Bromley 3-2 Tooting & Mitcham United - We had that desire to want to win the game more than the opposition, says Bromley Academy manager Steve Baker

Monday 05th October 2015
Bromley 3 – 2 Tooting & Mitcham United
Location Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF
Kickoff 05/10/2015 19:00

The FA Youth Cup Second Qualifying Round
Monday 5th October 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

BROMLEY Academy manager Steve Baker hailed his players’ desire after coming out on top in this cracking game of attacking football in The FA Youth Cup.

A crowd of 106 were treated to a thrilling Second Qualifying Round tie between two attack minded teams on a wet night at Hayes Lane.

Tooting & Mitcham United started the game on the front foot but it was Bromley that took the lead through right-winger Joel Vian’s fine finish.

Tooting & Mitcham United striker Razzaq Coleman capped a man-of-the-match performance by levelling when he capitalised on a poor back pass before slotting home, before drilling a sublime strike into the right-hand corner to score his second goal of the night early in the second half.

But Bromley’s lone striker Daniel Ajakayie produced a dazzling solo run and goal to bring the Vanarama National League hosts back on level terms only 128 seconds after going behind to a club that play in the Ryman League Division One South at first team level.

Bromley won it through captain Louis Fox top corner finish with 18 minutes remaining to earn a trip to either Margate or Dulwich Hamlet in the final qualifying round.

“Fantastic game! These FA Youth Cup games have a habit of serving up ties like that,” said Baker, who won the league title with Bromley’s Academy in May.

“It was really, really good, two good sides. I thought Tooting were a really good side. We played them pre-season and they were good, so we knew it was going to be a tough game - and it was.

“I imagine it was enjoyable to watch up in the stands but it was a little bit hairy at times on the bench, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable game. I’m glad to come out top obviously.

“You go through waves. Part of it was very enjoyable and other parts aren’t. It’s swings and roundabouts.”

Tooting & Mitcham United started the game on the front foot, having defeated Croydon (5-4 after extra time) and Ramsgate (5-0) en-route to Hayes Lane and Bromley keeper Roland Higyed was forced to make a string of fine saves to keep his side in the game, their first one in the competition this year after receiving byes to reach this stage after Fisher and Eastbourne United pulled out.

His first save arrived after only 57 seconds, diving high to his left to tip over Coleman’s left-footed drive from 25-yards, which was flying into the top near corner of the net.

“Roland’s done superbly today,” said Baker.

“Roland’s only a first year with us and he was absolutely superb. If it wasn’t for him in the first 15 minutes while we grew into the game, we wouldn’t been in the game still. He done well and all the boys recognised that.”

Left-winger Dontai Stewart then played a one-two with Coleman and cut into the Bromley penalty area and his low shot was blocked by Bromley central defender Michak Stanic-Stewart.  The rolled to an unmarked Isiah Jones, who dragged his shot past the far post when he really should have found the bottom far corner.

Vian was released down the right for Bromley and his centre set up Ajakayie, but his shot lacked conviction and rolled into the hands of visiting keeper Ryan Khan just after five minutes of whirlwind attacking football.

Tooting & Mitcham United’s left-back Sergio Petro cut into the Bromley penalty area and played the ball inside to Coleman, whose shot was blocked by Higyed’s left-leg at his near post.

Jones’ brushed past Bromley’s left-back Yaqin Mohammed with pace down the right before cutting the ball inside to right-back Elijah Adejeni, who unleashed his right-footed angled drive towards the top near corner from 16-yards and Higyed had to be at his best again to beat the ball away.

Baker admitted: “They started on the front foot (but) we grew into the game.”

But Bromley started to weather the ten minute storm and got themselves back into the game.

Fox delivered a deep corner from the right hand side to an unmarked Samuel Asante, who looped his free header towards the top left-hand corner, but Khan tipped the ball over the bar.

Baker added: “It’s a little routine that we work on. It causes a little bit of confusion for the opposition. The movement was good. I’m pleased enough with Sam. He’s made contact, he’s worked the goalkeeper and that’s all I can ask.”

But Bromley drew first blood by opening the scoring with the goal timed at 23 minutes and 54 seconds.

Fox played a sublime diagonal pass from the middle to the right to release winger Vian and he brushed past Tooting’s left-back Petro to cut into the penalty area before slotting his right-footed shot across the keeper to find the bottom far corner from ten-yards.

“Joel’s got our development player of the year last year and he done really, really well,” said Baker.

“He travels with the ball well. He’s not afraid to have a go at the full-back and as you can see he can finish as well. He done well and he was a constant outlet for us today and I was very, very pleased with him.”

Tooting & Mitcham United responded, however, and Coleman’s right-footed drive from 22-yards was saved by the Bromley keeper, as was Jones’ effort within a minute.

Tooting & Mitcham United midfielder Luis Da Silva was somewhat speculative with his right-footed free-kick from 40-yards out on the right which was sailing towards the top far corner before Higyed pushed the ball away high to his right.

But Bromley gifted Tooting & Mitcham United their equaliser after 37 minutes.

Right-back Sam Nicholson-Scott’s poor attempt of a back pass towards his goalkeeper was intercepted by Coleman, who cut into the penalty area and stroked his right-footed shot into the back of the net from ten-yards.

“The lad did well to finish but Sam doesn’t need anyone to tell him that was a poor pass but what’s important is how you react to it, whether you let it affect your game or whether you get your mind back on the job and that’s something we spoke about at half-time,” said Baker.

“I was pleased with Sam’s decisions in the second half. He could’ve put a little bit more pressure on the ball for that goal but other than that he did fine.”

Petro, who was a threat going forward, advanced into Bromley’s penalty area again, curling his shot just around the far post from the left-hand side of the box.

Despite all those chances it was level at the break and Baker rallied his players during the half-time interval.

Baker wanted his defenders to keep Coleman quiet during the second half and wanted his players to show desire to get through to the next round.

Baker said of Coleman: “He was really good. We spoke about him at half time and I remember him from the previous game. We spoke to our centre halves about how to deal with him. He’s a good player, technically good. Obviously he’s got that physique. He holds the ball up well and plays like that you just got to make sure you don’t give him a sight on goal.

“At half-time we spoke about having that focus and having that mental strength to react to set-backs in the right way.  We spoke about having a mind-set. 

“We said it was a close game. It could be a bit of magic that wins it or it could be a mistake that won it.  Just a mentality thing and we spoke about having a little bit of belief because the boys showed it in the middle part of the first half that they were more than capable and having a belief to go and win the game and having that desire to want the game more than the opposition and luckily for us we go through it.”

The away side created the first chance of the second half inside 182 seconds when Higyed was called upon to claw the ball behind at his near post to prevent Jones scoring after cutting into the box from the right hand side.

Tooting & Mitcham United took a deserved lead in the 53rd minute through Coleman’s quality finish.

Midfielder Da Silva released Jones down the right and he rolled the ball inside to the unmarked Coleman, who took a touch and stroked his quality right-footed finish into the right-hand corner from 20-yards.

“Unfortunately while his strike was a good strike, we needed to put some pressure on the ball when it’s that close to the edge of our box,” said Baker.

“It was a good goal. He’s a good player and it was a good finish.”

Baker was delighted with his side for swiftly bouncing back from that set-back, much to the delight of the home faithful.

Ajakayie won the ball in midfield and produced a dazzling solo run which saw him dance his way past four blue shirted defenders before maintaining his composure to drill his right-footed angled drive into the bottom far corner from 18-yards.

Baker said: “That goal epitomised what I was talking about with desire because Dan’s worked across the line, he’s won the ball and then that desire to get in front of the defender to start with and then the calmness to finish it off.

“Sometimes you talk about someone’s actions or performance lifting the players around them and I felt that moment was pivotal because you saw by the reactions and celebrations that lifted all of his team mates as well.  He led the line really well today.”

Both sides hit the woodwork within 54 seconds of one another as the crowd appreciated the attacking flair out on the pitch, which coped well with the rain.

Olaken Osideko raced towards the by-line on the left hand side and cut the ball back to an unmarked Coleman, who smashed his right-footed shot against the underside of the crossbar from 12-yards.  Coleman certainly deserved to score a hat-trick on a great performance and scouts will certainly be watching him.

Bromley then went up the other end down the right through Fox and his angled drive clipped the inside of the far post and Akakayie blasted the rebound over the bar.

“He (Coleman) was a threat and then we broke the other end and we hit the post,” said Baker.

“I said to Ryan, their manager, it was a really good game. It was end-to-end, both teams had periods where they dominated but equally there were periods that went back and forth and at that moment in the game they hit the bar one end and we hit the post the other end. That’s how it was.”

Tooting & Mitcham United winger Stewart was much quieter during the second half but he stroked his right-footed free-kick straight at Higyed to make a comfortable catch from 35-yards.

Da Silva whipped in a cross into the Bromley box from the right channel but Stewart looped his header over the bar from eight-yards.

Bromley should have scored when Ajakayie clipped a looping pass to substitute striker Nathaniel Williams and the ball fell to winger Vian, who drilled his low shot across goal and past the far post from 25-yards.

Baker said: “We’re looking at the players on the pitch, we’re looking at the bench. We wanted to win the game. We didn’t want it to go to extra-time so we tried to freshen it up. We’ve got some fresh legs on the flank and then moved Louis into the centre, dropped him in from the 10 to the centre because he was affecting the game and just helped us shore things up then as well. We wanted to go and win the game, bottom line.”

But Bromley grabbed the victory with 72 minutes on the clock through their captain.

The pacy Ajakayie was released down the right and he whipped in a cross towards the near post.  Nicholson-Scott powered his header against the angle of right-hand post and crossbar from six-yards and the ball dropped kindly for Fox to hook his first time drive into the top right-hand corner from eight-yards.

Baker said: “Louis was a good captain today in everything that he did and I thought his performance deserved a goal.

“Those ones when they’re bouncing back off something and you’ve got to have the composure to control the finish. It’s easy to get excited and hit that one in the car park but he’s controlled the finish really, really well.”

Impressive pair Jones and Coleman were a constant threat for the away side and they combined again and Harry Needham saved the day by getting in the way of Coleman’s goalbound shot from inside the box.

Khan was called into making a diving save to his right to push away Akakayie’s 35-yard drive, which was screaming towards the far corner, before the keeper made a smart low save at his near post to deny Vian scoring from eight-yards.

With time running out, Bromley substitute Didan Fejzi played the ball up to Fox, but he drilled a speculative drive straight into Khan’s hands from 35-yards.

When asked which one of his white shirted players stood out, Baker hailed his entire team.

He said: “It’s really difficult. I just went through the team in there. Each and every one of them, when you win a game like that, every single one of them have played their part but we had people stepping up at the back.  Michak (Stanic-Stewart) getting in front of players, getting good contact on the ball when we needed it. The attacking players we’ve mentioned, Louis, Danny and Joel.

“Everywhere all over the park everybody needed to do their bit today because if one or two hadn’t have done the result would’ve probably have been the other way around.”

Margate meet Dulwich Hamlet at Hartsdown Park this coming Thursday, with the winner hosting Bromley in the week commencing 19 October.

Dulwich Hamlet would be favourites going into the game due to their impressive youth set-up masterminded by first team manager Gavin Rose and his assistant Junior Kadi.

Baker said: “If that’s the case, I’ll look forward to seeing the guys over at Dulwich, who I know really well. Gavin and Kads are friends and they’re a really good side.  They play the right way, they’ve got good fluidity through their system into the first team and ressies and stuff. 

“Similarly to Tooting and I hope ourselves they’re technically really good players but they’re also physically going to be a task for us. That will be a really good game and again we always play Dulwich in pre-season as well because its two teams who are trying to develop players to play football in the right way at this age group.”

Baker added: “If it’s Margate, I don’t know as much about Margate but obviously we’ll do the homework that we can and any team that’s still in a cup competition deserve to be there. I’m sure they’re a strong side as well.”

Bromley: Roland Higyed, Sam Nicholason-Scott, Yaqin Mohammed, Ethan Federick (Victor Naranjo 90), Michak Stanic-Stewart, Harry Needham, Joel Vian, Samuel Asante (Fidan Fejzi 77), Daniel Ajakayie, Louis Fox, Kelvin Ogboe (Nathaniel Williams 64).
Subs: Ted Scanlon, Shamal Edwards

Goals: Joel Vian 24, Daniel Ajakayie 55, Louis Fox 72

Booked: Michak Stanic-Stewart 65, Yaqin Mohammed 74

Tooting & Mitcham United: Ryan Khan, Elijah Adejeni, Sergio Petro, Olaken Osideko, Elijah Lewis, Ronaldo Douglas (Chester Clothier 37), Isiah Jones, Che Gibbons (Daniel Ciccotto 46), Razzaq Coleman, Luis Da Silva (Joel Simpson 79), Dontai Stewart.
Subs: Bruno Dos Santos, Alessandro Moreira

Goals: Razzaq Coleman 37, 53

Booked: Dontai Stewart 81, Elijah Adejeni 83

Attendance: 106
Referee: Mr Paul Greenfield (Eltham, London SE9)
Assistants: Mr Ashley Barnes (Bromley) & Mr Steve Martin (Orpington)