Erith & Belvedere 1-2 Carshalton Athletic - Matt Longhurst: How did we lose the game?

Sunday 30th August 2015
Erith & Belvedere 1 – 2 Carshalton Athletic
Location Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY
Kickoff 30/08/2015 15:00

The FA Cup Preliminary Round (Sponsored by Emirates)
Sunday 30th August 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Park View Road

ERITH & BELVEDERE boss Matt Longhurst says he has to pick his deflated players up after being dumped out of The FA Cup by a team who were overly reliant on a direct style of football.


Erith & Belvedere went into this Preliminary Round tie sitting in the top seven in the Southern Counties East Football League with two wins and two defeats to their name and they also came away from Epsom & Ewell with a 4-0 win in the Extra Preliminary Round two weeks ago.

Carshalton Athletic, meanwhile, arrived at Park View Road sitting in the bottom six of the Ryman Premier League table with two wins from five league games.

Erith & Belvedere opened the scoring through striker Goldy Capela and Carshalton Athletic spent the rest of the game hitting long ball after long ball after long ball up to lone target-man Daniel Summers, who levelled through a free-kick in the second half, before right winger Tommy Bradford’s overhead kick snatched an undeserved victory only 117 seconds later.

Longhurst said: “Do you know what, it’s probably a difficult time to talk at the minute because I don’t think I’ve ever done an interview and moaned about an official but incompetence of the officials has – they’ve still had to score two goals, don’t get me wrong – but they should’ve been down to nine men, not even questionable!

“I thought for the first 45 minutes I thought we were excellent. I thought we were better than them. I thought they were void of ideas. All they did was crash the ball long and I thought we were more organised than them.

“I’m disappointed we conceded two goals from set-pieces, which is disappointing.  One a direct free-kick, I think possibly the keeper could do better, he’s lined his wall up and the ball’s gone in the other side, but fair play to the kid, he’s got a strike in.”

The crowd of 115 suffered from neck-ache as the ball spent most of the game in the air – no wonder the sun stayed in behind dark clouds in Welling as it wanted to avoid being struck by a football.

Erith & Belvedere created the first chance of the game after only 191 seconds.

Colin Richmond drove in a low corner from the right and the ball was hit first time by George Benner, the central defender’s effort from 15-yards sailing over the bar.

Carshalton Athletic immediately went up the other end and Summers found himself down the left, cut inside and stung the fingers of goalkeeper Rilwan Anibaba from 25-yards.

Longhurst felt his side should have taken the lead inside six minutes.

Capela cut in from the right flank and along the penalty box markings to play the ball inside to Alfie May, who played in Jamie Taylor, but the midfielder’s right-footed shot was blocked by Matt Willard’s outstretched right foot.

Longhurst said: “JT’s not known for his goalscoring but perhaps it fell to the wrong player in the box, but it’s a good little move and he’s broken in the box, he’s broken the lines and the keeper’s made a decent save. Either side of him, a yard either side of him it’s a goal. It was a good start to be fair.”

Not for the first time, Carshalton Athletic went route one, which forced Anibaba to palm the ball over.

Keeper Willard launched a big kick straight down the middle of the pitch straight at Summers’ head and his knock down was struck on a powerful volley by Andrews, which was palmed over by Anibaba, high to his right.

“To be fair the 7 (Bedford) played in the 10 role when I went to watch them the other day.  The 7 and Andrews are good players and I think if they were in a team that pass the ball they probably cause you a lot more problems – but they don’t.

“Those little passing patterns were too few and far between, but when they did do that they did cause us a couple of problems. They’ve got a couple of good players.

“Other than that, certainly first half, we were quite happy just letting them kick it long and they were flicking it to no one.”

Andrews trotted over to take the resulting corner short to Jordan Higgs and Summers who was off-target with his another header at the far post.

A poor defensive header by Erith & Belvedere’s right-back Marvin Okundayiye let in Sean O’Toole, the left-winger looping his shot straight at Anibaba just inside the corner of the box.

Carshalton Athletic did play some nice football on the deck in the 18th minute, which involved Luke Pigden, Higgs, Bradford and Andrews, who played the ball out to right-back Jake Downs, who hipped in a cross and Andrews’ 25-yarder was caught by Anibaba underneath his crossbar.

Carshalton’s early dominance of the game was cut short as Erith & Belvedere grabbed the lead after 24 minutes.

Skipper Richmond played the ball up to Capela inside the Carshalton half and he played the ball inside to winger Denzel Gayle, while Capela continued his run forward.

Gayle played the ball back into Capela, who drilled his left-footed shot past Willard into the net from 20-yards.

“I’m not going to fault the players, they’ve gone out there and done everything that I’ve asked of them. They’ve played to the system I set up and they worked really hard,” said Longhurst.

“We probably didn’t cause them enough problems in the second half. Perhaps we should’ve wrapped the game up in the first half, which is what I’ve said to the boys. Unfortunately it’s fine lines. Taking the referee out of it, they’ve had two chances and scored two goals!”

Carshalton Athletic midfielder Luke Pigden was given time and space to hit a left-footed drive towards goal from 35-yards, which was spilt by Anibaba as he danced to his left before the keeper gathered the loose ball.

But with only 8 Carshalton Athletic supporters standing behind the goal during the first half it is understandable on this performance why no more supporters travel to watch Matt Howard’s dire, ugly, direct brand of football.

Longhurst said: “I actually asked (my players) a question. I said to them can you go out and replicate that for another 45 minutes? If you do, you win the game!”

And by the hour mark Carshalton Athletic’s entire back four picked up yellow cards from referee David Spain and with Summers’ later being the sixth for dissent, the Colston Avenue outfit will be fined by The FA for a lack of discipline.

“Their (first) goal came literally after one of our players (Taylor) has been broken in half (by Downs’ challenge) and I don’t think the referee’s spoken to the bloke! I was on the opposite side of the pitch, so it’s difficult to see but as I’ve walked across at the end of the game everyone’s said to me ‘it’s a straight red-card!”

Reflecting on an earlier second half challenge on Richmond by Carshalton’s left-back Paris Hamilton-Downes, Longhurst said: “Their bloke is caught on camera. We’ve had the game video’d, we had a look at it at half-time and it’s a straight red card,” claiming, “He’s stamped on him!”

“The left-back’s absolutely written our player off and he’s on a booking and nothing’s given. It’s a yellow card and he hasn’t given it!

“In fact, I’m not going to be talking about him (the referee) for this point onwards because I think my players deserve to be spoken about rather than the officials.”

When asked about Taylor’s injury after being stretchered off, Longhurst was unclear.

“We don’t know. The ambulance came and looked at him I believe. I’m not too sure. I haven’t had a chance to speak to him.”

Capela cut in and blasted a left-footed shot high over the bar from 30-yards for the home side inside the opening nine minutes of the second half.

Carshalton Athletic created their best chance of the game in the 58th minute.

Right-back Downs whipped in a quality cross into the penalty area and Andrews nipped in to glance his header just over the crossbar from 8-yards.

Erith & Belvedere had a chance to kill off their higher league opponents when May stroked his right-footed free-kick from 25-yards around the wall, the ball bouncing just in front of Willard who made a comfortable save.

Longhurst said: “Good save from the keeper, he’s only young.  Alfie’s worked their goalkeeper, that’s all you can ask at the end of the day.  If you’ve got a direct free-kick, if you hit the target and the keeper picks it up, there’s not a lot more you can do.”

But Carshalton Athletic pulled off a smash-and-grab raid to nick a trip to Pagham in the First Qualifying Round on 12 September.

George Benner was penalised for a foul on Summers, who inevitably drilled his right-footed free-kick into the right-hand corner from 19-yards, despite Anibaba diving to his left in an attempt to make the save, equalising with 20 minutes and 4 seconds on the second half clock.

“We’ve had the game video’d so we’ll have a look at it,” said Longhurst.

“I don’t know if the keeper stood slightly more to one side that he needed to do. He was close, maybe that one little step but its fine margins. I’m not going to criticise him, he’s been outstanding Rilwan. He’s only 20. He’s been brilliant. Disappointed to concede from a free-kick, certainly giving a foul away, which I thought was needless.”

Carshalton Athletic played without the use of wingers for large chunks of the game, but having one scoring the winner just 117 seconds after the equaliser was a bitter pill to swallow.

Pigden swept in a free-kick from 40-yards out from the right and Bradford had his back to goal and clipped his overhead kick looping through Anibaba’s hands into the net from eight-yards.

“He is a good player, but he’s found space in our box, which ultimately that can’t happen! It makes no difference about the referee or anything like that. If you’re not going to mark in your own box that literally cannot happen!

“We gave the ball away and given another free-kick away. Ultimately they’ve scored from two set-pieces and that can’t happen! If the geezer put the ball in to the top corner, maybe you can accept that but the second one, as soon as you go to ground and you’re out of the game, that can’t happen!”

Summers saw Anibaba was off his line and from a central position some 57-yards from goal and hit his shot narrowly over the crossbar with Anibaba struggling to get back on his line.

Erith & Belvedere carved out chances to deservedly claim a second bite of the cherry.

Substitute right-back Fancisco Javier Etame Mbela clipped a 50-yard diagonal out of defence to find May down the left, the striker cut inside and bent his right-footed shot agonisingly around the foot of the far post from 15-yards.

Downs hit another long ball out of Carshalton’s defence to release substitute striker Kingsley Aikhionbare, who cut in from the right and dragged his shot past the far post from 25-yards.

And with less than ten minutes remaining, Summers unleashed a right-footed drive crashing off the underside of the crossbar from 30-yards and the rebound was put behind for a corner by an alert Gayle.

Longhurst added: “We lost our shape for a bit for 10 minutes when they got the two goals and we changed formation and we then grabbed back hold of the game.”

The Kent side created a couple of late chances and they really should have taken one of them.

Left-back Makhosini Ryan Khayne advanced into Carshalton’s half to whip in a deep cross which sailed over to Capela, who did well to stretch to knock the ball down and Benner drilled a first time angled drive screaming agonisingly past the far post from 20-yards.

Longhurst said: “I thought it was in! I actually thought it hit the post but it didn’t! It went behind the goal and hit the wall and came flying back out.

“It’s gone into the box, Goldy’s been sensible, he’s head it back down to George. If that falls to a centre forward, I don’t know. He’s hit a shot and it’s just flew past the post.”

But their best chance fell to May when he latched onto a through ball but lacked composure to drill his right-footed free-kick just over the bar after getting in behind and with only Willard to beat.

Longhurst admitted May should have buried his fifth goal of the season.

“He’s got to score! A little bit of composure, I think he’s got to score or certainly hit the target and make the keeper make a save. As you’re going through that’s the decision he’s got to make.

“That’s why we’ve brought in the likes of Brendon Cass in. Maybe if that falls to him, he’s 31 or 32, he’s been in that position a million of times with a minute to go and he’s got that experience to roll it into the corner.

“But I’m certainly not going to criticise Alfie. He’s a fantastic player and he’s going to get chances. He didn’t get a lot of chances today. On a ratio of chances you probably say 3 to 1 and he probably hasn’t had three chances.”

But Carshalton Athletic progress through to the next round, collecting £1,925 in prize money, which hopefully goes towards some footballers who can get the ball down and play it on the deck!

Longhurst said: “The boys’ are gutted because we’re better than them. We were more organised than them. For the players, managers and coaches, you’re sort of aspiring to what? That’s what is above us ultimately and tactically I thought we were better, the players were better. The way we want to play was better. It’s disappointed and that’s why the players are so deflated because you look around and you go, how did we actually lose the game?!”

Erith & Belvedere return to league action on Wednesday night with a home game against Greenwich Borough.

“Personally it’s my job to pick the players up,” said Longhurst.

“Massive game. We’ll come in on Tuesday night and train and we’ll go through some stuff. I went to watch them yesterday and they were here watching us today.

“It will be a different type of game. They’ll try to play, they’ve got some excellent players and it will be a tough game.

“We’ve got to get back to the league. You’re not going to win The FA Cup. It would’ve been nice to get another game in it and some more money in the kitty for the club but ultimately you’re not going to win this competition. You can’t win it realistically so for us now it’s bread and butter on Wednesday night.

“It should be a tough game. We’ve had a days’ less rest than them as well but it should be a good game. I’d imagine there will be a decent crowd here.

“The pressure’s on them. They have to win the game. They can’t afford to come here and lose because everybody knows what’s going on down there. We’re looking forward to those games, it’s a game everybody wants to be involved in.”

Erith & Belvedere: Rilwan Anibaba, Marvin Okundayiye (Francisco Javier Etame Mbela 75), Colin Richmond (Byron Walker 82), George Mitchell, George Benner, Jamie Taylor (Mikey Dalton 63), Ryan Johnson, Alfie May, Goldy Capela, Denzel Gayle.
Subs: Ben Wilson, Joe Minter, Brendon Cass, Diego DaSilva.

Goal: Goldy Capela 24

Booked: Byron Walker 88

Carshalton Athletic: Matt Willard, Jack Downs, Paris Hamilton-Downes, Luke Pigden, Alex Penfold, Adriano Moraes, Tommy Bedford, Jordan Higgs, Daniel Summers, Greg Andrews (Kingsley Aikhionbare 75), Sean O’Toole (Mickel Miller 46).
Subs: Craig Mullen, Matthew Males, Glenn Boosey

Goals: Daniel Summers 66, Tommy Bradford 68

Booked: Alex Penfold 26, Adriano Moraes 27, Paris Hamilton-Downes 31, Jake Downs 60, Daniel Summers 81

Attendance:  115
Referee: Mr David Spain (Westfield, East Sussex)
Assistants: Mr De Quincy Bailey (Bromley) & Mr Ashley Barnes (Bromley)