Bromley 4-2 Hollands & Blair - I've been told what they expect from me - my aim is to push players through to the first team, says Bromley youth team manager Girenze Kizamba-Ngimbi

Sunday 15th May 2016
Bromley 4 – 2 Hollands & Blair
Location Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF
Kickoff 15/05/2016 11:00

Kent Youth League U18 Mini-League
Sunday 15th May 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

BROMLEY’S youth team manager Girenze Kizamba-Ngimbi says he’s been told to produce players for Neil Smith’s National League first team squad.

Players’ that have come through the youth ranks at Hayes Lane can be counted on one hand through the years, with Jordan Higgs (this season), Jack Holland and Bradley Goldberg and before that Harry Harding and before that…..

But the club may have just unearthed another one, striker Luai Suliman, 17, scorer of a hat-trick today, taking his goalscoring tally for the season to an impressive 29 goals.

The Ravens, fourteenth-placed finishers in their debut National League campaign, completed their six-match Kent Youth League Under 18 Mini-League campaign in first place, this their fourth win, after finishing runners-up to local rivals Dulwich Hamlet in the North Division, the Ryman Premier League club renowned for producing home grown talent via Gavin Rose’s highly-rated ASPIRE Academy.

Hollands & Blair finished runners-up to Greenwich Borough in their debut season in the Southern Counties East Football League at first team level and they have unearthed twin strikers Yemi and Yomi Yusuth, power and pace up front, who enter the world of adult football next season.

Blair started this game on the front foot and were the best team for 25 minutes, taking the lead through central midfielder George Hadley.

Bromley equalised through a tap-in by Martin Ivanov, shortly after losing Charles Etumunu through injury after he pinged some delightful balls forward from the middle of the park.

Step forward Suliman, who scored two before the break to give clinical Bromley a 3-1 lead.

The second half failed to live up to the first, but Suliman slotted home his hat-trick after being given a helping hand by visiting keeper Jordan Collins.

Hollands & Blair pulled a goal back through Yeni Yusuth’s close range finish after helping in a shot from his twin brother.

“It was a great performance today from the lads,” said Kizamba-Ngimbi.

“We kept strong, kept playing and we got the results, the results paid off.

“They (Hollands & Blair) did very well, they started well but once I told them to keep doing what they normally do in training, we just started to play a little bit.

“That’s what happens you know when we play our football, it pays off and that’s what we did today.  We played our football and it paid off, we could’ve scored a couple more.”

Hollands & Blair have been awarded a home win against West Wickham so finish their Mini-League campaign in fourth out of seven teams, although their completed their South Division campaign as runners-up to Dover Athletic.

“I thought actually the team started off fairly well,” said Hollands & Blair’s manager Jas Clare.

“I thought for the first 15-20 minutes we were controlling the game and took a deserved lead through George Hadley, a well-worked move.

“I think what happened when the boys play a simple game, five-ten yard passes, we were the better team and all off a sudden we’re one goal ahead and they want to change things.  They want to start doing long balls. 

“Bromley started getting a bit more confidence in the game and you could then see the game turned on its head.  Bromley started playing the football. We sort of sat back because we’re not playing a simple game. A couple of defensive mistakes allowed them to get forward and get 2-1 up. The third goal epitomised our play in that first half. It was all lost in the centre midfield where we could’ve played it nice and simple.

“All our heads went down, they were 3-1 up and I thought we could’ve been four or five by half-time but luckily enough I talked to them at half-time. It was a case of let’s get the game back on board, let’s start playing simple in the second half and there was a lot more confidence in the team.”

With Crystal Palace Ladies’ championship winning season over, it was the turn for Bromley’s under 18 side to grace the Hayes Lane bobbly pitch on a warm and sunny Sunday morning.

Clare said: “I think it’s the best stadium that we’ve actually played at.  We’ve been lucky enough to play at Ramsgate and Herne Bay. Our own stadium is not in comparison with this. It’s really nice, a fantastic pitch.  We told the boys to play the ball wide today. It’s nice for the lads to have this opportunity.”

But it was to be Hollands & Blair that started the game on the front foot and they should have taken the lead after only 121 seconds.

Hadley swung in their first corner from the left towards the near post where Reece Jenkins glanced his header across goal and past the far post.

Hollands & Blair deservedly took a 12th minute lead when Yeni Yusuth slipped Hadley in behind Callum Flynn and Tom Collins and Hadley took the ball on and steered his right-footed angled drive across the keeper, the ball kissing the foot of the far post before nestling into the net.

“I thought it was a nice well-worked move there,” said Clare.

“I thought George actually, he probably had an opportunity to put in a cross but he could see that corner and he took it well. 

“There was a good three or four chances for us to put the ball away, a bit sharper finishing perhaps we would’ve gone in a 2-0 lead and then Bromley would’ve been in the same position as we were but it didn’t happen.”

Kizamba-Ngimbi added: “Some of the players read it wrongly and that’s how they scored their goal.”

Bromley responded, creating their first chance just 79 seconds later.

Right-back James Thompson advanced in to the final third and played Suliman in behind but Jordan Collins made the save at his near post.

Kizamba-Ngimbi added: “Great save! Suliman should’ve buried that but it is what it is, but there’s always more chances in the game.”

Clare added: “Jordan has come to us partly the way through the season. He’s still learning the game. To be honest his decision making is not always the best, shot-stopper, he’s had some practice today by the look of it but I think at times he doesn’t instil confidence in the defence in front of him.”

Bromley, who were attacking down the slope, then looped a free-kick, taken by Flynn, into Collins’ hands from 35-yards, before Hollands & Blair should have doubled their lead in the 16th minute.

Central midfielder Tommy Martin found himself in the right-back position, but he clipped a sublime long ball to release Yeni Yusuth, who produced a quality cross from the right towards the far post where twin Yomi flicked his first time shot agonisingly past the far post.

“That was a well-worked move down that right. I think the decision making was good, the quality ball in was good as well and he got a good connection on it and it just went astray,” said Clare.

Bromley were awarded a free-kick 35-yards from goal but Suliman drilled his right-footed free-kick high over the bar and into the empty banks of terracing.

Bromley equalised in the 21st minute when Jardel Bundu-Kamara hit a long ball out of defence to release Trey Small down the right and he charged towards the by-line, cut the ball towards the far post for Ivanov to place his left-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner from eight-yards.

Kizamba-Ngimbi said: “Good finish, good finish, fantastic play, one-two touches, fantastic, put him through.

“It did take us a little while to start us playing the game. Once we started playing the game we took control of the game, that’s when the goals started flying in!”

Clare admitted: “I think out of the two teams Bromley did show a bit more quality.  I think off the ball they worked better, they had a better shape.

“I think our boys just let it go and they’ve got to learn when you are playing the likes of Bromley and Cray Wanderers you’ve got to step-up.

“The boys have had a good season this year finishing runners-up behind a good side like Dover. I think they haven’t had the quality teams up against them every week and I think they’ve got to learn you have to play the same way if you’re playing weaker opposition or quality.”

Hollands & Blair squandered an excellent chance to take the lead when skipper Jack Alcourt swung in a corner from the right and Immanuel Sani came up from the back to plant his free header sailing over the crossbar from six-yards.

“We’ve had a few like that in the game where we got in good positions,” said Clare.

“I think we worked out the actual defence of Bromley was a little shaky on crosses and set-pieces. We had a good two or three opportunities like that and I think Manny’s one, he just took his eye of the ball right at the end.”

Bromley doubled their lead in the 37th minute and then never looked back.

Suliman played the ball out to winger Jordan Gadd, on the overlap, who played the ball back inside for Suliman to poke his right-footed shot into the bottom near corner.

Kizamba-Ngimbi said: “Yes, he poked it in to make it 2-1. Again, good play, one-two touch football like we normally play. It was tucked in and that was a good goal.”

Clare said: “It was a nice little move. They sort of had an overlap there but from the goal started in the oppositions territory. We actually had a piece of play, I think it was Jack Alcourt got caught out on the ball and they went down the right hand side and it happened so our mistake further up the pitch first, quality move from Bromley.”

Bromley raced into a commanding 3-1 lead just 123 seconds later.

Substitute Harry Needham, who had replaced Charles Etumunu, slipped a lovely through ball in between Sani and Morgan and as Collins rushed off his line, Suliman dinked his right-footed shot into the empty net from sixteen-yards.

Kizamba-Ngimbi explained: “Lovely through ball. I said to them at half-time, we’ve got to keep the ball on the floor because they’re quite tall at the back.  If we play it over the top it’s no point. If we keep it on the floor we’ll score more goals and that’s what happened.”

Clare added: “That was probably the one goal we probably felt it was a good move. The other goals could’ve been cut out quite easily but that one was nice little play.

“If I remember rightly that was the one that went in between the two centre halves. To be honest, from a defensive point of view it should’ve bene an easy one to deal with.

“Manny there was caught sleeping. The guy just come behind him. It was a good pass but it was something that could’ve been cut out but all he had to do was track the run of the striker and it wouldn’t have been there.”

Hollands & Blair’s right-back James Rocha gifted the ball to Small, who fed Suliman, who steered his left-footed angled drive across the keeper but the ball bounced agonisingly past the foot of the far post.

Bromley keeper Morgan Wilkins-Oliver, 16, pulled off a brilliant flying save to deny Hollands & Blair going into the final five minutes.

Yemi Yusuth played a ten-yard pass to Yeni Yusuth, who unleashed a volley from the corner of the penalty area, which was destined to scream into the far corner, but Wilkins-Oliver dived to his left to tip the ball behind for a corner.

“Good save, great save. He’s only 16 as well and he’s playing, what, one year above so fantastic resolve,” said Kizamba-Ngimbi.

Clare added: “For me I was lucky, I was right behind the strike and fantastic save, left-hand bottom corner, it was good.”

Poor goalkeeping from Collins allowed Bromley to have the final chance of the first half.

Suliman found himself down the left channel, he cut the ball back to Needham, who was given time and space to whip in a cross from the left towards the far post.  The keeper failed to gather and Bundu-Kamara glanced his header past the far post from ten-yards.

Both managers were asked their thoughts at half-time.

Kizamba-Ngimbi said: “I said to them at half-time, just keep playing our football, keep the same tempo as we ended the first half and we’ll get more goals and that’s what we did really.”

Clare said: “We just basically said the first 15-20 minutes of that game we controlled it. We scored and what we stopped carried on doing was the simple things, playing it well, that’s what’s done us in good stead this season.

“Unfortunately then they decided to do some Hollywood passes, which they’re not going to come off at any level and we said that Barcelona don’t change the way they play. They don’t go 2-0 up and start doing 40-yard passes and any level of football you’ve got to keep it the same.

“In that second period if we can start playing simple passes, yes it will be tough because these boys are 3-1 up, they’re going to come at you but the first 5-10 minutes of the second half we kind of dictate what happens and I think they did pull a better performance in the second period but I think the damage was done in the first half.”

Suliman was keen to notch his hat-trick as early as possible, but his right-footed free-kick from 30-yards was gathered at the second attempt by Collins after only 77 seconds into the second half.

Kizamba-Ngimbi said: “It didn’t get going for a while. I don’t know what happened to the boys second half really. After I spoken to them I thought they were going to start on a really high but it was ok, it was an ok half, it wasn’t great. It was won first half.”

Clare added: “From where we are with the coaches, you could see they were getting a bit rattled by the more play we was having. There wasn’t many clear cut chances for both teams there but I think Bromley looked a bit dangerous on the break second half.”

Hollands & Blair’s first chance arrived on the hour-mark when Jeven Clare, who started as one of three players in the middle of the park before slotting in at right-back after the interval, played a low 30-yard pass inside to substitute Ryan Brookes, who drilled his left-footed shot sailing over the bar from 30-yards.

Bromley scored their fourth of the game in the 72nd minute.

Small threaded the ball through the heart of the Blair defence – Morgan failed to cut it out – and Suliman was through on goal.

Keeper Collins rushed out, failed to gather and Suliman kept his composure to check inside, leaving the keeper on the floor before slotting his left-footed shot into the back of an empty goal from 18-yards.

Clare said: “I think the keeper made his decision to come out but then he hesitated. As a keeper at any level if you make a decision you’ve just got to go through with it and if it comes off, it comes off.

“Unfortunately for him where he’s made the challenge he fell down and looked away from the play because there was a couple of seconds where he probably could’ve got up and got the ball. The striker rose from the floor and he just slotted it home.”

Kizamba-Ngimbi said: “It was a great goal, great goal, great goal. The play that we normally do in training pays off on the pitch, so that’s what happened.”

Reflecting on the striker’s 29 goals, Kizamba-Ngimbi said: “It’s a great record, it’s a fantastic record. I’m hoping to keep him next season, carry on, hopefully any chance of knocking for the first team.

“That’s my aim is to try to push them through even to Academy and straight into the first team, that’s what I’m going to keep doing.

“I’ve had a meeting with the first team and they’ve told me what they expect from me so that’s what I’m going to keep doing, keep driving and put players to them and they have got to see from there and go from there.

“There’s three I’ve given my recommendation to the first team and they’ve also reassured me that they’re going to try to invite them for pre-season for the first team so we can go from there.

“Suliman? Yes, he is one of them. I can’t tell you (the other two), but you’ll see.”

Bromley keeper Wilkins-Oliver kept his eyes on the ball as Alcourt swept his 30-yard free-kick into the six-yard box to make a comfortable save, before Hollands & Blair pulled a goal back in the 76th minute.

Martin’s dinked pass released Yomi Yusuth down the right and his angled drive rolled across the keeper and was destined to nestle into the bottom far corner – Yeni Yusuth making sure by stabbing the ball over the line from close range.

“From my side it did look like the ball was just going about to go past the post but he dinked it and I thought that’s not going to go in but Yeni is a good striker and followed it in,” said Clare.

“He’s our top scorer this season and ended up being the top scorer in the South League. He ended up scoring seven goals in his last game, which he had to get to get past the Dover player.”

Kizamba-Ngimbi added: “We fell asleep a little bit for that goal and that’s how they scored the goal but again I’m shouting at them on the side telling them what they’re doing wrong and it paid off really.”

Hollands & Blair created a couple of late chances when Alcourt’s free-kick was headed past the far post by Yeni Yusuth from just inside the Bromley box, before Martin cracked a dipping drive just over the bar from 30-yards.

Yeni Yusuth then launched a long deep throw into the Bromley box which fell at Dylan Budge, the substitute lashing his left-footed shot past the near post.

Collins then made a low save after Bromley substitute Andy Kabuiku Somo cut inside and stroked a shot towards goal from 20-yards.

Granted, it’s easier to bring through youngsters in the Southern Counties East Football League than it is in the National League.

“It’s been a good season but the ethos is really about the players’ improving year-by-year and they certainly have improved this year,” said Clare.

“When four or five players have gone into the reserves, all of a sudden they’ve think they’ve made it, so it’s bringing them back down to a level playing field and telling them to work on the same things week in week out.

“I’ve been here since the under 13s and it’s never really been about finishing first or second and trophies, it’s about improving, just bringing the players through and hopefully the players progress to the reserves and first team.

“I’ve got George Huddleston who is the reserve team coach, also assigned to us. Now what he’s looking for, he’s looking for players to take into reserves and first team.

“I want the youth section to be able to bring players through. That’s the good thing about Hollands & Blair. I think most of the players have been with the club for a number of years. We have other clubs locally who probably take players from outside and bring them in.”

When asked about the futures of second year twins Yusuth, Clare replied: “We’re hoping that they will still be with us.  I think with all of the boys now it’s what they’re doing education wise. If their education takes them further afield then we’re going to lose them for a while but they actually like the club. They’ve been elsewhere for a couple of seasons but they’ve come through from Hollands & Blair’s under 13s, which is good.

“I think they’ve got a good future. They haven’t quite made it yet. Some of the expectations they probably have they could probably get there but I think they’ve got to listen more to what happens off the ball and then they have to work a bit harder but the quality is there, they’re not finished articles.”

Bromley: Morgan Wilkins-Oliver, James Thompson (Valdir Costa-Sani 59), Callum Flynn, Toby Bennett (Nicholas Gray 68), Tom Collins, Jardel Bundu-Kamara, Jordan Gadd, Charles Etumunu (Harry Needham 21), Trey Small (Andy Kabuiki Somo 72), Luai Suliman, Martin Ivanov (Cameron Etumunu 70).

Goals: Martin Ivanov 21, Luai Suliman 37, 39, 72

Hollands & Blair: Jordan Collins, James Rocha, Jack Alcourt (Ryan Brookes 36, Yeni Yusuth 68)), Jevan Clare, Connor Morgan, Immanuel Sani (Jack Alcourt 46), Reece Jenkins, George Hadley, Yeni Yusuth (Ryan Jones 46, Yomi Yusuth 68)), Tommy Martin, Yomi Yusuth (Dylan Budge 61).

Goals: George Hadley 12, Yeni Yusuth 76

Booked: Tommy Martin 48, Yomi Yusuth 85

Attendance: 39
Referee: Mr Piotr Zachwieja (Chatham)