Academic Club London 1-2 Glebe - I can bring something different to the league, says AC London boss Prince Choudary

Wednesday 23rd September 2015
Academic Club London 1 – 2 Glebe
Location Crystal Palace National Sports Stadium, Ledrington Road, Crystal Palace, London SE19 2BB
Kickoff 23/09/2015 19:45

Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League
Wednesday 23rd September 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Crystal Palace National Sports Stadium

ACADEMIC CLUB LONDON manager Prince Choudary says his side will bring flair to the Kent Invicta League this season.


A club record crowd of 125 watched the three-year-old outfit play at the Crystal Palace National Sports Stadium for the second time and AC London were the better side throughout the game.

But Glebe completed a smash-and-grab raid to climb over Gravesham Borough to reach the top of the table with 22 points after their nine league games.

Striker Maicon Zanchet came off the bench at half-time to give AC London a deserved lead early in the second half and Glebe did not look like scoring for long periods of the game.

But a howler from home keeper Jose Christovao gifted Glebe substitute Ismail Ismail an equaliser – timed at 40:34 on the clock - before striker Ryan Golding was played through on goal to grab an underserved winner with 44:43 on the clock to score his seventh goal of the season.

“We didn’t deserve to lose as you saw,” said a bitterly disappointed Choudary, 20, the club’s manager, chairman and founder.

“Not clinical enough, number one. Number two, the players’ lost discipline and our keeper gifted it to them, two goals.

“We should’ve scored way more, story of our season to be honest. Missed chances, unlucky. 

“The Referee had a good performance today, I wasn’t disappointed with that. A few iffy challenges here and there but other than that we let ourselves down today.”

AC London created the first opening of the game after only 86 seconds when Joel Ramos stung the fingers of Glebe keeper Alfie George from 20-yards.

AC London were dominating the possession during a first half that failed to create many clear cut goalscoring opportunities.

Glebe should have broken the stalemate after 12 minutes when a long ball put James Alderman through on goal but Christovao rushed off his line and smothered the midfielder’s hooked shot on goal from 12-yards.

“First half we tried to play our football but Glebe, they were just playing their typical long ball football, just like many of the other teams in the league,” said the critical home manager.

“We’re used to it! First half we dealt with it.  We tried to play our football, it was a bit stop and start but I thought we done well.

“The goalkeeper, he’s not happy with his performance. I’m not happy with his performance. Hopefully he bounces back after today but I may have to look for another keeper.”

A run from AC London’s midfielder Ray De Oliveira resulted in a long-range drive to dip over the crossbar, before Glebe missed another great chance after 25 minutes.

Another ball over the top of the home sides defence put striker Jamie Williams through on goal and he lacked composure and blasted his right-footed shot high over the bar, heading towards the players playing hockey on an artificial pitch on the other side of the stadium perimeter fencing.

Glebe midfielder Jaie Nuttall curled in a speculative free-kick out on the right from 40-yards which was sailing towards the far corner, which Christovao did well to keep his eye on the ball and palm the ball away to safety, high to his right, before Alderman drilled his right-footed volley screaming just past the foot of the right-hand post from 20-yards.

AC London almost pulled off a stunning opening goal on the stroke of half-time.

Winger Genilson Pugas was left in acres of space some 30-yards from goal so he decided to unleash a brilliant swerving drive towards the top right-hand corner with a powerful right-footed strike, forcing George to palm the ball around his left-hand post.

Choudary said: “Genilson’s a quality player. He’s played in Brazil at club level.  Playing here he’s playing superbly for us. He fits in perfectly with our style of play.  No other club would take him, he’s small, but AC London we welcome all players and he brings something different to our team. 

“We were unlucky not to get a goal but the keeper made a top save.”

Choudary says his side will bring flair to the Kent Invicta League, although they need to curb their discipline problem as they collected five yellow cards tonight.

“That’s why we bring something different to the league. We like to play our football. We don’t like to play long-ball football. These Portuguese, Brazilian players, they play like quality football, short pass and move, that’s the way it should be played and at grassroots they should be taught like this because when you go up higher level, if you look at the most successful teams in England, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea, the majority of them are foreigners so obviously you’ve got a majority of foreigners here.”

When asked what he told his players at the break, the AC London boss replied: “We changed our formation around a little bit. We went a bit more attacking. We weren’t creating enough chances or getting enough bodies in the box so we went a bit more 4-4-2, direct, but still played our football.

“I said to them, keep playing, keep our heads up, stay focused and the chances will come and if you saw the first 15 minutes we should’ve had three or four goals but we were unlucky.”

AC London failed to get in behind a Glebe defence and their best openings came from long range efforts.

Defender Leandro Amaro cracked a left-footed drive from 35-yards, which was palmed away by the Glebe keeper inside the opening three minutes of the second half.

Choudary said: “Leandro, he’s quality. He was playing last season at Croydon FC but they released him and you can see he’s an AC London type of player. He’s not your typical English type of player. He likes to play, pass, move, short passing. He’s a quality player. A great shot, he had a great game.”

Golding then hit a right-footed shot on the turn from 25-yards, which was spilt by the unconvincing AC London goalkeeper.

Glebe wide-midfielder Thomas Fitzgerald powered a right-footed free-kick high, high over the bar from 35-yards.

But AC London deservedly opened the scoring with 58 minutes on the clock through substitute Zanchet’s first goal for the club.

Abreu drilled an angled drive with his right-foot from 25-yards across George, who did well to dive low to his left to parry, but the loose ball rolled straight into Zanchet’s feet  and the striker turned his shot into the bottom right-hand corner from eight-yards.

Choudary said: “Deserved lead. Felipe was having a good game all day, good powerful shot.  Once again he’s one of our young players. A majority of these players are young as well.  Maicon, he had a tap in. He couldn’t miss that after the last chance he missed.”

The game then died flat on its face and AC London were keen to pump the ball out of play and without any ball-boys present it took a long time for the ball to come back into play.

Ismail was left on his own up front and he danced past three AC London players in and around the penalty area but due to a lack of support he ran into too many red and white shirted players and the AC London keeper was able to pick the ball up before the ball rolled out of play.

Glebe just did not look like scoring – but they turned the game on its head in the last four minutes.

Choudary pointed the finger of blame for his side’s fourth league defeat of the season solely at Christovao, who came off his line and flapped at a Connor Charlton free-kick from the left and Ismail slid his right-footed angled drive into the bottom far corner from 15-yards to accept the gift.

He said: “They didn’t look like scoring, not at all.  Our keeper, if he gifts them a goal, of course they’re going to score. It’s our keeper’s fault. They did not create nothing much. Our goalkeeper flaps at the ball, they have an open goal. Our keeper did not make many saves at all. I didn’t see many saves but our keeper is having games like that. It’s not the first time so I’ll have to find a new keeper.

“It was injustice, but what can you do? Our keeper let the team down. He knows he’s let the team down. He knows he let himself down.”

Glebe snatched the victory with a last-gasp winner, as AC London’s players lost  their heads.

Alderman played a sublime low through ball to put Golding through on goal and he raced into the penalty area before slotting his right-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner.

“To be fair to them, they’re top of the table and anyone will say we should be league’s above, where we are right now” claimed Choudary.

“But we were unlucky. We just keep letting ourselves down, that’s our problem.

“At 1-1 the boy’s heads dropped and I knew right away we were going to lose 2-1, as soon as they got the equaliser. I said there was going to be a goal. 2-1, the game’s done.  Their heads go down whenever we concede that’s why getting the first goal was important today.

“The boys have got to keep fighting and hopefully build on this game. There’s many positives, they’re top of the league, we’re eleventh right now. We outplayed them. We’re in a false league position but hopefully that will change.”

The 16,000 all-seater stadium – which only had three of their four towering floodlight pylons in use during the game – was plunged into darkness with 47:09 on the clock while an AC London player received treatment, but referee Harry Phillips called the game to a halt with 48:48 on the clock, a game that AC London should not have lost.

But Choudary must learn not to upset rival managers with disrespectful comments during his media interviews.

“The pitch is amazing, big quality pitch, unlike other pitches in the league. On this pitch the boys can play their football so that’s the most important thing.  They’re showcasing their ability and their talent and they played Glebe off the pitch! I didn’t’ see Glebe make three or four passes. They passed one, two, direct long ball, simple!

“We try to play our build-up, switch the play but once again football wasn’t the winner today – typical direct football won.

“I can bring something different to the league, that’s why I don’t like how that football’s played. I can easily get a big number 9, tell the defenders to hit him and have some fast wingers.  We can get them in but that won’t improve the team.

“When we go higher in the English non-league system we will come up against teams that are better than us but we’re not going to come up against a team that’s going to play that tika-taka style of play that I’m trying to get the boys to play.  Today they didn’t really play it but hopefully in games to come they can start gelling because you have to remember it’s our first season in semi-professional football, step six and some players don’t even know each other’s names.

“Hopefully we can have a strong second half of the season. A quarter of the season has gone, midtable for a new team is not too bad but for us it’s diabolical! It’s not good enough!”

AC London host Crockenhill on Saturday. Liam Kelly has done a great job to get the famous club in the top eight on 12 points from 8 games, two points clear of AC London.

But Choudary’s comments will certainly be pinned up on the away dressing room door on Saturday.

Choudary said: “Crockenhill, to be honest, I always expect the same typical long ball team, not really footballers because to be honest I know real footballers.  These guys are not footballers they’re facing.

“Crockenhill, I don’t know to be honest. I think their eighth in the league or something. Once again, I know what’s going to happen on Saturday. We’re going to outplay them, we’ll do the better football, we’ll probably be unlucky and who knows?”

Glebe manager Simon Copley and his assistant Ian Varley declined to comment.

Academic Club London: Jose Christovao, Joao Landim (Shaun Johnson 70), Justiniano Junior, Hugo Goncalves, Leandro Amaro, Felipe Abreu, Genilson Pugas, Alexandre Gomes (Maicon Zanchet 46), Ray De Oliveira, Joel Ramos, Josemar Gomes (Joseph Chun 58).
Subs: Wallison Luz, Duvaine Lindo

Goal: Maicon Zanchet 58

Booked: Hugo Goncalves 32, Alexandre Gomes 40, Jose Christovao 57, Genison Pugas 85, Ray De Oliveira 87

Glebe: Alfie George, Jordan Clark (Connor Charlton 86), Daniel Palfrey, James Alderman, Tunde Adeniyi,  James Day, Thomas Fitzerald, Carson Dennis, Ryan Golding, Jaie Nuttall (Ismail Ismail 40), Jamie Williams.
Subs: Peter Dale, Charlie Sharman, Ian Varley

Goals: Ismail Ismail 86, Ryan Golding 90

Booked: Ryan Golding 19, Ismail Ismail 90

Attendance: 125
Referee: Mr Harry Phillips (Dartford)
Assistants: Mr Michael Begley (Battersea, London SW8) & Mr Dan Tornbom (Borough Green)