Stansfeld 0-3 Flackwell Heath - We don't get the recognition we deserve and I hope we get it this time, says Stansfeld joint-manager Billy Hamlin

Saturday 12th December 2020
Stansfeld 0 – 3 Flackwell Heath
Location Foxbury Avenue, off Perry Street, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6SD
Kickoff 12/12/2020 15:00

The Buildbase FA Vase Second Round
Saturday 12 December 2020
Stephen McCartney reports from Foxbury Avenue

STANSFELD joint-manager Billy Hamlin says his club should receive more recognition after reaching The FA Vase Second Round for the first time.

Hamlin and Jamie Phipps’ side have beaten Knaphill (7-6 on penalties after a 2-2 draw), Alford (4-2) and beat AFC Hayes 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw here at Foxbury Avenue six days ago.

Stansfeld are currently in tenth-place in the suspended Southern Counties East Football League First Division table with seven points from six games.

Marcus Richardson’s side arrived in Chislehurst sitting at the top of the Hellenic League Premier Division table with 18 points from seven games, a point clear of second-placed Binfield, who travel to Deal Town in the Third Round next Saturday.

Flackwell Heath haven’t conceded a goal in three FA Vase games this season, having beaten Rushden & Higham United (4-0), Desborough Town (3-0) and Frimley Green (2-0).

Stansfeld’s Ross Morley missed an early penalty and was made to pay the price as Flackwell Heath took the lead just 172 seconds later when right-winger Ashley Howell headed in from close range following a goal-line scramble.

The home side lost right-back Billy Parkinson in the sin-bin early in the second half and Flackwell Heath doubled their lead during this period as Howell pounced on a mistake from the keeper to plant his header into the bottom right-hand corner.

Flackwell Heath striker Muhamadou Ceesay slid in a third goal to seal a trip to big-spending Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division leaders Chatham Town in the last 64 in seven days’ time.

“They were better than us,” admitted Hamlin.

“I thought they were very good up front.  The 11 (Khalid Zakaria Simmo) was a very good player, the winger, a very, very good player.

“But we’ve gone to the end.  They’re top of the league in the league above but we’ve got Freddie Cray playing centre-half and in my opinion he's up there with the best centre midfielders in our league.

“To have Lennie Wise and Casey Killilea missing, you’re up against it but the boys have given us everything and that’s what I said to them when we got them in a huddle at the end there.

“If you would’ve said to us at the beginning of the season you’d go two rounds in The FA Cup and you’ll be only one of four teams from the Southern Counties East Football League left in the competition then I would’ve taken that.

“I just hope we get the recognition off the League because when you look at their website and they have things like people have got new kits and they put that up. Sometimes we don’t get the recognition that we deserve - and I hope we get it this time.

“Why? They don’t like us! I just think we’re not fashionable. We don’t shout our mouth off and we get on with it and I think us and Kennington need a bit of credit being in the Second and Third Round of the Vase.”

Chatham Town manager Scott Lindsey was in attendance, alongside his chairman Kevin Hake, director of football Carl Laraman and a couple of players Luke Rooney (the son of the Stansfeld chairman) and Ryan Hayes to scout Flackwell Heath and Chatham will be red hot favourites when the two sides meet at Maidstone Road.

“We hope Chatham go on and win it now.  Little Roo plays for them, his dad is our chairman. He’s our mate, we’ve watched him grow up and we’ll be cheering him on,” added Hamlin.

The game started at a slow tempo with Flackwell Heath creating an opening after just 116 seconds on the clock.

Stansfeld centre-half Greg Summersby tweaked his groin after jumping up and fouling his man on the edge of the centre-circle.

Central midfielder Josh Baines floated in a deep free-kick towards the far post where Ceesay – who was good in the air – jumped up and steered his header past the near post from a very tight angle.

The away side were told by their management team to “raise their tempo” but they really should have conceded their first goal in The FA Vase when their centre-half James Mansfield was penalised by referee Luis Nunes for fouling Stansfeld’s left-winger Ollie Milton, although it appeared that the ball was won.

Morley, who plays behind lone striker Macey Malyon, stepped up and his right-footed penalty towards the bottom left-hand corner was beaten away by goalkeeper Aaron Watkins, diving to his right and getting a strong hand to the ball with 09:00 on the clock.

“You were here the other day, Sam Ryan missed a penalty in the game and then missed in the shoot-out,” said Hamlin.

“We’ve got a lot of people who can stand up to be counted, they don’t shirk away.

“We said in the changing room before Joe Minter was going to take them but Ross Morley went ‘no I want them!’

“Listen, you can never knock anyone for standing up and taking a penalty with 152 people here. 

“There’s a lot of people that would go ‘no, I don’t fancy this.’  He’s stood up, he’s missed it and he’s gutted but these things happen. The keeper has made a good save, it’s in the corner.”

Twenty-four seconds later, Joe Minter played the ball in from the right towards Sam Ryan, but he scuffed his shot past the right-hand post from 18-yards.

Flackwell Heath grabbed the lead with 11 minutes and 52 seconds on the clock, courtesy of a scrambled goal.

Baines floated in a corner from the right towards the far post, which was knocked towards goal by Ceesay at the far post, which was beaten away by keeper Charlie Cottrell.

Stansfeld blocked a couple of shots inside the goal-mouth in a scramble and the ball bounced up and Howell nodded the ball over the line.

Hamlin said: “Disappointed. The first ball has gone up in the air and we just want someone just go bang and head it! Unfortunately, we can harp on about but Lennie and Casey go and head it and that’s where we’re lacking, missing at the moment.”

Flackwell Heath’s right-back Cameron Gray rolled around a few times after being on the receiving end of Morley’s strong challenge.

Baines floated a free-kick towards the edge of the Stansfeld box here Ceesay rose and flicked his header towards goal, which bounced once into Cottrell’s hands to comfortably collect.

Flackwell Heath were a good attacking outfit with slender left-winger Khalid Zakaria Simmo impressing during the first half.

The away side produced a slick one-touch passing move in the 29th minute which saw Baines and Jack Taylor link up in the middle and Simmo curled a deflected shot past the far post from 25-yards.

Simmo called Cottrell into making a great save just past the half-hour mark.

He was allowed to collect the ball on the left touchline and cut into the centre of the pitch before drilling his right-footed shot towards the top left-hand corner from 25-yards.  Cottrell dived to his right to palm the ball up in the air before grabbing hold of it despite no other player being inside his penalty area.

“He’s made a double save, he couldn’t hold it but he’s been clever enough to push it up in the air and catch it,” said Hamlin, who was full of praise for Simmo.

“He’s a good player, the kid. I don’t know what their league is like but I think he could probably play a little bit higher. He’s a good player that boy.”

Ceesay got in behind Summersby to reach the by-line on the right-hand side before cutting the ball back to Howell, who flashed his first time angled drive across the keeper and past the far post.

Morley drew a free-kick from Mansfield and Minter drilled his right-footed free-kick just over the crossbar from 28-yards out inside the final 10 minutes of the first-half.

“We didn’t create a lot to be perfectly honest with you, we didn’t create a lot,” admitted Hamlin.

Stansfeld could have snatched an equaliser with the last kick of the first-half, however.

Parkinson threw the ball in from the right and the ball came out to Morley, who played a five-yard pass inside to Ben Holland, who bent his first-time shot just around the foot of the far post from inside the D.

“The keeper was beat wasn’t he? He didn’t move. I don’t think he saw it. It was a bit like Hayes’ goal the other day when the fella bent it in the top far corner, Charlie just couldn’t see it and I think it was the same.

“There were so many bodies in the box but it’s half chances. If we take that and if we go in one-all it’s a different game. If Ross scores the penalty, it’s a different game but it’s all if’s, buts and maybe’s.”

Asked about his half-time thoughts, Hamlin replied: “Anyone who plays here can tell that slope is a big factor and we went uphill first half and we said ‘go in 1-0 down and we’ve got half a chance.’

“We’ve stayed in the game, we’re downhill (in the second half), be a little bit braver, similar to what we said to them in the Punjab (FA Cup) game.

“I thought we gave them a little bit too much respect in the first half, go and get in their faces a little bit more.

“But with their front three and their movement and their pace, you can go and press them and go and be higher. If they get half chance, they’re in behind you and they were very quick and very good.”

Flackwell Heath’s central midfielder Cory Hathaway put in a cross, which was cleared out to Ceesay, who took a touch a couple of yards outside the box but sliced his left-footed shot past the right-hand post after 240 seconds into the second half.

Stansfeld were reduced to 10 men when Parkinson was put in the sin-bin for showing dissent towards the referee despite winning the ball with nine minutes and 22 seconds on the second half clock, returning to the pitch with 19:18 on the clock.

Hamlin said: “Billy Parkinson getting sin-binned was absolutely atrocious! He made a tackle, if it’s a bad tackle then he turns round and has a dig at the ref fair enough, fair enough but he’s won the ball! It’s not a foul in the first place and then it feels like a bit of a double whammy where we’ve won the ball, a decent tackle and then he gets sin-binned.”

You simply cannot afford to lose a man against a quality attacking outfit like Flackwell Heath!

Holland switched from central midfield into right-back during this period and Stansfeld goalkeeper Cottrell pulled off a world-class save to prevent Flackwell Heath doubling their lead in the 56th minute.

Gray whipped in a quality deep cross from the right towards the edge of the six-yard box where Ceesay was certain to score with a stooping header but the keeper produced a brilliant reaction save, diving to his right to make the save.

“What a save, what a save! I said in our last interview if he’s six foot two he’ll definitely not play for us, that’s for sure,” added Hamlin.

Flackwell Heath continue to press during their one-man advantage and Hathaway drilled the ball in behind Frankie Beale and Summersby to put in Howell, who cut the ball back to Simmo, who hit his first time drive into the side netting.

Flackwell Heath deservedly notched their second goal with 18 minutes and 9 seconds on the clock, with Parkinson still in the dug-out.

Hathaway and Howell linked up well inside the Stansfeld half and Hathaway delivered a deep cross into the corridor of uncertainty and Cottrell rushed out and used both of his hands to punch the ball clear.

The ball sailed straight to Howell, who buried his header into the bottom right-hand corner.

Hamlin said: “Charlie’s punched it and it’s gone straight to their forward and it just feels, at the minute, everything like (that happens to us).

“When the boy Minter went off he was fuming because it seemed every 50-50 was ricocheting and falling to one of their players and it just ain’t this game. If feels like it’s happening every week. It happens. It’s luck, isn’t it?

“I’ve got to be honest, I thought we had a really good spell when we were down to 10 men.

“Sometimes subconsciously you’ve seen games before where people go down to 10 men and have a player sent-off and raise their game but we dug in and we wanted to stay in the game because we know how much this slope means to you.”

Parkinson returned to the action and partnered Freddie Cray at the heart of defence, while substitute Joe Borland slotted in at right-back with Frankie Beale remaining left-back.

Richardson certainly done his homework on Stansfeld, snuffing out the threats of Beale and Milton down the left and frustrating Malyon, who was often isolated up front on his own.

Baines and Ceesay linked up and carved up a chance for Hathaway, who unleashed a right-footed drive towards goal from 35-yards but this time Cottrell showed safe hands to hold on to the ball despite the ball bouncing right in front of him.

Hamlin urged his men to “have a go” as the game entered the final 20 minutes but the one-level difference between the two sides was evident.

Flackwell Heath sealed their clash against leaders Chatham Town by scoring their third goal with 29 minutes and 15 seconds on the clock.

Baines played the ball into Ceesay, who sprayed the ball out to the left where Simmo exploded back into life and drilled in a low cross which Ceesay slid in to poke the ball past Cottrell from close range.

“Good centre-forwards, they’re good forward, they’re very good you know,” said Hamlin.

“No disrespect to them (Flackwell Heath), we wish them luck but we’ll be cheering Chatham on but Chatham have got to watch them because their forwards are good, they’re forwards are very good!”

To their credit, Stansfeld kept plugging away and created a couple more chances.

Holland whipped in a cross from the left and an unmarked Ryan drilled his shot towards goal, which was pushed away by Watkins, diving to his right and Malyon drilled the rebound towards goal from eight-yards, which was saved again by the tall goalkeeper.

“It just didn’t fall for Macey did it? It just fell behind him a little bit,” said Hamlin.

“I will stick up for these boys every day of the week because they give you everything. I’ve said to you loads of times in interviews they don’t get paid, they plug away, they’re disappointed but we’ll come again.”

Flackwell Heath substitute striker Marcus Ushiro-Lumb drove down the heart of the pitch before slipping the ball through to Howell, who attempted to slide the ball in towards the unmarked Baines but Cottrell did well to dive to his right to smother the ball to prevent a flattering fourth goal at the end of the game.

Stansfeld’s Morley crossed the ball from within the left channel and the ball came out to substitute Jay Oborne, who drilled his shot towards the top left-hand corner, only for the ball to smash against his fellow substitute Rob Hughes some eight-yards from goal and looping over the crossbar.

Hamlin said: “I think we deserved a goal really. We had a go. They were a decent side, they had a way of playing and they were a good side.  We didn’t give up.  If we had gone and got smashed six or seven, you’re disappointed but I think 3-0 is a little bit harsh.  I think if we had nicked a goal it wouldn’t have been unjust but they’re a league above, top of the league, so we’ve had a go.”

The Southern Counties East Football League decide this week whether they will re-start their competition on Boxing Day, a day before Lewisham Borough visit here.

“I hope it don’t get called off because I’ll have to go shopping with the old woman,” said Hamlin.

“It will be nice to get back to the league., We’ve got a nice little break now. All we’re doing now is counting down the days. Casey will be back in early February, Lennie should be back hopefully middle of January and we go again. Then we’re back and we’re a proper side then and then we’ll have a right go.”

Stansfeld are presently eight points adrift of fourth-place and have 26 league games left to cram in before the end of the season, if it finishes.

Stansfeld:  Charlie Cottrell, Billy Parkinson, Frankie Beale, Sam Ryan, Freddie Cray, Greg Summersby (Joe Borland 69), Ollie Milton (Jay Oborne 77), Ben Holland, Macey Malyon, Ross Morley, Joe Minter (Rob Hughes 76).
Subs: Aaron Walker, Billy Jolley

Booked:  Ben Holland 21, Macey Malyon 79

Temporary Dismissal: Billy Parkinson 55

Flackwell Heath:  Aaron Watkins, Cameron Gray, Benjamin Fraser (Phil Pryor 83), Cory Hathaway (James Burrell 67), James Mansfield, James Essex, Khalid Zakaria Simmo, Josh Baines, Muhamadou Ceesay (Marcus Ushiro-Lumb 77), Jack Taylor, Ashley Howell.
Subs: Brandon Eaton, Jonathan O’Sullivan

Goals:  Ashley Howell 12, 64, Muhamadou Ceesay 75

Booked: Khalio Zakaria Simmo 18

Attendance: 152
Referee: Mr Luis Nunes
Assistants: Mr Maros Valko & Mr Nana Boakye-Agyemang