Thursday 01st September 2005
We're just not good enough,
|Kentish Observer League
McCartney reports from
|Richard Usherwood 78
|Richard Usherwood marked his return to
Erith Town by scoring the only goal of a dire game at Greatness Park
tonight, writes Stephen McCartney.
The former Dartford striker - making his first appearance for the Dockers in two years - helped his side move off the bottom of the Kentish Observer League table.
Lindsay Thomas' drove a shot across goal from the left hand side of the penalty area, which was touched home at the far post by Usherwood with 12 minutes left, to send Greenwich Borough to the foot of the table.
The goalscorer had the first chance of the game after seven minutes when his 12-yard shot rolled wide of the post after receiving the ball from Matt Fagan.
Sevenoaks' first chance came after 14 minutes when Kris Hollidge - a player whose played Ryman League football for both Bromley and Croydon - shot from distance, and was unlucky when his shot clipped the top of the left upright before going over.
Fagan then slipped the ball for Thomas on the left hand side of the penalty area but the former Greenwich Borough and VCD Athletic winger dragged his shot wide.
Sevenoaks created two chances after the half-hour mark when Ryan Hackett sent the impressive Dominic Websdale flying down the left wing and his cross was met at the far post by Sevenoaks' stalwart, Dave Forster, but he couldn't guide the ball home.
Four minutes later Websdale tried his luck from distance, with his shot sailing over the bar.
The next chance in the game fell to the home side after 64 minutes - yes it was that exciting!
Hackett's right-footed free kick on the edge of the penalty area blazed high over the bar - and the fence - and nestled in the bushes on the bank overlooking the ground.
At last some action, and it came after 68 minutes! Erith Town striker Matt Russell twice went close. He was denied by former team-mate, Sevenoaks' goalkeeper, Craig Clark, who raced off his line to block the angled drive.
Moments later, Thomas should have done better than to drag his shot wide.
Clark pulled off a fine save after 73 minutes, tipping Fagan's angled drive over the bar, but after bringing down Usherwood and picking up a yellow card from referee Mr Blunden, he was soon picking the ball out of his net.
Sevenoaks had two late chances to salvage something - Websdale's driven shot taking a deflection as it went out for a corner and Forster heading over Lee Aldridge's chip into the penalty area.
Erith Town manager, John Kasapi, however, was pleased his side climbed off the foot of the table.
In an EXCLUSIVE Interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, the former Greenwich Borough manager said: "We're just trying to get a team together.
"I thought tonight we dominated most of the game without really threatening too often, considering the possession we had."
Kasapi praised goalscorer Usherwood for settling this abject encounter between two sides that started the game in the bottom three.
"He looks a tidy player," he said. "He played for the reserves on Saturday and we put him straight in tonight and he gave us a bit of quality.
"To be totally honest about tonight, I think both teams need to improve if they want to get into the top half of the table," Kasapi admitted.
"We were all desperate to win this game as getting your first points is vital. When you lose your first two and you're rooted to the bottom of the league it's hard.
"But at least when I get home tonight I'll have a quick look to see if we've gone up a few places."
And when their goalkeeper - Craig Clark - is their top scorer with three goals (all from the penalty spot), it's easy to tell where their problems lie.
But John Adams, their assistant manager, who has managed the Dockers, admitted his side are just not good enough.
"Very disappointing because we felt Erith would be the whipping boys but it looks like we're the whipping boys," he said after the debacle.
"Erith are my old club and you always want to get one over them but be fair they came here tonight and they wanted it more than us.
"We probably played five minutes football in the first half and ten minutes in the second, so over the 90 we've played 15 minutes of football - which ain't good enough - and we've told the players that!
"They are not good enough and we are having them in for training Thursday and we have to work on the basics. We just have to work on passing and control because they can't do it at the moment."
You had to feel sorry for the 71 fans that actually paid to watch this rubbish - as players failed to string three passes together and all it was for the majority of the game was lump if forward and hope. Kent League football? More like Dog and Duck Sunday League pub football!
"As coaches you've got to hold your hands up and you've got to say it was painful," Adams admitted.
"We don't coach them to play like that. We are not playing as a team.
"Erith are on no money, we've got to get players who can do a simple job it's as simple as that. You must have players that can keep the ball. We can't keep it long enough."
Adams hinted some of their reserve team players - who played for Welling United last season before the Nationwide Conference South outfit disbanded their second string - could take to the field at Park View Road on Saturday, when Sevenoaks travel to Erith & Belvedere.
"We've got a lot of good youngsters in the reserves and it's down to Gary (Davies), Brian (Meaney) and myself to decide if we play them this week or next.
"But I've been here (in this situation) before and we have to stick together, work harder and our luck will turn.
"Every team in this Kent League will have a bad run - well Beckenham won't - we are having ours too soon."
And if Sevenoaks don't respond against the Deres', Adams added: "That will be the final nail in the coffin.
"I don't think we are good enough, whether the reserve team players are good enough to come in against Erith & Belvedere, we'll have to see."
|Sevenoaks Town: Craig Clark, Kris
Hollidge, Dominic Websdale, Dave Waters (Capt), Martin West, Steve
Simpson, Andy Mills (Bronic Deborwa 81), Wayne Balmer (Lee Aldridge 75),
Dave Forster, Danny Powell, Ryan Hackett. Subs: Geoff Sweeting, Tom
Forster, Toby Ademosu
Erith Town: Chris Conneally, Robert Fraiser, James Horton, Steve Wade (Capt), Aaron Hamilton, Tony Kyle, Matt Fagan (Ben Louch 89), Richard Radbourne, Lindsey Thomas (Craig Allen 83), Matt Russell (Wayne Grizzle 86), Richard Usherwood. Sub: Rob Bryant
Referee: Mr D Blunden
Assistants: Mr R Dibbs & Mr M McLean