Tudor Sports 1-4 Peckham Town - Our ambition is to get as high as we can, says Peckham Town manager Alan Jacobs

Wednesday 01st May 2019
Tudor Sports 1 – 4 Peckham Town
Location Oxford Road, Sidcup, Kent DA14 6LW
Kickoff 01/05/2019 18:45

Andreas Carter Kent County League Premier Division
Wednesday 1 May 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Oxford Road

PECKHAM TOWN manager Alan Jacobs says the clubs ambition is to get as high as they can as they hope to win promotion into the Southern Counties East Football League First Division.

The Menace climbed into third-place in the Andreas Carter Kent County League Premier Division after coming from behind to beat ninth-placed side Tudor Sports at Oxford Road in Sidcup, the former home of then Kent League side Cray Wanderers and recently Seven Acre & Sidcup (now Sporting Club Thamesmead).

Tudor Sports took the lead through Ross Morley’s clinically despatched penalty and they created some decent first half chances to increase their lead.

Peckham Town grabbed an equaliser through striker Klajdi Cani’s half-volley, but they were the more dominant force during the final 20 minutes and Cani took his tally up to 32 goals in 22 games with their second goal before substitute Nicky Meta and right-winger Kevin Dance scored.

“First half, I thought we were very scrappy, I didn’t think, well alright, it’s a penalty but I don’t think we got going at all really but we nicked a goal back,” said Jacobs.

“I said to them at half-time, at the end of the day I really thought the side we were playing believed they was going to roll us over. There were faces that we recognised but I take that as a compliment when sides have to bring certain people in to try and help.”

That player was Gary Gorman, who was drafted in to make his third appearance of the season, while ex Isthmian League player Ross Morley was making his 32nd appearance for the club.

“We’re little old Peckham Town down in Step Seven. Some of these players have played at a much higher level and I really thought they thought they were going to come here and have a little stroll about and give us a tonking!

“We go a goal down and you could see their balloons inflated a little bit and then we score and we deflated them a little bit and it was a little bit of ‘how dare we score, who are we?’

“I said to the players at half-time if we believe in ourselves and go out in the second half and stop bickering against ourselves and play as a side and get the ball down and we have another 20-25% levels to lift ourselves and I think everyone here saw that because I thought we had a really good second half with some great, great football.  We knocked the ball around well and scored some great goals and we could’ve scored another three goals at least, I reckon.”

Tudor Sports are jointly-managed by Ben Kirk, Morley and James Bradley.

“Where do we start? For me, I think the scoreline flatters them. If you don’t take your chances you don’t win games of football,” admitted Kirk.

“I thought first half the first five minutes they probably edged it and I thought for 40 minutes we were excellent and could easily deservedly gone in at half-time, two, three nil up. And the game’s done.”

Staplehurst Monarchs United lead the way with 63 points on the board with one game remaining, followed by Borden Village (59 points with one game remaining) and Peckham Town and Bromleians follow on 57 points, while Otford United are fifth with 50 points from their 30 league outings.  Tudor Sports remain where they were with 44 points.

Peckham Town kicked up the slope during the first half on an awful pitch that Jacobs described as a “lumpy, bumpy old pitch.”

Dance struck a right-footed 35-yarder which bounced off the rock hard surface and was comfortably gathered by former VCD Athletic and Beckenham Town goalkeeper Bradley McNamara.

Tudor Sports, who went into this game having suffered back-to-back defeats to Kings Hill (1-3) and Farnborough Old Boys Guild (1-4), then started to dominant.

Nick Crowe’s hooked diagonal pass found right-winger Billy Jolly in space and he smacked a left-footed hooked shot from 35-yards, which bounced into the hands of Tommy Hobson.

Harry Rogers dinked cross teed up Daniel Vaughan but his stabbed shot from 10-yards lacked power and Peckham’s right-back Drew Newton was on hand to clear his lines from inside the six-yard box.

But Tudor Sports squandered a glorious chance to open the scoring in the ninth minute.

Jolly swung in a free-kick from the left, which was headed away and Crowe lobbed the ball back into the box from the other side of the pitch and former Beckenham Town striker Gary Gorman hooked his shot straight at Hobson from eight-yards, having beaten the offside trap.

Jacobs revealed: “Tommy plays for the England Deaf side. He’s a good boy and he loves playing football.  I’m blessed with two good goalkeepers, the other one (Larry McArdle) wasn’t here tonight and it’s hard because I’ve got two real good goalkeepers.  They’re all Peckham Town boys so they all want to be involved with the squad.”

Kirk said: “Listen, nine times out of 10, Gary will score them with his eyes closed! I just think at the moment we’re not getting the luck of the bounce.  I’m not making excuses or anything like that.

“Everyone knows Gary’s ability. Gary is a very clever football player and he can still play at a higher level still now probably. He’s got the football brain, Gary’s a good player but one player doesn’t make a team does it?”

Peckham Town created an opening when Herve Mbongue drove forward and played the ball into Cani, who put the ball into the Tudor Sports box.  The ball was cleared away by Charlie Roberts but only as far as Hady Traore, who controlled the ball with his chest before stinging the keeper’s fingers with a left-footed volley from 17-yards.

Tudor Sports took a deserved lead with 17 minutes and 11 seconds on the clock from the penalty spot.

Crowe floated in a deep free-kick in from the right and referee Chris Clarke spotted that Gorman was pushed in the back by Peckham Town centre-half Hiram Laud-Anderson and pointed to the spot as the ball bounced and was heading out for a goal-kick.

Morley stepped up and placed his right-footed penalty into the bottom left-hand corner, sending goalkeeper Hobson the wrong way.

Kirk said: “It’s about time we had a penalty! We don’t get the decisions that we deserve sometimes. It’s about time Morley got a penalty and scored”

“Listen, we’ve got good players at this club and it’s not about Gary and it’s not about Ross. Collectively as a group we’ve got a good group of players. Ross knows that, Gary knows that. It’s not all about them. We’re in it together.”

Jacobs asked: “Do you think it’s a penalty?  I saw the referee (signal), what’s all that? I thought he was breaking into some sort of dance out there!  I just thought we were getting a little bit hard done by out there.

“Sometimes you’ve got to respond to it and I think we did at 1-0 down.  They’re balloon was getting inflated, they’re 1-0 up, happy days but we actually got the ball down on a lumpy bumpy old pitch and played some football.”

Peckham Town’s response was almost immediate when just 96 seconds later, central midfielder Ali Amisu took a touch before drilling a stunning right-footed drive from 35-yards towards the top right-hand corner, only for McNamara to use his right hand to push the ball over the crossbar, diving high to his left.

“He done well with that one didn’t he? It’s all I can say about that.  Ali’s a good player, he comes up with these little gems now and again,” added Jacobs.

Kirk added: “It annoys me when people shoot from distance because it means our midfielders haven’t got tight enough and shut him down but it was a good save.”

Peckham Town’s centre-half Alfie Ball swept a free-kick into the Tudor Sports penalty area and with the keeper coming off his line, he grabbed hold of the ball after Cani glancing his header towards goal from 15-yards.

Tudor Sports wasted a glorious chance to increase their lead in the 27th minute when McNamara launched a big kick straight down the middle of the pitch, the ball was flicked on by Gorman and put Morley through on goal but his low right-footed drive was driven into Hobson’s legs.

Jacobs added: “That’s what’s he’s there for. That’s what I DON’T pay him to do. We don’t pay, so happy days!”

Kirk added: “Again, if you don’t take your chances, you don’t win games of football!”

Tudor Sports’ centre-half Joe Abbott pinged a diagonal pass out to substitute winger Ben Tutt down the left and Morley’s deep cross sailed over Ball’s head and was hit on the volley by Jolly at a tight angle and his angled attempt screamed over the top of the near post.

Peckham Town grabbed an equaliser with 32 minutes and 58 seconds on the clock.

Ball played the football up from the halfway line into the edge of the box and keeper McNamara came off his line and watched Abbott fail to clear his lines with a poor header. The ball dropped for Cani to caress his right-footed half-volley through the bodies to score from 15-yards.

Jacobs said: “Good player Cani, another one. I thought he worked his nuts off today, second half especially, last 10 minutes. He’s drilling into himself to get back and defend. He’s a good player, great attitude, great goalscorer and he wants to play for Peckham Town and we love him and he loves us, so happy days.”

Kirk added: “For me, it’s a poor goal. The boys know it’s a poor goal. Tough goal to concede near to half-time but we move on.”

Tutt, who replaced the injured Vaughan after only 11 minutes, cracked a left-footed drive from 35-yards, which was plucked out of the air underneath the crossbar by the back-peddling Peckham keeper.

Peckham Town won the corner count by 5-1 and created a chance following their third flag-kick.

Dance swung in the ball from the right, the ball was flicked on by Amisu at the near post and left-back Traore flicked the ball over the crossbar whilst turning just four yards from goal.

Tudor Sports went close on the stroke of half-time when Jolly put in a great delivery from the left and Gorman’s towering header sailed just past the far post.

Peckham Town’s right-back Drew Newton was sin-binned with 42:35 on the clock for showing dissent towards assistant referee Daniel Gallagher and he remerged with 06:34 on the second half clock.

Both managers were asked their thoughts at the break.

Kirk said: I said well done! Keep going! I thought we’ve been fantastic.  Just make sure when we get the next chance, make sure we take it. It’s important.

“I think we probably did up until the 60th minute and then their goal killed us.  I’m disappointed with some of the boys reactions tonight but listen we’ve had plenty of positives this season than negatives. It’s not about one game. All off a sudden we’ve now lost three in a row.”

Jacobs added: “They were bickering amongst themselves saying they should be doing that and someone should’ve been doing this or whatever.

“I said, look, listen, forget about the tactics. If you boys can play the game, we’ll start playing. If we have to start shouting everything from a dug-out to tell you what to do, what’s the point?  You’re hear because you can play football. We shouldn’t be having to tell you what to do because you’re out on a football pitch. Get the ball down, play to each other and work it and we did that in the second half.”

The second half started out as a feisty affair.  Tudor Sports’ right-back Roberts was booked for taking out Youssef Bouimane after he sprinted past him and out came the yellow card after only 22 seconds.

Tudor Sports midfielder Crowe was then sin-binned with 09:19 on the clock for dissent and re-appeared with 18:45 on the clock.

Both managers were asked their thoughts on the Sin-bin, which is coming to both divisions in the Southern Counties East Football League next season.

Jacobs said: “I think the Sin-bins is alright but I think it’s there as a deterrent. It’s better than maybe getting sent-off and it does give a player a chance to cool down.

“I’ve got to be totally honest, my player got sin-binned and I don’t like it because it means he’s been disrespecting one of the officials verbally and I don’t like that, we’re not about that!”

Over the last couple of nights, the managers of Metrogas, Peckham Town and Stansfeld and are all for it, but the joint-manager of Tudor Sports is against the idea.

“Do I say the truth? Listen, I think the Sin-bin is something that I think when it was brought out it was like a kid with a new toy and he wanted to play with it all of the time and the referee’s used it way too much for me,” replied Kirk.

“I don’t agree with sin-bins, I really don’t.  If it’s dissent, it’s dissent, give him a yellow card.  If he gives dissent again, then he gets sent-off! It’s just my opinion, I can’t get sin-bins!”

Tudor Sports created the first chance of the second half when left-back Archie Valler drove a 50-yard ball up field, which was smacked by a left-footed volley from Tutt, which flew from the edge of the box into Hobson’s chest.

Jacobs praised his goalkeeper, whom plays for Charlton Athletic’s Deaf side too and was making his eighth appearance of the season for the Menace.

“Yes, it’s just stung his fingers. He’s a good keeper, he closed his angle down well, does his job. If you’ve got a good keeper, that goes in to the back four. They’re confident in him, he’s confident in them and then that goes all the way through the side.”

Just 72 seconds later, Peckham’s substitute winger Meta cut in from the left and tried his luck from 30-yards, which was initially spilt at his near post by McNamara, before gathering at the second attempt.

Halfway through the second half, Tudor Sports produced a great move when Morley was released down the right channel and whipped in a quality deep cross to pick out an unmarked Tutt, who smacked his left-footed volley high over the crossbar from inside the penalty area.

“A great strike, a great ball in from Morley. We actually stayed onside for that one and I was pleased with that,” added Kirk.

Peckham Town dominated the final 20 minutes and grabbed the lead with 26 minutes and 15 seconds on the clock.

Dance played the ball to Saheed Sadiq down the right wing and he whipped in a cross of high quality to pick out Cani unmarked at the far post and he buried his header into the top left-hand corner from six-yards.

“We got our noses in front and I think it was well justified,” said Jacobs.

“I thought we dominated the last 20 minutes and I thought we played some quality football out there on that pitch. It’s a lumpy, bumpy old pitch which ain’t built to be played on really and the slope. It’s a kick and chase sort of pitch. People love those type of pitches but we like to play on any type of surface and if you can play, you can play and the last 20 minutes I thought we played some really good stuff.”

Kirk added: “It’s poor, poor defending on our part. I said to the boys in there I think we get in the right positions but we let crosses into the box too easily. We need to get tighter and stop crosses. If there’s no cross into the box, they aren’t going to score. I’m disappointed with all of the goals to be fair and we need to be better.”

Tudor Sports then started to fall apart and they relied on their goalkeeper McNamara to parry a tricky swerving, dipping free-kick from 35-yards from Ball.

Peckham Town raced into a 3-1 lead with 37 minutes and 43 seconds on the clock.

Sadiq was this time in a central position when he stroked his shot towards the bottom left-hand corner from the edge of the penalty area and McNamara did well to dive low to his right to push the ball away with a strong right hand, only for the loose ball to be pounced on by Meta, who slotted his left-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner.

Jacobs said: “For once they actually chased in on a shot because more often than not you’ve got to anticipate what’s going to happen rather than try to react to something .  I always say any shot on the keeper follow it in, you never know and for once he did and he slots it in and it’s 3-1 and it puts the game to bed for us.”

Kirk added: “I’m disappointed with all of the goals we conceded tonight. I said to the boys in there, I’m disappointed with our reaction in the last 10-15 minutes. I kind of thought we gave up a little bit and it had that end of season feel to it if I’m honest. We probably need the end of the season. The end of the season can’t come quick enough! Gove me Saturday, give me Monday and we’ll rebuild and we’ll look to move on for next season.”

Peckham Town wrapped up the victory by scoring their fourth goal with the clock showing 41 minutes and 41 seconds.

Mbongue drove forward and rolled the ball on the outside to an overlapping Dance, who cut into the box before drilling a stunning right-footed drive across and over the keeper into the top far corner of the net from 12-yards on the angle.

Jacobs said: “Another good player. He’s got pace to burn that boy. He doesn’t believe in his own ability sometimes. 

“I said to him at half-time he had a slow 20 minutes but he said ‘I’m not getting the ball’, and I said you’re a senior player, demand the ball!

“I said when you’re playing well, we play well and he’s key to the whole team and in the second half he put the after burners on quite a few times and they couldn’t handle that!”

Kirk added: “Poor defending from us, again, it is what it is!”

Tudor Sports welcome second-placed Borden Village to Oxford Road on Saturday, before hosting basement side Stansfeld on Monday 6 May (both games kicking off at 2:45pm).

“We’ve got two games left and the group of lads that we’ve got are not just going to jack it in and roll over and die, that’s for sure.

“We’ve got Borden and Monday we’ve got Stansfeld. Everyone knows what Tudor-Stansfeld games are all about.  The end of the season cannot come soon enough to be honest with you.”

This game was originally abandoned after 25 minutes on Saturday 6 April after Tudor Sports captain Darren Nash suffered a nasty leg break out on the pitch.

“It’s been tough, tough, tough few weeks for the club,” admitted Kirk.

“The boys have been fantastic since we took over and circumstances losing your captain the way we did, it’s effected us, that’s for sure. I’m not going to make excuses but we’re a close group and when you see one of your good friends suffer what Darren Nash has suffered, football doesn’t become necessarily as important.

“I’ve got players in my dressing room that are still not playing the game because of what happened to their best mate on the football pitch.”

Peckham Town, meanwhile, complete their campaign with a trip to Dartford to tackle bottom-five side Fleetdown United, having extended their winning run to four games tonight.

“We’ve got a trip to Fleetdown and if we win at Fleetdown, IF, and Tudor can get a draw or beat Borden here on Saturday, which I think will be another great game, we can sneak in and get the runners-up medal, so lets see what Saturday unfolds,” said Jacobs.

Peckham Town’s floodlight application has now been approved and they have applied for promotion into the Southern Counties East Football League First Division alongside table-topping Staplehurst Monarchs United.

Jacobs said: “Our ambition is to get as high as we can. It’s all about one step at a time. We haven’t tried to run into anything.  We’re trying to build something here and it’s taken us a long time.  This is a major, major step forward with the lights and it does open the door. I’ve already had a couple of players say if you get the lights installed there’s a possibility we could get a couple of half-decent players coming in.”

Tudor Sports: Bradley McNamara, Charlie Roberts, Archie Valler, Nick Crowe (David Duodu-Amoah 77), Joe Abbott (Ryan Townrow 83), Jack Lynch, Billy Jolly (Troy Abbey 66), Harry Rogers, Gary Gorman, Ross Morley, Daniel Vaughan (Ben Tutt 11, Aaron Carrera 72)).

Goal: Ross Morley 18 (penalty)

Booked: Charlie Roberts 46, Nick Crowe 55 (sin-binned)

Peckham Town: Tommy Hobson, Drew Newton, Hady Traore, Saheed Sadiq, Alfie Ball, Hiram Laud-Anderson, Kevin Dance, Ali Amisu, Klajdi Cani, Herve Mbongue, Youssef Bouimane (Nicky Meta 53).
Sub: Jay Virgo

Goals: Klajdi Cani 33, 72, Nicky Meta 83, Kevin Dance 87

Booked: Drew Newton 43 (sin-binned)

Attendance: 38
Referee: Mr Chris Clarke (Aylesford)
Assistants: Mr Stuart Pearless (Tunbridge Wells) & Mr Daniel Gallagher (Eltham, London SE9)