Glebe 0-0 Lingfield - It's been a good end to the season, says Glebe manager Adam Groom

Wednesday 08th May 2019
Glebe 0 – 0 Lingfield
Location Gay Dawn Farm, Valley Road, Longfield, Kent DA3 8LY
Kickoff 08/05/2019 19:45

(Glebe win 5-4 on penalties)
Suburban League Challenge Shield Final
Wednesday 8 May 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Gay Dawn Farm

GLEBE manager Adam Groom says his players can all have a shot at first team football after winning the Suburban League Challenge Shield for the first time.

The Chislehurst based outfit held their nerve from the penalty spot to beat Lingfield 5-4 after a goal-less 90 minutes at Gay Dawn Farm.

John Tovey’s side received their Suburban League Southern Division championship winning silverware following tonight’s game having finished on 45 points from 20 games, five points clear of runners-up Glebe.

Striker Lee Friend, who is the oldest in the Glebe squad at the age of 28, wasted a number of chances during the game but he was Glebe’s hero by tucking home the tenth penalty to bring the silverware back to Foxbury Avenue at the end of Groom’s first season in charge of the reserve side.

“If I’m honest, it’s my first ever penalty shoot-out win so I’m speechless at the moment. When it happened I couldn’t even watch the penalties,” said Groom, who sealed promotion with Lingfield into the Suburban League Premier Division.

“I maybe watched the first two or three but after that I was all around the dug-outs! I’m elated for the boys and the club, obviously.

“First half, I think it was cup final nerves. We didn’t really get going.  A few misplaced passes.

“I said to the boys at half-time – we didn’t go mad or anything like that – and we just said to them ‘just keep doing what you’re doing’ – and then second half it all came together and I thought we played some nice stuff in the second half and we should’ve scored.”

Lingfield were the better team during the first half but their shooting was poor and many chances cleared MacKenzie Foley’s crossbar.

A ball over the top by Lingfield’s centre-half Dave Baker released striker Richard Wetton down the left-channel and he easily went past Glebe centre-half Henry Pearson but his speculative 30-yard angled drive was comfortably gathered into Foley’s midriff inside the opening five minutes.

Lingfield went route one with their next chance when keeper Morgan Wilkinson launched a big kick straight down the middle. The ball was flicked on by Connor Leech and Wetton’s right-footed shot from 18-yards was comfortably held by the impressive Glebe keeper.

Foley launched the ball upfield and Friend was put through on goal but his left-footed angled drive sailed past the near post.

Lingfield’s best chance of the first half fell to their impressive winger Lorenzo Lewis in the 14th minute.

Hitting Glebe on the break, striker Joel Alexander swept the ball out to Wetton down the right and he floated in an excellent cross to an unmarked Lewis, who rifled his shot over the crossbar from 10-yards when he only had Foley to beat.

“At points in the first half they were getting space on the ball and I didn’t think at first we were tight enough and I thought we were all over the place shape wise,” admitted Groom.

“I didn’t know if it was nerves or anything like that because it’s the fourth time we’ve played them this season now so we had a game plan that we wanted to do and we wasn’t as tight as we could have been all round the pitch.

“That Lorenzo is a good player, scored a few goals in the league this year, so we know he can finish. We had a bit of luck go our way to be honest with you.”

Friend played a one-two with his strike partner Ross Bassan inside the final third and his first driven shot from 20-yards was blocked by Lingfield centre-half Sean Johnson but his next attempt cleared the crossbar.

Friend linked up well with Bassan again in the 25th minute and Bassen put Friend through on goal but Friend lacked confidence as he knocked the ball to the goalkeeper’s right in an attempt to round him but Wilkinson went down low to his left to smother the ball and the chance went begging.

Groom said: “We said to Lee at half-time and we said ‘what happened?’ and he said ‘he’s seen pictures in his head’ and he said he was going to have a shot and then he changed his mind and the keeper read it. I thought the keeper had a good game tonight.”

Lingfield’s right-back Zac Fairchild advanced down the right wing and floated over a cross towards the unmarked Leech, but the ball looped off his shoulder and was comfortably caught by Foley on the half-hour mark.

Lewis was Lingfield’s main attacking threat, especially for the first hour of the game, before a heavy challenge stopped him in his tracks.

Glebe right-back Ashley Long gave the ball away to Jay Mayhew inside the Glebe half of the pitch and his ball over the top sent Lewis on his way but once he cut into the box the Lingfield winger smashed his shot into the side netting.

Glebe held on, though, and went into the half-time interval on level terms.

“I said to the boys get rid of the nerves and just do what we can do and just keep moving that ball,” said Groom.

“I thought it was a lovely pitch here tonight. When I first got here I said it will suit us.  I thought we moved the ball around alright in the first half but the end product wasn’t there and we were a little bit slack in coming forward as well.”

A superb save from Glebe goalkeeper Foley frustrated Lingfield just 99 seconds into the second half.

Lewis skipped past Glebe centre-half Ricky North and was through on goal and in an attempt to rifle the ball into the top right-hand corner, Foley tipped the shot over the crossbar.

Foley, 19, had a great game in goal for Glebe. His handling at crosses was superb, his shot stopping and kicking was of a player who should be getting his first team chance soon.

“Another good save. I thought it was a good bit of play from them.  I don’t think there was any bad defending or anything like that.  They opened us up a little bit but it was a great tip over by MacKenzie.

“He had a good game in the 3-0 home Semi-Final win over Abbey Rangers and he’s done what he’s done in the penalty shoot-out but he pulled off some great saves in the game as well. There were some great one-on-ones goalkeeping, which is brilliant.  He’s a good goalkeeper.”

Glebe called Wilkinson into action just a couple of minutes later when Jack Dimmock’s threaded pass put in Friend, whose right-footed angled drive towards the top near corner was palmed over the crossbar by Wilkinson.

Lingfield got in to some good positions but their finishing was poor. An example of this was when central midfielder Mayhew rifled his right-footed free-kick over the crossbar from 25-yards.

Glebe switched off from a quickly taken-free-kick as Lewis put Alexander through on goal but Foley read it and sprinted off his line and blocked the shot to make a vital save.

Glebe weathered the storm, however, and started to play on the front foot after the hour-mark.

Bassan charged through the heart of the pitch and a lucky ricochet bounced into Friend’s path and he shifted the ball to the goalkeeper’s left and forced himself too wide and his left-footed shot lacked conviction and Johnson showed enough desire to get back on his goal-line to frustrate Friend.

“We looked at the clock after that chance and I went to the boys there’s chances in this game and we were still knocking on the door and the last 20 minutes it was quite one way and we picked them apart a little bit and Lee’s got them chances as well.”

Glebe went close to scoring following their third of four corners.

Dimmock cut a corner back to Kane Walker, who was given time and space to float in a cross towards the near post for substitute Joey Fenner to flick his near post header across the face of goal and past the far post from the near corner of the six-yard box.

Johnson’s departure at the heat of Lingfield’s defence in the 65th minute and the introduction of Glebe’s 18-year-old striker Alfie Shaw just five minutes later swung the game in Glebe’s favour.

“I see young Alfie Shaw, just turning 19 in a couple of days. When he came on up top he run them ragged and he had a real good go.  You could see they were getting tired at the back and I thought we run them and had a good go,” added Groom.

Walker’s ball over the top should have been headed away by a diving Baker but the ball let in Friend. He skipped the keeper for a third time, but took the ball too wide and drove his shot into the side netting.

Walker was now bossing the middle of the park and he showed more desire than Fairchild to cleanly win the ball before putting Friend through on goal.  Now lacking in confidence, Friend’s shot was blocked by Wilkinson’s legs and the ball came out to Walker, who drilled his first time shot past the left-hand post from 18-yards.

“Both keeper’s played well tonight. It’s pictures in Lee’s head again. We know Lee’s got it in him but again the keeper’s done well, maybe he took an extra touch but it is what it is,” added Groom.

Dimmock then put Friend through on goal again and Wilkinson made a vital block at the near post before Friend drilled the rebound screaming across the face of goal and away out of danger.

Glebe switched off in the 32nd minute when a mistake inside their penalty area by Fenner gave Wetton a chance to snatch the victory, but Foley capped off an excellent game to grab hold of the ball at the attacker’s feet.

Lingfield almost snatched the victory inside the final nine minutes and it came from a great 50-yard run from their left-back Dan Field.

He picked the ball up on the half-way line and drove past several defenders before cutting into the penalty area before curling a lovely left-footed chip, from 12-yards out on the angle, which sailed over Foley and dropped just past the foot of the far post.

Groom said: “I think he done well. Speaking to the boys on the bench and there were a couple of little ricochets that have come off a couple of defenders.  I think we overplayed a bit on the half-way line, still trying to do the right things so I’m not complaining and he’s had a good run so fair play to Field, it wasn’t his night.”

With no extra-time in this competition, the game went straight to penalties and Lingfield’s shooting vastly improved from the penalty spot than in open play during the proceeding 90 minutes.

Groom said:  “I did back us, you’ve got to back your team on a penalty shoot-out but I thought we’d go on and win it. We’ve had a really good second half, the boys deserved a penalty shoot-out win there as well.  MacKenzie pulls off one good save in the penalty shoot-out, he’s had a good night.”

Lingfield went first and Lewis capped off an excellent performance by sending Foley the wrong way with a penalty straight down the middle.

Fenner levelled it up for Glebe, drilling his right-footed penalty into the bottom right-hand corner, as Wilkinson stepped to his right.

Field stroked his left-footed penalty past Foley, who went the right way but couldn’t prevent Lingfield taking the lead.

Glebe’s substitute Oscar Powell – who had replaced left-back Tom Mitchell who took a blow to the head – was up next and his right-footed penalty nestled into the bottom left-hand corner.

Mayhew stepped up and gave Lingfield a 3-2 lead, dummying on his run up before Foley dived to his right and was close to getting a hand to the ball before it nestled inside the bottom left-hand corner.

Dimmock showed nerves of steel to place his right-footed penalty into the bottom right-hand corner.

Lingfield’s fourth penalty was saved by Foley, who dived to his left to prevent Wetton from scoring with his right-footed spot-kick.

Glebe captain North gave Glebe the lead for the first time, slotting his right-footed penalty into the bottom left-hand corner.

Lingfield centre-half Baker held his nerve by drilling his right-footed shot into the roof of the net – straight down the middle – as the keeper got out of the way.

Friend held his nerve with the match winning tenth penalty, stroking his right-footed penalty into the left-hand corner to win the Shield for his club.

Groom said:  “It was written in the stars for Lee in the end,” said Groom.

“I know he’s had all those chances in the game but I thought it was a good penalty at the end.

“I feel sorry for Morgan their goalkeeper because no keeper deserved to lose on the night and someone’s got to win on the penalty shoot-out haven’t they?”

Groom said it was a brilliant feeling to have won silverware at the end of their promotion winning campaign.

“You said what would it be like to do the double? Yes, brilliant we’ve got the double!

“Our main job is to progress players on, which a couple have gone through (to the first team) which is good.  Now we have to sit down and asses for next year going into that higher division, the boys deserve it. It's been a good end to the season.

“We’ll sit down with the first team manager (Peter Sweney) as well but I think they can all have a shot at it (the first team). 

“All those players in that squad can go and play the next level. You’ve got Ricky North, who’s the captain, played first team football at Holmesdale. They’ve all got it in their locker, they can all push on.

“We’ve had them as babies and now they need to go up into big boys football now and go and prove what they’re worth.”

Glebe: MacKenzie Foley, Ashley Long, Tom Mitchell (Oscar Powell 85), Tom Hever, Ricky North, Henry Pearson (Joey Fenner 57), Alfie Fullbrook, Kane Walker, Lee Friend, Ross Bassan (Alfie Shaw 70), Jack Dimmock.
Subs: Max Leeves, Ryan Saad

Booked: Lee Friend 33, Jack Dimmock 36, Henry Pearson 41, Alfie Fullbrook 77

Lingfield: Morgan Wilkinson, Zac Fairchild, Dan Field, Jay Mayhew, Sean Johnson (Charlie Naylor 65), Dave Baker, Nassem James (Matt Barker 12, Chris Robinson 89)), Connor Leech, Joel Alexander, Richard Wetton, Lorenzo Lewis.
Subs: Kofe Holliet, Kelvin Ochuko

Booked: Lorenzo Lewis 64

Attendance: 112
Referee: Mr Lewis Gordon (Horsham, West Sussex)
Assistants: Mr Gerry Kehoe (Crawley Down, West Sussex) & Mr Chris Goulbourn (Sevenoaks)
Fourth Official: Mr Brian Wheatley (West Wickham)