It’s just frustrating that the League doesn’t seem to have considered what actually was going on, says Corinthian manager Michael Golding

Sunday 11th November 2018

CORINTHIAN manager Michael Golding believes today’s game away to Cray Valley should have been postponed as a mark of respect.

The two title-chasing sides lock horns at Middle Park Avenue in Eltham on the 100th anniversary of the final day of the First World War.

Cray Valley are in third-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 26 points from 11 games, while Corinthian are one place lower, on the same number of points but having played a game more.

Beckenham Town lead the table with 34 points from 15 games and Cray Valley go into the game having thrashed Badshot Lea 7-0 in Camberley in The FA Vase and humiliating Rusthall 9-1 at Jockey Farm.  Rusthall joint-manager Mike Cramp resigned immediately after the post-match press conference.

Corinthian go into today’s game on the back of a 4-2 home defeat to their league rivals Canterbury City in The FA Vase.  Ben Smith’s side played with 10 men following the controversial sending off of centre-half Liam Quinn in the 48th minute before snatching two late goals at the end of extra-time courtesy of super-sub Rob Lawrence.

“It will be a tough game.  Cray Valley are probably the best team that we’ve seen this year.  I think they’re a team if you finish above them this year, you’ll be winning the league,” said Golding.

The game has been switched to a Sunday, owing to landlords Greenwich Borough beating Bostik Premier Division side Bishop’s Storford 1-0 in The Buildbase FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round yesterday, courtesy of Laurent Mendy’s winner thirteen minutes from time.

“I understand teams having to play on a Sunday but it’s Remembrance Sunday, 100 years since the end of the War.

“I think it’s really poor from the League, we weren’t consulted, we were given 10 days notice. There’s boys that have got to work and won’t be able to play, so we have to piece together some kind of squad. We’ll be alright, we’ve got a big squad this year.

“It’s just frustrating that the League doesn’t seem to have considered what actually was going on.”

When asked about his amateur side being a dark horse for the league title this season, Golding said: “It’s a long way to go. I can give you as many clichés as you want.

“Our disappointment in October came at home to Lordswood in the Kent Senior Trophy, we massively underperfomrd again and they beat us 1-0.

“At the moment, our poor performances are coming in the cups and we’re putting results together.

“Our next two months we’ve got Chatham, Sheppey, Cray Valley and Beckenham just before Christmas, so listen there’s no way we should be up there. 

“We back ourselves in our changing room. I’m not going to say we’re going to win it or finish in the top two or three but we’ve got a good group of boys that on our day are a good match for the top teams and for us it’s about a little bit of consistency.

“Can we beat the top teams? Can we continue to take points off the midtable teams and that’s where we are.”

Speaking about operating without a playing budget, Golding replied: “The budget word, we don’t even mention. The boys know exactly what we’re about.

“We work hard, myself, Sam (Groombridge), my coaches, physios, We’re here two, three, sometimes four days a week and everyone does it at this level and all the managers give in a lot of time but we feel we have to work harder. 

“We haven’t got the budget. We haven’t got the strikers on big money up front who are guaranteed to score 30 goals a season.

“We have to go and find other players but we enjoy it. It’s a challenge, it is tough but we just think we’ve got a good group of boys this year.

“We’ve recruited quite well in the summer and worked hard on our recruitment. It just comes down to working really hard on the training field, off the training field, watching the videos, analysis.

“We try to do things the right way and try to treat the boys as if they are getting paid whatever pounds a week and we try to treat them as professionally as we can. We don’t always get it right but they know that we’ll be honest with them and I think they appreciate that.”

Cray Valley manager Kevin Watson added: “We played Corinthian at their place earlier and we beat them 2-1.  They’re always tough opposition. Their management team down there is good. They’re coached and drilled well.  They have nice resources there, got a decent team so that will be tough for us.”

The Millers must travel to third-placed side Sheppey United in The FA Buildbase FA Vase Third Round on Saturday 1 December 2018.

“I’ve been saying since close to the start of he season that Sheppey will be up there in the league,” said Watson.

“I think Sheppey are very dangerous. They lost some games earlier on in the season but they’ve got players back now and they’ve gone on a good run.

“They’ve got a nice playing surface down there but you expect to face a good team at this stage so it’s probably a toss of a coin at the moment between the two teams. 

“They’ve got a good team, we’ve got a good team but I’m not thinking about that yet, we’ve got three league games (including a trip to Sheppey next Saturday) before that.”

Cray Valley (Paper Mills)  v  Corinthian
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Sunday 11 November 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Middle Park Avenue, Eltham, London SE9 5HP