Forest Hill Park 0-3 Bridon Ropes - When you're not winning games all you care about is the three points, says Bridon Ropes boss Junior Montgomery

Wednesday 05th February 2020
Forest Hill Park 0 – 3 Bridon Ropes
Location Ladywell Arena, Silvermere Road, Catford, London SE6 4QX
Kickoff 05/02/2020 19:45

Sea Pioneer Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Wednesday 5 February 2020
Stephen McCartney reports from Ladywell Arena

BRIDON ROPES manager Junior Montgomery celebrated his side’s first league clean sheet of the season after securing a flattering 3-0 win at Forest Hill Park.

The Charlton-based side claimed their fourth win in the Sea Pioneer Southern Counties East Football League First Division season to boost their survival hopes after beating a poor Forest Hill Park side at a poorly lit Ladywell Arena.

Forest Hill manager Darrell Queeley saw his side miss a chance of reaching the London Senior Trophy Final for the first time when they lost 1-0 to Andreas Carter Kent County League Premier Division side Peckham Town here at the weekend.

Forest Hill Park went into this game sitting in tenth-place in the table with 27 points from 20 games, while Bridon Ropes arrived here on a nine-game winless run and sitting second-from-bottom in the table with 10 points from 19 games.

Bridon Ropes looked much better than what their league position suggests and took a twentieth-minute lead through Nathan Simpson’s drilled finish.

The second half will go down as the most uninspiring second half in history, where there were more cards shown by referee Daniel Wyatt than actual chances on either goal.

The first chance of the second half came in the 86th minute when substitute midfielder Liam Donaldson drilled in the visitors’ second goal of the night, before winger Richard Jimoh lashed in a flattering third exactly 60 seconds later after some poor goalkeeping.

“Delighted with the three points obviously first and foremost, clean-sheet as well.  I’m just delighted with the win for the boys. It’s been a while so it’s good to get the ball rolling,” said Montgomery, following his side’s first league win since beating Lewisham Borough 4-1 at home on 2 November 2019.

“We are where we are in the league but the performances, if you look at the results, we’ve been beaten by the odd goal.

“We spoke about some things and looked at our difference in shape and that’s why the clean-sheet is pleasing

“When you’re not winning games all you care about is the three points. From a managers point of view, I was really happy with the shape, how compact we were and that was key in getting a result, so I didn’t care what they game looked like!”

Forest Hill Park’s manager Queeley failed to make himself available for a post-match interview.

Bridon Ropes created the first opening of a poor game with nine minutes and 14 seconds on the clock.

Jimoh whipped in a great cross from the right touchline with his right-boot and Forest Hill Park centre-half Michael Garrick failed to track the run into the box by  striker Simpson, who planted his free header into the ground and goalkeeper Mousa Altaher flicked the ball up and watched it bounce on top of the crossbar before dropping over the bar for the first of six Bridon Ropes’ corners.

“At that point you’re just thinking to yourself you just want to try to get ahead and we haven’t been ahead for a while as well.  You’re thinking to yourself ‘go on Nathan, stick that away’, but it didn’t quite happen and we kept knocking on the door and got there in the end,” said Montgomery.

Bridon Ropes’ centre-half Eamon Gaughan launched a free-kick from inside his half straight down the middle of the pitch.  Simpson chested the ball down for James Murphy to sweep his left-footed shot from 22-yards into the hands of the Forest Hill Park goalkeeper.

“We started well, in terms of playing in their areas and getting shots off and that was another shot that we had,” added Montgomery.

Forest Hill Park played out from the back, which is brave thing to do on a playing surface not suited for carpet football.

Flavio Jumo, a holding midfielder, gave the ball away in his defensive third and the ball came out to Nathan Medley and the winger drove in a shot from outside the box, which was flicked towards goal by Simpson from 10-yards and Altaher made a comfortable save.

Bridon Ropes took a deserved lead with 19 minutes and 31 seconds on the clock.

Combative central midfielder Adam Smith drilled a low right-footed shot towards goal from 25-yards, which was palmed away by Altaher, who blocked Murphy’s follow-up header but failed to keep out Simpson’s drilled shot straight into the middle of the goal from 12-yards.

“That’s the thing with Nathan, he’ll score goals,” said Montgomery, whose survival hopes rest on Simpson and Jimoh.

“He’s a great lad as well. He will score goals so it’s a case of sticking together and I was delighted for him to score and delighted for us to get ahead.”

Bridon Ropes then decided to sit back to protect a rare lead, which invited Forest Hill Park forward and they had their best spell of the game from the 25th minute mark up until half-time.

“That was something that we spoke about before the game. You can’t press high, pressing throughout the whole 90 minutes so there’s going to be times, if we want to keep a clean-sheet we’ve got to be compact and that’s what we looked to do within our shape,” explained Montgomery.

Forest Hill Park’s central midfielder Ryan Atkinson clipped the ball down the right channel to winger Ezekiel Kamara, who spun Bridon Ropes’ left-back Sam Cassell to cut into the box and his cross-come-shot floated just past the far post from a tight angle.

Forest Hill Park’s left-back Onandi Shepherd fed the ball into Jumo, who played a forward pass into Joe Plant, whose weak right-footed shot from 22-yards bounced into the midriff of visiting goalkeeper Jack Wilson.

Kamara went on a mazy run, which saw him beat four men outside the Bridon Ropes box and his swept shot from 22-yards was too hot to handle for Wilson, who spilt the shot and gathered the ball low to his left before it rolled over his goal-line.

The home side were forced to shoot from distance with Atkinson skipping past Smith before stroking a left-footed drive from 25-yards, which was comfortably saved by Wilson.

Bridon Ropes could have doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when Jimoh played Simpson in on goal, Simpson produced a good first touch before stroking his right-footed shot towards the bottom near corner, which was blocked by the feet off the Forest Hill Park goalkeeper.

Bridon Ropes deserved their slender one-goal lead at the break.

The second half was an uninspiring stalemate but Montgomery heaped plenty of praise on his two centre-halves, Gaughan and Daniel Moore, 39, who shut the door on a toothless Forest Hill Park attack.

“I’m really happy with that pairing.  I’ve known Daniel since I was 10, he’s one of my best friends so I’ve called him in,” said Montgomery, 37.

“He played a couple of games earlier on in the season when we had a real mixed bag alongside him but that’s why I give credit to the pairing, it’s about having people who can give information and take information and Eamon and Dan really clicked and they enjoyed playing together and I think they showed that.

“As bad as the game was as a spectacle, tactically I was really happy with the discipline of the boys put on display and we limited them to very little.

“At the break we did speak about adjusting some things because they were having a bit of possession but it wasn’t in areas that were hurting us, so we kept pretty similar, pretty much the same and we spoke about working on a few of our set-pieces.  I weren’t happy with the way we were attacking set-pieces so it was continuing what we were doing, staring well and being compact really because they didn’t really test us.”

Referee Dan Wyatt showed three of his four yellow cards during the second half, which was more than actual goalscoring chances.

There was no excitement for the 38 people who bothered to turn out to watch this poor encounter.

“When you’re 1-0 up and we haven’t kept a clean-sheet for a while, you’re satisfied because you’re limiting the opposition to very little so from that point of view I was satisfied with how it went because I didn’t feel that they were creating too much so we was very happy at 1-0 up to let the game play out as it played out,” added Montgomery.

The first chance of the second half came with 40 minutes and 52 seconds on the clock, when Bridon Ropes scored their second goal of the night.

Central midfielder Liam Birks hit a long diagonal ball, which was brought down under his spell by substitute wide-man Patrick Giavahnoli, who played the ball on the outside to fellow substitute Donaldson, who took a touch before cutting inside and placing his right-footed angled drive across the keeper to find the bottom far corner from 15-yards.

“To get the second goal from Liam was fantastic,” said Montgomery.

“Delighted for Liam, top lad.   At 24, he’s going to be a really, really good player. He didn’t start tonight and he’s always supporting the team so when he came on to finish in that clinical manner, I was delighted.”

Bridon Ropes scored a flattering third exactly 60 minutes later, which was harsh on Forest Hill Park.

However, it was gifted to them by some poor goalkeeping from Altather, who threw the ball towards his left-back Shepherd, who was still inside the penalty area but the ball was intercepted by Jimoh and the finish was emphatic, lashing his right-footed shot into the roof of the net from 12-yards.

Montgomery said: “I think you’ve seen Richard a few times and know Richard is quality and that finish was outstanding! It almost ripped the net out so yes to seal the win in that way was very, very pleasing so all-in-all, a good evening’s work.”

Forest Hill Park created a 25% chance at the death when Atkinson chipped the ball into the Bridon Ropes penalty area and Wilson rushed off his line but failed to catch the ball but Forest Hill Park centre-half Matthew Faithorn – the only attacker inside the box – failed to get a good connection to the ball and the ball rolled away from goal.

Kent Football United remain rooted to the foot of the table with only seven points from their 21 league outings and Bridon Ropes remain in the relegation zone with them having collected 13 points from 19 games.

Above them are Snodland Town (14 points from 22 games); Meridian VP (17 points from 20 games) and Lydd Town (21 points from 22 games).

Montgomery was delighted that his side could get their monkey of their back, i.e. experiencing a rare victory and clean sheet and tonight’s victory is something that they can now build on and start climbing the league table.

He said: “I think it’s massive. I think that’s what it is though because it’s been a while. It becomes a bit of a psychological thing because we’ve been in all of the games but we’ve lost to Rusthall in the last four minutes last week, we were doing alright, so you have to break that run and you can only do that, it doesn’t come by luck, it comes from hard work, discipline and it means a lot.

“We’re looking to build something, not just for this year but for next year particularly, with some of the younger players that we’ve got at the club, it’s a great club and I’ve been here for about five years.

“I want to create history for the club by try getting into the top four, which is not possible this season but I want to keep building and take the club as far as we can go.”

Next up, a home game against current leaders Kennington on Saturday 15 February (15:00).

“Kennington are a good side but as they know from the last game, we will look to be competitive in that game. We respect who we play but we know the quality that we’ve got in our squad, so hopefully we’ve got a week to build on things at training and then look forward to that game,” said Montgomery.

“It wasn’t perfect tonight but there was lots and lots and lots of good things in there so every game that we’ll look to play until the end of the season we’ll look to give ourselves the best chance of getting three points, no matter who we’re playing.

“If you perform well and do some of the things you’ve asked and stick to a game plan, I know we’ve got the talent to beat any side in this division. It’s a very competitive division. We’ll take it game-by-game. We’ve got games in hand on the teams you’ve mentioned (above) so we just need to approach every game with the discipline and the togetherness we’ve shown and we know we’ve got enough to win football matches.”

Forest Hill Park: Mousa Altaher, Kris Queeley, Onandi Shepherd, Flavio Jumo, Matthew Faithorn, Michael Garrick, Ezekiel Kamara (Victor Okisor 83), Ryan Atkinson, Ollie Milton (Jefferson Aibangbee 75), Ric Campbell (Joji Phillips 67), Joe Plant.
Subs: James Kenward, Barciro Bario

Booked: Ryan Atkinson 77

Bridon Ropes: Jack Wilson, Dylan Manning (Ayrton Tansiri 79), Sam Cassell, Liam Birks, Eamon Gaughan, Daniel Moore, Nathan Medley (Patrick Giavagnoli 55), Adam Smith (Liam Donaldson 83), Nathan Simpson, James Murphy, Richard Jimoh.
Subs: Dilan Melchisedek-Nlendi, Jack Kelly

Goals: Nathan Simpson 20, Liam Donaldson 86, Richard Jimoh 87

Booked: Sam Cassell 41, James Murphy 51, Adam Smith 77

Attendance: 38
Referee: Mr Daniel Wyatt
Assistants: Mr Emmanuel Makola & Mr Robert Redondo