Sunday 07th November 2004

The Kent Website
Supporting Kentish Football

Defreitas bowls out Lordswood

TUNBRIDGE WELLS came away from their Go Travel Kent League Premier Division Cup first round tie at Lordswood with a 2-1 victory, writes Stephen McCartney.

Their reward is a trip to Herne Bay - a side they have yet faced this season - in the last eight of the competition.

Nineteen-year-old striker Ricky Defreitas made his debut for Tunbridge Wells at North Dane Way, having signed from Nationwide South outfit Grays Athletic and had a mixed game, scoring the first goal before being sent off with nine minutes left.

However, the youngster from East Ham, pleased his new manager Kevin Metcalf, who admitted the sending off was harsh.

The Wells manager said: "Very pleased with his debut - it was a very harsh sending off.

"The referee said he swore at him.  It was right in front of us in the dug-out and we never heard anything."

Lordswood started the game brightly and after only three minutes, Andy Doerr slipped the ball out to Scott Bucklen whose cross-shot was turned out for a corner by visiting goalkeeper Matt Bromby.

The goalkeeper was beaten in the 15th minute from Mike Cunningham's 25-yard curling free kick, but his effort went just past the post.

Tunbridge Wells' first chance, however, saw Paul Hallett's low cross from the left evade everyone including debutant Defreitas at the far post.

Lordswood came close to opening their account in the last five minutes of the half.  Andy Skinner, in opposition territory, which is very rare, saw his 20-yard shot go just past the post and then Doerr pounced on a mix-up in the Wells defence but his shot from the edge of the penalty area went over the crossbar.

Tunbridge Wells came out for the second half with much more purpose and they were unlucky not to take the lead when Defreitas shot from the edge of the penalty area beating Lordswood goalkeeper Scott Muttock but the shot came back of the post.

Paul Brown shot wide for Lordswood and the visitors played some neat football around the penalty area and Defreitas' shot on the turn went wide.

Tunbridge Wells, however took the lead in the 69th minute when Danny Barham on the right sent in a low cross and Steve Smith attracted the Lordswood defenders to him and this left Defreitas alone at the back post and he headed into an empty net from five yards.

Defreitas, however, was harshly sent off by the referee with nine minutes left but the ten-men increased their lead with three minutes remaining to secure their victory.

A long ball forward was being shepherded out by Lordswood defender Gary Peck under pressure from seventeen-year-old right sided midfielder Steve Ward, but the youngster managed to hook the ball across goal and Steve Smith tapped home.

Lordswood's Skinner hit the post from 20-yards before the home side scored a consolation in the last minute when Doerr on the left crossed low for  Bucklen who flicked it on to Brown who slotted home from six yards.

Metcalf added: "It's job done basically.  Going to Lordswood we knew it was going to be a tough game.  They are a tough team to break down.  

"The first half was what we were expecting - a tough game, but at half time we told the players to keep knocking the ball around, which we done."

Wells make the long trip to Deal Town on Tuesday (9th November) before hosting Martin Ford's VCD Athletic at Culverden Stadium next Saturday (13th November, 3pm), and Metcalf is looking for six points to continue their challenge for honours.

Wells, with only one defeat in fourteen matches this season, which was the 2-1 FA Cup first qualifying round defeat at AFC Totton in September, can really mount a challenge if they collect six points from these two games.

Metcalf said: "After the Lordswood game we went through the after game analysis and sat the players down to talk about the Deal game, making sure the players are focused.

"It is a potential banana skin, but we will go there, like Lordswood, with a professional attitude and hopefully come away with three points.

"VCD are always a tough side and in my opinion they could possibly win the league, they are always there or there abouts.

"I believe they are a good side, a good professional unit and Mr Ford will have them wound up to come away with thee points, so just like the Ramsgate game, which we won 2-1, we have to be on our mettle and be there.

"Come out of these two games with six points and we are back in the frame."