Beckenham Town 0-1 Ashford United - There's loads more to come from us, says Ashford United boss Tommy Warrilow

Saturday 24th August 2019
Beckenham Town 0 – 1 Ashford United
Location Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3JL
Kickoff 24/08/2019 15:00

The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 24 August 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Eden Park Avenue

ASHFORD UNITED boss Tommy Warrilow says there’s more to come from his side after knocking Beckenham Town out of The FA Cup in the Preliminary Round.

The Nuts & Bolts sealed their place in the First Qualifying Round in two weeks’ time thanks to centre-half Mohammed Kamara scoring the only goal of a poor game in 28 degree heat at Eden Park Avenue.

Ashford United defender Mohammed Kamara (yellow) settles this FA Cup Preliminary Round tie.
Photo: Alan Coomes

Ashford United opened their Isthmian League South East Division campaign with a 2-1 win at Phoenix Sports last weekend, while this was Jason Huntley’s side fifth completed game of the season.

Beckenham Town are in seventh-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division and came away from Raynes Park Vale with a 4-3 win in the Extra Preliminary Round 14 days ago.

The sultry temperatures ensured neither side could play the game at a high tempo, as Beckenham Town were by far the side that they were during an impressive first half performance against Glebe in midweek, which they lost 3-1 to suffer their first defeat of the season.

Beckenham Town assistant manager Billy Walton said: “Really disappointing to be honest with you.  I thought we were the better side, marginally on the day.

“We dealt with their tactics pretty good, snuffed the long ball out and the feeds off Jay May and David Smith, we snuffed him out really well so everything went to plan.

“I think what’s cost us is another poor refereeing decision. It was a foul on us (Harvey Brand) by the far corner, a blatant push in the back. It’s a foul and from that they’ve crossed the ball and scored. It baffles me.”

“It’s the old saying, the most important thing was the result,” admitted Warrilow.

“It was a really hot day. Listen, they’re a good team as well. It’s alright saying we’re a league above or whatever but we knew we would have a really hard game here today and we did.

“We made life difficult for ourselves in the first half, our play could’ve been more inventive at times but overall second half I think was a bit better but there’s more to come from us.

“We knocked it about well and played some good football at times. It’s just that end product but listen the most important thing is to keep in this competition for as long as possible for financial reasons so a clean-sheet as well, two games and two wins, it’s a good start.”

Right-winger Stefan Cox was a threat to Ashford United during the first half and he played the ball out to right-wing-back Harvey Brand, who took a touch before whipping in a cross, which was sliced clear by Tashi-Jay Kwayie and Mathieu Ramsamy’s looping header was comfortably caught by visiting keeper Sam Mott inside the opening eight minutes.

Ashford United took 19 minutes to create their first opening when left-winger Hassan Ibrahiym played the ball inside to Lee Prescott, who teed up holding midfielder Danny Walder, who scuffed a low right-footed drive flashing harmlessly wide of the mark from 35-yards.

Ashford United had two shots on target during the entire game and they almost grabbed the lead in the 24th minute.

Kamara played the ball out of defence to Kwaiye, who played the ball on the outside to right-back Jerald Aboagye, who released Kamara on the overlap.  He slipped the ball inside to otherwise quiet striker David Smith, who rolled his shot past Lewis Moore but Mudiagha Wanogho got back to clear the ball away from inside his own six-yard box.

Warrilow said: “You’re scratching around first half. We got into some good areas but the end product just wasn’t right.  Listen, it will come.  The good thing is we’ve got a real closeness in the camp. There’s not a lot between any of the players, they all perform well and are all capable of starting so it’s good for me to keep them on their toes. It’s good for them to fight for their place.”

Walton said: “I thought it was stalemate but there again I thought we dealt with all of their tactics and we let them have the ball at the back. Everything they done we just snuffed out. I thought we created far the better chances to score than they did.

“I think it’s the only shot they had in the first half and I think second half dare I say, they’re the superior side in a higher league and one of the fancied sides in that league.

“Listen, we’ve got a good side down here and sooner or later one team is going to get absolutely spanked when we take our chances.”

Beckenham Town centre-half Rob Carter – who often won the aerial battle against Ashford United target-man Jay May – clipped the ball over the top to hit the right-channel to put in Ramsamy – but he lashed his shot into the side netting from 15-yards.

The impressive Kamara played a sublime through ball which split open Carter, Wanogho and Ike Robertson – Beckenham’s three centre-halves – but Smith wasted his opportunity by lashing his left-footed shot over the crossbar in a central position from 25-yards out.

Beckenham left-wing-back Archie Johnson swung in their first corner of the game in from the right but Brand rose to flick his header across goal and past a crowd of players from 10-yards out.

Beckenham Town squandered a glorious chance to smash the stalemate in the 39th minute.

Robertson threw the ball to Shameek Farrell, who knocked the ball down for Cox to hit a first time right-footed drive towards the bottom near corner from 25-yards, forcing Sam Mott to dive low to his right to make a comfortable save.

Walton said: “It was a good little move from us and a worked effort.

“He’s a good goalkeeper Sam. I don’t personally know him but I know off him. He’s played for some good club’s and he’s made a good save, one or two good saves for them actually today. He’s very comfortable in the air.

Warrilow said: “I think that’s all really though, there wasn’t a great deal, the same for us but really I’m trying to think of any clear-cut chances in the first half.

“It was a bit of a stalemate. It was a bit like we were both waiting for someone to score to liven the game up.”

Beckenham Town missed another great chance to take a deserved lead on the stroke of half-time.

Brand and Ramsamy linked up before Bertie Valler played the ball into Farrell, who flashed his left-footed angled drive across the keeper and just past the foot of the far post from 16-yards, the ball taking a deflection as it went out for a corner.

Walton felt that was the chance that should have been taken.

He said: “That’s the one! He scored Wednesday night against Glebe, the same thing.  If he hits the target he’ll score. It’s just unfortunate he never hit the target. He pulled it a bit but he should’ve scored really from there.”

When asked his thoughts at the break, Walton replied: “We came in and we were really comfortable.  We were comfortable with everything that they threw at us, which I don’t think was a lot to be honest with you.

“We said they’re not going to change the tactic otherwise Jay May’s going to remain on the pitch. All the time he’s on the pitch they’re going to aim for him and that’s what they continued to do.

“What we said to them as well was don’t drop too deep, stay doing what we were doing because it was all going well for us. I think we saw out the match really well.”

Warrilow said: “I think the two teams cancelled each other out a little bit in the first half.

“I wanted us to take the initiative a little bit more and to take the game to them and I thought we did that more in the second half.

“They hit us more on counter-attacks than open play.  I thought we got control of the ball and kept possession better in the second half.  We just didn’t unlock them, our final ball was either a little bit too heavy or not the right choice of pass but I thought the second half was improved.

“I just wanted to be a bit more inventive and a bit more confident and a bit more belief in each other going forward.”

Ashford United upped their performance in the second half but May and Smith failed to impress up top as Beckenham’s three-centre-halves had them both in their pockets.

Ibrahiym cut a corner back to Walder, who put a first time ball into the Beckenham box and the ball looped up and McIntyre looped his header into Moore’s hands for a routine catch.

Beckenham Town went route-one when Wanogho was in the right-back position before drilling a long ball along the deck to release Ramsamy, who arrowed his run and brushed past last-defender Aboagye but slipped just inside the box and his effort rolled into Sam Mott’s hands.

“These little things, those little fine margins. You picked out another instance there where if he doesn’t slip over he gets a good shot off and maybe scores. It’s just little fine margins for us at the moment that are not quite going our way but they’ll turn,” said Walton.

Ashford United sealed the victory by scoring the only goal of the game with 11 minutes and 17 seconds on the clock.

Walder launched a throw into the Beckenham box from the right, May found a pocket of space at the near post to control the ball inside the box before playing the ball back to Walder, who whipped in a cross, which resulted in Prescott in teeing up Kamara, who drove a low right-footed shot through a crowd of players from 25-yards, which flat-footed keeper Moore as the ball nestled into the back of the net.

“To be honest, I’m not going to say it, we worked on all of the set-pieces and long throw on Thursday night and hopefully the boys believe in them a little bit more because you do your runs and stay in your areas. That’s about second and third balls and you get your just rewards,” said Warrilow.

Walton added: “I think it took a deflection but there again Harvey Brand got fouled 30 seconds before. It was a blatant push on him and the ball’s worked to Kamara on the edge of the box and he’s shot through a crowded goalmouth and I thought it took a slight deflection and the goalkeeper’s stranded.

“Was it the only shot they had on target? They had a few 30-yarders that flew over the top but listen if someone cracks one in from 30-yards fair play to him but nine times out of 10 at this level it sails in to the garden!”

The goal lifted Warrilow’s men and Kamara roamed forward again and slipped the ball to Kwayie, who unleashed a deflected drive from 25-yards, which was comfortably saved by the former Dagenham & Redbridge second-choice goalkeeper.

Ibrahiym’s hanging left-wing corner was headed clear by Valler and the ball came out to McIntyre who cracked a left-footed drive from 35-yards, which was plucked out of the air by both hands raised above his head by Moore.

Ashford United hit another long-range drive from similar range just 48 seconds later when Smith and Ibrahiym linked up and Walder was in space to hit his right-footed drive dipping just over the crossbar.

Beckenham Town threw on strikers Ryan Hall and Steve Townsend for the final 10 minutes as they switched formation to 4-3-3 as they went in search of an equaliser.

However, this wasn’t a game for strikers as neither team’s front men impressed on the day and Ashford United’s left-back McIntyre kept Cox quiet down the right with a much better performance during the second half.

“Stefan’s not going to be effective the whole game. He’ll have little spells, you can’t produce time and time and time again so the others have got to chip in and I thought the others chipped in,” said Walton.

“It wasn’t really about keeping him quiet or anything. We kept him quiet because they didn’t give him the ball or he didn’t get the ball,” added Warrilow.

“I wasn’t really concerned about any of the players’ individually. It’s what we do as a team, so I was more concerned about the ball over the top between the two centre-halves more than any other individual.”

Beckenham winger Farrell found a pocket of space some 30-yards from goal and he cut the ball onto his left-foot to drill his shot towards goal, forcing Sam Mott to dive to his right to tip the ball behind for a corner.

“That’s what I say to you, that’s what goalkeeper’s are there for,” said Walton.

“If it was at the other end I wouldn’t congratulate them.  That’s what you’re there for, what you get paid for, stopping the ball going in the net and he’s pulled off a god save, he’s a good goalkeeper.”

Warrilow added: “We should’ve cleared our lines. We got caught on the ball, we’ve done that a lot today but Motty is different gear and I expect him to save them.”

Valler swung in the resulting corner from the left towards the far post but Brand steered his header past the near post but unimpressive Ashford United just did enough to progress.

“But the boys’ gave their all and we’ve got a clean sheet and we’ve got the win, which is the most pleasing thing in these games,” said Warrilow.

Ashford United have banked £2,890 in prize money, while Beckenham Town will bank £960 in losing prize money to go with the £2,250 they banked from their earlier win.

“The most important thing is to chalk off every game one at a time and that’s what I’ll be doing, so we’ve got Three Bridges (away) on Monday. I might freshen it up, I might not, but that’s the beauty. They are so close now, there’s more options.

“We’re sort of 50-60% at the moment, there’s still loads and loads and loads more so if we do that when we’re winning games then that’s a positive.”

Beckenham Town at least deserved a second bite of the cherry but they look to bounce back when Erith Town visit Eden Park Avenue on Bank Holiday Monday, 26 August (15:00).

“I’m usually disappointed but I thought the wrong team lost today or the wrong team went through,” admitted Walton.

“But listen, if we got to the Final and we was playing West Ham, I would want West Ham to win. I’m glad we ain’t going to the Final!”

With back-to-back defeats, Beckenham Town must hit the training ground to work on their finishing.

“You think to yourself if there’s a lot of problems or whatever? There’s not! Did Ashford really have a chance, a gilt-edged chance? We did! We had two or three. When you see Tommy Warrilow’s side are big, strong, tough, defensively strong and we’ve broken them down and cut them open a few times, I’m really pleased.”

Walton, meanwhile, urges the club to use their FA prize money and go out for a curry to build team morale.

“£960 I think is a different between me having naan bread or a popadom so I’ll order naan bread tonight, if I can get the money off them.”

Walton, meanwhile, apologised for not sending out any one of their four-strong management team for the press conference following their 3-1 home defeat to Glebe in midweek.

“Just clear that up with Glebe and sincere apologies from everyone at the club for not coming out and speaking to you. It was never my intension. Win, lose or draw and it was a bit of a miss-communication from my part. We’ve always got time for you Steve!”

Beckenham Town: Lewis Moore, Harvey Brand, Archie Johnson, Rob Carter (Ryan Hall 80), Mudiagha Wanogho Ike Robertson, Stefan Cox, Bertie Valler, Mathieu Ramsamy (Malik Nosike 74), Andrew Mott (Steve Townsend 80), Shameek Farrell.
Subs: Billy Martins, Junior Kaffo, Kiki Oshilaja, Glenn Clarke

Booked: Stefan Cox 4

Ashford United: Sam Mott, Jerald Aboagye, Jake McIntyre, Danny Walder, Josh Wisson, Mohammed Kamara, Tashi-Jay Kwayie (Ramell Lake 64), Lee Prescott, Jay May, David Smith (Levi Gold 75), Hassan Ibrahiym (Zak Henry 75).
Subs: Brandon McCarthy, Tom O’Connor, Theodore Osinfouarin, Lee Hook

Goal: Mohammed Kamara 57

Booked: Jerald Aboagye 29, Jake McIntyre 71

Attendance: 60
Referee: Mr Simon Bell (Ilford, Essex)
Assistants: Mr Peter Panayiotou (Enfield, Middlesex) &
Mr Yashar Yetka (Barnet, London EN4)