Glebe 2-0 K Sports - I'm absolutely overjoyed and proud of that performance, says newly-appointed K Sports joint-manager George Batten

Monday 11th April 2022
Glebe 2 – 0 K Sports
Location Foxbury Avenue, off Perry Street, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6SD
Kickoff 11/04/2022 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Monday 11 April 2022
Stephen McCartney reports from Foxbury Avenue

K SPORTS newly-appointed joint-manager George Batten says he was feeling overjoyed and proud of his side’s impressive performance after giving third-placed finishers Glebe a scare during his second game in charge.

Barry Morgan stepped down from his manager’s role on Sunday 3 April and the club appointed brothers Ian and George Batten, aged 33 and 30 respectively last Thursday.

The Paperboys ended a run of eight straight defeats in the Batten brothers’ first game in charge, coming away from Erith Town with a 1-1 draw on Saturday and their side put in a very impressive performance at Foxbury Avenue tonight. The only thing that was missing was being clinical in front of goal.

Glebe grabbed a sixteenth-minute lead through Kalvin Morath Gibbs’ free-header and had to wait until the 90th minute to score a flattering second goal, courtesy of striker Jamie Philpot’s 46th goal of the season.

“I’m absolutely overjoyed and proud of that performance,” said George Batten.

“We’ve just said to the boys in there, how many sides have come here this season and produced a performance like we have performed tonight?  There’s not so much more I can say.  Everybody who watched the game, everybody will say the same thing. We thoroughly deserved something out of the game tonight, probably deserved to win it in my opinion.  But that’s football, those kind of results can happen. It is what it is, unfortunately.

“We tried and we tried and we tried. What impressed me the most was the way that we were playing. We weren’t just knocking long balls and just hoping for the best.  We were actually passing it around these guys.

“We’re playing a very top quality opposition. That’s not a Sunday League side we’re playing there. We’re playing one of the best teams in the league and deservedly so but fantastic, it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t score.”

Glebe’s joint-interim manager Adam Flemming admitted: “Very, very hard-fought game.  I thought K Sports were very, very good and they caused us a lot of problems and they made us very, very uncomfortable for long periods of the game but we withstood the pressure. Philpot gets a goal, really, really late which kills all of their momentum and all of their hard work but they really, really had us uncomfortable.

“They created good chances, very good chances and they asked a lot of our backline and our goalkeeper and of our mentality and I think the boys stood through. 

“We weren’t brilliant in the second half but we were resilient. We worked for eachother and we got ourselves out of the dirt and Jamie Philpot relieved a lot of pressure with the second goal.”

When asked about goalkeeper George Kamurasi’s current situation, Flemming replied: “George is not going to be able to commit for the rest of the season. He’s not going anywhere else.  It’s getting to the end of the season, they’re going to be a lot of things at work that he needs to be there or there abouts so he's not able to commit to training at the moment so it makes sense with the season basically being finished to give Reginald Rose as many minutes as possible.”

Ernie Batten’s Sheppey United have picked up 93 points and have three games to win to ensure they claim the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division crown, with Chatham Town ready to pounce on 91 points.

Glebe will finish in third-place having taken their points total to 80 points from their 35 games.  Incidentally, Hastings United sealed the Isthmian League South East Division crown at the weekend, picking up 79 points from their 35 league games in the league above this one.

K Sports, meanwhile, extended their winless run to 13 games and remain in the bottom five with 33 points, with Canterbury City (22 points), Rusthall (23), Lordswood (20) and Tower Hamlets (12) beneath them in the pecking order.

The Paperboys made four changes to their side from the weekend, while holding midfielder Tom Heaver came in for Glebe, replacing Ryan King-Elliott.

K Sports stunned Glebe by starting on the front foot.  Glebe played out from the back but often overhit long balls over an isolated Philpot as K Sports were a well-organised outfit, with centre-half Stephane Nzimbakany keeping Philpot in his pocket until his quality finish at the end.

Three players stood out for K Sports.  Holding midfielder Harvey Killick bossed midfield and wingers Tarik Ibrahim (11 goals) and Ziyad Ghali (4) were a constant threat for Glebe’s two full-backs.

Kevin Dance played the ball out to Ibrahim, who cut inside the pressing Morath-Gibbs and his drive from just outside the box deflected off Jamie Bakhit and went behind for the first of five K Sports’ corners.

Ghali delivered a deep outswinging corner from the right and the ball was drilled on the volley by centre-forward Herve Mbongue from 22-yards, which flashed through a crowd of players and was comfortably held by Reginald Rose in goal with six minutes on the clock.

“We said before the game that if we got the ball into our dangerous players we thought a goal would come and we started well and that continued throughout the whole game – but that was a good chance,” added Batten.

Flemming added: “There was an early chance from the edge of the box and Reg has pulled off one or two saves in the first half. There was a volley through the bodies and Reg held it well and it was a good save and they did start well.”

The 16-year-old keeper gifted K Sports a chance just 83 seconds later as he sliced Bakhit’s back-pass and left-back Antone Douglas’ poor touch on the edge of the box was intercepted by Ghali, who waited for support to come from Luke Frost, who swept a first-time shot trickling straight at Rose to comfortably gather.

K Sports went direct when centre-half Segun Ikudehinbu launched a long ball over the top and Killick played an intelligent through ball along the deck which split open Dami Olorunnisomo and Ibrahim cut into the box and from a tight angle, Rose narrowed the angle at his near post and made a smart block.

“A good save. Another good chance on another day it goes in but today unfortunately it didn’t,” added Batten.

Flemming said: “A great save. He made himself big at the front post but listen that’s Reggie’s bread and butter. That’s why he’s part of the team. If we didn’t believe that he was able to do the things what he does in our team, he wouldn’t be playing.”

Glebe grabbed the lead, against the run of play, following their second corner with 15 minutes and 41 seconds on the clock.

The Batten brothers were clearly worried with screams from the dug-out to defend from Solomon Baugh’s floated delivery from the right but no one picked up centre-half Morath-Gibbs, who buried a free header into the far corner from 12-yards to score his fourth goal of the season.

Flemming said: “A good header, a great delivery as well.  Sol has notched a few assists over the last few weeks. He got two on Saturday, another one today. I do believe he got an assist during the week last week.

“It’s just nice for Sol to get a good run of games. Around the Christmas period it was a little bit difficult to get him in the side with not being able to play the way we wanted to play in terms of playing through the thirds, so we had to get some robust and industrious players in there and bring him in when possible but I think over the last six or seven weeks with us taking over, he’s been our bright spark and once again getting an assist today and Kalvin getting a goal as well, was really, really good.”

Batten said: “It was really unfortunate.  I hate conceding from set-plays because I feel as if it’s an undeserved goal in ways but to be fair it was a terrific cross from the guy and it was a good header and sometimes you cannot do nothing about those sort of goals, you just can’t.”

Glebe offered very little in attack as the Paperboys delivered a performance full of heart and desire and with Killick outstanding in the heartbeat of midfield, K Sports were the better side on the night.

Flemming said: “We didn’t create much. K Sports done well. They were very, very resilient. I think they done well and they came with a game plan and they implemented their game plan from minute one.  They were really , really compact and they didn’t allow us play through the thirds well.

“We had to force it into back spaces. They done well to defend and keep our danger men as quiet as possible. With that being said getting a goal after 16 minutes they had to do something as well about trying to get a goal.

“I thought they posed a lot of threats. Their seven (Ibrahim) in particular for me in the second half he gave Dami Olorunnisomo a run for his money.”

Batten said: “On Saturday, it was our first game and we said to them the bare minimum was for them to work like lions.  The work-rate, that’s what we needed out of them.

“Harvey Killick epitomises everything there is to say about work-rate in football because you look at him and he looks like he’s going to keel over because he’s working that hard and it’s fantastic to watch.”

Six minutes before the interval, Ghali delivered a deep corner from the right which was retrieved by Ikudehinbu, who exchanged passes with left-back Michael Utazi but his cross from the right was caught in Rose’s midriff at his near post.

Ikudehinbu clipped a free-kick from within the right channel, which was flicked on at the near post by Killick and Mbongue’s ambitious over-head kick bounced and was comfortably gathered by Rose, stepping to his right on his goal-line.

Flemming said: “We had to play better! We had an idea of how they were going to play. We played them in our first game in charge (a 1-0 win on 21 February) and they were very, very resilient in that game and really stopped us doing what we wanted to do.

“Today they put a lot of pressure on us and created a lot of goalscoring opportunities so we knew that we had to be patient and take our time. We may not win it in the first five minutes of the second half but what we had to do was stick to the game plan. We knew we would create a chance but we know when you’ve got players like Jamie Philpot in your team, you’ve always got a chance of scoring goals.”

Batten added: “In a way it’s very pleasing, who else can say they’ve come here and reduced Glebe to virtually nothing apart from a header? Not many sides can say that, we can.

“We told them that we was very, very pleased. We told them if they continue to do what they were doing, we would get something out of the game. We told them to keep playing like we were playing and we said that we would score a couple of goals and we believed that we were going to win.  Every part of that happened apart from the goals.  We created the chances, we kept up the good work. I should be talking to you right now saying about what a great result we had.”

K Sports were kicking uphill during the second half and they should have scored a deserved leveller with only two minutes and 27 seconds into the half.

Ikudehinbu rolled a free-kick from the half-way line over to Utazi, who played the ball down the line to release Killick, who cut onto his left-foot before smashing an angled drive just past the foot of the near post with the goalkeeper beaten.

“That’s a half-chance. It was a good strike from Harvey. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t and today it just didn’t go in for us,” admitted Batten.

Rose pulled off a great save to frustrate K Sports in the ninth minute.

Luke Frost fed Ghali who unleashed a right-footed rasping drive towards goal from 16-yards, only for Rose to use a strong right arm to push the ball towards safety to deny the impressive right-winger.

Flemming said: “I think he got his pass wrong initially and a big strong arm to block the shot and it was cleared.  Once again that came from their high press and pressuring the centre midfield and creating opportunities from there.”

Batten said: “Did you say he’s 16 year’s old? Well, that’s a fantastic save from him at that age.  He kept his arm very strong and congrats to him, by the way a very, very good performance from him at sixteen and that’s really commendable.”

Glebe’s central midfielder Ainsley Everett unleashed a right-footed 35-yarder which screamed across the keeper and cleared the top of the far post but the home side were not their usual attack minded self tonight.

“It was a good effort. I don’t think we shoot enough from distance so from the angle we saw it wasn’t far off but it may have been miles off from somebody else’s angle but it looked quite close from where we were,” added Flemming.

It was not surprising when Glebe withdrew Malachi Hudson just before the hour because the former Sheppey United winger offered nothing and his replacement Lauris Chin did offer pace and more of a threat.

Utazi passed the ball back to visiting keeper Charlie Walker – who didn’t make a save during the game and Glebe’s only two on-target attempts on the night both went in – and his clearance went straight to Baugh, but his 35-yard drive deflected off Ikudehinbu and flashed wide.

Philpot endured a frustrating night and good build-up play in the 76th minute involving Baugh and Chin saw Philpot take a touch but he drilled his right-footed drive from 25-yards high over the crossbar.

K Sports kept plugging away but couldn’t find an equaliser that they deserved but Glebe scored a flattering second with 44:24 on the clock, courtesy of a moment of sheer brilliance from Philpot.

Chin played the ball in from within the left and Philpot cut the ball onto his right-foot before curling a beautiful shot into the top far corner from 25-yards.

Flemming said: “A great finish. He curls it into the far corner. Lauris Chin done well with the pressure behind him from the right-back to set Jamie and we’ve got Jamie Philpot and we know if he gets half-a-chance the likelihood he’s going to take it.

“He’s not had the best of times over the last couple of weeks but he’s still scored but he’s missed a lot of chances and he’s been quite frustrated within himself but to score in the manner that he did today and the angle and being a great goal that will give him bundles of confidence.

“I’ve asked him to make sure he’s scored 50 goals before the season’s finished because I think that’s what he deserves. He was on 30 in November wasn’t he? I think he would have underachieved if he didn’t get 50.”

Chatham Town striker, Dan Bradshaw, has scored 53 goals in all competitions this season.

Batten admitted: “Obviously, he’s a class player, there’s no denying that. A very good goal from him. Sometimes when they’ve got the quality that they have, they only need a quarter of a chance and it goes in.  Fair play to him, it was a really good finish, can’t deny that.

“Sometimes you can be frustrated or annoyed in losing a football game. I don’t feel like that at all.  I feel so pleased, I’m so, so pleased but that’s over with now and we have to look forward to Saturday and getting something out of the Lordswood game.  That’s going to be very tough. They’ve been picking up some good results recently but we’ve got to show the same performance and I believe that we will.

“They’re going to be doing every single thing they can to stay up.  Some would say we’re not actually playing for anything but if you looked at our players tonight, it didn’t look like that in the body language that they’re giving off.

“My guys want to go there and beat them and I know they will and I’m really looking forward to the game and I hope it’s another good spectacle, like it was tonight.”

Glebe complete their campaign at home to Crowborough Athletic on Saturday, before a trip to Erith Town on Easter Monday and then finishing here against Kennington on 23 April.

Sean Muggeridge’s Crows came away from here last Tuesday with a 1-0 win to book a date with Sheppey United in the Challenge Cup Final on Monday 2 May, with a 2-1 aggregate win.

“I think that’s the only team we’ve not been successful against this season, Crowborough are our bogey team,” admitted Flemming.

“We know it’s going to be three big games. We want to finish the season collecting nine more points and finishing on 89, that’s our target for the season.

“If we look back at it and we look at the table and say we’ve got 89 points and didn’t get promoted, it’s just unfortunate.  We’ve seen Hastings win the title and they’ve got 79 points. To score 89 points in a season and not able to get promoted is a little bit difficult to take but at the same times it’s a great achievement to do so.

“The two (Sheppey United and Chatham Town, both promoted to the Isthmian League) ahead of us done well all season.  They’ve put games away that they needed to put away. We drew a couple in the last few games that we should’ve have and we’ve lost games in the last couple of weeks.

“We know in house we’re disappointed with a number of results in the last few weeks and it’s mainly the midweek games where we’ve struggled.”

K Sports, meanwhile, travel to relegation-threated Lordswood on Saturday, but it’s the home game against Sheppey United on Easter Monday – where the Batten brothers face their father Ernie in the opposite dug-out for the first time – which will put bums on seats at Cobdown, before K Sports finish at Fisher.

The Batten brothers no longer live at home but they could damage their father’s chances of winning the league title. 

“It’s such a weird, weird game. Everybody has asked me about it, obviously they’re intrigued by it,” said George.

“Our ideal situation would be to beat Sheppey and Chatham lose (at home to Deal Town) and Sheppey still go and win the title.

“We're looking forward to coming up against my dad on the sideline. He’s had an absolutely wonderful season for Sheppey this year and he deserves all the success that he’s getting because believe you me the work that he’s put in over the last six years, he deserves everything that is coming his way and I hope he gets more.”

It must be the first time that two brothers have managed a side in the National League System against their father.

“I don’t know if it’s happened before, it’s going to be really, really strange. I don’t know how we're going to feel.”

When asked about the potential of costing his father the title, George replied: “Do you know what? It’s horrible you saying those things to me but I’ve got to get my team fired up in the same way I get them fired up in the last couple of games. I’ll be doing a diss-service to those guys if I didn’t push every last thing out of them like I’ve been doing the last couple of games so it’s going to be really strange but at the same time we're really looking forward to it and I’m looking forward to seeing the Sheppey United fans.”

Ernie Batten was in Chislehurst to scout K Sports and after beating Hollands & Blair 2-1 yesterday to retain the Kent Senior Trophy, extending their unbeaten run to 22 games, he said: “We won’t be talking to each other a day before that game I’m sure. Good luck to them. I don’t know why they want to do it. They’ve seen me go through the stresses and strains of management over the years but they’ve got a passion for it.

“They’re both good lads. I believe they’ll try to play football the right way and I think it will be a great experience for them because they’re both early 30s and I think they’ll do their best to try to bring a little bit of success, whatever form that will take to K Sports.”

Meanwhile, Flemming and Dan Hogan have been in interim charge of Glebe for 15 games, winning eight, drawing five and losing two and the big question is will the pair be in charge next season after failing to win promotion?

Flemming said: “I get asked this question every single day! What’s happening next year? We don’t know.  We said we’ll talk about it at the end of the season.  We’ve been looked after really, really well while being here.  I think the chairman (Rocky McMillan) has been outstanding.

“It could’ve been easier for him to turn around and say he didn’t want us to stay. Obviously he had faith in us as two young coaches to push the team as far as possible and I think that we’ve done that so far.

“When we have the conversation at the end of the season we’ll go from there but I have no answer for you at the moment, so we’ll have to wait until the end of the season.”

Glebe: Reginald Rose, Dami Olorunnisomo, Antone Douglas, Tom Hever, Kalvin Morath-Gibbs, Jamie Bakhit, Charlie Penny, Ainsley Everett, Jamie Philpot, Solomon Baugh, Malachi Hudson (Lauris Chin 59).
Subs: Makhaya James, Bradley Mitchell, Rory Edwards, Cameron Beckles

Goals: Kalvin Morath-Gibbs 16, Jamie Philpot 90

K Sports: Charlie Walker, Toby Sargeant (Michael Cunningham 90), Michael Utazi, Harvey Killick, Stephane Nzimbakany, Segun Ikudehinbu, Tarik Ibrahim, Kevin Dance, Herve Mbongue (Calum Holtam 90), Luke Frost, Ziyad Ghali.
Sub: Richard Munn

Attendance: 91
Referee: Mr Teddy Osborn
Assistants: Mr Ryan Andrew & Ms Alison Wade