Glebe 1-3 Whyteleafe - We've had some great chances, they've made theirs count and we haven't, says Glebe boss Gary Alexander

Tuesday 01st September 2020
Glebe 1 – 3 Whyteleafe
Location Foxbury Avenue, off Perry Street, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6SD
Kickoff 01/09/2020 19:45

The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Tuesday 1 September 2020
Stephen McCartney reports from Foxbury Avenue

WHYTELEAFE manager Harry Hudson says he was pleased that his players’ put in a professional job to avoid a FA Cup upset at Glebe.

The Isthmian League South East Division side progressed through to the Preliminary Round where they will welcome Sussex side Peacehaven & Telscombe to Church Road on Saturday 12 September after a comfortable win at Foxbury Avenue.

Whyteleafe’s Ryan Gondoh, 23, formerly of Colchester United, put in a very impressive performance and played a part in all three of their goals, in a game where all four goals came from set-pieces.

Whyteleafe settled their nerves against much-fancied Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division side Glebe by scoring twice inside the opening 29 minutes.

Gondoh drilled a 35-yard free-kick into the bottom left-hand corner and his next free-kick was spilt by the keeper for striker David Owusu-Akyeaw to tap in the rebound.

Glebe’s big summer signing, striker Charlie MacDonald, 39, scored on his debut early in the second half, before Gondoh drilled in a penalty before Glebe centre-half Chris Parr picked up a second yellow card for two fouls on Whyteleafe’s two-goal hero, who on tonight’s performance should be playing at a much higher level.

“I felt relatively comfortable to be honest,” said Hudson.

“When they scored straight after half-time it was a really bad time to concede but apart from set-plays I thought we looked comfortable.

“I was pleased with how we defended as a unit. I don’t remember Tyler McCarthy making many saves. They’ve got real threat from Charlie MacDonald and Frankie Sawyer, players I have admired for a long time.”

On avoiding a potential banana skin in Chislehurst, Hudson added: “A lot of people thought that yes. I agree, it did seem like a professional job.  A lot of people fancy Glebe this year to do well in the SCEFL Prem and the signings they’ve made there’s no surprise.  Gary is a good manager, so it was a tricky draw.   

“A lot of people said it was a banana skin for us, away from home against a side very much fancied for the league below and I felt the boys handled that expectation of them very well and I’m very pleased in the way that we controlled them and limited them chances.”

Glebe manager Gary Alexander said: “Disappointed to lose any game but listen, it’s always going to be a tough tie.

“In The FA Cup you can draw anyone, or you can draw a team from the league above, which more often or not Whyteleafe are in the top 10 in that league so it was always going to be a difficult tie.

“We’ve come out on the wrong end of the scoreline tonight.  Listen, they came here and they were pretty solid but I think when we go over the chances you’ll see we probably had more chances than them and we’ve been undone probably by three set-pieces, two cracking strikes, take nothing away from the lad. He’s got that ability, why not use it? He did and then we gave a silly penalty away when the game’s open at 2-1.”

Glebe striker Jamie Philpott must work on his finishing as he took a touch before lashing his shot over the crossbar from a central position from 25-yards from goal after 109 seconds into this Extra Preliminary Round tie.

Visiting goalkeeper Tyler McCarthy had his fingers stung by Frankie Sawyer’s 30-yard angled free-kick but it proved to be a frustrating night for Sawyer, MacDonald and Philpott, who were well marshalled by Whyteleafe’s two centre-halves, Jamie McGeogheegan and Antone Douglas.

On his arrival from Isthmian League side Sevenoaks Town, Alexander said: “Frankie’s technically very good and anything within that range he’s capable, he’s hit the target, can’t complain.”

Hudson said: “I think Tyler was always in control of that. It was a long way out as well. Tyler is a very good goalkeeper at this level. I think you’d have to do very well to beat him.”

Whyteleafe, a big physical side with plenty of attacking pace, should have took the lead inside five minutes.

Right-back Oluwadamilola Olorunnisomo sprinted down the hill to reach the by-line before cutting the ball back for wideman Andrew Sesay to get in front of his man at the near post to flick his shot just past the foot of the near post from a couple of yards out.

Hudson said: “A really big chance before we scored. Sesay has got across the front of his man and put it wide at the near post.  That was a massive chance. It either of his two chances were on his left-foot then I’m sure the ball’s in the back of the net. He’ll probably think he should’ve taken one or two chances.”

A big kick upfield from Glebe goalkeeper Callum Thomas put Sawyer in but his shot lacked power and Tyler McCarthy comfortably gathered the ball low to his right.

The highly-rated Gondoh went close to scoring from his first free-kick halfway through the first half.

He whipped his left-footed free-kick towards the top left-hand corner from 30-yards from goal, but the ball dipped just over the crossbar with the Glebe keeper struggling.

However, the talented Gondoh opened his account for the new campaign with a stunning 35-yard free-kick with 23 minutes and 57 seconds on the clock.

Gondoh put his left-foot through the ball, the ball screamed over the wall and dipped straight into the bottom left-hand corner. It was a free-kick of high quality.

Hudson said: “Gondoh’s superb technically, especially down the hill so anything 35-yards out we want him to have a go.  The first two goals have come directly from him, the first one has gone in and the second was a rebound.

“The first one he put over was probably the easiest free-kick of all three of them but he’s had that one as a sighter and narrowly it’s gone over and thankfully the one after has gone in.”

Alexander added: “I watched them and the kid up front (Gondoh), I told the lads he’s very good. If you let him dictate the game, he will and for long periods of the game he did. He ran the game and we showed him a little bit too much respect but he’s a hell of a player. There’s obviously a reason he’s at this level and it’s not for his football ability.

“Listen, we see it every week, these balls move, you can’t do a thing. It’s moved and he’s hit it from range and he’s put everything on it and it’s dipped and it’s gone in the bottom left-hand corner.  It’s a great strike and if you catch those balls right, they move all over the place. It’s a nightmare for goalkeepers.”

Gondoh switched the play in their next attack to give Olorunnisomo a chance to whip in a cross towards the far post for Owusu-Akyeaw to steer his free header into Thomas’ hands, the keeper stepping to his right to make the catch.

Whyteleafe doubled their lead with 28 minutes and 39 seconds on the clock, following another set-piece.

Gondoh drilled another left-footed free-kick towards goal from 35-yards, which was too hot to handle for Thomas in an attempt to catch the ball in his midriff and he spilt the ball and Owusu-Akyeaw pounced to stroke the ball into the bottom far corner from six-yards.

“Great movement from David, that’s really pleasing, on the shoulder, he’s been working really hard and tirelessly and he needed a goal like that, a little bit of a scruffy one,” said Hudson.

“He was on the move, he gambled and the way Gondoh strikes the ball, it’s very difficult for a goalie to hold it and subsequently their keeper didn’t and he was the first to react, which is really good to see.”

Alexander added: “It’s another strike. The lad’s obviously capable of doing that.  They used that as a weapon and it’s another good strike. He’s hit the target from that range. It’s not always easy to do but we have to react better. He’s there tapping it in from six-yards.  My lads, did they react quickly enough? Probably not.”

There were not many clear-cut chances created in an open play from both sides.

Glebe central midfielder Conor Pring delivered a deep corner from the right towards the far post where his midfield partner Tom Hever planted his free header past the near post.

A throw-in from Whyteleafe’s left-back Chibuike Ezennolim saw Gundoh cut along the 18-yard line, closely marked, before he dragged his shot past the left-hand post.

Glebe squandered a glorious chance to pull a goal back, from another set-piece.

This time Pring whipped in an excellent delivery with his right-foot from the right and Sawyer found a pocket of space at the near post to glance his free-header sailing across the face of goal and past the far post from 10-yards.

Alexander said: “Conor’s balls from open play wasn’t what it normally is but from set-pieces tonight his delivery was second to none and he created numerous chances and from where I was sitting I thought Frankie’s header was in but it’s just drifted wide of the post.”

Pring and MacDonald linked up well down the left at another set-piece and the ball flashed across towards the far post and only Philpot will know how he failed to poke the ball over the line from close range, when he was left in space at the far post and should have taken the chance.

Another good delivery from Pring was met on the head by Glebe’s centre-half Jason Mensah but he steered his header past the near post from a tight angle.

Whyteleafe called Thomas into making a low save at his near post on the stroke of half-time.

Gondoh sprinted down the right and reached the by-line before he cut the ball back to Sesay, who swept his shot towards the bottom near corner, which forced Thomas into grabbing hold of the ball, stretching low to his left. 

At half-time, Alexander said: “Keep believing! Can we be a little bit better on the ball? Can we squeeze the pitch a little bit more? When the ball moves forward we need to move forward and not move sideways and can we get up the pitch and pick up second balls and play into good areas on the pitch and we did that going downhill.”

Hudson added: “We spoke about avoiding giving away set-plays where possible, which bode very well as early in the second half we conceded a set-play!

“It was about us limiting those opportunities for them, manage how they’re going to play direct down the hill in the second half and a little bit about being brave because there were opportunities for us to play a little bit more than what we did, especially going up the hill.

“We just spoke about how we can try to utilise the ball on the deck a little bit more but conceding a goal so early on after half-time was really disappointing but I thought the way we reacted kicked us into gear in the second half.”

Inevitably, Glebe’s goal, timed 182 seconds into the second half, came from a set-piece.

Pring swung in a corner from the right towards the near post and Philpot found space to plant his header towards a crowd of players and striker MacDonald got in front of his man to cushion his volley past Tyler McCarthy.

Alexander said: “We had numerous opportunities from set-pieces. It was pretty much a set-piece game, wasn’t it?  There wasn’t really a clear-cut opportunity in terms of chances from open play but Conor’s put in some great crosses and we’ve had some great chances. They’ve made theirs count and we haven’t.

“Charlie’s touched it and he’s claimed it, typical centre-forward. He’s going to claim every goal so it’s obviously Charlie Mac’s goal.

“Philpot’s got a header on it and Charlie’s poked it in. It doesn’t matter who scores the goals as long as we score them.  Pity we didn’t have one or two more tonight.

“He’s off the mark. Charlie is always going to score goals, whether it will be a tap in, that’s what he does. That’s why he’s had such a good career and it’s nice for him to get off the mark but it’s an assist for Jamie and I’m sure he’ll be happy with that.”

Hudson added: “We didn’t attack the front zone. They put good quality on their delivery, they did in the whole of the first half as well and then when we were static and weren’t attacking the ball on the front foot then often they will get across us and it happened in the first half.   We just got caught flat. Glebe were a threat from set-plays and it’s a real shame that we let one in.”

Glebe hit Whyteleafe on the counter-attack and called Tyler McCarthy into making a comfortable save.

Hever’s diagonal pass from midfield released Sawyer, who ignored his left-back Brandon Williams on an overlapping run, cut in from the left before stroking his right-footed drive towards goal from 30-yards, the ball bouncing once and comfortably gathered.

Alexander added: “Frankie’s got that in his locker to score from range. Maybe on another day he makes a different decision but I wouldn’t really call that an open chance from open play. A little bit of magic from Frankie but it hasn’t come off.”

Glebe should have been reduced to 10 men in the 58th minute when goalkeeper Thomas came sprinting out of his penalty area to bring down Owusu-Akyeaw, who latched onto Bentley Graham’s long ball. 

Referee Valentine Anekwe played an advantage, Gondoh was chopped down by Daniel McCarthy inside the box and when play came to a stop after Graham’s foul on Sawyer in midfield, the referee booked Graham and then the lucky Glebe keeper.

“I actually was not very happy with the decision,” admitted Hudson.

“I thought that for me there was no advantage. If the referee had blown up, it would’ve been a red card and a free-kick on the edge of the box.

“I spoke to the referee after the game and I asked his opinion and I’ve got respect for that because he turned round and said he should’ve done it.

“I spoke to Gary on the sideline when it happened and you’re always going to want a red-card for the goalie and a free-kick on the edge of the box.

“I think the ref made an error there but he was fair enough to own up to it and I respect that.”

Alexander added: “We ask Callum to play high. He’s come for it, he’s miss-timed it. Their quick forwards and he’s got a toe to it. Was the ball running away? Don’t know. He’s ended up on the touchline so was it clear cut? The ref’s made the decision, he’s played an advantage and he’s taken it back and booked him so we’ve probably got away with that one.”

Gondoh was dictating play and was on the receiving end of two strong tackles from Williams and Parr, which resulted in bookings for the two Glebe defenders.

Whyteleafe’s Ezennolim easily sprinted past Daniel McCarthy on about three occasions during the second half and McCarthy was penalised for giving away a soft penalty on the left-back.

Gondoh had his back to goal before he spun round to drill his left-footed penalty into the right-hand corner, despite Thomas diving the same way, to kill the game off with Whyteleafe’s third goal with 23 minutes and 19 seconds on the clock.

Hudson said: “I thought at that point it was actually coming for us. The goal they scored spurred us into life and I felt we were in the ascendancy and I’m really pleased that we did that and we didn’t just retreat and not play our game and try to hold out 2-1.

“I thought it was a soft penalty if I’m being honest – but Gondoh put it away with aplomb and that’s brilliant to see.”

Alexander added: “It was probably at that point of the game when it was just getting a bit lively.  There were things going on, on the pitch.

“Their left-back is quick and powerful but he’s headed towards the by-line and if you give the ref an opportunity, if you come off your feet in the penalty area, that’s what’s happened but we’ll learn from that and we’ll move on.”

Whyteleafe won the midfield battle with Helge Orome dominant and holding midfielder Graham protecting the back four, thus stifling Glebe’s attacking threat.

“I don’t think we moved the ball as well as we have done in pre-season. As I said to them at half-time, we might’ve froze a little bit,” admits Alexander.

“Conor Pring’s in there disappointed because his passing wasn’t as he knows it can be but it’s the reaction you want to see because he’s hurting in there because he knows he can be better.  The service could have been better into our strikers but we’ll move on from that and we know Conor’s a good player and there will be plenty of good games to come.”

Gondoh played the ball out to winger Courtney Clarke, who cut in and cracked a dipping drive, which only just cleared the top of the far post as the game entered its climax.

Sawyer swung in a free-kick from within the right-channel and Mensah threw his head at the ball inside the six-yard box but the ball bounced past the foot of the right-hand post but Glebe struggled to create chances from open play due to a lack of service from midfield.

“We had a header from a set-piece, Mensah just wide. We’ve had a few opportunities from set-pieces but it’s just quite not been our night,” admitted Alexander.

Glebe substitute left-back Emmanuel Dasho had to slot into the heart of defence alongside Mensah after Parr was shown his second yellow card (and then a red) after sliding in to tackle Gondoh as he tried to prevent a swift Whyteleafe counter-attack, as Glebe were reduced to 10-men, 57 seconds into stoppage time.

Hudson said: “I think they couldn’t stop him in the first half and they had a different tactic in the second half, which I won’t comment on but I think he probably drew 80% of the fouls during the whole game and we want as much protection for Ryan as possible.”

Alexander claimed: “Chris is in there and said he didn’t commit a foul. He said he slid in but didn’t commit a foul. I’ve just had a chat with the ref, good as gold. We’ve got the video so we’re able to have a look. If we feel if there’s something there we’ll appeal it.

“Listen, their front three are going to cause problems. They had a lot of pace, individually very good and they’re going to cause problems in the league above.”

Glebe kick-off their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division campaign on Saturday with a home game against K Sports, before they travel to Beckenham Town on Tuesday 8 September.

Whyteleafe don’t start their Isthmian League South East Division campaign until Saturday 19 September, with a trip to Herne Bay, but before that they welcome Peacehaven & Telscombe to Church Road in The FA Cup.

“We played Peacehaven in a pre-season friendly last summer and we had a comfortable victory on the day,” said Hudson.

“Our homework will start now. Bearsted are actually a decent side so for them to have beaten them 5-3 away, they won’t be a bad side but I’ll also be lying in saying that on paper this was a harder draw than that so we’ll look forward to that game and we’ll hopefully be able to take our game to Peacehaven and put our name in the hat in the next round.”

On Gondoh’s performance tonight, Hudson faces a fight to keep him at Church Road.

“We’ve kept Ryan Gondoh, which is a huge asset. Ryan should be a professional footballer, there’s no doubt. What he does today he could do whatever he wants to do on the ball. I don’t think he gave the ball away, he wasn’t flustered. He could do what he wanted so any team with Ryan Gondoh in it is going to have a bloody good chance of scoring goals and we scored three today and we could’ve scored four or five.”

On tonight’s performance, Glebe need to strengthen in their full-back areas and add service from midfield.  They will score goals with MacDonald and Sawyer but Philpot must start taking the chances that come his way because he misses too many decent chances.

“Goals change games. They’ve scored at an important time and tonight they’ve scored three and we’ve got one but on another night we could’ve scored three,” added Alexander.

Glebe: Callum Thomas, Daniel McCarthy, Brandon Williams (Emmanuel Dasho 74), Conor Pring (Jerome Wade 73), Jason Mensah, Chris Parr, Eric Demelo, Tom Hever, Charlie MacDonald, Frankie Sawyer, Jamie Philpot.
Subs: Mackenzie Foley, Gary Alexander, Jahmahl King

Goals: Charlie MacDonald 49

Booked: Brandon Williams 56, Callum Thomas 59, Chris Parr 64, Daniel McCarthy 68

Sent Off: Chris Parr 90

Whyteleafe: Tyler McCarthy, Oluwadamilola Olorunnisomo, Chibuike Ezennolim, Bentley Graham, Jamie McGeoghegan, Antone Douglas, Courtney Clarke, Helge Orome, David Owusu-Akyeaw, Ryan Gondoh, Andrew Sesay (Kyren Mundle-Smith 74).
Subs: Simeon Dennis, Ethon Archer, Hamd Kanu, Daniel Hogan, Malakai Hyman, Sebastian Barford

Goals: Ryan Gondoh 24, 69 (penalty), David Owusu-Akyeaw 29

Booked:  Oluwadamilola Olorunnisomo 53, Bentley Graham 58, Kyren Mundle-Smith 90

Attendance: 232
Referee: Mr Valentine Anekwe
Assistants: Ms Bethany Archer & Mr Damian Mirzadeh

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