UCC Disapora 3-4 HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee - We didn't want to come here and have an easy game. We want the team to fight because it brings the best out of us, says HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee boss Lloyd Davis
UCC Disapora 3 – 4 HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee
|Location||War Memorial Sports Ground, Colston Avenue, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 2PW|
UCC DISAPORA 3-4 HFSP & TEN-EM-BEE
London Junior Cup Final
Friday 12 April 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Colston Avenue
HFSP & TEN-EM-BEE manager Lloyd Davis says opponents UCC Disapora brought the best out of his side after his talented players celebrated winning their first trophy.
The Lewisham based side, which is based close to Millwall’s training ground in Downham, lifted the London Junior Cup after beating South Wimbledon based UCC Disapora 4-3 at Colston Avenue in Carshalton.
UCC Disapora beat Earlsfield United (7-0); Long Lane (7-4 after extra time); FC Hamlets (2-1); Club Langley (3-1) and Battersea Boys (2-0) to reach the final.
HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee beat Parkwood Rangers (3-0); Russellers (3-1); South Wimbledon Dazzlers (3-2); E.S.B. Shantyto (5-1); Hilltop (3-2) and Tooting Bec Reserves (3-0).
Luke Barrett’s side raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 13 minutes through centre-half Joe Glynn and striker Gavin Falconer.
HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee pulled a goal back through centre-half Michael Amponsah, before striker Aaron Moore drove in an equaliser just before the break.
HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee took the lead just 41 seconds into the second half through Amponsah’s swept in finish from a corner, before he completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
UCC Disapora made it a nervy finish when substitute left-wing-back Pete Beirne rifled in from close range at the death.
“Just totally happy, we’re ecstatic, we’re appreciative as well. It’s something that we worked really hard for, something that we’ve earnt,” said Davis, 31.
“Credit to our opposition, they were really tough opposition but we had to really dig deep at certain times and we got, what I feel, what we deserved.”
Ten-Em-Bee are renowned for producing talent such as Ian Wright, Joe Gomez, Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips, who all started their careers at the club.
HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee created the first chance of the game inside the opening five minutes when left-winger Edward Asarmah curled his 30-yard free-kick around the near post.
UCC Diaspora called goalkeeper Jake Haskins into action when Ian Daly played in Falconer, whose shot from 15-yards was tipped around the post by Haskins, diving to his left.
But UCC Disapora took the lead, following the resulting corner in from the right, timed at seven minutes and four seconds on the clock.
Left-wing-back Paul Curtin swung the ball in, which wasn’t dealt with anybody in a navy blue shirt and Glynn came up from the back to tap the ball over the line at the far post from a couple of yards out.
“I mean, it happens. We worked on that on the training pitch, not conceding early but as you know football anything can happen. Once Jake made a mistake, the main thing is to just keep it out and come back stronger,” said Davis.
UCC Diaspora were a direct outfit, with three centre-halves and two wing backs and they were keen to hit the ball up to target-man Falconer as quickly as possible, while HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee had some technically talented players on show.
Glynn, who played in the centre of their three-man defence, hit the ball up to Matthew Russell, who played in Curtin, who drilled his left-footed shot over the crossbar from 10-yards.
UCC Diaspora deservedly doubled their lead with 12 minutes and 47 seconds on the clock.
HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee centre-half Leon Begley struggled early on and failed to deal with a long ball and Falconer sped past a couple of defenders before drilling a low shot from 18-yards, which slipped through Haskins’ fingers and nestled into the net.
“I wouldn’t like to call it a mistake, if it was fair play to him because he came back stronger. Anyone else may have hung their head but he’s strong and he had to make some important saves later on,” added Davis, who was then asked how he was feeling having a mountain to climb so early on in their first cup final.
“Oh no! Literally, oh no! If we can pull one back at least and we’ll get together at half-time and re-group.
“Credit to the boys, they’ve done even better and they got level and it was like we had a second chance and that’s what I can ask for.”
However, despite their early set-back, HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee pulled a goal back with 16 minutes and 35 seconds on the clock.
Ahioseh Davies drove in a corner from the right and keeper Barrett flapped at the ball and Amponsah steered his far post header into the near post from six-yards out.
“My go to guy at times, set-pieces, my go to guy. He scores in important games. Was it three today he scored? That’s why I trust,” added Davis.
UCC Disapora wasted a glorious chance halfway through the half following a short corner.
Holding midfielder Matthew Russell delivered a cross from the left and Haskins’ parried the ball and Falconer sliced his shot over the crossbar from two-yards.
“Pretty fortunate for us but sometimes that’s what football’s like, sometimes they go in, fortunately for us, it went over,” added Davis on the let-off.
HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee went close when Daniel Jones played the ball inside to Davies, who flashed his 30-yard low drive past the diving keeper and just past the foot of the left-hand post.
Haskins recovered from his earlier mistake by keeping his side in the game in the 36th minute.
Curtin showed strength to retain possession inside the HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee half and Daly released Kilcommons through on goal but Haskins put his hands down by his knees to ensure he parried the shot from just inside his penalty area.
Davis said: “We have to focus on team spirit and the character of our team. Anyone else could’ve hung their head, he’s had to stay focused, stay strong and keep us in it, if anything.”
A mistake by centre-half Leon Begley allowed Daly to feed Falconer, who cut inside and drove a shot from inside the box, which was charged down by Amponsah, which took the sting out of the shot and the keeper gathered.
HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee levelled proceedings with 41 minutes and 50 seconds on the clock.
Right-back Sean Headley played the ball inside to central midfielder Daniel Jones and Oliver Miller rolled the ball out to left-back Apul Kamara. He cut inside before feeding Moore, who cut inside and buried his right-footed drive past the rooted Barrett into the near corner from 12-yards.
“Again, another one of my go to guys this season,” said Davis.
“He’s had a difficult season with some knee troubles but he’s ended up in all competitions, today will make it 32 goals in 23 games or so. He’s done extremely well and in big games that’s when it matters, that’s when I want him to score. He’s scored consistently all season but that was one of our most important.”
CC Diaspora wasted a glorious chance on the stroke of half time when a long ball forward was hooked on by Daly but Falconer beat the offside flag and drilled his left-footed shot over the crossbar from 20-yards.
At half-time, Davis said: “I said well done first and foremost because we could’ve hung our heads and gone in there upset but we’ve come back to 2-2 and we’re level and we just told them we’ve had a clean sheet and all that means is we’re in for a game and that’s what we like.
“We didn’t want to come here and have an easy game. We want the team to fight because it brings the best out of us!”
HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee got off to a dream start by taking the lead with only 41 seconds on the clock, following their third of four corners.
Davies swung the ball in from the left and it came out to Amponsah who swept a shot on the turn past Barrett from 16-yards in a central position and ran to the bench to celebrate with his team-mates and management.
“That’s what we have, the character. We’re not brothers but as a team that’s how we feel. We feel like brothers and that’s why he celebrated with us all there, even the ones not playing because it means a lot to us,” added Davis.
Oliver Miller played the ball out to Asarmah, who cut inside and his right-footed shot was spilt by Barrett at his near post, before the player-manager gathered at the second attempt.
Asarmah was a lively threat down the left-wing for HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee during the second half and he went close to scoring in the 53rd minute.
Jones flicked the ball on and it bounced out to right-winger Raphael President, who whipped in a deep cross towards the far post and Asarmah chested the ball down before smacking a left-footed volley high into the side netting, just inches away from the top of the near post from 10-yards.
The Bromley side had two impressive, pacey and talented wingers in President (right) and Asarmah (left).
“He’s an exciting player, another one of our wingers, really creative. We’ve had to rely on him a lot this season as an outlet, both of them but he’s pretty tricky and he keeps driving us forward even in difficult times,” Davis said of Asarmah, who on tonight’s performance can play higher.
UCC Diaspora went close following Daly’s cross from the right, which was cleared out to Alan Murray, who stroked a first time volley past the diving keeper and past the far post from 25-yards.
Asarmah was denied by a fine save from Barrett in the 62nd minute.
Amponsah floated a deep corner towards the far post, which sailed over Moore’s head and his marker Chris Drennan and Asarmah hooked his left-footed shot across the keeper and Barrett dived to his left to push towards safety.
Davis added: “We just had to stay strong and keep believing and get what we deserve. We’ve come here, we put in effortless work week-in-week-out, myself and Bobby (Robert Bartley-Lang). It’s the small things that make the difference that I find. We’ve build for this, this is what we do and we got ourselves in the lead and looked to stay strong.”
UCC Diaspora wasted a chance inside the final 15 minutes when Curtin’s deep corner from the left sailed over to the far post where Gary Wills knocked the ball back across goal and Falconer leaned back and blasted his shot over the crossbar.
HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee had one hand on the trophy after scoring their fourth goal, timed at 33 minutes and 45 seconds on the clock.
The impressive Asarmah twisted and turned Glynn on the left hand side of the box before he was fouled by the centre-half.
Despite having the number 5 shirt on his back, Amponsah produced a striker’s finish from the penalty spot, sending Barrett the wrong way as he picked his spot into the left-corner with his right-foot spot-kick.
“He’s our penalty taker! Everyone steps aside, that’s what he does. We have no doubts, that’s what he does. He steps up in important games and puts it where it needs to be, in the goal, fortunately for us,” added Davis.
A cup final hat-trick scored by a centre-half!
“Michael normally picks up a brace to be fair, normally two, but I mean he made a promise to me that’s what we’re going to come home with. He’ll do anything and I can’t ask for much more.”
UCC Diaspora kept plugging away, though, pulling a goal back with 43 minutes and 40 seconds on the clock.
Murray released substitute Nolan down the left and his angled drive forced Haskins to dive low to his right. He got fingertips to the ball but it trickled towards the bottom left-hand corner of the goal and Beirne ghosted in to lash his shot into the roof of the net from a couple of yards out to make sure.
“Credit to them, they kept going as we thought they would,” said Davis.
“They come with big hearts, big character and they really pushed us but it’s not something that we’re willing to give up easy. Once we had it, we had our hands on it, we wouldn’t give up. I knew the boys would get us across the line.”
UCC Diaspora – whom are in second-place in the Wimbledon & District League - almost forced extra-time when Beirne hit a deep cross towards an unmarked David Moore at the far post but he smacked his ambitious volley high and wide.
HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee complete their Andreas Carter Kent County League Division Two West campaign on Saturday 20 April with a home game against bottom three side Johnson & Phillips.
Davis’ cup winners are in second-place in the table with 49 points from 21 games and are two points adrift of leaders Red Velvet, who have two games left to play.
Davis, who took over a week before the start of their season back in September 2018, said: “We’ll go there and get our three points and push Red Velvet to the wire. They’re another strong team and really push for the title, for the league still. We’ve confirmed promotion but we’re still hungry for more. Our best possible finish for us will be the cup that we’ve won today and win the league. If not, if we get promotion we can’t be too sad at that can you?”
UCC Disapora: Luke Barrett, Aidan Barrett (Pete Beirne 67), Paul Curtin (David Moore 90), Joe Glynn, Chris Drennan (Colm McCarthy 89), Gary Wills, Alan Murray, Matthew Russell (Ian Nolan 58), Gavin Falconer, Ian Daly.
Sub: Niall Doneghue
Goals: Joe Glynn 8, Gavin Falconer 13, Pete Beirne 89
HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee: Jake Haskins, Sean Headley, Apul Kamara, Oliver Miller (Dean Douglas 71), Michael Amponsah, Leon Bagley, Edward Asarmah (Alfie Begley 85), Daniel Jones, Aaron Moore (Bryan Zepo 81), Ahioseh Davies (Robert Bartley-Lang 90), Raphael President.
Sub: Ashley Duncan
Goals: Michael Amponsah 17, 46, 79 (penalty), Aaron Moore 42
Referee: Mr Ben Rathe
Assistants: Mr Lawrence Attoh & Mr Jack Healy
Fourth Official: Mr Daniel Sanchez