Deal Town 5-0 Lydd Town - We've had a really good campaign but we're ready for the real stuff like everyone is now, says Deal Town head coach Steve King

Saturday 28th July 2018
Deal Town 5 – 0 Lydd Town
Location The Charles Sports Ground, St Leonards Road, Deal, Kent CT14 9AU
Kickoff 28/07/2018 15:00

Pre-Season Friendly
Saturday 28 July 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from The Charles Sports Ground

DEAL TOWN head coach Steve King says he has got everything he wanted out of pre-season ahead of their trip to AFC Croydon Athletic on the opening day of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division next Saturday.

The Hoops have played Dover Athletic (1-5); Margate (1-0); Gillingham (2-2); New Romney (4-0); Sevenoaks Town (2-3) and Ramsgate (0-2), while Lydd Town have played Lordswood (5-0); Hythe Town (0-4); Bexhill United (0-3) and Whitstable Town (1-2) and host Ashford on Tuesday night before kicking off their First Division campaign at home to Erith & Belvedere in seven days time.

Deal Town had to wait until the stroke of half-time to open the floodgates with Sam Wilson heading in a free-kick.

Lydd Town lost their belief as soon as the goals went in during a poor second half as Deal Town increased their lead through Alfie Foster’s drive, before Wilson slotted in his second and Deal’s third in the 65th minute.

Ben Cardwell and Troy Howard (scoring a rebound after his penalty was saved) came off the bench to score for Derek Hares’ side as Lydd Town suffered a blow to morale ahead of the new league campaign.

“Mixed thoughts really, pleased with the final result and the clean sheet,” said King.

“First half, I didn’t think we were great.  The wind played a bit of a part in the game today, but we were a bit sloppy.

“I thought second half we played really well, so positives to take out of it are no injuries for next week so I’m very pleased about that!

“We’ve had seven pre-season friendlies, so I’ve got to be honest, I’m pleased they’re done! We’ve had a really good campaign, got out of it what we wanted but we’re ready for the real stuff, I think, like everyone is now.”

Lydd Town manager Liam Smith added: “Disappointed is my first thought really, quite humbling to lose 5-0 to a good Deal side that are in the league above.

“I thought from 0-0 to when they scored on the stroke of half-time, we were the better side and didn’t take our chances when they came along.

“I had a little bit of a go at the players at half-time because we tried to play a certain way. We seemed a little bit leggy, maybe from where we trained on Thursday and played Whitstable on Tuesday and I wanted to see a good reaction and the goals go to show they scored in the 45th minute from poor marking at a set-piece but a good header from Deal’s point of view and then came out in the second half and four minutes in and you’re 2-0 down!

“I’m trying a different way in the second half to try to improve the players and try to be a bit more positive but you concede the goal so early and you think ‘ok, Jesus, give me a chance!”

Lydd Town started the game on the front foot and were to be denied a goal inside the opening six minutes.

Holding midfielder Owen Kessack swept a diagonal pass to left-back Ryan Smith, who played the ball inside to Ryan Taylor, who turned his man to play in striker Dale Horton, who was denied by goalkeeper James Tonkin, who spread himself well as he came off his line to narrow the angle.

Smith said: “I thought it was a good save.  Dale has been with us now all pre-season, he’s stepped up from Ashford Athletic in the Kent County League and he’s been scoring them for fun so I thought he’d go and score that one but the keeper’s made a good save.  I think he’ll be disappointed he hasn’t scored as well.”

King said: “Tonks done well there. We were a yard off it in the first 20 minutes.  We know their players, Vinny (Ryan) Philpott used to play here and scored a lot of goals for us and his movement was good and Tonks has kept us in it and hat helped us out at that point.”

Deal Town played a diamond in midfield and Daniel Adams played the ball in low from the right to targetman Connor Coyne, whose left-footed shot from 22-yards dipped over the crossbar.

Deal Town squandered a great chance in the tenth minute when Connor Coyne played a sublime crossfield pass with the outside of his boot, which wasn’t cut out by Lydd right-back Kieran Shrimpton and this gave Charlie Walsh the chance to score but visiting keeper James Atkins was equal to it to make the save.

King said: “He took it first time, it was a good save but it was one of those you could see from where we were. He had a lot of space, he probably had time for a touch.  Charlie is a good player and I’m confident that when it gets to the real stuff he’ll put those ones away.”

Smith added: “It was probably the only mistake Kieran made all half.  He had a hole in his boot.  I think the wind might’ve played a part as well. It pulled out a good save from our keeper James, who I thought was our best player today.”

Lydd Town missed a glorious chance when Kessack played in Ryan Philpott and with only the keeper to beat saw his right-footed chip from just outside the box plucked out of the air by Tonkin.

Smith said: “I thought it was a great ball from Owen, he’s vice-captain today, our normal captain was on the bench. I thought it was a great knock to see the run from Ryan Philpott. He went to cheekily chip the keeper but he read it.”

Smith admitted he knew his side had to take their chances during their dominant spell.

“That’s what we were moaning to the players at half-time me and my assistant Micky Doyle, the fact that we was on top and we didn’t capitalise and we showed no reaction from the 35th minute mark from them on.  We weren’t the side we’ve been all pre-season especially from a positive result against Whitstable on Tuesday and the performance was a bit Jekyll and Hyde.”

King said: “Ryan Philpott’s a very good player, we had him here for three years and he scored a lot of goals for us.

“The wind wasn’t easy but we just weren’t quite getting tight enough in the middle of midfield.  We were losing too much ball.

“I think with all the sides in SCEFL Div One, it’s a good league and they always start games well and whenever we’ve played them, in the first 20-25 minutes you really got to be on the ball because as the game goes on sometimes you see the difference between the two divisions where it starts to open up a little bit but early doors they are a match for anyone and Lydd are a decent side with some good players.”

Lydd Town centre half Alex Coyne advanced towards the halfway line to play a sublime pass to put Horton through on goal down the right channel and after cutting inside Stephen O’Brien he swept his shot across the keeper and past the far post.

Walsh swung in a free-kick into the Lydd penalty area but Wilson glanced his free header across goal and sailing past the far post.

“We work hard on set-pieces,” said King.  “It was a good delivery and we were unlucky really. I thought he got a good touch on it and another day it goes in at the back post but it was a great delivery from Charlie.”

After an open, end-to-end opening 20 minutes of the game, the bobbly, water-starved playing surface and windy conditions ensured there was a lack of quality from the 20th minute right up to the interval.

Big centre half, Kane Smith played the ball out of the Deal defence into Connor Miller inside the final third and he played the ball out to Liam Hark and the right-back swept a low cross in towards the near post for Miller to dink his shot just past the right-hand post.

“We’ve lost Jack Paxman to Margate, which is a blow to us because as a right-back he’s a great little player but Liam’s a good player, a good replacement,” said King.

“We’ve got a couple of other options in there that weren’t available today so we’re quite happy with what we’ve got.

“Connor was a little bit unlucky there. He got a touch on it but didn’t hit the target.”

Deal took 28 minutes to win their first of five corners of the game, which was swung in by O’Brien from the left and Connor Coyne made space at the near post to plant his free header screaming past the upright.

A poor clearance from Lydd goalkeeper Atkins fell at Connor Coyne’s feet and he cracked a first time drive towards goal from 25-yards, but Atkins did well to step to his right to hold onto the ball.

“That was a great strike and a good save by the keeper,” said King.

“Anyone whose seen Connor play knows the ability he’s got. We want him to score more goals. Sam Wilson got 23 goals last year, if those two can get firing for us they’ll win us a lot of games.”

Smith added: “He went to clear it, the wind got hold of it and it went straight to Connor and I thought James done really well to get back across.”

Lydd Town – the better side for most of the first half - were just seconds away from going into the half-time break on level terms but Deal Town scored with 44 minutes and 49 seconds on the clock.

O’Brien won his side a free-kick down the left-channel and he took the free-kick himself, swinging it into the penalty area for Wilson to loop his header into the left-hand corner from 12-yards.

“We scored one almost identical against Sevenoaks here last week, he’s good in the air Sam,” recalled King.

“We didn’t deserve to go 1-0 up to be honest but we got the goal. It’s about performances for us so I still wasn’t particularly happy at half0time despite going in with the lead but it was nice to get one from a set-piece.

“Friendly results aren’t important, the performance wasn’t good enough in the first half so we talked about a few things at half-time and we put it right second half.”

Smith said: “We shouldn’t be conceding goals from set-pieces because we’ve got quite a tall side, especially with the defenders we’ve got in the team who are quite strong in the air.

“I thought it was a great header but you’d like to have more pressure on the opposing player really.”

When asked about his half-time thoughts, the Lydd boss replied: “I was disappointed with the way we played. We seemed to lack a bit of tempo and urgency, maybe became a bit predictable.  I didn’t go a bit harsh to the boys.  I was disappointed to come in 1-0 down at half-time but the set-piece got under my skin, it really rattled me and we tried to end it on a positive note.”

Neither side made a change at the interval but Deal Town came out of the traps on the front foot and were miles better during a one-sided second half.

Referee Chris Cannon failed to comply to the letter of the Law when he decided not to punish Lydd left-back Ryan Smith for making a last-man foul, a bad challenge on Adams as he drove towards goal.  The foul took place 35-yards from goal and should have been punished instead of the referee having a quiet word.

Atkins pulled off a great save, diving to his right to prevent Walsh drilling home his right-footed free-kick after only 98 seconds.

Smith said: “Harry Carr got turned and Ryan came across from left-back and I thought he had to foul him.  I think in a normal league game he’d be getting a yellow, it was touch and go for a red card.  I think Ryan had no chance there.”

“Well, I think Dan was in to be honest but it’s a friendly isn’t it, so people make fouls in those situations and get away with it,” bemoaned King.

“I thought their keeper did well. He conceded five but he made a lot of good saves and that was one of them.”

It set the tone for Deal’s dominance and they scored their second goal with three minutes and 13 seconds on the second half clock.

Walsh sprinted to the by-line to cut the ball back, Connor Coyne knocked the ball down at the far post for Wilson to lash his shot into the roof of the net with clinical precision from 20-yards.

“A good strike from Alf.  As a midfielder we want him to go and get in the box and it dropped down, second ball and it was a great strike. I was pleased for Alf. He got a hat-trick the other week and he’s got another goal today so I’m pleased with him,” said King.

Smith added: “We seemed to be rather slow and lethargic in the second half for some reason.  A lot of chins were on the floor and I would say attitude.  Deal’s attitude second half, they came out flying, might’ve had a (talking to) at half-time. We came out and we looked so disjointed really and wanted to be put out of our misery and it was so early.”

Smith played the ball down the right channel for Hark to play in a low cross for Wilson to nip in front of Sam Marsh, but Atkins was alert at his near post to save the shot from inside the six-yard box.

O’Brien reached the by-line and whipped in a cross towards the near post which was hit first time by Wilson, screaming past the top of the left-hand post.

O’Brien cut in from the left again and Connor Coyne teed up Walsh, who chipped the ball just over the crossbar, before Deal Town deservedly notched their third goal of the game, timed at 19 minutes and 6 seconds.

Miller drove through the heart of midfield and then released Wilson down the right and he skipped past Lydd centre half Marsh, twisted and turned him and clinically swept his shot across the keeper for the ball to nestle nicely inside the bottom far corner.

“Sam’s tricky in the box, that’s why he scored so many goals last year, he’s got good feet,” said King.

“One-v-one in the box, I think they were starting to tire a bit there. The game was getting open and Sam’s good from those positions so really pleased with him.”

“I thought Sam Wilson was the best player on the pitch today by a country mile,” added Smith.

“He ran though, Sam Marsh’s an experienced defender but I think he turned three times before he ended up putting it in the back of the net and that was the goal of the game.”

Roll on the League next week when both sides are only allowed to make three changes each, as the longer the game went on, more substitutes were on the pitch and Deal Town added a fourth goal with 25:47 on the clock.

Lydd Town holding midfielder Luke Stanley allowed Cardwell to drive through the heart of the pitch to reach the penalty area and keeper Atkins went to ground to his left and Cardwell showed his composure by slotting the ball past him.

“We’ve just signed Ben. He came in on trial and he’s done well during pre-season,” said King.

“He’s a powerful lad, he’d probably would’ve started today but he’s not available next Saturday so we left him out.  He came on, got a goal and I think that’s his first goal for the club so pleased with him there, he done well.

“He’s a strong boy, very direct, gets the ball. He’s only 19 but he’s well-built and we think he can offer us a bit different than what we’ve got.”

The Lydd Town manager added: “By that point, people were making mistakes all over the place and trying things they wouldn’t normally try.  One of the subs has come in and not got into the speed of the game and had too many touches, got the ball taken off him and the keeper’s got no chance and it’s 4-0!”

Cardwell’s cross into the box was headed by Connor Coyne, which was comfortably gathered by Atkins, who was beaten a fifth time with 39 minutes and 35 seconds on the clock.

Deal’s 16-year-old substitute winger Troy Howard cut in from the right flank and was held back by Lydd’s substitute left-back Jordan Tomsett inside the box.

Howard stepped up and his penalty towards the bottom corner was brilliantly kept out by Atkins, diving to his right, but Howard tucked home the rebound.

“Troy’s only 16, he played in my under 16s last year when we won the Kent Youth League title and we’ve brought him in pre-season and coming off the bench he’s quick against tiring full backs,” said King.

“You saw that with the penalty today, he got the wrong side and the defenders had a tug at him.  He came on against Gillingham when we played their youth team and the same thing happened. 

“The boys have been good with him in the dressing room. They let him take it to try to boost his confidence. He missed but fair play to him he’s followed it up and got his goal. 

“He’s probably not going to feature a huge amount this season but he’s somebody that we’ll be blooding in and looking to get off the bench, especially against teams that are tiring at the end of games because he’s electric!”

Smith said:  “I think the linesman gave it (Jo Park), the ref said it was for a shirt pull but I thought it was soft.

“Troy has absolutely lashed the penalty into the bottom corner. I thought it was an unbelievable save from my keeper and that probably summed up our day really and the balls has land back at the feet of the striker.”

Another driving run, this time by Harris Rodgers, was held by Atkins, before Lydd Town created their only second half chance with three minutes left.

By this stage, the home side had three new defenders in their back four and they allowed lone striker Callum Howland to have a free shot at goal, which produced a fine diving save from Tonkin, to his right.

“It was the only thing that Tonks had to do second half but he done it well,” said King.  “Because we changed both the centre halves and the left-back and one of the centre halves has just come in today and hasn’t met any of the boys so it was a bit of a miss communication.  Tonks is a fantastic goalkeeper for us, he’s been an important player.”

Next up, is there League opener in Thornton Heath against AFC Croydon Athletic and King said: “We’re pleased with where we’re at and we’re pleased with today’s result but it’s next Saturday at AFC Croydon Athletic, Tuesday night (at home) against Hollands & Blair, that’s where I’ll be able to tell you where we’re at, when we start.”

Lydd Town begin their First Division campaign with a home game against Erith & Belvedere but before that they host Ashford of the Kent County League on Tuesday night.

“One to go. We’ve got Ashford because my friend (Ryan Norman) runs them.  We didn’t particularly want one more (friendly) but we did it as a favour.  I’m sick of friendlies, I just want the league to start!”

Deal Town:  James Tonkin, Liam Hark, Stephen O’Brien (Danny Smith 76), Connor Miller, Kane Smith (Ollie Roberts 68), Luke Bigginton (Brad Short 76), Alfie Foster (Ben Cardwell 68), Daniel Adams (Ben Chapman 76), Connor Coyne, Sam Wilson (Troy Howard 65), Charlie Walsh (Harris Rodgers 76).

Goals: Sam Wilson 45, 65, Alfie Foster 49, Ben Cardwell 71, Troy Howard 85

Lydd Town: James Atkins, Kieran Shrimpton, Ryan Smith (Jordan Tomsett 73), Owen Kessack (Luke Stanley 58), Alex Coyne, Sam Marsh, Harry Carr, Tom Draper (Ben Charlesworth 68), Dale Horton (Matt Stevens 73), Ryan Philpott (Callum Howland 58), Ryan Taylor (Piers Futcher 68).

Attendance: 150
Referee: Mr Chris Cannon (Sandwich)
Assistants: Ms Jo Park (Margate) & Mr Lee Roberts (Deal)