Sporting Club Thamesmead 3-0 Phoenix Sports Reserves - It's always nice to end the season with a trophy, says Liam Kelly

Friday 04th May 2018
Sporting Club Thamesmead 3 – 0 Phoenix Sports
Location Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY
Kickoff 04/05/2018 19:30

Hospitals Charity Senior Cup Final
Friday 4 May 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Park View Road

SPORTING CLUB THAMESMEAD assistant manager Liam Kelly says winning the Hospitals Charity Senior Cup for the fifth time was for the people behind the scenes.

The amateur Bayliss Avenue outfit finished their Southern Counties East Football League First Division campaign in 12th place in the table with 45 points from 36 games, while Phoenix Sports Reserves will finish their campaign away to Stansfeld on Bank Holiday Monday lunchtime in fourteenth-place in the table.

Lee Hill has guided Sporting Club Thamesmead to
Hospital Charity Cup glory in his last game in charge
of the club before joining chairman Sam Taylor (right)
in the boardroom.
Photo: Twitter

It proved to be Lee Hill’s final game in charge as first team manager as he moves upstairs to be joint-chairman with Sam Taylor, while this was Ben Kotey’s penultimate game in charge of Phoenix Sports Reserves before his switch to league rivals Holmesdale.

The first half was an uninspiring stalemate but Sporting Club Thamesmead smashed the deadlock through a cross-come-shot from right-back Elliott Johnson in the 50th minute to score his maiden goal.

Josh Patrick then scored twice to take his goalscoring total for the season to an impressive 49 goals as Hill put a piece of silverware in the trophy cabinet as the final curtain came down on his managerial career.

“Today’s win was an absolute pleasure, it’s always nice to end the season with a trophy, end the season with a win,” said Kelly, the former Crockenhill manager.

“It’s been a topsy-turvy season but part of this great club, the draw of this great club, is the people involved in it from the Patrick’s, to the Hill’s to the Taylor’s and the Watts’, everybody that’s involved in this club.

“We said before the game we’re going to go out there and reward the people that stuck by us all through the season and get a victory.”

Phoenix Sports Reserves team manager Ben Kotey admitted to feeling disappointed after not adding this piece of silverware to the London Senior Trophy that they won at Haringey Borough with a 3-2 after-extra-time win over Erith & Belvedere on 11 April.

“I thought the best team on the night won.  I felt Thamesmead wanted it more than we did.  They showed more desire, more passion than we did.  Three-nil maybe flattered them a little bit but overall they were the better side on the night and they deserved it.

“I don’t think we played as well as we can do and disappointed in our performance but credit to Sporting Club Thamesmead on the night they deserved it.”

The first half did nothing to impress the 120 spectators who attended this game at Park View Road.

“It was quite an even game,” admitted Kelly.

Kotey added: “I thought we started off ok. We got into the game. We had some good possession but the last 15-20 Thamesmead started playing their game and got on top and got more control of the game from then on.

“I thought they were the better side. I was disappointed with us and I mentioned it at half-time. We didn’t move the ball quickly enough. I felt we didn’t play to our strengths and Thamesmead desire, commitment and work-rate off the ball was better than ours.”

Phoenix Sports keeper James Boughtflower played out from the back and passed to Tony Robinson, who passed the ball back but the keeper panicked when pressed by Acre striker Jojo Ogunbiyi, but Robinson got back to clear the ball off the line after 242 seconds into the game.

“It was another chance which came from high pressure,” said Kelly.

“We said before the game, they’re quite capable on the ball. The pitch is going to suit them. We were going to let their keeper give it out to their defence and then press after that.  That was all part of our plan.  Unfortunately, Jojo’s legs got tangled with the keeper and didn’t get up to nod it himself just to knock it over the line.”

Kotey added: “It was a case they were starting to dominate and they were getting behind us in our penalty area.  I thought we were resolute and defended very well in the first half. We didn’t create that much but they showed a little bit more desire in the final third in both penalty areas.”

Both sides failed to keep hold of the ball during a first half of little quality.

Phoenix Sports’ right-back William Reavill took a touch and hung over a deep cross which was missed by Acre keeper Charlie Martin and winger Andrew Dythe ghosted in unmarked to hook his shot past the near post from a tight angle.

Kotey said: “It was a really, really tight angle and he did really, really well to get into the back post but the angle was so acute he had to really try to help it back across.  It was a good effort to ty to get there but it was too tight.”

Kelly added: “I think Charlie’s seen it all the way to the back stick.  I thought he thought it was going out. I think the Phoenix player did well to get there really, luckily for us he couldn’t turn it in.”

Patrick turned his man in the build-up to his side’s next chance and fed Ogunbiyi, who shrugged past Andrew Jones to cut into the box and flash a low centre across the face of goal which Patrick slid in to poke wide at the far post.

Sporting Club Thamesmead skipper Tony Hill swept a deep free-kick into the Phoenix Sports box and Ramell Lake failed to get any purchase on his attempted headed clearance and Patrick leaned back to steer his header over the bar from inside the six-yard box.

Phoenix Sports’ Robinson put in an impressive performance in the middle of the park and he broke through the heart of the pitch to pass to Dythe, who beat his marker to the ball but his low shot from 25-yards was easily picked up by Martin.

Sporting Club Thamesmead created one final chance just before the break when Patrick whipped in a shot from a dead-ball situation out on the right, which was comfortably caught by the 17-year-old Phoenix Sports stopper.

Kelly said: “I’m a big fan of the young Phoenix goalkeeper, he impressed us earlier in the season. He was in the right place for that. We should’ve had somebody coming across that because as good as Josh is, it was there for the taking, any nick it could’ve gone either way of the keeper.”

Kotey added: “James is only 17, he’s been excellent for us this season. He showed his qualities there.”

Kelly revealed what Lee Hill said to his troops inside the visiting dressing room, the Erith & Belvedere side of Park View Road.

“You don’t want to know what was said at the break to the boys! Lee was kicking a few water bottles and throwing some boots at some players and there were some hairdryers getting out of the bag,” said Kelly.

“But at the same time, I know Lee deep down, he’s really proud of the boys and he’s proud of what they did today, so he would’ve kicked them down at half-time and then he would’ve picked them right up before he walked out the door.  He’s a great manager Lee and he does know how to get the best out of the players and he ill always end it on a positive and I’m really pleased they ended it on a positive today.”

Kotey said: “I just felt we didn’t move the ball well enough, quickly enough.  We didn’t get into areas where we could hurt them.  I felt we weren’t as competitive as they were.”

Phoenix Sports were flat and offered very little in the final third but they should have done better following their third and final corner.

Left-back Callum Flynn swung in the ball from the right, Jones came up from the back to flick it on at the far post and striker Lewis Afflick flicked the ball up with his right and looped into Martin’s gloves as he grabbed the ball high to his left.

“I think from set-pieces, we didn’t show enough determination to really get on the end of things. I mean, we showed token efforts in and around the penalty area this evening,” admitted Kotey.

Kelly added: “Straight forward, Charlie done well there, made himself big in the goal and just comes up to get the ball, simple for me.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead grabbed the lead with four minutes and 35 seconds on the clock.

Johnson swept in a deep cross into the Phoenix Sports penalty area from 40-yards on the right and Boughtflower made a poor error of judgement as he allowed the ball to drop over his outstretched fingertips to sail into the top far corner of the net.

Kelly said: “I’ve had a good chat with his dad and his dad told me he done it on purpose.  He’s had two chances, one’s gone in and one’s got cleared off the line.  Only Elliott will tell you if he ever spoke! Only he will tell you if he meant it or not! He’s a very quiet lad.”

Kotey said: “It was an unusual one. I don’t know whether he just miss-judged it, the flight of the cross and thought it was going over. It just floated right into the top corner.  I think he’ll look back and knows he should’ve made a better decision at that moment.”

William Muckle threw the ball into the Acre penalty area for Afflick to glance his header straight into Martin’s hands.

But clinical Sporting Club Thamesmead doubled their lead with 15 minutes and 55 seconds on the clock through Patrick, who else!

Good wing play from Ismail Ismail down the left saw him slip the ball inside to Ogunbiyi, who set up Patrick, to turn and cut onto his right-foot before burying his shot past Boughtflower from eight-yards.

“I’m a massive fan of Ismail, he’s a personal friend of mine and the reason why I’m drawn to Ismail is the work-rate that he shows,” added Kelly.

“He’s a very exciting player. He managed to nick in, take that ball off the line and crossed it back and the work-rate from Jojo, he’s proved himself. He had a difficult start to the season. He took his time to get his place but he’s absolutely nailed himself in the starting line-up and there’s no one else we would pick up top with Josh Patrick today.”

Kotey added: “He’s the one that we thought we could keep him quiet. He’s been prolific all season and if we could minimise his goalscoring opportunities we’d have a chance. Probably one of the few chances he had this evening and he was very clinical and put it away.”

Phoenix Sports missed a glorious chance to pull a goal back in the 72nd minute of the game, courtesy of some brilliant defending from Johnson.

Robinson rolled the ball inside to substitute Joe Smith, who turned his man before lofting the ball straight down the heart of the pitch to put Tarik Ibrahim through on goal.

The 12-goal striker was substituted in the 36th minute and came back on in the 69th but he took too many touches inside the box with only Martin to beat, Johnson came across to top-poke the ball behind for a corner.

“Again, I think in those moments you’ve got to get the shot off,” said Kotey.

“I think especially this evening there were opportunities to get shots off and we didn’t take it and we just wanted to take the extra touch and that was one moment in sight of goal.

“In front of goal you just have to take that opportunity, take that shot because you have that moment to maybe settle yourself down but you give the opposition time to recover and get the tackle in and I think he should’ve got the shot off a little bit quicker there.”

Kelly added: “Elliott Johnson again! It speaks volumes of the lad, he’s getting up and getting down and he’s got a big future the kid and I wish him all the best with us next year, hopefully.”

Phoenix Sports Reserves played like a team that didn’t want to be there and were losing their management team - and they gave Patrick space to hook his shot on the turn that bounced into Boughtflower’s hands for a comfortable save.

Referee Mark Bellamy played nine minutes and 9 seconds of injury time, during which Patrick rattled in his second goal, timed at 48:25.

Patrick flicked the ball out to substitute Hasim Llatini out on the left and he beat his man to flash a low cross into Patrick’s path and the talisman drilled his left-footed shot past the keeper from 10-yards to give Sporting Club Thamesmead a flattering 3-0 win.

“Anywhere from 10-yards, Josh Patrick in front of goal, I favour him over any goalkeeper in this league,” said Kelly.

“He nearly broke the net, it’s a fantastic turn. He did find himself in acres of space and I was celebrating before he got the ball.”

Reflecting on the striker’s 49 goals, Kelly added: “That’s crazy! It’s crazy! I mean he’ll tell you he’ll be disappointed with that tally this year because of some of the chances he’s had. The guy’s an absolute legend!

“I’m sure despite not winning the League Golden Boot, he’s the kind of player that will shake Tunde Aderonmu’s hand and congratulate him on his achievement.

“Josh Patrick is a fantastic player. We took him off near the end just to appreciate him.  Without Josh and what his family do for this club, he’s just a fantastic player for this year. I can’t speak highly of him and he’s a great lad as well.”

Kotey added: “I think they were the better side on the night.  They well deserved the result and winning the trophy.

“But I just felt that we were chasing the game.  They got behind us and they took their chance. 

“I’m really disappointed this evening.  You were at the London Senior Trophy Final and I’m not happy this evening.  We didn’t show enough commitment and desire and work-rate and attitude this evening to get anything out of the game so well-deserved victory for Sporting Club Thamesmead.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead have yet announced who will take over from Lee Hill.

Kelly said:  “Lee does so much for this club. He wants to take this club forward.  The people coming in were at the game tonight and they had a little look and I think a lot of the people proved themselves today that they should be fighting for a place in this team next year.”

Kotey’s last game in charge of Phoenix Sports Reserves will be the 13:30 kick-off at Foxbury Avenue against thirteenth-placed Stansfeld, who can finish above Sporting Club Thamesmead with a point.

“I would like to finish the season this evening, but we’ve got one more game and it’s going to be difficult for us to lift our spirits for this final last game,” admitted Kotey.

“I want the players to come out on Monday and give a better account of ourselves. It’s going to be difficult after losing this evening, no one wants to lose a cup final but hopefully we can show the right attitude and qualities on Monday and perform better against Stansfeld.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead: Charlie Martin, Elliott Johnson, Veejay Miller, Alex Hause, Tony Hill, Dan Parish (Joseph Rojas 20), Ismail Ismail (Oscar Hall 90), Mason Simms, Josh Patrick (Dan Parish 90), Jojo Ogunbiyi (Jamie Williams 54), Tomi Alade (Hasim Llatini 76).

Goals: Elliott Johnson 50, Josh Patrick 61, 90

Booked: Ismail Ismail 66

Phoenix Sports Reserves: James Boughtflower, William Reavill (Josh Dalsan 69), Callum Flynn, Tony Robinson, Sam Fitzgerald, Andrew Jones, Andrew Dythe (Kehinde Aileru 35), William Muckle (Joe Smith 60), Lewis Afflick (Ramell Lake 90), Tarik Ibrahim (Richard Sesay 36), Ramell Lake (Tarik Ibrahim 69).
Sub: Sam Nicholson-Scott

Booked: Richard Sesay 67

Attendance: 120
Referee: Mr Mark Bellamy (Welling)
Assistants: Mr Sam Hayon (Welling) & Mr Vince Kennedy (Welling)
Fourth Official: Mr Paul Webb (Bromley)

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