Glebe 3-0 Abbey Rangers - We've got the promotion, which is good, a double would be even better, says Glebe manager Adam Groom

Wednesday 10th April 2019
Glebe 3 – 0 Abbey Rangers
Location Foxbury Avenue, off Perry Street, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6SD
Kickoff 10/04/2019 19:45

Suburban League Challenge Shield Semi-Final
Wednesday 10 April 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Foxbury Avenue

GLEBE manager Adam Groom says it will be excellent to complete a Suburban League double.

The Chislehurst based club sealed promotion in the 26-year-old’s first season at the club by finishing runners-up to Lingfield in the South Division, having collected 40 points from their 20 league outings.

Glebe booked their place in the Suburban League Challenge Shield Final after beating Addlestone based side Abbey Rangers 3-0 at Foxbury Avenue.

Glebe will play Metropolitan Police or Lingfield in the Final at Corinthian's Gay Dawn Farm ground on Wednesday 8 May 2019 at 19:45.

Visiting goalkeeper Jason MacGregor – who played for their first team 24 hours earlier – gifted Glebe winger Jack Dimmock two goals in the space of 125 seconds towards the end of the first half - before substitute striker Alfie Shaw tapped in a third inside the final 15 minutes.

Glebe came away from champions Lingfield with a 2-1 win on Saturday, while Abbey Rangers went into this Semi-Final sitting in fifth-place in the Central Division with 28 points with one league outing left to play.

“It’s nice to get to a final to be honest with you after the promotion the other day,” said Groom.

“We said to the boys just do one final push. We didn’t know anything about Abbey Rangers because they’re not in our league, they’re in the Central Division, so we didn’t know what they were going to be like.

“We just went out there and I thought we started a little bit sloppy in the first half and we obviously got the job done in the second half, which is good.”

Abbey Rangers – who play Bromley in the Suburban League Challenge Plate Final at Metropolitan Police’s Imber Court ground on Tuesday 23 April - started the game on the front foot, helped by the slow tempo start to the game.

Referee Lee Hermitage awarded Abbey Rangers a free-kick after he adjudged Ross Bassan had fouled Jordan Timbrell and holding midfielder Tom Arnold curled his right-footed free-kick around the right-hand post from a central position some 35-yards from goal inside the opening 10 minutes.

Right-winger Rajiv Rutah played the ball into Timbrell, whose looping curling attempt from 25-yards went over MacKenzie Foley’s head and crashed against the crossbar.

Groom said: “That’s when we started going to our boys ‘we haven’t started well enough!’

“We wasn’t moving the ball or keeping the ball and that shot got us going after that and we started playing the way we needed to play and what we asked them to do.”

Abbey Rangers’ right-back George Davies floated in a deep cross which saw captain Timbrell rise inside the Glebe penalty are and guiding his header straight at Foley from 14-yards.

Abbey Rangers striker Bobby Main drove into a Glebe defensive wall on the edge of the penalty area before slipping the ball to Timbrell, who kept composed to roll the ball back to left-back Louis Collins, who took a touch before floating in a cross which found Davies in a pocket of space just inside the Glebe penalty area and his looping header was comfortably gathered by Foley.

Foley had a great game in the Glebe goal and he was called into more serious action in the 27th minute.

Abbey Rangers’ left-back Collins broke forward, played the ball into Main’s feet and he played the ball on the outside to winger Matthew Bryant, whose right-footed drive was destined for the bottom near corner, only for Foley to make a vital save low to his left.

Groom said: “MacKenzie has done us well this year. All the games where we’ve had to play three games in the space of a week and we’ve MacKenzie pulled off saves when we’ve needed him to do it and he’s pulled us out of trouble there as well.”

Timbrell drilled in the resulting corner from the right and Foley caught Main’s looping header from underneath his crossbar.

Arnold joined an attack for the away side inside the final third before he teed up Timbrell, who hit a first time right-footed drive dipping just over the Glebe crossbar from 30-yards.

Glebe took 32 minutes to create their first chance of the game.

Highly-rated holding midfielder Tom Hever advanced inside the Abbey Rangers half and played the ball to Ryan Saad, who swept the ball out to right-back Ashley Long, who whipped in a deep cross towards the centre of the pitch for Heaver to stroke his left-footed drive towards goal, which was gathered by MacGregor, low to his left.

Groom said: We wanted to get Tom on the ball and like we said, the first half-an-hour we wasn’t doing it and as soon as we can get the midfield boys onto the ball for someone like Tom because everything comes through Tom.”

Arnold floated a free-kick into Glebe’s box and Main nipped in front of Glebe centre-half Ricky North to glace his header wide from eight-yards.

If any team should have been in front then it was Abbey Rangers but two glaring mistakes from their goalkeeper MacGregor turned the game on its head.

There seemed to be little danger when Dimmock strode forward through the middle of the pitch but he unleashed a 35-yard drive which nestled into the bottom left-hand corner, with the keeper expecting the ball to flash wide to give Glebe a lucky lead with 35 minutes and 13 seconds on the clock.

“I think we needed something like that, a little bit of, I wouldn’t say luck, just a bit of not even class,” admitted Groom.

“It was a shot. We said at half-time if that’s what you need to do to score the goal, that’s what you need to do.

“I think Jack’s taken the goal well to be fair. It’s just come out of nowhere but Jack can do that though and he’s scored a few goals like that this season so I know Jack’s got that in his locker but he’s obviously seen that today and thought he’d have a go so fair play to Jack.”

A second howler from the Abbey Rangers keeper gifted Glebe a second goal with 36 minutes and 48 seconds on the clock.

Glebe right-back Long whipped in cross from the right touchline, which should have been gobbled up by the keeper, who jumped to pluck the ball out of the air underneath the crossbar. However, he stepped back and dropped the ball and an alert Dimmock nipped in to nod the ball into the right-hand corner from a couple of yards out.

Groom said: “Again, well done to Jack, he’s got in the right place. We’ve been critical of our boys over the season when they haven’t followed things in so you’ve got to be in there to win it and he’s got in there and got on the end there and obviously the keeper’s done what the keeper’s done!”

Glebe created an opening on the stroke of half-time when Dimmock swung in a corner from the left towards the near post and Saad jumped to plant his header over the crossbar from six-yards out.

“We said the first 20 minutes wasn’t good enough,” admitted Groom.

“I don’t know if we looked a little bit nervous or anything like that and then we said to them as soon as you pass the ball how we asked you to pass the ball, we’ll be able to break them down.

“I thought they were an ok side, they worked hard and they tried to get on the ball and we couldn’t get on the ball.  As soon as we could get hold of it, Jack for the first goal, maybe it was a little bit of luck, I don’t know. It opened them up a little bit, which is what we asked them to do.

“We needed to start moving the ball better, we’re playing with a better tempo and I thought the second half we did go out and do that.”

Abbey Rangers player-manager Jack Field took the gloves at the interval as  MacGregor watched the rest of the game behind the pitch perimeter fencing on the stand side of the pitch.

Abbey Rangers started the second half on the front foot before Glebe should have increased their lead after 194 seconds.

Bassan clipped the ball over the top of the Abbey Rangers back four to release striker Lee Friend down the right and he outmuscled centre-half Sam Hanger and ignored Saad in the middle to try to score himself, only for his shot to be parried by Field, low to his left.

“Frustrating but like any striker will say he’s got in that area, which we’re asking our strikers to do but it’s what strikers do, he’s going to shoot!  He’s in front of the goal so that’s why he’s done it so I can’t moan at him too much,” added Groom.

Tom Mitchell swung in the resulting corner from the right which was flicked across goal by Alfie Fullbrook and Field used his legs to deny Long poking the ball in from an acute angle at the far post.

The impressive Dimmock tried to embarrass Field with a low angled free-kick from the left-touchline but the stand-in keeper gathered beside the foot of his near post.

Abbey Rangers were denied a lifeline on the hour mark when Foley made a fine save.

Bryant whipped in a cross from the right and the ball bounced around the Glebe penalty area and fell nicely at Main in space but his drilled shot was saved by Foley, low to his right.

Groom added:  “MacKenzie’s handling was excellent tonight. I thought his distribution all round was good too.  He was aware of everything that was coming in that area and I thought MacKenzie was really good tonight.”

Foley then made another couple of saves before the away side made a double substitution and tactical switch.

“Semi-Final of a cup, I’ll be surprised if they came out for the second half and didn’t have a go in the game,” added Groom.

“I was expecting that. I said to the boys at half-time, the next goal is important in my eyes and we’ve gone on to get it but they’re still going to have a go. They’re still 3-0 down, it’s a Cup Semi-Final, they’re always going to have a chance.”

Firstly, Rutah stung Foley’s fingers with a stinging angled drive from 20-yards, before Bryant played a one-two with Davies on the other side of the pitch and cut inside and hit a swerving left-footed drive from 25-yards, which Foley held above his head.

Kenny Govinden came on and played at right-back, while Yooku Mensah slotted in the middle of the park as Abbey Rangers switched formation to 4-3-3 for the final 25 minutes.

Abbey Rangers’ substitute centre-half Stefano Rapesi’s introduction saw him earn a yellow card for pulling back Alfie Shaw, which proved to be a costly mistake as Glebe scored their third goal of the night, timed at 30 minutes and 2 seconds on the clock.

Mitchell curled a left-footed free-kick towards the top right-hand corner from 25-yards, which stand-in keeper Field pushed onto the top of that post but the ball bounced down and Shaw poked the ball over the line from a couple of yards out.

“I felt leading up to that free-kick we deserved another chance. We had the Lee Friend chance and then we started playing again and that led to the free-kick,” said Groom.

“Alfie’s got in there, got in that area and put it in the back of the net, which is what I can ask for another striker, being in the right area, so well done Alfie!

“That’s not been us this season. I’m not moaning, any goals a good goal in my eyes but normally we will break teams down etc, which we have done, by them making the mistakes and we’ve come up with much better team goals and getting the crosses out wide but we’ve scored three goals tonight and kept a clean sheet so I’m a happy manager.”

A spirted Abbey Rangers side kept going and wasted a glorious chance to deservedly pull a goal back inside the final 10 minutes but striker James Edney fluffed his lines.

Bryant delivered a deep cross from the left, which was knocked down by Davies inside the box and Edney lashed his first time shot over the crossbar from 16-yards.

Bryant then threaded a through ball into Timbrell’s feet and his right-footed shot was comfortably caught by the Glebe keeper, who could kick a ball for miles and showed great handling.

Glebe created a couple of late chances, Shaw was played in by Friend but keeper Field made a block with his legs, before Friend dragged his right-footed shot wide of the mark from 35-yards after latching onto a ball from Hever.

Groom admitted that “we didn’t expect promotion,” in his first season at Glebe, having moved across form the same role at their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division rivals Chatham Town.

“Rocky (McMillan, Glebe chairman) has been fantastic this season and helped us what we needed to do,” said Groom.

“People didn’t expect us to win the game at Lingfield on Saturday because they’ve gone on and won the league but like we said to the boys in there, we can’t praise them enough for what they’ve done!

“Last year we finished fourth in the league (with Chatham Town) and in my eyes I think the league was stronger.  You had the likes of Sutton United, Tooting & Mitcham and Molesey and Tooting won the league in the end.  The boys at Chatham we had last year done us a job as well, so we can’t complain.”

Groom revealed he will go on a spying mission to check out their Shield Final opponents, who were due to play last night but the game was postponed.

The Final venue and date is still be confirmed by the Suburban League.

“Well, us as a management team are going to have a look and find out when the game’s re-arranged for because we always like to have a look at teams,” said Groom, who was then asked how it would feel to complete the double in his first season in Chislehurst.

“Really good from a managerial point of view, it would be excellent!

“Obviously we’ve done what we needed to do. We’ve got the promotion, which is good. A double would be even better.

“It’s a good end to the season. This was meant to be our last game tonight but it won’t be now because of the cup final.

“I would like to thank the rest of my management team for the work that they put in.  Warren Carver (assistant), Colin Mitchell (coach), Aaron Thomas (goalkeeper coach) and physio Kayleigh Young. 

“The team have had a fantastic season this year but our primary job is still to provide players for the first team, which we have done with Tom Hever.”

Glebe: MacKenzie Foley, Ashley Long, Tom Mitchell (Joey Fenner 80), Tom Hever, Ricky North, Henry Pearson, Jack Dimmock, Alfie Fullbrook (Max Leeves 77), Lee Friend, Ross Bassan (Oscar Powell 62), Ryan Saad (Alfie Shaw 70).

Goals: Jack Dimmock 36, 37, Alfie Shaw 75

Booked: Alfie Shaw 82, Jack Dimmock 86

Abbey Rangers: Jason MacGregor (Jack Field 46), George Davies, Louis Collins, Tom Arnold (Yooku Mensah 65), Sam Hanger (Stefano Rapesi 73), George Chandler, Rajiv Rutah (Kenny Govinden 65), Jordan Timbrell, James Edney, Bobby Main, Matthew Bryant.

Booked: Stefano Rapesi 75, Jordan Timbrell 87

Attendance: 33
Referee: Mr Lee Hermitage (Guildford, Surrey)
Assistants: Mr Martin Cook (Blackfen) & Mr Raymond Snell (Orpington)