Glebe 0-2 Bexhill United - Today was the first blip of the season, says Glebe boss Rocky McMillan

Sunday 07th September 2014

The FA Vase First Qualifying Round
Sunday 7th September 2014
Stephen McCartney reports from Oakley Road

GLEBE manager Rocky McMillan could not hide his disappointment after his side were dumped out of The FA Vase in his last game in charge of the team.

Bexhill United celebrated a deserved 2-0 victory on their debut in the competition thanks to two goals from striker Scott McDonald.

Marc Munday’s side will welcome Southern Counties East Football League outfit Rochester United in the Second Qualifying Round on 4 October.

It proved to be a disastrous weekend for our clubs in The FA Vase as Canterbury City, Crowborough Athletic, Deal Town, Glebe, Holmesdale, Seven Acre & Sidcup and Sevenokas Town all crashed out at the first hurdle.

Corinthian, Fisher and Greenwich Borough are the only sides that progress through to the Second Qualifying Round, while Phoenix Sports play host to Croydon on Wednesday night after the two sides drew 3-3 after 120 minutes of football at Croydon Sports Arena.

Beckenham Town, Cray Valley, Lingfield, Lordswood and Rochester United begin their campaign at the next hurdle while Erith & Belvedere, Erith Town and Tunbridge Wells come in at the First Round stage before Ashford United kick-off their campaign the Second Round.

But there will be no more Kent Invicta League interest in this season’s competition after Seven Acre & Sidcup lost at home to Pagham, courtesy of Scott Murfitt’s penalty and Glebe put in a poor performance in front of their largest crowd of the season at Oakley Road to suffer their only defeat in seven games.

McMillan, who watched Bromley’s 1-0 defeat to Chelmsford City in Vanarama Conference South yesterday, said: “I can’t hide my disappointment. A great crowd today, a little bit reminiscent of Bromley yesterday, pulled a great crowd in and really didn’t show too much.

“We lost 2-0, credit to the opposition. I thought they came and they just set-up a little bit better than us today. They were difficult to break down, slightly older, a little bit more experienced and set themselves up with four at the back and never crossed the half-way line and unfortunately today our play just wasn’t good enough so credit to the opposition.”

The Pirates were to be denied inside the opening four minutes of the game.

Impressive right-winger Andy Garmon whipped in a great cross from the right and striker Dan Hill’s diving header from four-yards was blocked by the legs of Glebe goalkeeper Dan Teeley.

McMillan said: “He got his body there, that’s what he’s there for! A save’s a save.”

Glebe left-back Harry West hit a speculative lob towards goal from 30-yards which was comfortably caught by Bexhill goalkeeper Yankuba Camara, whose handling was impeccable after afternoon.

Bexhill United almost caught Glebe out following their first of five corners in the fourteenth minute.

Skipper Jack Aston swung in his delivery towards the near post where George Aston made a run to hook a shot into Teeley’s gloves.

But Glebe’s best chance of the game arrived moments later when diminutive left-winger Gary Smith cracked a right-footed drive from 30-yards, which forced Camara to dive high to his left to push the ball over his bar.

“Gary’s just come back from five weeks out,” revealed McMillan.  “He’s had a twisted ankle and he’s come back today and I thought he looked very sharp. He still probably needs a bit of match fitness.

“A lot of goalkeepers that would have been a goal!  Their goalkeeper today is six foot three, great save.  Credit to the goalkeeper there.  I thought Gary could have taken it a few yards further actually but he’s hit it from about 30-yards out and forced a great save.  It could have been 1-0 but it wasn’t but that’s life you know.”

Bexhill winger Alan McMinigal gave Glebe a warning when he played in McDonald in the 22nd minute but the striker steered his left-footed shot wide while under pressure from eight-yards.

The Pirates’ player-manager Munday dominated things as he positioned himself just in front of his back four and Glebe’s lone target-man Michael Bishop suffered a frustrating afternoon living off scraps.

“I thought we looked a more cultured team in the first half.  A lot of our work was done in our two thirds and not in the opponents third,” said McMillan.

“I think that was the way they were set-up.  They were set-up with a four and a five and whilst we were going square and backwards they were quite comfortable.”

Bexhill left-back Craig Ottley floated in a cross towards the edge of the box where Munday flicked the ball on and Teeley pushed away Hill’s header from close range.

But Teeley was guilty of gifting Bexhill United a deserved 28th minute lead.

The keeper panicked as striker Hill charged towards him and his poor clearance went straight to McDonald, who produced a composed finish to send his right-footed chip sailing over Glebe defender Jamie Fernandes and into the empty net from 30-yards.

“Poor goal, very poor goal for us,” admitted McMillan.

“We’ve only let in three goals in six games. We’ve worked a lot in training about our defence about not letting in avoidable goals.  Last year we let in a lot of avoidable goals.

“It’s very disappointing because we’ve spoken about the games being won by scoring goals and games being lost on giving goals away and that was a goal away because the centre halves got it, he could have chipped it into their area and he’s passed it back and the goalkeeper only has to do the same and that unfortunately when you mess around in your own third it’s a danger zone.

“We’ve been working on that and today we didn’t do what we’ve been doing in previous games and got punished.”

Glebe midfielder Daniel Akpoveta swept the ball out side to Smith who whipped in a cross towards the near post where Bishop looped his header wide from 12-yards.

But a slick passing move involving Jordan Clark and Akpoveta saw skipper Ben Lockett cut into the penalty area but his left-footed drive was well held by the diving Camara, low to his left at his near post.

McMillan said: “Ben had a run from right to left, maybe should have realised it slightly earlier and ran onto his weaker foot and the shot was really a nothing shot but at least we got in their box for a change.”

When asked what he said to his troops at the interval, McMillan said: “Everybody knew they could play better! We thought our back four was a little bit too deep, our midfield got deep so there was a lot of space between the midfield and our target man.  He wasn’t surrounded so we just decided to change a little bit.  We pushed 20 yards higher up in the second half.

“That enabled the midfield to push on. We went for a little bit of width and pushed Gary (Smith) inside alongside the target man to play off him.

“Although we dominated possession, we worked it out about 70% possession, apart from hitting the post we never really caused them too many problems I’m afraid to say.”

However, Bexhill United killed the game off with the clincher just 105 seconds into the second half.

McMinigal played a sublime through ball to release McDonald in behind Glebe’s last defender and McDonald drilled a low right-footed shot underneath Teeley’s legs into the middle of the goal.

“Disaster! Disaster really because we spoke about it at half-time, about keeping it tight for the first five minutes, keep in rows and unfortunately we didn’t keep our discipline,” said McMillan.

“Our right-back goes on, loses the ball in the area, they break, centre back has to come out and make a tackle, he’s on his backside on the halfway line.  They get a two-on-one and finishes it well but again, really, really bad from us so two very bad goals from our point of view.

“The goal killed it because we never felt it had three goals in this. We didn’t vary the play enough. The idea was to get it up, we played the three up front with runners around them.”

Munday went close to capping off a fine display with a goal in the 55th minute.

George Aston pumped a free-kick into the penalty area and Munday ghosted in to plant his header across goal and narrowly past the far post from 12-yards.

Luck turned against Glebe when they struck the post on the hour mark.

Lockett played the ball inside to Carson Dennis who pinged a long ball forward to release Smith down the right and he cut the ball back to substitute Lewis Gregory, who brought the ball under control to stroke his right-footed shot across Camara from 14-yards, which agonisingly bounced off the foot of the far post.

“Lewis started the first five games for us and done so well,” said McMillan.

“I thought today he showed what he can do.  He can beat his players one-on-one.

“We wanted to stretch their back four, which we did right. He beat a couple of players and hit a really nice shot, probably one inch it goes 2-1 and it’s a totally different game.”

Glebe opted to go direct with their next two opportunities but other than Gregory’s shot the Bromley based side didn’t look like threatening Camara at all.

Jamie Fernandes – who finished the game wearing the captain’s armband – pumped the ball into the box and Bishop rose to loop his header towards goal, which the keeper brought under control with his chest.

Clark then pumped another long ball into the penalty area and Dennis rose to loop his header narrowly over.

McMillan said: “I think that’s what’s the frustrating point! We worked a lot in training about getting it into feet and setting and movements and it didn’t happen today.

“There’s a lot of work that has been done. I can’t over estimate or over emphasise the huge improvement that we’ve made in the last 12 months but today we looked a little bit dated. It was a poor performance but we go forward from here.”

Garmon – who has the potential to play at a higher level – went on a mazy run beating two Glebe players before stroking a right-footed shot from 25-yards, which Teeley saved low to his right.

Garmon showed his talent again in the final 20 minutes when he went on a 30-yard solo diagonal run beating four Glebe players, before stroking a right-footed drive from fourteen-yards, which Teeley dived to his left to make a fine block.

Ottley progressed up the pitch and sent a long-range chip into Teeley’s gloves towards the end before Bexhill were reduced to ten-men at the death when Hill was shown his second yellow card (and then a red) following an altercation with Dennis, who picked up a booking.

McMillan admitted: “The passion was there today but unfortunately in the 90 minutes the quality wasn’t quite there.”

Glebe have played only three FA Vase ties in their history and both home ties have ended in defeats.

“We’re out of The Vase, which was a major target for us to go a few rounds this year,” said McMillan.

“We’re in three cups, we’re third in the League. The positives are we’ve got some excellent players and we know that there’s fourteen players can play a lot better than they have shown today.

“The players are devastated.  The realise they can play a lot but what I don’t think you should take away is the improvement we’ve seen.

“Today was a blip and it was the first blip of the season. We’ve enjoyed a great start to the season.  We’re never going to go all season and not have a bad game in nine months and unfortunately for a big game that was a bad performance and a bad result.”

The club also missed out on £600 in prize money from The Football Association, which will be accepted by Bexhill United instead.

“Six hundred pounds and a home tie against Rochester, which would have been nice.  Yes, we entered The FA Vase.  We would have loved the six hundred pounds but that wasn’t mentioned before the game and it wasn’t mentioned after the game.

“We don’t pay players so it’s not a question of you’re paying them more.”

McMillan has handed over the managerial reigns to Simon Copley and his assistant Trevor Bumstead, who remain full-time coaches at Premier League club West Ham United.

“I stepped in as an interim. The interim has been 12 months so it’s been a long 12 months,” said McMillan, who remains as chairman.

“We’ve had a lots and lots of applications during those 12 months to come in, so many calls its been unbelievable but I’ve always feel if someone wants to come in as manager of the football club they needed a huge amount of experience within all levels of football. 

“They need to take us on to higher levels. They need to bring in better players.  They need to be top quality coaches.  They need to have an understanding of non-league football and of the way that Glebe wants to work and the major success that Glebe will achieve in the next five years and the two gentlemen have brought into it and I couldn’t be happier.”

Glebe: Dan Teeley, Johnny Mohan (Josh Froggatt 69), Harry West, Jordan Clark, Jamie Fernandes, Alexis Martin, Ben Lockett (Quentin Conteh 79), Gary Smith, Michael Bishop, Daniel Akpoveta (Lewis Gregory 46), Carson Dennis.
Subs: Daniel Carpenter, Alfie George

Booked: Michael Bishop 41, Alexis Martin 75, Carson Dennis 90

Bexhill United: Yankuba Camara, Anthony Cooper, Craig Ottley, George Aston (Aaron Tudor 88), Dan Cruickshank, Jack Aston, Andy Garmon, Dan Hill, Scott McDonald, Marc Munday, Alan McMinigal.
Subs: Nathan Tudor, Damien White, Jamie Morgan

Goals: Scott McDonald 28, 47

Booked: Andy Garmon 36, Dan Hill 44

Sent off: Dan Hill 90

Attendance: 121
Referee: Mr Joe Kasper (Gravesend)
Assistants: Mr Andrew Halpin (Gravesend) & Mr James Paternoster (Sidcup)