Erith & Belvedere 0-4 Chertsey Town - We let the fans down, we didn't perform well and we didn't turn up for you today - and they were better than us, admits Erith & Belvedere joint-manager Danny Murphy

Sunday 05th September 2021
Erith & Belvedere 0 – 4 Chertsey Town
Location Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY
Kickoff 05/09/2021 12:00

The Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round
Sunday 5 September 2021
Stephen McCartney reports from Park View Road

ERITH & BELVEDERE joint-manager Danny Murphy admits he learned more about his players after suffering their first defeat of the season in this FA Cup First Qualifying Round thrashing at the hands of Chertsey Town.


Kevin MacLaren’s side dominated from start to finish and comfortably booked their place in the Second Qualifying Round for the third successive season, courtesy of goals from Darryl Harrison, Casey MacLaren, Magnus Abisogun and a 50th minute own-goal from Marlon Patterson.

This was Erith & Belvedere’s fifth game in the competition this season, having needed replays to beat Tooting & Mitcham United and AFC Croydon Athletic but there was no sign of a cup upset against a very good Chertsey Town side.

Erith & Belvedere went into this game sitting in fourth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with four wins out of four, four points adrift of leaders Glebe but with two games in hand.

Chertsey Town arrived at Park View Road in seventh-place in the Isthmian League South Central Division table with one win and two draws from three games and beat Lingfield 4-1 in the last round.

The Deres haven’t played since beating AFC Croydon Athletic 3-2 in their away replay 12 days ago and after having league games against Tunbridge Wells and Glebe called off over the Bank Holiday weekend, they were well off the pace against higher league opposition.

“We didn’t start well and they were better than us but at the end of the day we didn’t do the right things at the start of the game and we caused ourselves problems.  They were on it, they were aggressive, they were on the front foot and they were better, not really much more to say. I mean, we got beat by the better team,” admitted Murphy.

“Look, we’ve given up silly goals and we gave away silly things but at the end of the day there’s two teams out there and you’ve got to win your individual battles and we didn’t do that and that’s why they were able to stay on top and dominate and be the better team because we didn’t win our individual battles.

“The break hasn’t helped us, we were very flat, very subdued and I think that is a big part of it as well.”

Chertsey Town started the game on the front foot and took the lead after only 244 seconds following their first of 10 corners.

Andrew Crossley swung the ball in from the left and Tony Halsey flicked the ball towards goal and centre-half Harrison bundled the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from close range, despite debutant goalkeeper Ethan Endacott stretching to his left in an attempt to make the save.

Murphy said: “I think it’s just got to be defended better, you can’t give goals away on set-pieces.  That’s been our bread and butter, we’ve kept clean-sheets and we gave away a goal after a set-piece, which we could’ve dealt with.

“We didn’t anticipate the bounce, didn’t get around it and gave up a goal and then we gave up the second goal from a very similar thing, another set-piece and another goal.”

Winger Halsey was a threat in the air and he missed a chance to double Chertsey Town’s lead just 60 seconds later.

Harrison released Crossley down the right and he put in a cross for Halsey, who planted his free header over the crossbar from 12-yards out.

Another right-wing cross from Crossley, was knocked down by striker Jake Baxter at the far post and Halsey teed up Manolis Gogonas, who cut into the box before lashing his shot over the crossbar with his left-foot from 16-yards.

Erith & Belvedere struggled to keep hold off the ball and couldn’t stop Chertsey Town continue their dominance.

The Curfews wasted a glorious chance to increase their lead in the 17th minute when brave midfield play from Casey MacLaren saw him win the ball off ineffective Erith & Belvedere striker Benga Ogunseye in the centre circle before hitting a long ball along the deck to put Halsey through on goal but he dragged his shot across the keeper and trickling past the far post from 16-yards when he only had keeper Endacott to beat.

“It’s not good defending. I could tactically go through it all but from me we just weren’t at the races today. We didn’t do it as individuals,” added Murphy.

Endacott was called into action when he used his outstretched right hand to push over Harrison’s free-header from 16-yards after Crossley floated in another corner from the left.

However, Chertsey Town deservedly doubled their lead just 36 seconds later, with 26 minutes on the clock.

Crossley delivered another precise corner from the right and no one picked up Casey MacLaren at the near post and he buried his downward header into the near corner from six-yards.

“Another set-piece and we concede from a set-piece. They worked some good movement in there and they were strong and aggressive and we’ve got to do better,” added Murphy.

Erith & Belvedere’s only chance arrived in the 28th minute and it came off a Chertsey players’ head.

Central midfielder Ashley Carew, who lost the midfield battle, floated a right-footed free-kick in from the left channel and Chertsey’s right-back Gogonas glanced his near post header just past the top of the far post for a corner.  Although referee Dele Sotimirin and assistant referee Mark Jenkins awarded a goal-kick instead.

“Listen, we didn’t play well. We didn’t do the things we’ve been doing all season. We started playing a different way, they allowed us to have a little bit more time and freedom on the ball and we didn’t make the right decisions on it or pick the right passes and they had a game plan and they came here and they were aggressive and they were better,” admitted Murphy.

Carew gave the ball away with a clearance out from a right-back position and Harrison put the ball back into the box, which skimmed Halsey’s head in the middle and Baxter’s left-footed scuffed shot from 16-yards brought a comfortable save from Endacott.

The tie was effectively over when Chertsey Town raced into a 3-0 lead with six minutes before the break.

Casey MacLaren lofted the ball up field, Erith & Belvedere centre-half Reece Barrett failed to clear his lines and this let in Crossley, who fed Baxter, who rolled the ball over to Abisogun, who cut onto his left-boot before drilling a low shot across the keeper and nestling inside the bottom far corner from 12-yards.

“Look, we had a young kid, young Kazeem (Richards) at right-back. He’s just got to get his angles right and force the ball wide instead of giving him the whole goal to shoot into.  He’s got to get lower and force the ball away from goal and we didn’t do that and that was it,” said Murphy.

Trickery down the right from winger Tyler Anderson-Parr saw him dance past three Chertsey defenders as he ran along the by-line but his effort was gobbled up by visiting keeper Nicholas Jupp, who had a quiet afternoon.

Jupp, left-back Mason Welch-Turner, strikers Baxter and Crossley, as well as unused substitutes Lewis Gallifant and manager Kevin MacLaren were all involved in Dave Anderson’s side that beat Cray Valley (Paper Mills) 3-1 after extra time at Wembley Stadium in The FA Vase Final on Sunday 19 May 2019.

Jupp launched a right-footed free-kick up field and Crossley pounced on the loose ball to strike a right-footed half-volley screaming past het diving keeper and past the left-hand post from the edge of the penalty area as Chertsey Town went into the break with a commanding lead.

“You’ve got to go out and win your individual battles and if you can do that and stay on top you’ve got every chance of getting something out of the game but at the end of the day you’re 3-0 down against a team like that, it’s very difficult to come back from especially when you’re not playing well,” said Murphy.

Erith & Belvedere’s other manager, Patterson, scored a calamitous own-goal to kill the game as a contest just four minutes and 45 seconds into the second half.

Gogonas played the ball down the line and Halsey spun right-back Kazeem Richards before feeding Baxter, who whipped in a cross towards Patterson in space at the far post and he hooked the ball into the right-corner of his own net from six-yards.

Murphy added: “It’s poor defending. A poor ball into the box and it just wasn’t good enough!

“I was just thinking how can I get some more people on and get some minutes under their belt. We’ve had two weeks without no game and hardly any training.  Now can we start getting some players on and get some minutes, trying to look after some of the boys that really haven’t been playing and the ones that have been playing.”

Tyler Anderson-Parr unleashed a long-range dipping drive which only just cleared Jupp’s crossbar from wide on the left just 51 seconds later, before the home side’s mini recovery.

Ollie Bate released Anderson-Parr down the left and his pace took him to the by-line but striker Ogunseye failed to produce the finish by flicking his first-time shot at the near post from six-yards looping up and easily caught by Jupp as the ball dropped.

Patterson was withdrawn just before the hour and Murphy went with three at the back but they couldn’t find the energy or belief to make more of a game of it as Chertsey Town ran out comfortable winners.

Good work down the left from Bate saw him cut into the box and the ball came out to Drew Allassani, who stroked his right-footed drive straight at Jupp from 18-yards on the hour-mark.

“They were only half-chances. We didn’t really create much to be honest today. Any little chance we got it was off their mistakes, not through our quality, so listen, it’s one of those days, it was crap, it wasn’t very good.”

Chertsey Town continued to be a threat from set-pieces and from their sixth, Crossley played the ball short to Baxter before Crossley put in a cross and Harrison came up from the back again to flick his shot just past the left-hand post.

Erith & Belvedere’s centre-half Rob Curtis pulled up injured as he failed to cut out Casey MacLaren’s through ball on the deck to put Halsey through on goal but Endacott came out to narrow the angle and smothered the ball behind for a corner while diving to his right in the 65th minute.

“I don’t know (the extent of the injury), I haven’t had time to asses that at all, to talk to him yet,” came Murphy’s reply when asked about Curtis’ injury.

“Ethan’s 17-18 years of age and he’s come in and has helped us out today and done a job and he’s actually done ok.”

Crossley floated another corner in from the right and Casey MacLaren’s near post header looped towards the top corner before Endacott plucked the ball out of the air.

The busy Endacott made a fine save inside the final four minutes when Crossley’s free-kick from the right was met at the far post by substitute centre-half Lewis Jackson, who sent his header down into the ground and as the ball looped back up Endacott flicked the ball over his crossbar despite Jackson challenging him as he went to nod the ball over the line from close range.

The home side finished the game with 10 men after Bate hobbled off with a knock to his knee with 42:42 on the clock as Murphy had already brought on three substitutes that played no impact in trying to get their side back into a game that was lost as early as the fifth minute.

“It’s got to be better, got to win your individual battles, you’ve got to start the game right and it’s got to be better,” said Murphy, who was then asked if he had a message for the Erith & Belvedere faithful.

“We’ve let you down, we didn’t perform well and we didn’t turn up for you today. That’s the first time. We were going to lose at some stage, you’re not going to play well every week.

“I don’t mind losing and not playing well if you work hard but we didn’t do that today.

“I can handle losing, I don’t mind losing but I’ve learned more about everyone as a group and as individuals today losing, than I do winning games.

“We’ve got another game on Saturday. It’s a game of football, it’s not the end of the world. We can’t be too high when we’re winning and too low when we’re losing. We have to find that medium ground and take the positives out of today, we got loads of minutes. It’s one less cup we have to be in and we can concentrate more on the league.

“It’s been a good little run and it’s been exciting and it’s been enjoyable for the boys and for the fans and the club and we look forward to doing it again next year.”

Erith & Belvedere travel to Lingfield in The FA Vase First Qualifying Round next Saturday, a side at the same level and sitting in thirteenth-place in the Southern Combination Premier Division table with three wins and a draw from six games.

Looking ahead to their trip to Church Road, Whyteleafe, Murphy added: “I haven’t even thought about it yet. I’ll probably sit down over the next couple of days and start to think about it and start to plan for that but the focus was really on today’s game and getting a result today, which we didn’t do and now we’ve got to sit down and have a little think about and figure out how we go into next week and play better.”

Erith & Belvedere: Ethan Endacott, Kazeem Richards, Marlon Patterson (Keanan Allassani 57), Drew Allassani, Rob Curtis (Tom Mcnamee 66), Reece Barrett, Tyler Anderson-Parr, Ashley Carew, Benga Ogunseye (Calum Willock 81), Ollie Bate, Henry Dasofunjo.
Subs: Matthew Neary, Danny Patterson

Booked: Marlon Patterson 55, Ollie Bate 71

Chertsey Town: Nicholas Jupp, Manolis Gogonas, Mason Welch-Turner, Ashley Lodge, Darryl Harrison, Quincy Rowe (Lewis Jackson 53), Tony Halsey, Casey MacLaren, Jake Baxter (Mark Bitmead 63), Andrew Crossley, Magnus Abisogun.
Subs: Lewis Gallifant, Kevin MacLaren, Sam Hurrell

Goals: Darryl Harrison 5, Casey MacLaren 26, Magnus Abisogun 39, Marlon Patterson 50 (own goal)

Attendance: 151
Referee: Mr Dele Sotimirin
Assistants: Mr Mark Jenkins & Mr Andrew Simmonds