Erith & Belvedere 0-2 Erith Town - We’re not going to win the league so it’s nice to stay in the Cups, says Erith Town boss Adam Woodward

Sunday 26th November 2017
Erith & Belvedere 0 – 2 Erith Town
Location Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY
Kickoff 26/11/2017 15:00

Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Second Round
Sunday 26th November 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Park View Road

ERITH TOWN manager Adam Woodward dedicated their Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Second Round win to hospitalised striker Danny Gannon, 25, who suffered a broken leg at Glebe on Tuesday night.


Second half goals from right-winger Andres Felipe Losada Tobon and a maiden goal from on-loan striker Ken Clarke sent the Dockers through to the Quarter-Finals along with Chatham Town, Cray Valley, Canterbury City, Sheppey United, Sporting Club Thamesmead, Tunbridge Wells and Whitstable Town.

Erith Town went in to the game in fourteenth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 19 points on the board from 14 games, while Erith & Belvedere, who finished rock bottom of the table last season are underperforming in the First Division, sitting in twelfth-place with 18 points from 13 games, 22 points adrift of leaders K Sports but with three games in hand.

“It’s nice to be in the hat for the next round, 2-0, that’s the best thing about the day really,” said Woodward.

“I thought it was a boring first half if I’m honest. It was quite dull!  We asked for a reaction at half-time. We worked on a few technical things and we came out second half and done what we asked them to do and got the just rewards for it.”

Erith & Belvedere boss Luke Coleman, who has used six goalkeepers this season, added: “Disappointed with the result but really, really pleased with the performance.

“I thought we cut our teeth against a team that play in the league above who on Tuesday had a great result against Glebe and are clearly capable of doing well in their league and I feel for 70 minutes we were at times the better side.  I thought it was quite even actually but for me it was a superb performance.”

Erith & Belvedere created the first chance of the game after only 50 seconds, on a chilly Sunday afternoon.

Chris McGinty drilled in a deflected cross from the right, which looped up for striker Kofi Quartey, who looped his header towards goal, which was palmed behind by keeper Adam Molloy, high to his left.

Coleman said: “It was a good chance, we had quite a few of them.  I thought we opened them up a few times today and its testament to our attacking abilities but I think the more pleasing was our defensive qualities today.  I thought as a team, against a side that’s got a lot going forward, I thought we defended superbly.”

Woodward added: “They caused us a few problems throughout the game.

“I thought we dominated a lot of the possession. I don’t think we were clinical enough in the first half.  We didn’t play the passes we were meant to play, very sideways, very slow.”

Erith & Belvedere were forced to play their assistant manager John Bourke in goal after George Gibbard was withdrawn through an injury sustained during the warm-up.

Bourke, who was originally listed as a substitute goalkeeper, was called into action straight away.

Central midfielder James Day played in striker Clarke down the left, he cut inside and onto his right-foot and drilled a shot towards goal from 20-yards, which was blocked by the stand-in keeper’s legs.

Coleman said: “Something happened in the warm-up, I’m not quite sure but the young lad dislocated his wrist but I knew John was more than capable of stepping in and I think he showed that today and made some incredible saves.”

Woodward said: “They made the change just before the start of the game. The young lad got injured so we identified that and said we needed to get early shots on goal and it was nice to get one after three minutes and he made a good save.”

George Bryan floated in a deep cross into the Erith Town box from the right but Quartey ghosted in at the far post to poke his shot just past the post.

Erith Town linked up well down the right through Tobon and Osman Proni, and Tobon’s cross from the by-line was met by Steadman Callender’s header inside the box, which bounced wide.

The Dockers missed a glorious chance to break the deadlock in the 22nd minute.

Daniel Palfrey swung in their first corner of the game in from the right but Clarke got underneath his free header on the edge of the six-yard box to plant his header over the bar.

Woodward said: “Another half chance. We had two or three half-chances maybe if one goes in, we needed a goal just to settle us down either way really. It was a half-chance, unfortunately he didn’t get it in.”

Day, who is a player who does all the ugly stuff breaking up play in the middle of the pitch, swept the ball out wide to Tobon, who cut in to the centre and from the edge of the penalty area his left-footed drive screamed across goal and past the far post.

Quartey ran the left-channel and his cross flashed across the face of goal and Erith & Belvedere winger McGinty drove his shot into the side netting from a tight angle after 32 minutes.

Tobon’s free-kick into the home side’s box was cleared and Day picked up the pieces before playing the ball inside to substitute winger Adem Ramadan, stroking his right-footed drive from 25-yards bouncing comfortably into Bourke’s hands.

Erith & Belvedere produced a good move in the 37th minute when McGinty released Quartey down the right channel.  He played the ball inside to striker Dominic Odusanya, who stroked his first-time drive from 25-yards towards goal, which was held by Molloy, diving low to his right.

“Dominic perhaps should’ve done better with that,” admitted Coleman.

“He sort of made the chance for himself, so I’m not going to be too critical but probably the theme of the day for us, the final ball or in the final third with a bit of quality could’ve got something out from today.”

Erith Town got in behind the home side’s defence when Tobon spread the ball from right-to-left for Ramadan, who played a clever pass to play in Palfrey in behind and his low centre was parried by Bourke, getting down low to his right at his near post before the ball was cleared away.

Erith & Belvedere put in a much better performance during the first half than the second half and Joe Matthews’ pass out of defence released McGinty charging down the right and he picked out Jonathan Murray in space on the left and he cut inside before curling his shot agonisingly around the far post from 22-yards.

Coleman said: “I think first half we probably played better than we played second but I think second half they were slightly downhill and with the wind in their sails a bit more.  I thought first half we were really good. Second half I still feel we were pretty good but the two goals maybe deflated us slightly.”

Visiting keeper Molloy made a comfortable save to his right to gather Odusanya’s weak shot at goal from the edge of the box after linking up well with his striker partner Quartey in the final third.

Erith Town created the last chance of the half, Clarke flashing an angled drive in from the right which flashed across goal and past the far post.

Both managers were asked their thoughts at the break.

Coleman said: “I just said we need to go out for the second half with the same application, desire and discipline.  The first half was clearly a demonstration of the fact we’re capable of mixing it with teams in the league above. It was just doing the same in the second half.  Unfortunately, the goal killed us a bit in the second half when they scored but I just said to the boys more of the same.”

Woodward added: “I thought Stuart Zanone and Ken Clarke were very isolated in the first half.  I thought Dan Willis in their midfield had a lot of space. We had to make sure we had to stop him getting it. He was a deep play-maker so we told our centre midfielders to get closer to him. I thought the wingers were too wide, we played too far away from the centre forwards.

“Our tempo needed to go up. We needed to be more direct. Can we get it up to the front man and support him as much as we can? That’s just not the two centre midfielders, it’s the wingers as well.  I thought we were quite isolated.

“When Adem Ramadan came on he picked the pace up and he was lively.  I asked for a reaction and we got a reaction in the second half.”

The home side created an early chance but Murray lashed his shot past the near post from 16-yards after Quartey played a cross-field pass to put in the former Glebe winger after 91 seconds.

McGinty played a short corner to Murray, who whipped in a cross and Jason Mensah came up from the back to hit an acrobatic overhead kick sailing over the crossbar from six-yards.

But Erith Town started to control the game as their Premier Division class started to shine through.

Tobon played a lovely pass through to Stuart Zanone, who cut in and drilled a right-footed drive from 22-yards, which was palmed over by Bourke’s strong outstretched right-hand.

When asked why he’s brought journeyman striker Zanone to the club, Woodward replied: “He’s got quality.  I’ve spoken to a few people about him, people that have had him as a player. I’ve spoken to him and it was good to get him involved really.  He’s a proven goal scorer at this level and the level above.  I went to meet him, we had a brief chat and he liked what we had planned. He comes in as a senior player, he’s 31-32 now. We’ve got a lot of young lads around him in the attacking third and I feel he’ll bring them on.”

Coleman added: “That’s just another one of John’s string of saves.  I think he made a few today. It shows John’s capable. He hasn’t played all season.  He came on for the last 10 minutes (against Snodland on 2 September), apart from that he hasn’t played.  I think his last game was for Kent Football United.”

Erith Town opened the scoring with nine minutes and 39 seconds on the clock.

Palfrey’s initial corner from the right was cleared back out to him and his cross wasn’t headed away properly by two defenders and the ball dropped at Tobon’s feet, who drilled his right-footed shot through a crowd of players into the bottom near corner.

Woodward said: “A good goal from Andres, a fantastic set from Stuart Zanone back to goal, he’s got the set-off and Andres has finished. Andres was exceptional the other night, I thought he was good today, he wasn’t as good as he was the other night. He just needs to add consistency to his game now.”

Coleman said: “That’s come from a collection of errors on our part.  I think firstly we shouldn’t have been passing at the back at that stage of the game where things are so tight, so it’s bout identifying what was wrong in that instance and trying to correct it moving forward.”

Erith & Belvedere winger McGinty’s right-footed drive from 25-yards was comfortably caught by Molloy.

Molloy then dived low to his right to hold Daniel Willis’ dipping low right-footed drive from 35-yards, after the holding midfielder went for goal after McGinty’s inside pass.

Coleman said:  “Dan had a couple of strikes today and I’m always quite happy for Dan to do that. He’s got beautiful technique and a good strike.  Dan’s more than capable, he plays in the defensive holding position and I always allow him to get up the pith when he can do that.”

Woodward added: “Molloy was fantastic against today.  I thought he dealt with what he had to deal with, he made a couple of good saves and his handling was terrific. He’s massive for us.”

Erith Town wrapped the game up with a second goal, timed at 20 minutes and 12 seconds on the clock.

Clarke picked up a loose ball on the halfway line and ran 30 yards before looping a left-footed drive on the turn over the keeper from 25-yards.

“Fantastic!  Did he mean it? I don’t know!  I don’t know whether he meant it,” said Woodward.

“It’s a good finish from a young lad. He’s been very patient. He came in from Cray Wanderers, thanks to Tony Russell, he’s sent him down. It’s a gentleman’s agreement loan. He’s come down, Tony’s spoken very highly of him and he’s done the business today.  I thought he was exceptional up top, he looks a right threat.”

“I think that’s the goal that I was most disappointed with, it was avoidable,” admitted Coleman.

“It was a weak strike but also it came from us playing in their final third so for us to go from the transition of playing up their end of the pitch to conceding a goal at the other end is disappointing but there again it goes to show their capabilities and how well we played today in terms of our defence and keeping them at bay for so long.”

Molloy’s clearance was hit straight back towards him by Willis, who saw his 45-yard shot caught by the Erith Town goalkeeper.

Murray then floated in a free-kick which was met by Willis’ glancing header from eight-yards, which was gathered by the Dockers keeper.

Bourke stood up tall and used his legs to block the impressive Clarke from scoring again, as he drove into the box down the left.

“A good save from the keeper gin.  Ken was very positive. When he turns and he faces the goal I want him to be as positive as he can and drive at people,” said Woodward.

Debutant striker Zanone failed to get a couple of late headers on target after deliveries into the box from Tobon (corner) and Palfrey (free-kick).

Molloy was initially out of position when substitute debutant striker Arlie Desanges flicked on McGinty’s cross from the right wing, but the Erith Town keeper caught Quartey’s poor header, which he should have buried from inside the six-yard box instead of looping it into Molloy’s hands at the death.

Woodward admitted: “It came from our own mistake really, we were in the bottom corner and we tried a silly flick and we lost the ball and they went up the other end and nearly scored and I would’ve been upset. We haven’t kept a clean sheet in a little while so it was nice to keep a clean sheet today.”

Coleman added: “It was a good chance, a really good chance.  There was never much pace on the ball for Kofi to hit the header. It’s another chance for us and on another day that might go in.”

Reflecting on his side’s showing, Coleman, who has got through 45 players already this season, took the positives out of their Trophy exit.

He said: “A really pleasing performance in terms of our discipline and our defensive work.  I think perhaps we could’ve done more in the final third in terms of our quality but overall I’m pleased.

“People have seen we were cutting our teeth against a team in the league above and performing well.  By no means we were not being overpowered or overawed.  Just moving forward really the upshot has to be we have to hit that level of performance week-in-week-out in the league, what is our bread and butter. If we do I think come the end of the season we’ll do ok but it’s about consistency.”

Reflecting on the win, Woodward dedicated it to Gannon, who faces around a year out of the game after suffering a double break of his right leg.

“It’s probably the worst things I’ve had in football as a manager,” revealed Woodward.

“I’ve been to see him a couple of times. I spent two or three hours with him last night, had a bit of pizza and watched the football and had a brief chat.  There’s some good news, he’s on his crutches today so hopefully he’ll be out tomorrow.

“I credited the players before the game because at Glebe what happened, happened and there was a bit of a wait and they saw a mate in a lot of pain.  They could basically might not have wanted to carry on because they were too distressed.   They carried on and played really well and battled on Tuesday.  It’s a lot to see their pal on the floor and they’ve all been up to visit him and see how he is.

“He’s got a long road to recovery, which he knows and the players battled and got a win for him today.”

Woodward says he is keen to reach the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy Final this season.

“We’re through to the last eight. It keeps the season going. We’re not going to win the league so it’s nice to stay in the Cups.  A lot of people played yesterday, would’ve liked to be in the cups this week and be in the next round and unfortunately they’re not and we are.  I like to win any game of football as long as you’re in the hat you’ve got a chance of getting to the Final.”

Erith & Belvedere: John Bourke, Nad Nwitua, Michael Shipp (Ronnie O’Donnell 77), Daniel Willis, Joe Matthews, Jason Mensah, Chris McGinty, George Bryan (Arlie Desanges 70), Kofi Quartey, Dominic Odusanya, Jonanthan Murray.
Sub: Darren Wheeler, Luke Coleman

Booked: Michael Shipp 35, Joe Matthews 64

Erith Town: Adam Molloy, Myles Keizer-Burrows, Daniel Palfrey, James Day, Tamer Bilal, Jack Duffy, Andres Felipe Losada Tobon, Osman Proni (Sidney Warden 70), Stuart Zanone (Leithan Brimah 88), Ken Clarke, Steadman Callender (Adem Ramadan 25).
Subs: Jack Hooper, Peter Dale

Goals: Andres Felipe Losada Tobon 55, Ken Clarke 66

Booked: Tamer Bilal 74

Attendance: 59
Referee: Mr Paul Franks (Sittingbourne)
Assistants: Mr Billy Woods (Bexleyheath) & Mr Christopher Clarke  (Aylesford)

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