him that he’s gone over.”

Gorman added: “Our boys were on their legs, we’re really tired. They’ve worked hard and they’ve not given up and just kept going until the end but that’s football for you.”

FC Elmstead travel to Cockfosters to play their reserve side in the London Senior Trophy First Round on Saturday looking to end their losing streak of seven games.

“We’ve had some tough games, injuries, players that can’t make games because they’ve had to travel or work,” said Gorman.

“Last week we were unfortunate with an 85th minute winner when we played Kent Football United but we dominated the game and they were lucky to score from a corner and that was the first attack they had.

“We’re dominating games, we’re just not finishing them off.  We’re getting there and everything seems to be ticking in the right direction. Unfortunately, today was a set-back but there’s positives from the first half and some of the play in the second half but we’ll just look at the positives.

“Cockfosters is where we can start. Get a good game in against them and come back with a win.  Once we get that win we’re back on track again. 

“Hopefully Cockfosters will be a start and if we play like they did in the first half, I think we’ll come out with a good result and a good result against Snodland (at home on 3 December).”

Sevenoaks Town are without a game this coming weekend, but Deal Town visit Greatness Park in a League game on Saturday 3 December.

When asked whether the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy is on his list of priorities this season, Collins said: “Yes, every competition we play in we want to win. The only one we probably knew we would’ve have a chance was in The FA Cup but we did really well in that.

“I love it. It’s momentum. I wanted a good performance, that’s what I’m looking for and credit to them. I thought they were really good first half and they really tested us and we were lucky to get a 1-0 lead. The table difference showed. That’s no disrespect to Elmstead, I thought they were really good. Of course, it’s on our list, it’s another win, it’s another clean sheet.”

Sevenoaks Town: Rob French, Chris Edwards, Greg Benbow, Jimmy Rogers, Tom Ripley, Corey Holder, Harrison Carnegie (John Brown 59), Joe Bingham, Byron Walker, Billy Bennett (Yacine Gnahore 63), Kieron McCann.
Subs: Jack Miles, Mikey Dalton

Goals: Billy Bennett 27, 56, Kieron McCann 47, 79, Joe Bingham 50, Yacine Gnahore 90

Booked: Tom Ripley 55

FC Elmstead: Dan Teeley, Dan Carpenter, Charlie McLean, Christian Howell, Reece Barratt, Marcus Howell, Nick Wybrow (Ashley Wright 57), George Bryan, Louis Sprosen, Tom Pratt, Lewis Gregory (Marcus Black 58).
Subs: Sonny Robinson, Paul Gorman

Booked: Christian Howell 32, Nick Wybrow 43, George Bryan 65, Marcus Howell 90

Attendance: 48
Referee: Mr Nicholas Furin (Beckenham)
Assistants: Mr Jeremy Annandale (Tonbridge) & Mr Harry Graham (Orpington)

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