Beckenham Town 1-1 Erith Town - We created a lot of chances but we just didn't take them, says Beckenham Town assistant Jason Clews

Wednesday 07th October 2015
Beckenham Town 1 – 1 Erith Town
Location Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3JL
Kickoff 07/10/2015 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League
Wednesday 7th October 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Eden Park Avenue

BECKENHAM TOWN assistant manager Jason Clews rued his side’s numerous missed chances during a thrilling end-to-end game against Erith Town.

A crowd of 110 were treated to an excellent game of football between two sides that loved keeping the ball on the lush playing surface at Eden Park Avenue - just the way the beautiful game should be played!

Erith Town, who would have leapfrogged over Hollands & Blair to reach the summit of the Southern Counties East Football League table with a victory tonight, started the game on the front foot.

But Beckenham Town grabbed the lead against the run of play through a brilliant curling strike from striker Hassan Jalloh – his 12th goal of the season.

Right-winger Ola Rabiu capped off an impressive performance by curling his shot into the far corner to give Erith Town a second half equaliser.

Clews was in charge of Beckenham as manager Jason Huntley was suffering with illness and he said: “Disappointing, points dropped.  We didn’t start too well. I probably got the tactics wrong, the formation wrong for the first 10-15 minutes but after that we changed it up and got into the game.

“We went a goal ahead, a bit disappointed in the way we conceded as well.

“It was good counter-attacking football from both sides, which is why we got caught on the break for the goal.  It was probably the only shot that was on target or beat the keeper in the second half.

“I think in the first half they had quite a few chances and they could’ve been two or three-nil up in the first ten minutes. It was end-to-end stuff!”

Erith Town’s joint-manager Joe Ford added: “Fair result to be honest with you. I thought both teams played some really good stuff tonight but overall, one-all, I can’t complain.”

Beckenham’s front three have now scored 31 goals between them and Ford added: “When we played them down at our place, they had a real threat going forward.  Every time they got the ball when we played them at home they looked like they were going to score so we had to guard the boys against that tonight.  I thought we defended quite well tonight if I’m being honest with you.

“I thought the first 15-20 minutes, I thought it was all us. After they scored they had the ball for a little while and I thought we defended really well up until half-time and then again second half I thought the first 20-30 minutes was all us and then they started to come on top a little bit towards the end.”

Tenth-placed Beckenham Town went into the game on the back of four straight wins on a five match unbeaten run, but second-placed Erith Town, who were knocked out of The FA Vase by Kent Invicta League side Bridon Ropes at the weekend, started the game as the dominant force.

The Dockers won the ball back following Beckenham Town’s kick-off and striker Tom Garrick raced down the right before playing the ball into Rabiu and his shot from a tight angle was blocked by the legs of Beckenham keeper Lewis Moore after only 42 seconds.

Jalloh then cut inside from the left and unleashed a right-footed angled drive from a long way out, stinging the fingers of Dockers’ keeper Joe Hagan.

Former Bolton Wanderers player Tom Youngs was seeing plenty of ball down the left channel and he made Erith Town tick, along with Rabiu.

Beckenham keeper Moore shouted out at right-back Jamie Taylor to prevent a cross from Youngs, but the ball flashed across the face of the penalty area and Rabiu retrieved the ball and cut it back to Reece Deakin, whose first time drive was cleared off the line.

Moore then produced a great diving save to his right to prevent Richard Morgan’s deflected right-footed drive from 25-yards finding the left-hand corner after 19 minutes.

Clews said: “Very good save from Lewis. He’s been doing very well. He was quite busy in the first half as supposed to the second half when I don’t think he’s had to make a save really in the second half.”

Ford added: “Great strike. Morgs gets into those areas of the pitch. He’s got a great strike on him.  You’ve probably seen him hit a couple of diag’s tonight as well.  He’s got that in his locker. He can ping a ball for fun.”

Beckenham Town weathered the storm and ventured forward with right-back Jamie Turner, who played a one-two with Adam Allen, before sweeping his left-footed curler towards the top far corner from 30-yards, which was comfortably plucked out of the air by Hagan, high to his right.

Beckenham Town drew first blood by taking the lead against the run of play with 26 minutes and 8 seconds on the clock.

Clews said that Jalloh – who has the qualities to be playing at a higher level of football – produced some magic with the goal.

He sprinted down the left channel, cut inside and wrapped his right-footed around the ball to curl his shot around the keeper to find the far corner of the net – from outside the penalty area.

Clews said: “There was no build-up.  It was a counter-attack.  First 15-20 minutes we weren’t in the game. When we went to a 4-4-2 we went into the game. That’s when we was looking dangerous, especially with Hass (Jalloh). He was a danger until I brought him off because he’s got a little bit of an ankle knock.

“He does a bit of magic. It was a very good strike. It was a great goal.  We’ve got three quality forwards and they’re all on fire at the moment, but chances, I’ve probably lost count. I’ll probably could count them on two hands the amount of one-on-one’s we had and we hit the bar as well at the end.”

Ford added: “Great finish to put them 1-0 up.  He’s taken on our full-back, nicked past Luke Coleman, probably thought Luke could’ve made a tackle there and got in there a little bit quicker there, but he’s used his pace well to nip around him and he’s cut inside and found a little bit of space to finish.  It’s a great finish.”

Erith Town responded by calling Moore into making a comfortable save through Deakin’s right-footed drive, which stung the keeper’s fingers following a move involving Youngs and Tom Garrick.

But a string of smart saves from visiting keeper Hagan kept Erith Town in the game after the half-hour mark as Beckenham Town started to dominate.

Ford was full of praise for his number one.

“He’s my man-of-the-match tonight. I know that seems silly with some of the football both teams played tonight. I thought it was a good game and credit to the Southern Counties League tonight. The game was played all-passing football. 

“Joe’s kept us in the game there; he’s kept us in the game on a couple of occasions tonight.”

Jalloh found himself on the left hand side of the penalty area and his chip was cleared out to Richmond Kissi, whose right-footed shot was blocked by Hagan, who 13 seconds later dived to his right to prevent Aziz Kanu drilling home a right-footed pile-driver from 30-yards.

Allen – another player who should be playing at a higher level of football with calmness playing the ball out from his defence – put Jalloh through on goal and Hagan used his legs to make the block.

Kissi played the ball into Jalloh, whose reverse pass put Kissi through on goal but Hagan rushed off his line to make a smart block in the 41st minute.

Clews said: “Very pleased with the way we’ve come back into the game after the first 15 minutes.  The chances that you’ve just mentioned, we created quite a lot but we just didn’t take them. 

“It was the same at their ground when we played them a few weeks ago (Erith Town winning 3-2 on 12 September). We was 1-0 up, had many chances, could’ve been five or six nil up at half-time but if you don’t take your chances they come back to bite you on the a**e and that’s probably what happened tonight.

“We should’ve taken a few more chances and that’s what happens in football.”

Deakin swept the ball out wide to Rabiu, who sprinted past Marlon Patterson down the right and once inside the penalty area, the Erith Town central midfielder cracked a rasping drive which sailed just over the crossbar.

Erith Town created the last chance of an entertaining half when Youngs cut the ball across the face of the box for Morgan to curl his shot around the far post from 18-yards.

Clews revealed that he apologised to his players’ during the half-time break to admit he got things wrong.

He said: “I apologised to them at half-time because the way we set up, I got it wrong.  They adapted well and I just told them to carry on with the way they were playing, just get at them with pace through Hass, Kissi and Humphries.”

Ford added: “We said just keep doing what they were doing. I thought we played some really, really good football when we was on top, probably a little bit of a lack of concentration, lack of effort, maybe a lack of quality in the final third but I thought some of the football we played in the first half for the opening 20 minutes, I thought was outstanding. I think it was all us! We got punished.

“The half-time team talk was keep doing what we’re doing. We will score. We have scored in every game we’ve played this year so far so that’s a nice fact to have so we were quite confident that we were going to score a goal.”

Beckenham Town created the first opening of the second half after only 153 seconds.

James Marshall swung in a corner from the left towards the near post where Adam nipped in front of his marker to plant his header over the top of the near post.

Patterson played the ball into Jalloh’s feet, which teed up Jamie Humphries, but it was a frustrating night for the 12-goal marksman, turning to lash his shot high and wide of the far post from 20-yards.

Beckenham Town’s central defender Adam Wadmore went close with a right-footed free-kick from 30-yards, which screamed just past the left-hand post, before Erith Town equalised with 61 minutes gone.

Clews added: “We have quite a few good free-kick takers here and Wadders, he does strike the ball well from free-kicks, so it was unlucky for him.”

Erith Town dealt with Patterson’s free-kick and cleared the ball up to Morgan, who was on the half-way line close to the touchline.

He produced a moment of sublime vision to hit a diagonal pass that picked out Youngs on the edge of the penalty area on the other side of the pitch.  The number 10 cut the ball inside for Rabiu to curl his right-footed shot around the goalkeeper top find the top far corner from 18-yards.

Ford said: “Absolutely great! I think the switch of play actually came from Richard Morgan, a great ball from Rich, he’s picked him out. Tom Youngs had a great first touch, which we expect from him with the level he’s played. He’s put it inside for Ola and the finish from Ola is different class. He’s whipped it around two people and I think the goalie’s stood and watched it go straight into the top corner.

“Us on the bench, we saw late, but he curled it straight in. Great finish!”

Clews said: “That’s what we were disappointed with, their goal that came from our free-kick at the other end!

“It was a bad delivery in by Marlon Patterson, he didn’t have a good delivery tonight with his free-kicks and corners but they broke away.  We managed to get back with it and halted them on the edge of the box but when it got to the edge of the box we didn’t press them and the fella’s got his shot away into the far corner and put it in.  That was their only clear cut chance that I can see they had in the second half.”

Both goalscorers were very impressive for their teams tonight.

Clews said of Rabiu, who was coming up against Marlon Patterson, 32, who was playing Conference South football in 2014 said:, “They’re very good on the counter attack. They’ve got a very pacy seven on the right, he’s very pacy. He causes a few problems but I think once he got towards the edge of the area that’s when we sort of stopped him. He was good at running from deep with the ball but when he got to the edge of the box, we stopped him.”

Ford said of Raibu, “Very good player. Again, another kid who wasn’t enjoying his football. We’ve got him enjoying his football again and when he gets at people he’s frightening and that was evident tonight.

“He’s frustrating Ola because he’s got that about him.  You can see that tonight at his best when he gets at people and cuts in and he looks a real threat.

“There’s been other times, that’s probably why he’s not playing at a higher level at the moment where he’s inconsistent in his displays and they’d be other teams where he gets into those areas and nothing with it but his finish for the goal tonight was magnificent.”

Hagan was called into action again in the 65th minute when he beat out an angled drive from Jalloh, who danced into the penalty area down the right-hand side.

Rabiu drilled a shot into the foot of the side netting at the other end, before the game seemed destined to peter out into a draw.

More impressive attacking wing play from Rabiu saw him feed substitute James Pinnock but Moore moved swiftly off his line to smother the ball at the left winger’s feet.

Beckenham Town caused alarm for Erith Town when Jamie Humphries’ corner from the right was poked past the post by Jalloh, who had ran away from his marker at the near post.

Ford said: “Very pleased with Hassan Jalloh, great player. He looks a threat every time he gets the ball and he causes teams lots of problems.

“He’s very, very quick. He’s good with the ball at his feet, drives at people, scares defenders.  Overall, it was a great performance from him.”

But Beckenham Town squandered a great chance to win it in the 89th minute when Humphries put Kissi through on goal but was denied by a brilliant save by Hagan, getting down low and quick to his left to push the ball around the post.

Clews said: “We missed chance after chance in the last ten minutes when we could’ve nicked it but to be fair looking at the end of the game I think probably a draw was a fair result, from the way we started the game but the chances we should’ve taken to kill the game off.

“Jamie Humphries put him through on a one-on-one and the keeper’s pulled off a couple of very good saves.  In their home game he pulled off six or seven great saves in the game we played a few weeks ago but he’s pulled off a few good saves tonight.”

Ford hailed his goalkeeper for making such a great save.

He said: “Outstanding save! He’s got no right to make it. If I’m being completely honest, Richmond Kissi scores from there for fun and we all know that.

“Here’s me in the dug-out. I turn round and say ‘goal’ as soon as Richmond’s went through.  Rich will be disappointed, a natural goalscorer. He will want to finish there.

“I thought it was a fantastic save low to his left and he’s flicked it around the post. We have defended the corner after as well, which is very pleasing.”

Kissi flashed a ball across the penalty area to an unmarked Kristian Robinson, who smashed his deflected shot (off Merrick Sims) which crashed back off the crossbar before the Dockers cleared their lines.

Clews said: “I thought he scored! A deflection took it up and then onto the bar.  Again we’re not following up the ball when it dropped in to the area and we ain’t reacted to it.

“I think he took an extra touch too many first of all. He probably could’ve hit it first time but he left the defender get in and it got deflected and it’s looped up and hit the bar. I thought it was in when it looped over the goalkeeper.”

Ford admitted his side got lucky.

“It came off Merrick Sims’ studs I think.  Again, rattled against the bar.  Looked in from where we was. We rode our luck a little bit in the last ten minutes but I spoke to the boys after the game briefly. 

“I thought we allowed them to get back into it. It was not a fitness thing. I just feel we just stopped doing what we were doing in the last 10 minutes.  We kept giving the ball back to them too easily from clearances from midfield passes and things like that so it was something that we have to talk to the boys about.

“We play Greenwich Borough (at home) on Saturday and if we keep giving the ball back to them they’re going to punish us!”

Beckenham Town: Lewis Moore, Jamie Turner, Marlon Patterson, Aziz Kanu, Adam Wadmore, Tamar Bilal, Adam Allen, James Marshall (Kristian Robinson 78), Hassan Jalloh (Jake Hobbs 83), Jamie Humphries, Richmond Kissi.
Subs: Sam O’Keefe, Ciro Donadio, Harry Draper

Goal: Hassan Jalloh 27

Booked: Jamie Humphries 69, Adam Allen 70, Jamie Turner 82

Erith Town: Joe Hagan, Luke Coleman, Timi Osibodu (Merrick Simms 56), Dan Willis, Jason Mensah, Jack Lodge, Ola Rabiu, Richard Morgan, Tom Garrick, Tom Youngs, Reece Deakin (James Pinnock 77).
Subs: Mason Simms, Sam Gent, Nick Wybrow

Goal: Ola Rabiu 61

Booked: Merrick Simms 60, Tom Garrick 62, Jason Mensah 68

Attendance: 110
Referee: Mr Wally James (Sidcup)
Assistants: Mr Ashley Barnes (Bromley) & Mr Peter Agboola (Walworth, London SE17)