Seven Acre & Sidcup 1-5 Glebe - We just couldn't get near them, they played us off the park, admits Seven Acre & Sidcup boss Lee Hill

Wednesday 17th February 2016
Seven Acre & Sidcup 1 – 5 Glebe
Location Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, London SE28 8NJ
Kickoff 17/02/2016 19:45

Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League
Wednesday 17th February 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Bayliss Avenue

GLEBE assistant manager Ian Varley says his side are in the mood to clinch the Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League title.

The Chislehurst-based outfit defeated then leaders Sutton Athletic 2-0 last Tuesday before thrashing Orpington 7-0 in the Challenge Trophy Quarter-Final at the weekend.

Seven Acre & Sidcup went into this game on a seven match unbeaten run and fifth-place in the table on 44 points from 25 games, but they were outclassed by the league leaders who proved exactly why they are favourites to win the league title at only their third attempt.

Glebe dominated large chunks of this game on a wet night at Bayliss Avenue and received a couple of helping hands from the home side, scoring a couple of own goals.

The first came from central defender Ricky Tompkins, who sliced his clearance into the corner of his net to open the floodgates.

But Seven Acre & Sidcup weathered the storm and levelled through Anthony Fenech’s 23rd goal of the season, a penalty following a handball.

But Glebe ran riot during the second half by scoring three goals to make it a miserable night for the home side in front of a crowd of 90.

Gary Lockyer headed home his eighth goal for the club, before Ryan Golding used his chest to score from close range, his 22nd goal of the season.

Ross Morley drilled in a fourth goal before Seven Acre & Sidcup scored their second own goal of the night with the last kick of the game through Tony Hill.

“I thought it was well deserved,” said Varley, who was in charge of the team with manager Simon Copley in Rotterdam, coaching Arsenal under 14s.

“I thought we had a bit of a blip after they scored. We didn’t panic, we just stopped.

“Five minutes before we scored and five minutes after we were playing really well and then we stopped and they got back into the game, a fortunate penalty.

“I know Simon says it all the time but do what we do to get us to the top of the league.

“Second half I thought we played some very good stuff, numerous chances, we might’ve scored a lot more but 5-1, I don’t think they’ve lost in seven so for us to come here and put in a 5-1 performance in, I’m well pleased.

“They never got close to us at all apart from a little five minutes spell. For 80 minutes we totally dominated it and deserved it.”

Seven Acre & Sidcup manager Lee Hill admitted he was feeling “bitterly disappointed” with his side’s tenth league defeat of the season that leaves them with a slender chance of snatching one of the top two spots.

“Bitterly disappointed, especially with the second half performance,” said Hill.

“I thought they had a very good 25 minutes where we just couldn’t keep the ball and they played good football.  We couldn’t get out of our half. They scored, unfortunately an own goal, but it was coming anyway.

“But once we got our foot on it I thought we came back into the game and I thought we was going to go on to win the game, getting back into it at half-time.

“I just thought second half we came out stronger and I thought we was going to go on and win it, but unfortunately they scored the second goal and our heads seemed to go down and happy for the final whistle to go in the end.

“Since Christmas we’ve turned it around in a way with six wins and a draw but today – one bad defeat - just puts it on its head really.

“We just try to move on to the next game. For the last six or seven games we’ve done well and I can’t fault their effort but tonight I thought once we gave the second goal away we seemed to give up and they deservedly won.”

League leaders Glebe got off on the front foot straight from the first whistle, creating their opening chance after only 69 seconds.

Golding picked the ball up and swept the ball out to Jaie Nuttall, whose left-footed drive from 17-yards brought a low save from busy home goalkeeper Jack Kelly.

Varley said: “Our key is to start as quick as we can. We’re a very good team, like most teams when we’re in front. The quicker we get in front we usually try to kick on from there so we always try to start games quick.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t go and get the second and third, which meant they got back into the game but second half we took on the initiative again and scored a few goals.”

Hill added: “They knocked the ball around and played some good football. We tried to close them down. We talked about it before the game, how good they are keeping possession. We just couldn’t get near them to start off.  They played some excellent football and played us off the park for the first 30 minutes.”

Seven Acre & Sidcup’s big target-man Fenech unleashed a low left-footed drive from 30-yards, which deflected into Alfie George’s hands inside ten minutes.

But Glebe opened the scoring with a stroke of luck with 12 minutes and 42 seconds on the clock.

James Alderman drove in his angled shot from the left-hand side of the penalty area, which flashed across goal and seemed destined to go behind for a goal-kick.

But left centre-half Tompkins sliced his clearance across his own keeper and into the bottom left-hand corner to gift Glebe the lead.

Varley admitted: “Slightly fortunate, I give you that. Aldo thinks he’s got that, obviously not going to get that goal!

“He’s scored 11 this season, which is a good return for an attacking midfielder. He always gets in those positions. 

“These things can happen, shoot across goal, especially in these conditions. Fortunate but I thought we deserved it, the way we started so great.”

Hill blamed his defender for gifting Glebe the lead.

“It was going nowhere near the goal! It was going totally wide. If he had a call from someone to leave it, he could’ve left it,” he said.

“I just felt we started and showed them too much respect early on. That’s what we said at half-time. We showed them so much respect that once we got back in it. Thirteen minutes gone, they’ve got the goal and they could’ve gone on and got two or three but we dug in really.”

Glebe camped themselves in the Acre half and created numerous chances.

Golding powered a deflected shot past the post from 25-yards, before the woodwork saved Seven Acre & Sidcup in the 20th minute.

Nuttall swung in a free-kick from the left channel, which sailed over Kelly’s left shoulder and bounced off the crossbar and the home side were able to clear their lines.

Varley said: “Nutts has got a good delivery, that’s why he’s on the corners. There’s a little argument between him and Gary (Lockyer), who’s going to take it but Nutts was always going to take that. A great effort hit the crossbar and come back into play and they cleared it after that but half a chance.  I wouldn’t say it was one of our better chances.”

Hill added: “They’re the ones that either go in but fortunately bounced away from the goal. They could’ve had two or three before we scored!”

Glebe left-back Daniel Palfrey floated in a cross but Jack Hooper came up from the back for an earlier set-piece to glance his header across goal and past the far post.

Palfrey then played the ball into Jordan Johnson, who fed Golding, who hit a left-footed shot on the turn which flashed just past the far post.

Seven Acre & Sidcup called George into making a smart diving save in the 33rd minute.

Antony Collins played the ball inside to George Horne, who was given time and space to unleash a dipping drive, which bounced off the soaked turf but George dived to his left to push the ball around the post.

Hill said: “I expect him to save that. It was a good save. The wet weather, it bounced in front of him. Good save but I expect him to save them really.”

“It was a good save because it bounced off the surface,” added Varley.

“I was surprised they didn’t test us more from distance. It was perfect conditions for strikers with shots from distance.

“The good thing about Alf is because we’re so dominant he doesn’t have a lot to do but when we do he does it, which is a sign of a good keeper.”

Collins then whipped in a cross from the left, which was flicked on by Fenech at the near post and Tony Hill got involved in the box but referee Michael Begley pointed to the spot after Hooper was penalised for handball.

Fenech stepped up to place his left-footed free-kick into the back of the net as George dived the wrong way (to his left).

Hill said: “Big Fen has been banned for the last couple of games. He’s been in trouble with the refs but he does a job for us. He scores a lot of goals for us, him and Josh.

“I just thought once we weathered the storm we got our foot back into the game. Once we scored we had a good 10 minute spell where we was getting the ball out wide to Collins, a couple of early crosses came in and we got the penalty for the handball.”

Varley added: “The one thing I’m getting more disappointed about is we didn’t stop the cross and the fella got in front, who is great in the air, so they get the cross in so the danger signs for us, which I stressed at half-time. When the balls in wide areas you have to get out and close the ball down, which we did second half.

“A few crosses went in but that was realistically their only danger I think.  They had a header just after they scored, which he didn’t get full contact on.

“It was a good penalty. We haven’t conceded from open play again, which is good, but it’s still annoying.  These things happen.  What disappointed me was the way we went away from what we were doing. They got into the game so once we got in at half-time we just said teams are going to score unfortunately, it’s what happens.

“We’ve only conceded 17 goals in the league now, it’s going to happen. We are going to concede goals. It’s just how we react to it and second half we reacted really well.”

The equaliser brought Seven Acre & Sidcup’s best spell of the game as they pressed for the lead.

Billy Higgins, Horne and Fenech all linked up in Glebe’s final third and Josh Patrick laid the ball off to Collins, who sliced his shot past the near post when he should have tested the visiting keeper.

Frankie Beale played a throw to an unmarked Higgins, who floated in a cross into Glebe’s penalty area but Fenech guided his header across goal and past the far post.

Hill added: “After the goal I thought we were on top. It’s a shame the half-time whistle went really because I just thought we made a few attacks, got our foot on the ball and I thought we were threatening them quite a bit really.”

Both were asked their thoughts at the break.

Hill said: “I just felt the first 25 minutes they played us off the park. We showed them too much respect.  They got their goal early on but I said ‘fair play to you lads, you’ve clawed your way back, don’t show them as much respect.’

“We started to knock the ball around, got our foot on the ball and I thought second half we was going to come out and push on really.”

Varley said: “First of all we nailed the crossing so we had to stop the crosses and just get back to what we were doing.

“If we get back to what we’re doing, that’s all I said, we get back to what we do. We play through our diamond and we just go and play, start nice and quick and we’ll go and win it two, three, four, five. I’m sure I said that at half-time and we did!”

Glebe striker Golding latched onto Morley’s pass and hit a shot on the turn which was beaten behind by Kelly after only 139 seconds into the second half.

Former Welling United striker Patrick, who has scored 26 goals this season, flashed his left-footed shot on the turn across goal and past the far post from 20-yards.

But Glebe got their noses in front in the 54th minute – and never looked back.

Palfrey floated in a cross from the left and Lockyer nipped in between the two centre halves to plant his free header past Kelly from eight-yards.

Varley said: “Great move, a really good move, good passing move. We changed the play, a great ball in. Gary’s not going to miss from there.  He got into a great position, peeled off the centre half, good header, put us deservedly in front.”

Hill added: “We was screaming because they hit us on the break. It was a great cross in, I must say.  A good finish but we just didn’t compete in the air. The ball was in the air for a long time. I was disappointed with the defenders. We just didn’t get off the ground to make the challenge really. He couldn’t miss the goal, a great header and he should score from there.”

Carson Dennis came up from the back to plant his header straight at Kelly, who had palmed away Nuttall’s corner from the right.

Johnson slipped a pass through the heart of the home side’s defence to put Lockyer through on goal but Kelly stuck out his left leg to make the save in the 58th minute.

Hill said: “Jack has done well. It was a great save. He kept us in the game at that point.

“Jack’s done well for us this year even though he let five in today.  I can’t blame him for any of the goals really. He’s ever reliable for us since Charlie (Martin) got injured at the start of the season.”

Varley added: “Gary tried to place it past him. Good save. Should he score? I don’t know, but it’s a good save!”

Alderman switched the play from left to right and Jordan Clark whipped in a cross towards the penalty spot but Lockyer nipped in front of his man to head straight at Kelly, who made a comfortable catch.

Poor Glebe defending saw Patrick cut past three defenders positioned around the D but his left-footed drive was saved by George, who stuck out his right leg to make the save at his near post.

“He’s scored 26 goals for us this season,” Hill said of Patrick.

“He had a couple of good opportunities tonight and I thought he could’ve done well there but I can’t knock him.  I thought if he just placed it anywhere else, the keeper unfortunately just got his foot to it.

“I thought if he had just placed it anywhere else, the keeper unfortunately just got his foot to it again.”

Varley added: “Great save, I thought. I think dodgy back header. Josh is a good player, he’s scored a lot of goals. 26? Wow!

“I know a lot of clubs have been watching him so we were all fully aware what he could do, get a chance he usually finishes them.  Thankfully we didn’t give him too many opportunities tonight.”

But Glebe killed the game off by scoring their third goal in the 67th minute.

Johnson whipped in a deep cross form midfield, the ball was cut back by Morley and Golding chested the ball into the bottom left-hand corner at the near post from two-yards out.

When asked what part of Golding’s body it came off, Varley replied: “I asked him when he came off, it was his chest. It came at one of those heights where you don’t know what to do so he stuck his chest out.

“That’s his 22nd goal of the season. I’m good on my stats, I’m sure it is? He gets into good positions. He knows he should’ve scored more tonight but the return of 22 is decent.”

Hill, meanwhile, was less convinced.

“Chested it in? Alright, ok.  He would say that!

“I couldn’t see if it was a chest or whatever but we just seemed to open up. They were just hitting us on the break, they were quick on the attack. They just seemed to hurt us with every attack after that. They deserved to be 3-1 up.”

Seven Acre & Sidcup’s desire took a nosedive at this point and it was a question of how many Glebe would score.

Hill said: “We seemed like we gave up. We ran out of steam. We’re a team that generally never gives up and we’ve done well over the last couple of weeks so it’s hard to come in and criticise them, but every time they went forward they just looked like they were going to score.”

Golding turned on the edge of the box and hit a right-footed shot screaming past the far post.

Nuttall’s corner came back to him and his second bite of the cherry was headed across goal by Dennis, keeper Kelly palmed the ball into Alderman, whose right-footed shot sailed over the bar.

Glebe’s fourth goal arrived with 15 minutes left through Morley’s first goal for the club.

Nuttall played a one-two with Johnson and was given acres of space to crack his right-footed drive from 25-yards against the crossbar.  The ball fell to Morley, who drilled his shot into the bottom far corner.

“Great effort from Nutts,” added Varley.

“Ross followed it in from the left channel. You don’t see Ross score many goals. I’ve been with him at Horsham before but he got in, I said shoot on the ground. He arrowed it in, great finish. 

“It killed the game but it was dead by then. It was a much more comfortable lead.

“We massively smell blood when we start scoring. The first half was a little disappointing because we were 1-0 up.

“Once we get in the mood, once we get in front and start scoring we make chance after chance so I was pleased with that.  We always want to go for the kill and get extra goals.”

Hill added: “He’s hit the bar. It’s come back out and we’re sat static again.

“By that time I was just praying for the final whistle really, just put me out of my misery.”

Hooper’s poor header gave Patrick an opportunity to get on the scoresheet but George pulled off a fine save.

Nuttall unleashed a right-footed drive towards goal from 35-yards, the ball skidding off the wet surface and was saved by Kelly in between his legs.

The Acre created an opening little more than ten minutes remaining when Patrick played the ball inside to Fenech, who lobbed the ball just over the crossbar from 25-yards.

But Glebe continued to attack to enhance their goal-difference.

“They’re a very good side, there’s no bones about that,” said Hill.

“Once they’re in front they seem to push on and steamroll teams and proved tonight they’re a better side than us on the day. 

“We’ve got them again in a few weeks’ time. Hopefully we can put a better performance in.”

Morley slipped the ball through the heart of the defence to put Alderman through on goal but the ball was palmed away by Kelly’s right-hand high to the keeper’s right.

Palfrey then floated in a free-kick from the left towards the far post for Hooper to arrive and plant his header over the bar from 10-yards.

Substitute Jamie Williams fed Morley, who stung the keeper’s fingertips with a right-footed drive, before Glebe wrapped up the scoring with the last kick of the game.

Clark linked up well with Williams with a neat one-two down the right and Clark’s low centre from the by-line bounced off Tony Hill and crossed the goal-line for the second own goal of the night.

“They’re trying to claim as it’s their goal,” revealed Varley.

“Jordan got forward well. That’s how we got out in the first half. Our full backs started getting a bit more confident and then we’re getting more joy.

“A great little one-two with Jamie Williams and pulled it across and unfortunate but fortunate for us.”

Hill added: “That was the icing on the cake really. It just summed up how the second half went for us.  The whistle went straight after that as well so it put us all out of our misery!”

On tonight’s deadly performance, expect Glebe to thrash bottom-of-the-table tenants Eltham Palace by at least 12 clear goals on Saturday at Foxbury Avenue.

Neil Proctor’s side have leaked 83 goals in 23 league games this season and are propping up the table.

“Every game is a big game. Eltham is no different to this. We’ve got to win Saturday otherwise this will not be worthwhile at all,” said Varley.

“I know it’s an cliché but we don’t really take about it,” Varley replied when asked about the title race.

“We just have to take game by game and just keep winning games. 

“I know our chairman goes on about three goals a game will win you the league, which is pretty obvious but he’s right and we’ve started to score goals now and we’ve just in that mood now where we can go and beat teams home and away and hopefully, HOPEFULLY that continues. We need to make sure we carry that on Saturday.

“We’re away but we’re at home because they groundshare with us. They’ve had a bit of a turnaround in players. I know the test is different which makes it harder. People will expect us to go there and win. People expected a tough game tonight because they were seven unbeaten but we’ve rolled them over.

“Hopefully we’ll turn up with the right attitude, like every team we put out and get the three points.”

It would be so easily to be complacent against such a poor side.

Varley added: “You have to guard against it. Crockenhill and Phoenix beat us at home where we were a bit complacent but I think we’ve gone past that now.  I think we’re just in the mood to go and win games. I don’t think we’ll turn up expecting to win and just roll them over.

“Like everyone else, we have to work hard and make sure we keep doing what we’re doing and hopefully get the points but everyone expects us to win and we have to make sure we do the job.”

Hill, meanwhile, takes his side to Bearsted on Saturday, a side in third-place in the table on 52 points from 23 games.  Sheppey United – who were 3-1 winners at Gravesham Borough tonight – are second on 54 points from 24 games, level on points with Glebe, who have two games in hand.

Hill said: “The title race is obviously between three or four teams. Glebe are top of the league with Sheppey, Bearsted and Gravesham and Sutton, of course.

“Only two go up now. I think Sutton and Gravesham haven’t applied so it looks like Sheppey, Bearsted or Glebe who can go up.  They’re all good sides.  We’re just outside that. The table doesn’t lie. We’ve lost 10 games in a course of a season.

“Bearsted is another tough game for us really. They beat us quite convincingly down here. They’re a good footballing side. They play it the right way – a bit like Glebe did tonight.

“They’ll be a tough game for us and we’ll have to re-group and get back. Bearsted will definitely be up there at the end of it.”

Seven Acre & Sidcup: Jack Kelly, Ricky Tompkins, Frankie Beale (Sodiq Badaru 70), Billy Higgins, George Jones, Tony Hill, Tony Ecuyer, George Horne, Anthony Fenech (George Ludgrove 80), Josh Patrick, Anthony Collins.
Subs: Danny Edwards, Charlie Martin

Goal: Anthony Fenech 35 (penalty)

Booked: Anthony Fenech 27, Tony Hill 51

Glebe: Alfie George, Jordan Clark, Daniel Palfrey, Jack Hooper, Carson Dennis, Jaie Nuttall (Thomas Fitzgerald 84), Ross Morley, Jordan Johnson, Ryan Golding (Jamie Williams 79), Gary Lockyer (Danny Gannon 76), James Alderman.
Subs: James Day, Connor Charlton

Goals: Ricky Tompkins 13 (own goal), Gary Lockyer 54, Ryan Golding 67, Ross Morley 75, Tony Hill 90 (own goal)

Attendance: 90
Referee: Mr Michael Begley (Battersea, London SW8)
Assistants: Mr Kenan Dogan (Dartford) & Mr Steve Christie (Gravesend)