Three Bridges 2-0 Sevenoaks Town - We came here tonight and we just looked like a pub team, admits Sevenoaks Town boss Micky Collins

Tuesday 18th September 2018
Three Bridges 2 – 0 Sevenoaks Town
Location Jubilee Walk, Three Bridges, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1LQ
Kickoff 18/09/2018 19:45

Bostik South East Division
Tuesday 18 September 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Jubilee Walk

SEVENOAKS TOWN manager Micky Collins says he questioned his players’ desire after they slumped to the bottom of the Bostik South East Division table after starting the season with five league games without a win.

The Oaks picked up their only point of the season at the weekend, throwing away a 2-0 lead to be held at home by newly-promoted side Haywards Heath Town at the weekend.

Newly-promoted Three Bridges went into this basement battle without any points but Martin Dynan’s side were better in all departments and wanted it more against a Sevenoaks side that kept giving the ball away.

Three Bridges striker Connor French tucked home a penalty to score his fourth goal of the season to give the home side a deserved lead before he was forced off with an injury to his right hamstring.

Three Bridges killed the game inside the opening four minutes of the second half when a goalkeeping blunder from Ben Bridle-Card put the ball on a plate for substitute striker Trevor McCreadie to tap in his first goal of the season.

“Not good enough, simple as that, not good enough tonight,” said Collins after his side extended their winless run to six games in all competitions.

“We didn’t start the game on the right foot. I thought they came out and really wanted it more than us and we sort of played into their hands a bit.

“We gave away another sloppy goal and they deserved to be 1-0 up. That’s it, you go in at half-time and try to address things and then there’s another error and all off a sudden we’re 2-0 down.  Did we look like coming back into it? No we never!

“There’s 33 games to go, you’re trying to get a bit of positivity and you’re actually trying to move things forward and at the moment we just keep moving backwards.

“Saturday we played the first 45 minutes unbelievable, absolutely on the money, looked amazing. We came here tonight and we just looked like a pub team!”

Three Bridges started the game on the front foot and fully deserved to pick up their first points of the season, which puts them now in the bottom three above Herne Bay (2 points) and Sevenoaks Town in the table.

Sevenoaks kept giving possession away all over the pitch and it nearly cost them in the 13th minute.

Centre-half Jake McIntyre’s intended pass to left-wing-back Greg Benbow was intercepted by Mason Doughty who sprinted towards the edge of the penalty area before hitting his left-footed drive towards goal, which was tipped over the crossbar by the visiting keeper.

Left-winger Alex Laing swung in the resulting corner from the right – Three Bridges won the counter-count by five-nil – and the ball came out to holding midfielder Lee Hall who smacked his volley over the crossbar from inside the box.

Sevenoaks Town created their first opening in the 15th minute when Benbow raced down the line and wrapped his foot around the ball to cross towards the near post for striker Frankie Sawyer to loop his header high over the bar from 12-yards.

Sevenoaks midfielder Ryan Fowler trod on the ball and this gave French an chance to whip his right-footed curler around the keeper and around the far post from 30-yards down the left.

Three Bridges were miles better than Sevenoaks tonight and they produced a slick move halfway through the first half which should have been rewarded with a goal.

Midfielder Tyrone Berry played the ball into French’s feet and he laid the ball off for an unmarked Berry to flash his low right-footed drive just past the foot of the left-hand post from the edge of the Sevenoaks box.

“I felt they did (start the game on the front foot) and I thought we weathered it and I didn’t see that being a problem,” said Collins.

“I thought we invited our own pressure on and our game plan that we told them to do, they didn’t do, which caused us a major problem but I thought we were quite comfortable.”

Sevenoaks Town weathered the storm, however, and right-wing-back Ola Williams (listed as Wasiri Williams on the official team sheet) hit a long ball over the top for Sawyer to rise up with his marker. The ball came out to striker Luke Coleman, who hooked his left-footed speculative shot harmlessly wide from 30-yards.

Jack Miles – who plays on the right of three centre-halves – played the ball into Sawyer’s feet and he spun Three Bridges’ defender Jamie Crellin, but his deflected drive was comfortably gathered by Giovanni Porciatti.

Sevenoaks Town should have grabbed the lead just past the half-hour mark.

Williams used his strength and power to shrug off Bridges’ left-back Nathan Simpson, who fell to the ground, allowing Williams to play the ball to Sawyer, whose low drive was blocked and came out to Coleman but his left-footed swept shot from 25-yards brought a comfortable low save from Porciatti.

“They’re nothing moments for me,” admitted Collins.

“We haven’t worked them, we haven’t worked them enough. We haven’t worked hard enough all over the park.  They’re bits that you look at when you’re struggling and you’re at the bottom and you’re trying to get a result and you’re trying to get something. 

“You look at it and you’ve got to come out away from home on a Tuesday night and you have to have some desire and some passion and work and I’ve got to question that tonight.  Three Bridges had it in abundance.”

Three Bridges deservedly smashed the deadlock with 36 minutes and 44 seconds on the clock.

French’s pass sent left-winger Alex Laing cutting into the penalty area and he was fouled by Miles and referee Daniel Simpson pointed to the spot.

Bridle-Card dived low to his right and got a hand to French’s right-footed penalty, which nestled inside the bottom left-hand corner.

“Then we fall asleep and a guy comes across the box, we make a foul and it’s a pen and that’s it,” said Collins.

“We switched off before that, that’s the bit. Jack’s gone for a ball and he’s caught the man.  That happens.  That’s two silly penalties that we’ve given away in two games, which has cost us.

“We’ve switched off before it. We haven’t picked the runner up and because we haven’t picked the runner up, he’s been able to effect it. That’s us! Call it naïve, it’s just not good enough!”

Sevenoaks Town almost grabbed an equaliser just 43 seconds later as Sawyer tried to score straight from the re-start, only to see his attempt sail over the keeper’s head and over the top of the left-hand post from the halfway line.

“Great effort, it’s probably our best chance of the game,” added Collins.

“If that goes in maybe it gives us a lifeline but we’re clutching at straws there because we didn’t deserve to be in it, we didn’t work hard enough for 90 minutes, simple as that.”

Sevenoaks Town created a couple of further chances before the interval.

Williams threw the ball to McIntyre, who whipped in a deep quality cross towards the far post, which was asking for it to be buried but Miles weakly headed straight at keeper Porciatti from the corner of the six-yard box.

“I don’t think he’s got to head it at the keeper. I think he’s got to head it back across goal,” explained Collins.

“He’s had one on Saturday where he’s missed one and he’s probably thought ‘I’ve got to try to score here’ and I think if he heads it back across goal it actually causes them more of a problem but again, it’s a poor decision.”

Alec Fiddes did well to hold off Jensen Grant and fed Fowler but his angled drive bounced past the diving keeper and also the far post before the half-time whistle was blown.

Collins made a tactical change at the break as substitutes Kenny Pogue and Sam Crabb came on for defenders Robert Saunders and Williams.

Pogue joined Sawyer up front, Miles partnered McIntyre in the heart of defence, while Mikey Dalton switched from his holding midfielder role to right-back.  Coleman dropped into midfield, while Crabb played on the left-flank.

“We didn’t feel we were controlling the game in the right areas so we tried to change it, we tried to freshen it up,” said Collins.

However, a goalkeeper blunder gifted Three Bridges their second goal, which was timed at three minutes and 54 seconds on the clock.

Benbow gave away a free-kick for ending Mason Doughty’s run and the referee awarded Three Bridges a free-kick 30-yards from goal.

Doughty got up and whipped a right-footed free-kick towards the bottom right-hand corner, which should have been meat and drink for keeper Bridle-Card, who somehow spilt the ball as he attempted to gather low to his left and McCreadie tapped the gift into the bottom right-hand corner from six-yards.

Collins said:  “Then you come out and you get down by a sucker punch straight away.  It’s a nothing goal for me. What can you do? It’s a goalkeeping error, nothing you can do about it. As a manager you sit there and you think can we do something about it? Can we change it to effect it? We’ve tried to do that and then your goalkeeper chucks one in. What can you do?

“Terrible! Do you know what, that’s what’s happening to us because we’re trying our hardest to do bits and make sure that we’re professional and organised and whatever and whether we’re working hard or not, it’s something that we have to work on. It’s just human error continually and it’s just on and on and on every week and that’s’ the real bit that really niggles you.”

Fowler hit a first time drive from 25-yards, which was plucked out of the air by Three Bridges keeper Porciatti, before Sevenoaks Town lost their way again.

Three Bridges’ right-back Joe Tennent hit a long diagonal ball out of defence to release the pacey Laing down the flank, who whipped in a great cross for Doughty to bend his first time shot just past the foot of the near post from just inside the box.

Sevenoaks Town failed to threaten in the final third but they did create an opening on the hour-mark.

Coleman clipped a Crossfield pass out to Dalton on the right and he delivered a deep cross which Sawyer outjumped Crellin but his looping header bounced down and was gathered at knee height by Porciatti.

Collins said: “Did we create enough? No! I don’t think we did but then it should be 0-0 if that’s the case! The forwards haven’t scored or they’ve missed chances whatever the case may be then it should be 0-0.  You can’t be doing what we’re doing and that’s the problem we have to address.”

“It’s one of those tight games where we’re on quite a narrow pitch it’s quite a congested area so we’ve told them to get the ball wide and can we effect it that way and they just didn’t do it! They just didn’t stick to the game plan that we told them and they went out and tried to play their own game and unfortunately they’ve come unstuck!”

Three Bridges’ left-winger Laing had a great game – as did Doughty –  and Laing whipped in a great cross for an unmarked Berry who from 22-yards forced Bridle-Card into making a low save to his right inside the final 20 minutes.

McIntyre delivered a deep free-kick from the right which was met by Miles at the far post but his free header sailed past the near post.

Three Bridges created the final chance with 10 minutes left when Collins swept a cross into the Sevenoaks box and Laing’s downward header was held by Bridle-Card, diving low to his left.

Collins takes his side to fourth-placed VCD Athletic on Saturday and their manager Keith McMahon was in attendance in tonight instead of celebrating his sons eleventh birthday.

“We’re at the bottom of the table and now we’ve got an uphill task to try to pick everyone for a tough game on Saturday,” said Collins.

“Three Bridges wanted it and they wanted to get those three points and they saw us tonight and thought here’s our chance to get our season started and ours hasn’t and it will. It will get going. Don’t get me wrong.  Players are coming in and players coming back from injury. We’ll be fine, I’ve got no doubt about it but first time tonight I questioned their desire for the first time this season.  I look at it and think there’s some players there that really I’ve got to question why they’re here!”

Three Bridges: Giovanni Porciatti, Liam Collins, Nathan Simpson, Lee Hall, Joe Tennent, Jamie Crellin, Alex Laing (Dan Costa e Silva Morais 90), Jensen Grant, Connor French (Trevor McCreadie 41, Omar Folkes 88)), Tyrone Berry, Mason Doughty.
Subs: Nathan Koo-Boothe, Victor Naravjo

Goals: Connor French 37 (penalty), Trevor McCreadie 49

Booked: Nathan Simpson 89

Sevenoaks Town: Ben Bridle-Card, Ola Williams (Sam Crabb 46), Greg Benbow, Robert Saunders (Kenny Pogue 46), Jake McIntyre, Jack Miles, Ryan Fowler, Mikey Dalton, Frankie Sawyer, Luke Coleman (Tom Ripley 82), Alec Fiddes.
Subs: Andres Losada Felipe-Toban, Paul Springett

Booked: Mikey Dalton 22, Luke Coleman 30

Attendance: 79
Referee: Mr Daniel Simpson (West Drayton, Middlesex)
Assistants: Mr Philip Jones (Epsom, Surrey) & Mr James Barry (Greenford, Middlesex)