Beckenham Town 1-0 Erith & Belvedere - I'm not going to be going for it, I want to carry on playing, says Jamie Wood

Friday 09th October 2015
Beckenham Town 1 – 0 Erith & Belvedere
Location Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3JL
Kickoff 10/10/2015 15:00

Southern Counties East Football League
Saturday 10th October 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Eden Park Avenue

JAMIE WOOD says he is not going to apply for the vacant Erith & Belvedere manager’s job following Matt Longhurst’s resignation last night.

The 37-year-old midfielder was put in charge of the team alongside under 18 manager Darren Mace (with Lewis Wood on the bench) for today’s game at Beckenham Town and the club’s four-match unbeaten run came to an end courtesy of Richmond Kissi’s eighth goal of the season 14 minutes from time.

Beckenham Town extended their unbeaten run to seven games and climb up a place into ninth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League table on 16 points from 10 games, while managerless Erith & Belvedere are one place above them with 17 points from 12 league outings.

“I got a call yesterday at five o’clock on my way home from work from Matt saying he’s been speaking to East Grinstead and he was on his way down there, as he phoned me to see if he was going to make a final decision or if he was going to leave or not, he said he’ll let me know later,” revealed Wood after the game.

“He said he recommended that I take over for today with Macey and then about eight o’clock I think he phoned me to say he’s accepted it and that he was resigning .

“It was not panic stations but last minute preparations, not the ideal preparation that we would’ve wanted but that’s football for you. Nothing stands still in football, it’s changing all the time, so that’s the bottom line of it really.”

When asked the duration of his tenure in charge of the club, Wood replied:” Just for today! Matt recommended to John (McFadden, the club’s chairman) that I’ll take over for today.  I know how we’re playing, set-pieces etc, etc, so probably the experienced one it was quite an obvious choice.

“As for what happens after today, that’s out of my hands. John’s back in the country I think on Tuesday so I’m sure the job will be advertised and I’m sure there will be quite strong candidates that go for the job. It’s a big club, it’s one of the biggest in the league so it’s not going to be short of offers.

“I’m not going to be going for it. I want to carry on playing for the time being so I don’t want to get involved on that side to be honest with you so the decision, it’ll be down to John on Tuesday what happens really.”

Wood revealed he kept the players in the dark ahead of their game at Beckenham Town today.

“I didn’t mention anything that had gone on,” said Wood.  “I didn’t want to let it interrupt our preparation. All I asked from the boys in there was to give me 100% and go out and do what we’ve been doing for the last six games, play well, keep the ball and try to win the game.  Unfortunately it didn’t go our way today.

“I think a draw would’ve been a fair result. We both had half-chances. It was a half chance goal that they’ve scored but at the end of the day that’s football for you.”

Beckenham Town’s assistant manager Jason Clews, meanwhile, was delighted with the clean sheet that he demanded after their high-quality 1-1 draw against second-placed Erith Town on Wednesday night.

“Very well done today boys, defended well from the back,” said Clews, now with manager Jason Huntley back in the dug-out following a spell of illness that made him cancel a family holiday away.

“I thought Tamar (Bilal) and Adam Allen had a really good game in defence, really defended really well, just can’t praise then enough.

“We said we wanted a clean sheet. We’ll create chances and obviously again not taking a couple more but a 1-0 win, we’ll take that all day long.”

Despite Longhurst departing to take up his first job in the Ryman League Division One South, Erith & Belvedere shaded the first half.

Right-back Joe Minter went close with a right-footed free-kick from 30-yards, which dipped just over the Beckenham Town crossbar after only 104 seconds of the game, watched by a crowd of 85 at Eden Park Avenue on Non-League Day.

The game then turned into a midfield battle with both sides guilty of trying to play a Hollywood pass towards a team-mate but failing to find their man.

“It was a bit slow. I thought we were a bit slow off the blocks today again,” admitted Clews.

“We went back to the formation we started on Wednesday. We changed a few players around, brought in (Harry) Draper today, which gives us a bit of legs in the middle as well.

“It took about 15-20 minutes to get into the game. I think then we started to create a bit more chances. We kept the ball well. I think possession wise for the whole 90 minutes, I thought we had a lot of it.”

Erith & Belvedere impressed down the left during the first half with left-back Ryan Khanye and winger Andreas Felipe Losado Tobon linking up well before Tobon skipped past right-back Jamie Turner to reach the final third, but his deep cross sailed over Alfie Nunn’s head at the far post.

Denzel Gayle, who impressed down the right wing for the away side, cut inside and centred low for Nunn, who dragged his shot across goal and Turner cleared his lines.

But after a slow opening 20 minutes, Erith & Belvedere eased themselves into the game looking the better side.

“That’s the way we play, we do try to be patient,” said Wood. “We do start again. The ball does go back to the goalkeeper. We want to keep the ball. We want to draw teams out of their positions which we did a few times today. We got in the back of them and we had a couple of half chances.”

Colin Richmond floated over a cross from the right towards an unmarked Nunn at the far post but he took too many touches inside the box and Turner was on hand to deny his former team-mate.

But Beckenham Town almost grabbed the lead just before the half-hour mark.

Turner drove the ball up field down the right to release striker Jamie Humphries, who got in behind Khanye, cut inside and his right-footed chip from 15-yards sailed over Rilwan Anibaba’s right shoulder and bounced off the crossbar.

Clews said: “There was a bit of skill from Humphries. I think he turned the defender and tried chipping Rilwan, but the bar kept it out, again another chance!”

Wood added: “I think Ryan might’ve got caught out of position halfway up and they’ve got in behind and he’s had a go with a little chip.  If I’m honest with you, I don’t expect Rilwan to get beat from there. I think he had his angles and the height covered and I think Humphries was going for it there.”

That effort lived up proceedings and Erith & Belvedere ran at the Beckenham defence with Diego DaSilva, who threated the ball inside to Nunn, but his left-footed shot lacked power and was comfortably collected by Moore.

Beckenham Town squandered an excellent chance to break the deadlock in the 32nd minute as they raced immediately up the other end.

Humphries now found himself down the left channel and he put over a cross, which was headed away by Ben Wilson and Hassan Jalloh blazed over his first time shot as the ball dropped.

“He went off the game today. He’s touch let him down but he still showed glimpses of skill beating players but I think his final ball was a bit off the game today,” Clews said of Jalloh.

A smart save from Beckenham Town keeper Moore denied Erith & Belvedere the opening goal.

DaSilva played a lovely pass to put Tobon through on goal and his left-footed shot was spilt by Moore at his near post, before the keeper gobbled up the ball.

Wood said: “I think Andreas will be disappointed there.  I think he should’ve buried that.  He’s new to us, he made his debut last week. Similar sort of thing, played in, cut back inside and he’ll probably be disappointed. He should’ve scored today but again that’s the way it goes. The keeper’s made a good save.”

Clews added: “He’s coming out with some good saves Lewis.  Very pleased with a clean sheet for him again because he deserves it because he’s made a few good saves in the last few weeks and the defence helped him out quite a bit today.”

Minter drove in a corner from the right which sailed over to an unmarked
George Benner, who produced a central defender’s finish by smashing his hooked volley over the bar from eight-yards.

Wood said: “Maybe the ball that falls to George falls to Alfie (Nunn) we probably go 1-0 up but unfortunately it’s come to George and he’s skied it over the bar! George’s not renowned for his goalscoring.”

Beckenham Town went close four minutes before the break.

Turner  drove a sublime diagonal pass with his right-foot which sailed over Jalloh’s head on the corner of the penalty area to find Harry Draper, who latched onto the ball behind him.  Draper whipped in a cross towards the far post for Humphries to hook his stinging volley into Anibaba’s hands.

Another corner from Minter was palmed away by Moore and DaSilva was just about to place his shot into the bottom right-hand corner, but Turner was on the line to clear the ball away.

Wood created the last chance of the first half when he played the ball inside to DaSilva, who clipped his shot straight into Moore’s hands from 25-yards.

“We told the back four really just to defend as a back four and let them score a cracking goal if they’re going to have to and that was the case today,” said Clews.

“They didn’t really get past us a lot. I thought their right winger (Denzel Gayle), who was a pacy lad again, Marlon (Patterson) dealt with him today as opposed to Wednesday night when he had a bit more trouble. All four of them defended really well.”

Both were asked their thought at the break.

Clews said: “Just said to them ‘keep playing the way we are, obviously keep possession, get them turned in the first 15-20 minutes of the second half’

“We created a chance in the first minute so it was a good start in the second half for us.”

Wood added: “Nothing to be fair.  I don’t think we had to say much. We was playing well, we was dictating play. We probably needed to speed things up a little bit. I let the guys address themselves. I said to Rilwan, I want him to dictate the pace. If he feels he wants to slow it down, we told him to do that so we can’t have a moan at them.

“I said to them ‘keep doing what we’re doing, if we get a half chance then we’ll maybe nick it 1-0.’  If we might’ve scored we might’ve won it but that’s football.”

When asked how he coped with his player-caretaker role, Wood called upon his younger brother Lewis for guidance from the technical area.

“That’s why I got my brother to come down today, just to have someone there that can work alongside Macey, give his opinion.  On the pitch you can’t always see what’s going on so it’s good to have someone else’s opinion. We had a little chat as I walked off at half-time saying when we get the ball down we’re not getting enough bodies in the area so we said to Diego to get around Alfie when Denzel’s got the ball out wide and make sure Andreas and Diago were in the box with Alfie.  At times he was in the box with five (Beckenham) players around him.”

Beckenham Town were the better side during the second half, creating their first opening after only 17 seconds.

Draper buzzed his way down the right channel and floated over a cross towards the near post where Kissi hooked a volley towards the right-hand corner from 16-yards, which was saved by Anibaba.

Clews said: “It’s another chance! We just create chances for fun. I think it’s all about taking them. We’re not doing it but we’ll take one and a 1-0 win!”

Wood admitted: “I think we came out of the traps too slow in the second half. Near enough from the start they’ve got on the end of it and had a half chance.

“I think that’s probably the guys needing a bit of a kick up our rear ends then we got slowly back into it.

“We started dictating the play and it was a good game of football. Both teams wanted to play. You probably won’t get a better game of football in this league today I don’t think. Very rarely it got lumped up top. It was a good game.”

Jalloh then went on a run forward and space opened up in front of him and the 12-goal Beckenham striker hit his right-footed half-volley over the bar from 25-yards.

Draper was then seen punching the ground in disgust after hooking his acrobatic volley wide after meeting Jalloh’s cross from the right.

Beckenham Town missed another chance in the 52nd minute when Nunn skied his shot over the bar from 8-yards after Turner’s deep cross.

Erith & Belvedere striker Nunn stroked his right-footed drive towards the far corner from 20-yards, which forced Moore to dive to his left to make a save after DaSilva, Wood and Gayle linked up.

Adam Allen, who slotted in the heart of Beckenham’s defence alongside Tamar Bilal, clipped a precise pass into Humphries, who brought the ball down under control with his chest before flashing his right-footed drive past the diving keeper and post from 25-yards.

Clews was full of praise for the highly-rated former Croydon ball player, who should be playing at a higher level of football.

“He’s done us a favour today coming in at centre half because we had two people pull out (Adam Wadmore and Justin Hemmings), both who fill in at centre half.  I think he’s been doing really well in midfield, Adam for us, but he’s done a job for us and him and Tamar, outstanding.”

Just past the hour-mark, Minter took a touch before whipping in a cross into the Beckenham box, which was headed away by Allen and Gayle lashed his volley well wide.

Anibaba was called into action in the 66th minute when his fingers were stung by Jalloh’s right-footed drive from 25-yards after the Beckenham striker turned Minter and cut into the box.

Anibaba then rushed off his line to bravely smother at Humphries’ feet after being played in by Kissi’s fine pass.

Humphries cracked a low left-footed angled drive from the corner of the penalty area and Anibaba dived low to his left to hold on to the ball beside the foot of his near post.

But Beckenham Town claimed the victory with a controversial winner with 76 minutes on the clock.

Turner played a free-kick down the right to feed Humphries. His initial low shot was blocked and his second was dragged across the face of goal and an unmarked Kissi tapped the ball into the bottom left-hand corner from two-yards out despite appearing to be in an offside position.

Both were asked whether they thought Kissi was in an offside position as he scored against one of his former clubs.

Clews said: “Possibly! From the dug-out it’s the wrong angle to see that so we’ll take it though but in other games they might be given and some don’t so we’ll take that.”

It marks the 32nd goal being scored by Beckenham’s front three. Kissi has now scored eight goals, Humphries and Jalloh have 12 each.

Clews added: “Should be more! I think we probably should be in the 40 mark if we’re taking them.  I’m pleased for Kissi, he’s getting his goals.”

When asked whether the club have received any seven-day approaches from other clubs for their highly-rated players, Clews replied: “Hopefully not!  Haven’t heard anything. The players are really happy here at the moment. There’s a great team spirit here. They have a bit of banter with each other when chances are being missed by Hass, Kissi or Humphries. They all stick together.”

Wood added: “I’ve come off then, I’ll probably be honest, we’re a bit slow sometimes when the ball goes dead. We’re not lively enough and I think did Jamie have a shot and it got deflected and then he’s picked up the second ball again so we should’ve dealt with the second ball better.

“We didn’t react and Richmond’s been doing that since he’s playing alongside me for a few years. He’s a sniffer.

“If it was offside?  I don’t know, I can’t see from there. Was the linesman influenced with what went on five or ten minutes earlier? I don’t know. I can’t see from over there.”

Erith & Belvedere started to press for an equaliser as soon as they brought on substitute Adam Marsh.

Wood said: “I thought we needed to change it up a little bit. We put Marshy in there as a like for like for Diego and once we went one down we went 4-4-2 to get two up there. I thought Marshy done well when we came on and him and Alfie up top might be a threat for whoever wants to look forward to the next few games.”

Gayle fed Marsh in the final seven minutes, the striker cracking a powerful right-footed dipping drive which only just cleared the crossbar.

Minter’s long ball then released Marsh but he dragged his shot and Turner was on hand to clear the ball away again.

Beckenham’s hero Kissi went close to killing the game off inside the final three minutes.

Substitute Sam O’Keefe played the ball into Humphries, who set up Kissi, who curled his left-footed shot towards the far corner, the ball being clawed away by Anibaba, diving to his left.

But Erith & Belvedere almost snatched a last-gasp equaliser when Minter’s right-footed free-kick from 20-yards deflected just past the top right-hand corner and into the side netting.

Wood added: “Minter’s had a free-kick, it took a deflection and the keeper was rooted to his spot. We kept trying, we kept plugging away, but unfortunately it weren’t our day today.”

Beckenham Town travel to seventh-placed Corinthian on Tuesday night and Clews revealed the club are still searching for a training ground.

“They play football like the way we do so it will be a tough game for us. We’ll look forward to that. The pitch is very similar to ours so we’ll play our normal way, get the ball down, quick and pacy and get them turned and they’ll probably do the same.

“It’s hard for us as well because at the moment we haven’t got a training facility so we’re not training so it’s just taking the midweek games that’s helping us out at the moment with our fitness.  It seems to be working at the moment but we are looking for a facility to train.

“It’s too dark to train over there (on our second pitch at the ground) so we’re in contact with a few places at the moment and we’re just waiting to hear.  As soon as that comes in we’ll be training.”

Anything can happen between now and Erith & Belvedere’s next game – away to Kent Invicta League side Sutton Athletic in the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Second Round in seven days’ time.

Wood said: “I don’t really know what’s going to go on.  Matt’s got players that he likes here they’ll probably go with him. You can’t blame players if they want to go to a higher team.  You want to play as high as you possibly can and earn a bit of money here and there.  Maybe a few of them will go.  I don’t really know what’s going to go on in the next 24 hours, 48 hours, week, two weeks. It’s going to be pretty up in the air at the moment at Erith & Belvedere, which the club’s used to it unfortunately.

“John (McFadden) will deal with it his best way. He’ll be looking to get a manager in so East Grinstead is not really any of my concern or the club’s concern at the moment.”

Wood hinted that he will be wearing the blue and white shirt next weekend.

“Where do I see myself? I’ll probably be playing if I’m honest with you. Hopefully by then John might’ve got somebody in.  You never know in football, it’s a funny old game. Things can change from one day to the next. We’ll just have to see what happens in the next few days.”

Sutton Athletic go into the game sitting in the top four in the Kent Invicta League table with seven wins and two league defeats – 10 points adrift of leaders Glebe.

Wood said: “When you play a cup game, there could be an upset.  Sutton will come out of the blocks, they’ll be looking to get one over on us being a big club that we are, but we’ve just got to go in and do what we’ve done today, do what we’ve done in the last four or five games and hopefully we’ll turn them over and get a result.”

Meanwhile, just to clear things up, Erith & Belvedere now have two Jamie Taylor’s in their first team.  Jamie D Taylor, who came on as substitute today is the former Beckenham player, while Jamie L Taylor, is a recent acquisition from Whitstable Town.

Beckenham Town: Lewis Moore, Jamie Turner, Marlon Patterson, Adam Allen, Tamar Bilal, Harry Draper (Sam O’Keefe 82), Aziz Kanu, James Marshall, Richmond Kissi (Tyrone Guthrie 90), Jamie Humphries, Hassan Jalloh (Jake Hobbs).
Subs: Kristian Robinson, Arron Williams

Goal: Richmond Kissi 76

Erith & Belvedere: Rilwan Anibaba, Joe Minter, Ryan Khanye, Colin Richmond, Ben Wilson, George Benner, Diego DaSilva (Adam Marsh 77), Jamie Wood (Jamie D Taylor 70), Denzel Gayle, Alfie Nunn, Andreas Felipe Losada Tobon (Chris Hubbard 72).
Subs: Jake McIntyre, Jamie L Taylor

Booked: Rilwan Anibaba 76, Adam Marsh 78

Attendance: 85
Referee: Mr Glen Childs (Ashford)
Assistants: Mr Manuel Harris (Coulsdon, Surrey) & Mr Esono Nsang (Greenwich, London SE10)