Tonbridge Angels 2-1 Chatham Town - We've got to learn how to win games, says Kevin Watson

Tuesday 07th October 2014

Robert Dyas (Ryman League) Cup First Round
Tuesday 7th October 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Longmead Stadium

TONBRIDGE ANGELS manager Steve McKimm says he’s got plenty in reserve after his much-changed squad ended Chatham Town’s interest in the Robert Dyas (Ryman League) Cup at the first hurdle.

McKimm made nine changes to the starting line-up that defeated Hampton & Richmond Borough 2-0 at home in the Ryman Premier League at the weekend to give a high number of youngsters a chance to impress.

The home side went into the game in eleventh-place in the table with 19 points from 14 games, while Chatham Town sat in thirteenth-place in the Ryman League Division One North table with 19 points from 16 games and without a win in four league games.

Tonbridge Angels broke the deadlock through Lewis Knight’s own-goal, before striker Alex Teniola – who was captain for the night – headed home on the stroke of half-time.

But Chatham Town – who lost on penalties to Grays Athletic in the Quarter-Finals last season – pulled a goal back through Junior Kaffo’s first goal for the club.

“It’s good. It gives me another opportunity to look at some reserve team players and some younger players,” said McKimm.

“Pleased to win, everyone wants to win a game of football. Got to say I wasn’t impressed with a few of the players out there tonight that were making their debuts. Some of them aren’t ready as yet but that will come with time and it gives them another chance in the next round of the Cup.”

Chatham Town manager Kevin Watson was disappointed with his side’s early League Cup exit.

“I thought it was an opportunity missed,” he said.

“We’ve had a couple of quite clear opportunities in the first half, which we never finished and they sort of finished half-chances really.

“The second one was a good goal from them. First one was an own-goal.

“Opportunity not wasted, there were points to take out of it, but we need to get more of a winning mentality and learn how to win games.”

Chatham Town created the first chance of the game inside the opening six minutes when skipper Matt Solly (slotting in at right-back during the first half following Chris Webber’s late arrival) unleashed a right-footed angled drive from distance, which was saved low down by debutant keeper James Steel at his near post.

Tonbridge Angels went close following their first corner of the game within a couple of minutes.

Jack Brivio swung in a corner from the right and Teniola planted a free-header just over the bar from eight-yards.

A run from midfielder Kane Phillip saw him feed winger Greg Benbow and the Angels keeper made a comfortable low save.

Chatham Town’s player-assistant manager Peter Hawkins was booked for a foul on Teniola on the edge of the penalty area and left-back Ben King came up to hit his left-footed free-kick over the bar.

But Tonbridge Angels should have scored with eighteen minutes on the clock.

Brivio reached the left by-line before he cut the ball back for striker Owen Kabodi, who placed a first time shot straight at goalkeeper Tom Welham from eight-yards.

McKimm said: “He done well. What he done he got himself in the right position to get the shot off and he’s hit the target. That’s all you can ask as a striker.”

But Watson rued two excellent chances before the half-hour mark which his Chatham side were later punished for.

A cross-field pass released Benbow through on goal but Steel came off his line to make a fine block with his legs when the winger only had the Tonbridge keeper to beat.

Watson said: “I think he should score and he didn’t.  Consolation, ok, he hit the target but you work hard to create chances like that and it’s attacking players responsibility or whoever gets that opportunity to score really and we haven’t done that over a few games.”

And then Austin Edwards delivered a sublime through ball straight through the middle to put Phillip through on goal, but his low right-footed shot was once again blocked by Steel’s legs.

Watson added: “Exactly the same! He’s probably had more time to think about it! The keeper’s done well but again he should score. He’s an attacking player and there the opportunities those players want.

“Ok, it was a good timing of the run. Austin done a reverse pass to put Kane in. He should score and you can’t miss two good opportunities like that!”

A run from Phillip saw him thread the ball to the hard-working Kaffo, who cracked a right-footed angled drive which screamed just past the near post.

Phillip was provider again when he whipped in a cross from the left and Knight came up from the back to glance his header just wide of the far post.

Tonbridge Angels started to probe the right with full-back Charlie Slocombe and winger Flavio Tavares posing problems for Chatham left-back Laurence Collins.

Tavares cut inside and played a delicious one-two with Brivio, who put Tavares through on goal but Welham saved Chatham’s bacon with a smart save with his right leg.

But Tonbridge Angels took the lead seven minutes before the break following another move down the right flank.

Slocombe linked up well with Tavares again before Slocombe whipped in an excellent cross towards the near post where Knight sliced his clearance across keeper Welham into the corner of the net from two-yards.

“The thing is though if you put balls in dangerous areas you’ve got a chance of scoring goals,” said McKimm.

“That’s something we was lacking early part of the season but tonight, again, the ball put in by Charlie was a fantastic ball on a skiddy surface and defender’s try to defend it and anything can happen.

“If he’s not going to get it, Alex or Owen’s going to get it so Charlie’s forced that error on him and my forwards have forced the error by attacking the ball.”

Watson added: “It’s one of them, own-goal’s like that. It’s a little bit spawny isn’t it?

“He’s tried to defend it and he throw’s something at it. That happens sometimes. It was a bit too easy to get the cross in.”

McKimm was concerned when he lost left-back Ben King to suspected ankle ligament injury, but was pleased with the performance of Callum McCarthy on his debut.

“I’ve got another injury tonight with Ben King, who could be out for a few weeks.  He’s done, we think, ankle ligaments but we’ve got to wait for it to settle down but it’s the way my back line’s been going at the minute.

“It is good to play some younger players as well and some reserve players so I can have a good look at them because if they are ever needed to step up, I haven’t got money go to and get players here, there and everywhere, so if they are ready to make the step up, I know from these sort of games.”

McKimm added: “I though Callum when he came on at left-back was very, very good. He played the right passes the majority of the time. His position sense was good so I’ll give Callum a mention on that one. I thought he was excellent if I’m being honest.”

However, Chatham Town faced a mountain to climb when Tonbridge Angels doubled their lead inside injury-time.

Slocombe played the ball inside to Teniola, who fed Tavares on the right before the striker made a run off the ball into the penalty area.

Tavares cut inside and laid the ball to Slocombe, who whipped in another brilliant cross towards the far post where Teniola planted his header across Welham into the far corner from four-yards.

McKimm said: “Charlie Slocombe started the game very slowly but grew into it. Deservedly got his man-of-the-match. Set up two goals but he needs to go from the start.

“A lot of players out there tonight, I thought the first 25-30 minutes, it was like a rabbit in headlights.  They didn’t need to be like that because I gave them loads of confidence before to go and play the way I tell my first team how to play and go and enjoy it.  They seemed a little shell-shocked, maybe a little bit nervous and they’ve got no reason to be.

“After that 30 minutes I thought they all grew into it and they done well.”

Reflecting on Teniola’s sixth-goal of the season, McKimm added: “He’s a big man. He’s a big lad and he attacks the ball well. He got the captaincy tonight because I felt he’s a player that thrives on things like that. He took his goal very well. A great ball by Charlie and he’s attacked it from the first post into the middle and put it in the back of the net so very pleased that he got his goal tonight.”

Watson added: “You come in at 1-0, you’ve got a chance, haven’t you to re-group and that second goal does make it quite difficult.

“But like I said at half-time we should have scored two in the first half so I said there may be opportunities to score another couple in the second half, probably not as clear cut ones in the second half.”

McKimm also revealed his thoughts at the break.

He said: “Just not to panic really! They looked to me that they were nervous, they were tentative and I didn’t want them to be that.

“I instilled in them all the confidence in the world before about passing and moving and if they made mistakes they don’t do it intentionally.  I’m here to see how they deal with making mistakes because they will do, they’re young, inexperienced players and I want to see a reaction how they deal with making one, two, three, four mistakes.  That’s all I told them.

“We didn’t work as hard as we normally do but that’s them not knowing the ethics that we’ve got in terms of how we play and how the first team really do press from the front. 

“I thought they came out second half and they done that really well without getting that goal. We did have a chance. At 3-0 it’s game over. They score and it’s game on again!”

Tonbridge Angels created their first second half chance after only 45 seconds when Knight took one for his team by almost being knocked out by Kabodi’s fiercely-struck drive, before the ball came out to Brivio, who drilled his right-footed shot over the bar.

Tavares drilled a right-footed angled drive from the right which forced Welham to dive to his right to make another fine save.

Chatham Town pulled a goal back in the 66th minute and Kaffo deserved it for his industry.

Benbow sprinted into the penalty area to reach the by-line before cutting the ball back for Kaffo to place a first time left-footed shot into the far corner from eight-yards.

Watson said: “I thought he had a good game for us Junior. He’s starting to learn the way that the players play and he does a lot of selfless work for the team and he’ll be a good player for us over the course of time.”

McKimm added: “I thought he was a handful all night. He didn’t have much support so he was trying to do a lot on his own but he was a handful for my young centre half Emmanuel (Saheed) in his first game, who is only a youth team player and Laurence Ball, but they got their goal back but we had a couple of chances as well going forward.”

But despite giving themselves hope, Chatham Town failed to create another clear cut chance.

Watson said: “We had quite a bit of possession. It was that final ball. They got a little bit deep and it was hard to get in behind them. We needed to shorten things up a little bit.  It’s just that creativity.”

Welham was almost left red-faced when his clearance was charged down by Teniola, whose attempted chip was blocked by the relieved goalkeeper, who initially showed some silky skills.

Both managers found the funny side to Welham’s antics.

McKimm said: “He made a good save from Alex Teniola, also made a Kamikaze clearance which was a circus act in their box but he done ok, he done well.”

Watson said: “He done alright. I don’t know what he was doing in the second half, but he’s still young.

“Look, we’ve got a young team and we always joke that we’ve got a first team of under 21s and it could be either really, putting them out in terms of age.”

Watson gave central defender (assistant manager) Peter Hawkins a run-out against one of his former clubs.

He said: “Pete done alright. We said when he came to the club that there’s an opportunity he may play some games and he’s done that. He certainly didn’t look out of place. He’s experienced and he can pass that on to the players and sometimes it does give you an opportunity when you’re playing to actually pass that experience on more when it does from the side sometimes.”

Welham used his hands to perfection when he made a fine block to thwart Teniola after debutant substitutes Festus Mansary and Neville Rivelino were involved in the move.

Slocombe fed Mansary, whose right-footed shot looped just past the near post before Teniola right-footed drive was parried by Welham, who gathered the ball at the second attempt as it span towards the goal-line.

Chatham Town midfielder Jamie Taylor tried a speculative chip from 35-yards, which was easily gathered by Steel as the visitors didn’t have the quality in the final third to take the game to a penalty shoot-out.

Watson said: “We played ok at times. There were some positive points. It’s too easy when you lose games to only look at negatives and it’s too easy when you win games to only look at the positives.”

Watson made three changes to his side that were held to a goal-less draw at home to Great Wakering Rovers at the weekend.

“We were a little bit short tonight and we looked at a couple of players to give them minutes and that was always going to be the case in this game. I don’t think it weakened us. All it does when players haven’t played together as much and you change things there’s just that little bit of a lack of understanding.”

McKimm can now look forward to a Second Round tie after the club’s three year absence from the competition after playing Conference South football.

“It wasn’t an easy game. We knew we was going to be in for a test and we was in for a test,” said the former Sutton United midfielder.

“Give credit to Chatham because they came here and gave us a good game, regardless of what side’s out there, you’ve got to compete against them and I thought they done very well. They passed the ball well, created a few chances. Luckily enough we came out 2-1 winners.

“I give credit to all the Chatham players because they all put in a shift for their manager, all worked hard and on another night you never know what might have happened, but we’ve come out winners so I’m pleased for the boys to get through and see what we get next round.”

Tonbridge Angels:  James Steel, Charlie Slocombe, Ben King (Callum McCarthy 45), Sean Nyarsungo, Laurence Ball, Emmanuel Saheed, Flavio Tavares, Nathan Campbell (Neville Rivelino 65), Owen Kabodi (Festus Mansary 73), Alex Teniola, Jack Brivio.
Subs: Gianfranco Mici, Gil Carvalho-Fernandes

Goals: Lewis Knight 38 (own goal), Alex Teniola 45

Booked:  Sean Nyarsungo 72, Emmanuel Saheed 83

Chatham Town: Tom Welham, Matt Solly, Lawrence Collins, Jamie Taylor, Peter Hawkins, Lewis Knight, Kane Phillip (Samson Kafell 46), Corey Holder (Chris Webber 46), Junior Kaffo, Austin Edwards (Anthony Carlton 87), Greg Benbow.
Subs: Kobina Kehinoe, Lee Kidman

Goal: Junior Kaffo 66

Booked: Peter Hawkins 9

Attendance: 182
Referee: Mr Paul Howard (Bermondsey, London SE16)
Assistants: Mr Dane Johnston (Coulsdon, Surrey) & Mr Sikiru Idris (Denmark Hill, London SE5)