Thursday 02nd December 2004

The Kent Website
Supporting Kentish Football

Garland makes an impact at Greenwich

ANOTHER quality player has filtered his way down to the Go Travel Kent League, writes Stephen McCartney.

Stocky midfielder, Peter Garland, who played under Kevin Keegan for Newcastle United earlier in his career, made his debut for Greenwich Borough on Tuesday night in their basement battle at Lordswood. 

The South-East Londoners, although still bottom, are now level on points with the Medway side after their 3-1 win.

Although Garland has a large appearance, people who watch him will notice he can spray the ball around the pitch at ease and is an ace with free kicks, as he proved at North Dane Way. 

However, he picked up an ankle injury and looks likely to miss Saturday's trip to Hythe Town.

After seven minutes Garland, signed from Dulwich Hamlet, saw his free kick go over Lordswood goalkeeper Scott Muttock's crossbar.

Greenwich deservedly opened the scoring in the 29th minute when a long ball found James Horton who avoided two challenges but despite Muttock getting a touch to the ball, it crept in under the crossbar.

Another debutant - signed from Dulwich Hamlet - Errison Anwar was unlucky not to get his Greenwich career underway with a goal when his header was cleared off the line by Neil Crust.

Garland was denied a debut goal just before the break when his side-footed effort was palmed away by Muttock from eight yards.

Garland was denied by the goalkeeper again after the interval but Greenwich doubled their lead in the 50th minute when Lee Coburn was allowed too much room and from 25-yards curled his shot into the net leaving Muttock flat footed.

Three minutes later, Borough sealed the three points when Danny Matthew raced down the middle of the pitch from the halfway line and slotted home from inside the box.

Lordswood's Paul Brown was sent off for his second booking before they scored a consolation  when prolific striker Scott Bucklen ran onto a long ball and from inside the area his shot cannoned off the crossbar and Andy Freeman knocked in the rebound.

Borough boss John Kasapi was delighted with his side picking up their third win of the season.

He said: "Excellent performance on Tuesday night."

After an impressive performance against Ramsgate in the FA Vase second round replay - which they lost 2-0 -  Borough were knocked out by British Energy Kent County League side Stansfield Oxford & Bermondsey Club on penalties after the Kent Senior Trophy tie finished 1-1 after extra time on Saturday.

But Kasapi was pleased his side bounced back at Lordswood, making a couple of changes, giving Garland and 23-year-old centre halve Anwar their debuts.

"I made two or three changes from the side that lost to Ramsgate." the manager revealed.

"We started much better than them, eventually went 1-0 up before half-time.

"The game started in the same pattern in the second half and we scored two goals and they got one back near the end.

"Our new players were influential. However, they are both struggling to be fit for Saturday.

Anwar, gave Greenwich height and stability at the back, which Kasapi admitted has been lacking for the first part of their season.

But it's the coup of Garland that stands out and gives the impression the Harrow Meadow outfit really want to climb up the table.

"He gives us some quality in the middle," said Kasapi.

Looking ahead to Saturday's trip to Reachfields, he added: "It's a tough fixture for us.

"If we get a result, we will be off the bottom with the six points we've collected this week.

"We've got six fixtures in December  - it's vital we pick up some points," stressed the manager.

Borough, look to be moving in the right direction under Kasapi, who replaced former manager Clarry Birch, who lost his job after he fielded an illegible player in an FA Cup tie earlier in the campaign.

The club's punishment for that misdemeanor was a three year ban playing in  the FA Cup, but with their new additions this week, they are more than capable of climbing up the table.

After their trip to Hythe, Greenwich make the short trip to Eden Park Avenue next Tuesday to play local rivals Beckenham Town - a side that knocked Croydon out of the Surrey Senior Cup 6-3 after extra time on Wednesday.

Got a story?
Email Stephen McCartney: