Thamesmead Town 1-2 Brentwood Town - I've got my own business so I can't do the job, says Grant Spelling

Sunday 22nd March 2015

Ryman League Division One North
Tuesday 3rd February 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Bayliss Avenue

JOINT-CARETAKER manager Grant Spelling says he does not want the vacant mangers job at Thamesmead Town after losing his first game in charge of the club tonight.

BOSS: Former Dartford defender Adam Flanagan is the manager of Brentwood Town.

Spelling, 50, and Peter Deadman took charge following Keith McMahon’s shock announcement seven days ago that he was to resign at the weekend after eleven years’ at the club.

Brentwood Town remained in fifth-place in the Ryman League Division One North table after coming away from Bayliss Avenue with their eighteenth league win of the season.

Thamesmead Town remain in fourteenth-place on 36 points from 31 games after suffering their fifth defeat on the spin and are eleven points clear of the relegation zone.

When asked about taking over from McMahon, who watched the game elsewhere via this website’s twitter updates, Spelling said: “It was different! I’ve known Keith for a long, long time and he’s done a lot of work down this club.

“He’s been here a long time and for him not to be here is a massive, massive impact on the players, the staff and us as well.  It’s something we’re not used to but if Keith was here he’ll tell us to get on with it and that’s what we’ve done tonight.

“They’re (the players’) disappointed because they knew him a long time. It’s a massive impact when someone you’ve known for a lot of years’ leaves.  I don’t think they know too much about behind the scenes – none of us do – it’s just a bit unsettling.”

Adam Flanagan’s side created their first opening after only 32 seconds when James Love threw the ball to Tommy Richardson, who played the ball inside to right-winger Marcus Milner, who stroked his shot harmlessly wide of the near post.

But Brentwood Town opened the scoring with only 112 seconds into the new era at Bayliss Avenue.

Sam Bantwick played a one-two with Richardson before drilling a first-time shot past Rob Budd to find the bottom near corner from 12-yards.

“Very two poor goals,” was how Spelling viewed it.

“Two players’ put their hands up to it. The same player scored the two goals. We lost the runners from midfield, then the second goal the fella burst from midfield as well. He’s got a great strike but from my eyes he shouldn’t had got there.”

Thamesmead Town created their first opening after thirteen minutes but striker Tyrus Gordon-Young curled his right-footed free-kick over the bar from 25-yards.

Spelling said: “He worked the free-kick, again a great strike. I did think we didn’t play great first half but there were signs there where we put pressure on Brentwood, where we put pressure on them.”

Brentwood Town were dangerous on quick breakaways and Robbie Rees broke from the midfield before playing the ball to striker Emmanual Osei, who cut in from the right and his right-footed drive was blocked by Budd’s feet.

“They were very quick, extremely quick, which we pointed out at half-time, how quick they was,” added Spelling.

Thamesmead’s first shot on target arrived soon after when Richard Butler clipped the ball out of defence to find right-back Michael Spencer on the diagonal, who cut in and his deflected drive from 30-yards rolled into Ollie Bowles’ hands.

But Brentwood Town doubled their lead in the 28th minute through a quality strike from the impressive Bantwick.

Rees ran forward before playing the ball into Osei’s feet, who rolled the ball across Bantwick, before the winger lashed a stunning right-footed drive in off the underside of the crossbar (the top left hand corner) from 20-yards.

“The second goal is a good strike, but he should have been shut down,” admitted Spelling.

“He drilled it. It was a great strike! Buddy didn’t have a chance with that!  I still think he should have got shut down quicker, definitely.”

Thamesmead Town were denied by an offside flag on the half-an-hour mark when striker Chris Managu was denied his first goal for the club, stabbing his shot into the bottom near corner after Bowles dived low to his right to parry Rob Carter’s angled drive from the corner of the box.

Spelling said: “I was a bit unsighted with that. The boys are saying he wasn’t offside, but the flags given it, so he’s given it.  Again, even an offside goal is a starting point to attack again, go forward, be positive.”

Brentwood Town squandered an excellent chance to kill the game off when Marcus Milner and Osei linked up down the right and Osei’s deep cross was clipped back across goal by Bantwick but Richardson powered his near-post header across Budd and past the near post from six-yards.

Thamesmead Town left-winger Jay Porter drilled a fiercely struck left-footed drive straight at Bowles from 25-yards after central midfielder Ben Traore danced his way towards the edge of the penalty area.

Spelling said: “Great effort. He hit a good strike but it was straight at the keeper. We just have to be a bit more clinical in areas like that!”

Osei then danced forward some 30-yards before playing the ball across to Milner, who flashed his cross narrowly past the foot of the far post from the right-hand side of the Thamesmead penalty area.

Porter cracked a second shot towards goal but his 35-yard effort sailed over the bar, before Richardson released Bantwick through on goal but the Brentwood goalscorer steered his shot across goal after Budd hesitated coming off his line.

When asked his thoughts at the break, Spelling said: “We told them you’ve got to believe in it, to go out there. I thought Brentwood attacked us a lot quicker than when we attacked them. We’ve got to match them for that, which we done and second half we were phenomenal.”  

Brentwood Town were the better side during the first half but Thamesmead Town dominated large chunks of the second half.

Spelling said: “We was pressing, we pressed a lot. Our centre halves were pushing forward into midfield, which we talked about at half-time, just getting players forward at pace.”

Porter clipped in a cross from the left, the ball was knocked down by Managu and Gordon-Young swept a deflected shot just past the far post.

But Thamesmead Town pulled a goal back inside the first five minutes of the second half.

Ashley Probets swung in a quality free-kick with his left foot from within the right channel and Carter nipped in front of the keeper to direct his downward header into the net from six-yards to score his tenth goal of the season.

“It did seem to work, it’s just giving them that self-belief. Two-nil ain’t lost, things go on,” said Spelling.

“Our goal was a great goal from a free-kick from Ash that Rob Carter got in there and from then I thought it was all us in the second half.

“It’s perfect,” Spelling said of Probets’ left-footed delivery.  “It’s just what he does. He’s great with that. He worked the free-kick well. He whips a great ball in, a great goal by Rob.”

More hesitancy from Budd ensured Spencer seized control but he lost the ball to Osei by the left by-line inside the box and the striker cut inside but three Thamesmead defenders managed to get back to take the sting out of the shot and Budd was able to make a comfortable save.

But Thamesmead Town squandered an excellent chance to deservedly equalise in the 63rd minute.

Porter looked up and delivered an excellent cross towards the edge of the six-yard box but Gordon-Young sent his free header straight at Bowles.

“We just needed to finish off, be a bit more clinical,” added Spelling.

“He was just leaning back a little bit on that one. His technique weren’t great but again it’s another chance.

“If you keep making chances, a chance will go in.  It’s when you don’t make them you’ve got to worry and we can work on that.”

Brentwood Town went close from a corner, which was swung in by Rees towards the far post but Christian Mbulu came up from the back to glance his header past the near post from six-yards.

But Thamesmead Town lost their early momentum as the game edged into the final 20 minutes.

Freddie Cray came off the bench for the final fourteen minutes and show good glimpses of talent.

Spelling added: “Great youngster from the 18s. He’s out of the 18’s. He’s played a couple of games. I don’t think – I’m not sure – he’s played a full 90 yet for the first team. He’s a great young player, fantastic, impressed.”

Richardson was released into the Thamesmead box but he dragged his shot across Budd and George Benner got back to slice his sliding clearance away towards safety.

Thamesmead Town squandered another excellent chance to make their point inside the final seven minutes.

Spencer won the ball down the right channel to whip in a cross but Carter flung himself at the header, which he could only direct straight at Bowles from ten-yards.

Thamesmead Town created one final headed chance inside stoppage time, following a free-kick taken in a similar position to their goal.

Probets whipped in the ball but Benner held his head in his hands after his header looped over the bar from ten-yards.

Spelling and Deadman are likely to be in charge for the visit of eighth-placed Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday.

When asked about doing the job longer-term, Spelling replied: “They’ve given us an option to apply but for me personal reasons – I’ve got my own business – so I can’t do it – but I did say to them though do not rush a manager in!

“I’ll take care of it – me and Pete will – until the time’s right, we’ll look after it. We know the club, the board. We do the training sessions anyway so there’s no rush to get in a manager just for the sake of it.”

Brightlingsea Regent came away from Heybridge Swifts with a point in a 1-1 draw tonight and have collected 15 wins and 7 draws from their 32 league games and are eight points adrift of Brentwood Town in the table.

Spelling hopes his side can take tonight’s promising second half performance into their next game.

“We’ll put that performance to them and we’ll hopefully get a victory,” he said, and dismissed the suggestion that the club are looking over their shoulder at the relegation zone.

“I ain’t looking over my shoulder at all. What’s the point? If you look over your shoulder, you’re not looking forward are you? You’ve got to look forward.  We look forward to Saturday. We’re preparing for Saturday. We’re looking forward to getting a result Saturday, never look behind.”

Thamesmead Town: Rob Budd, Michael Spencer, Ashley Probets, Ben Traore, George Benner, Richard Butler, Rob Carter, Bode Anidugbe (Freddie Cray 76), Tyrus Gordon-Young, Chris Managu, Jay Porter (Billy McGarrigle 82).
Sub: Ronnie Vint

Goal: Rob Carter 50

Booked: Tyrus Gordon-Young 86

Brentwood Town: Ollie Bowles, James Love, Louis Baucutt, Martyn Stokes, Christian Mbulu, Robbie Rees, Marcus Milner, Daryl Robson (Jack Gardner 65), Emmanual Osei (Ryan McFarlane 87), Tommy Richardson, Sam Bantwick.
Subs: Tommy Oliver, Andy Freeman

Goals: Sam Bantwick 2, 28

Booked:  Daryl Robson 50, Tommy Richardson 90

Attendance: 63
Referee: Mr Michael Lowe (Reigate, Surrey)
Assistants: Mr Craig Simpson (Crawley, West Sussex) & Mr Carl Smith (Dorking, Surrey)