Greenwich Borough 6-5 Stansfeld - It's an injustice! Billy Hamlin didn't say it and everybody in the ground knew that apart from the officials, insists Stansfeld joint-boss Jamie Phipps

Sunday 29th September 2019
Greenwich Borough 6 – 5 Stansfeld
Location Mayplace Ground, Mayplace Road East, Barnehurst, Kent DA7 6JT
Kickoff 29/09/2019 15:00

(after extra time)
Kent Senior Trophy Preliminary Round
Sunday 29 September 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Mayplace Road East

STANSFELD joint-manager Jamie Phipps says the club will appeal Billy Hamlin's controversial sending off after a man in the crowd shouted out an obscenity and referee Simon Cutler punished the Stansfeld joint-manager because of it.

Hamlin was shown a red-card by the referee in the 39th minute when a man who was standing in front of the press seats and in front of the main stand shouted out “bald c***” towards the referee, who had his back towards the dug-out and was at least 20 yards away, before the referee stormed back to the dug-out to show Hamlin a red-card.

Assistant referee James Beadle kept quiet as Hamlin pleaded his innocence and the man who threw the insult insisted “it was me!” several times at the referee but he choose not to admit to making an embarrassing mistake, guessing that it was Hamlin who dished out the insult,  having just lost a player to the sin-bin just a minute earlier, although it was a man who was positioned above the away dug-out.

Phipps hopes the red-card, suspension and fine is rescinded, especially as it wasn’t Hamlin who shouted out the obscenity in the first place!

Phipps said: “It’s an injustice! Billy didn’t say it, everybody in the ground knew that apart from the officials.

“The referee was too quick to come over and just say it was Billy. He didn’t give the bench an opportunity to speak or anything like that. He just made his mind up within a matter of seconds. He didn’t take any time to consider his decision. He just came over, asked for Billy’s name and then showed him a red card!

“Billy didn’t say it! Everybody knows he didn’t say it. Billy’s just come back from a ban and we’re very conscience now that these sort of things don’t happen from the dug-out.

“What’s going to happen now? We have to appeal it!  Whether the Kent FA are strong enough to listen to our appeal, I don’t know. There were some Kent FA officials here, who I believe know where it came from and know that it didn’t come from the dug-out.  We just hope that common sense prevails and justice is done because Billy doesn’t deserve another ban, which I assume will be quite lengthy considering the ban he’s just come off and quite a big fine. It’s not warranted because it wasn’t him!”

Greenwich Borough went into this Kent Senior Trophy Preliminary Round classic sitting in the bottom four in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with five points from seven games, while Stansfeld were in 12th place in the First Division table with eight points from their seven league outings.

Greenwich Borough went into the break with a two-goal lead courtesy of right-winger Jonathan Miller-Annor and striker Richard Jimoh tucking home two cut backs from the right by-line.

Stansfeld pulled a goal back through a header from centre-half Lennie Wise, before Greenwich Borough midfielder Ollie Bennett swept home a third goal before Wise headed in a carbon copy header following another corner with 20 minutes of normal time remaining.

Stansfeld forced extra time by scoring their third goal of the game with four minutes of normal time left.

Momentum swung back to Greenwich Borough who regained their lead through Bennett’s second of the game before Casey Killilea thumped home a 30-yard stunning drive to equalise.

Centre-half Ryan Green and central midfielder Alex Nelson restored Greenwich Borough’s two-goal lead, before Stansfeld pulled a goal back through 18-year-old substitute Ben Holland towards the end of extra-time.

“My thoughts basically is that we made very, very hard work of this game,” admitted Greenwich Borough manager Ben Kotey, who earns a trip to Hollands & Blair in the First Round on Saturday 19 October.

“Full credit to Stansfeld, being 2-0 down, they kept on going and they worked hard. They played to their strengths but we were two goals ahead several times in this game and we made really hard work of it.”

“I just thought we showed great character, a lot of desire, great team spirit,” said Stansfeld’s Phipps.

“It’s always going to be difficult to win once you’ve let in six goals but I thought the character and the effort of the boys was magnificent against a very good side.

“You’re certainly never happy to concede six goals in any game but five goals should be enough to win any game but it was end-to-end. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb every time but we were unfortunate in the end not to get something from the game.”

Greenwich Borough started the game on the front foot and right-back Kwasi Amoah drilled a speculative 35-yard shot sailing over the crossbar after only 70 seconds into this crazy game.

Stansfeld were to be denied the lead in the seventh minute when Ryan Hassan played a short pass on the outside to striker White, who unleashed a rasping drive from 18-yards, which was pushed on top of the near post by Greenwich Borough keeper Charlie Cloke.

“I know their keeper’s got fingertips to it but I’m not sure if it was on target,” admitted Phipps.

“Up to that point I thought they battered us for the first five or six minutes. They came out of the traps really fast, which we expected. We had to weather the storm a little bit and I thought we got back into the game quite well.”

On his goalkeeper, Kotey said: “It’s only his second game here and we’re learning about him and he’s learning about us. He’s a young goalkeeper with a lot of potential.”

Greenwich Borough opened the scoring with 15 minutes and 37 seconds on the clock, as they got in behind Frankie Beale.

Amoah, Fred Obasa and Miller-Annor all linked up down the bottom channel and Obasa reached the by-line to cut the ball back for Miller-Annor to sweep a first time shot into the bottom left-hand corner from inside the six-yard box.

“It was a very good worked goal. We moved the ball up the field really quickly and it was a very good one touch composed finish by Jonny,” said Kotey.

“This is his first game back after an injury a couple of weeks ago so it was nice to see him back fully fit and playing.”

Phipps admitted: “At that point I thought it was probably deserved. They started the game very well, they were on top and they were good for the lead.”

Tricky winger Obasa cut in from the right into a central position to flash his right-footed drive just past the foot of the near post from 25-yards, as Stansfeld’s formation of three centre-halves and two-wing backs was clearly failing.

Billy Shinners ditched his emergency centre-half position to play up front as Charlie Burgess slotted in at centre-half alongside Wise instead.

Halfway through the half, Joe Minter, who finished the half in the sin-bin before he was replaced at the break through injury, swung in a corner from the right and Burgess showed desire to get to the ball first and sliding over as he headed the ball through a crowd of players and just past the post.

Stansfeld wasted a glorious chance to snatch an equaliser in the 32nd minute when left-back Beale whipped in a trademark precise delivery which was put on a plate for Shinners in the middle but he plated his header straight at Cloke from 15-yards.

“That’s Billy’s strengths, in the air! Nine times out of 10 that would nestle in the back of the net but on this occasion he found the keeper,” said Phipps.

“We changed our shape, we went from a three to a back four because they were getting too much joy down the sides, which is why we pushed Billy up from centre-half to centre-forward.

“He’s played centre-half for us for the last four or five games. We’ve got a lot of injuries, which has taken its toll on us so he’s been playing centre-half and playing really well.”

A relieved Kotey added: “Either side of Charlie then we’re in trouble there but fortunately for us the header’s gone straight to Charlie and he’s dealt with it.”

Stansfeld pair Greg Summersby and Killilea were taking no prisoners in the middle of the park and were combative in their play as they tried to stop Greenwich Borough’s more gifted footballers.

Greenwich Borough would have wrapped up the victory if it wasn’t for a couple of decent saves from Stansfeld’s highly-rated keeper Jack Bradshaw.

Jimoh was in a central position and spread the play out to Obasa and Nelson, who was pulling all the strings in midfield, joined in and fed the ball back to Obasa, who teed up Jimoh in the D whose right-footed drive was comfortably saved by Bradshaw.

Bradshaw was called into making more decisive saves when in the 42nd minute he rushed out to use his legs to deny Jimoh, who was put through on goal after playing a one-two with Bennett.

Greenwich Borough’s right-back Amoah played the ball into Nelson, who set up Bennett, whose right-footed swept shot from 20-yards, took a deflection off Killilea (who was closing down the shot) and was destined for the bottom corner, only for Bradshaw to dive to his right to push around the post.

Kotey said: “We felt in the first half we played some good possession football and we created a lot of chances.  When we got a chance we have to be a lot more clinical with the opportunities that we’re getting at this moment in time.

“Jack Bradshaw’s an excellent goalkeeper with vast experience of playing much higher than this level so if you’re going to beat Jack, it’s got to be a quality finish.”

Phipps added:  “He’s a good keeper Jack, we’re lucky to have him and he does what we were told he can do and he’s proved that since he’s been with us so yes he’s a top goalkeeper.”

However, Greenwich Borough doubled their lead, 64 seconds into stoppage time, as they got in behind Beale yet again.

It was a carbon copy of their first goal as Amoah fed Obasa within the right channel and he cut the ball back from the by-line for Jimoh to apply the finish, finding space 16-yards from goal to find the bottom right-hand corner.

“We’ve got a lot of pace and ability in the side and when we combine and we can utilise our pace and our ability we do create some goalscoring opportunities,” said Kotey.

“It was a good finish, well-worked play and going into half-time 2-0, I think it was most deserved at the time.”

Kotey added:  “What we said at half-time, we knew we was going against the wind. We knew that Stansfeld would be more forceful and maybe press us high and try to win the ball up the pitch and try to press us.

“We said to the players we’ve got to keep our discipline, try to maintain possession of the ball and try and manage and control the game and that was the plan but that’s not what happened.

“Credit to Stansfeld. They kept on going and they didn’t give up. I’ve played Stansfeld over the years and they’re a team, whatever the situation, they’re a team that never give up.”

Phipps added: “We said to the boys at half-time that’s what we were doing, we were chasing the ball in, they were setting it up to the full-back and we were chasing it in and making it too easy for them to get down the sides, so at half-time we said stay with your runners or try to cut out the supply around the back.”

It should have been three when centre-half William Muckle played a long ball in behind Wise and Burgess to put Bennett through on goal but Bradshaw came off his line to smother the shot.

Phipps added: “We could’ve gone one or two ways then. We could’ve come out and gone into our shell and then ended up getting battered or come out and show a bit of character, which we did and we got back into the game.”

Stansfeld almost pulled a goal back in fortuitous circumstances after only 119 seconds into the second half.

Killilea thumped a clearance upfield from 15-yards from the half-way line from inside his own half.  A gust of wind took the ball and almost caught out Cloke, who managed to flick the ball onto his crossbar before the ball dropped behind for a corner.

“I thought that was just a hopeful punt into the box that missed everyone and the keeper got underneath it a little bit but he did well to get something on it to be fair to him,” added Phipps.

Hassan showed good skill to glide past three Greenwich Borough defenders before cutting into the box before curling his shot around the keeper and past the far post from 15-yards as there was still sign of life in this Stansfeld side.

Greenwich Borough squandered a glorious chance to kill the game off in the 56th minute, following a three-man raid.

Miller-Annor played the ball in low from the left and Bennett’s clever flick pass put in Obasa in behind Beale and Burgess and Obasa drilled his right-footed shot smacking against the crossbar when he only had the keeper to beat from 12-yards.

Kotey said: “A really well-worked opportunity there and it’s a case of being ruthless in those key moments by taking our chances.  Maybe if we had got that goal at that moment in time the enthusiasm of Stansfeld may have diminished but we hit the crossbar and they think they’re still in the game.”

It proved to be a vital miss as just 63 seconds later, Stansfeld accepted a lifeline to pull a goal back, which was timed at 11 minutes and 43 seconds on the clock.

Beale floated a corner in from the right and not a single Greenwich Borough player picked up Wise at the far post and the Stansfeld centre-half buried his free header into the top near corner from 10-yards out.

“That’s one of Lennie’s strengths, he’s fantastic in the air,” said Phipps.

“We said at half-time set-pieces looked a good route for us. I think they were very conscience of our strength in the air and they were quite clear what they were saying.”

Kotey added: “That was our concern today. We felt that they had certain qualities in certain areas and set-pieces was an area that we felt they could cause us problems and the goals we conceded today, I think quite a number of them were from set-pieces or deliveries into our box.”

The goal lifted Stansfeld, who appeared to be the more likely team to score the next goal, but Greenwich Borough did exactly that to go 3-1 up with 18 minutes and 32 seconds on the clock.

Nelson and Jethro Hanson both linked up down the right channel before Nelson played the ball inside to Bennett, who swept his low shot through a crowd of players to slot the ball into the bottom far corner from 15-yards.

Kotey said: “Ollie Bennett is very experienced, technically very good, an very intelligent player. We got him on the ball a lot today and he played some good positive moments for us and created a lot of chances and I thought he deserved that well-taken goal.”

Phipps added: “I think we could’ve dealt with it better but at 3-1 down you think game over but we showed our character again and we didn’t let our heads drop even though we conceded again.”

More poor defending and goalkeeping followed when Hassan swung in a free-kick from outside the corner of the box on the left and no one dealt with the delivery, which bounced and looped up to kiss the top of the far post.

“It’s one of them where you hit it into an area and hope that someone gets a touch but if they don’t, sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t,.  It’s just unfortunate on this occasion it didn’t,” added Phipps.

Stansfeld showed tremendous character during this game and scored their second goal with 24 minutes and 29 seconds on the clock.

Beale floated in a corner from the left towards the far post where an unmarked Wise buried his header, which bounced off Green at the near post before crossing the line.

“The Greenwich goalkeeper wasn’t exactly the tallest so we knew if we put it in and around him that we’d have a chance with the strength that we’ve got in the air to cause problems and Lennie did that with the second goal,” said Phipps.

“You might as well lose 4-2 as 3-2 so we kind of decided to go a little bit more gung-ho and for our second half performance I actually thought we got what we deserved.  Yes it’s difficult because you don’t know whether to stick or twist.”

Kotey admitted his side can’t defend balls into the box.

“Yes, we’re not learning. We didn’t learn from the first goal and it just takes someone to take ownership and responsibility. We may not be as big as them but at least affect whoever’s going up for the challenge and make it a little bit more difficult to get a clearer contact on the ball.”

A short free-kick from substitute Steven Ita teed up Nelson, who screamed his 30-yard angled drive across the keeper and past the far post.

Stansfeld deservedly forced extra-time by continue to press for an equaliser, which came with 40 minutes and 23 second on the clock.

The lively Hassan was released down the right wing and he reached the by-line to cut the ball back for an unmarked Killilea in the middle but he failed to connect to the ball and the cross still had enough weight on it to reach an unmarked White at the far post, who stroked his first time right-footed drive across the diving keeper to find the bottom far corner from 15-yards.

“We were a bit fortunate.  I think the keeper maybe should’ve done a bit better,” added Phipps.

“We encourage our wide players to get into the box as much as possible and it paid dividends on this occasion.

“I was extremely pleased to take it to extra-time against a very, very good side. They move the ball around well. Well they did have the lions share of possession and it’s always more tiring when you’re chasing the ball than when you’ve got the ball so to come back from 3-1 down, against a very good side, was very pleasing for me and Bill.”

Kotey added: “Defensively we could’ve done a lot better before it got into that area. We didn’t defend the ball over the top very well. They got in behind us, a good cross and a well-taken goal. We were defensively naïve in my opinion in that situation.

“At three-all I’m very disappointed in our team. Everybody knows Stansfeld are a very experienced side but in those situations as a team we have to manage the game much, much better and see the game out and we did not do that!”

There were five goals during extra-time in this gung-ho game.

Greenwich Borough took the lead with only three minutes and 20 seconds into the first period when substitute Javan Scott fed the ball into Obasa, who showed silky skill to play in Bennett who slotted his right-footed drive across the keeper to find the bottom far corner with a clinical finish.

Kotey said: “Again, we scored another well-taken goal. We’re in the lead again and we have to do better and make sure we don’t give them opportunities to get back in the game.”

Phipps was confident that old Stansfeld spirit would still come out of his boys.

“We done it at 2-0 and 3-1 so we knew we wasn’t out of it because we’ve got ourselves back into the game twice so it was a cause of playing and just still believe, which the boys did.”

The away side refused to lie down and die and this was trademark Stansfeld spirit and character as they equalised with five minutes and 18 seconds on the clock, courtesy of the best goal of the game.

It came out of nothing as the ball was played into Killilea’s feet and he unleashed a right-footed drive crashing into the roof of the net from 30-yards, giving Cloke no chance at all to blink let alone save the shot!

Phipps said:  “Great strike! I remember that one!  We were doing some shooting drills at the end of training on Wednesday night and he did it four or five times so we knew he had the capability of doing it but to actually produce it in the game was fantastic!”

Kotey added: “It was a great strike from the lad! They got in own our left-hand side. I’m a bit disappointed with the way we dealt with that situation. We can’t take anything away from the goal itself but I just felt defensively we should’ve done better there again.”

Stansfeld missed a glorious chance to take the lead when Hassan hung over a cross from the right towards an unmarked Killilea, putting it on the plate for the midfielder, who planted his header straight at Cloke from six-yards out.

Phipps added: “He should’ve scored that! Casey is decent in the air, either side of the keeper it’s a goal. It’s just unfortunate that he put it straight towards the keeper!”

Greenwich Borough made it 5-4 with 14 minutes and 32 seconds on the clock, following their eight of nine corners.  Stansfeld, meanwhile, forced six corners.

Nelson swung in the corner from the left and the ball bounced up and struck Shinners hand at the near post but the referee played on and Green reacted to hit a left-footed shot on the turn, which he rifled into the roof of the net from eight-yards.

Kotey said: “Ryan Green is our only centre-back that we had today. He’s just come back from injury so it was a good to see him play the game longer than what we expected him to play. It was pleasing for him to score a goal, pleasing for him to show he’s coming back from injury.”

Phipps said: “Billy Shinners was disappointed, he knows he should’ve cleared it. He had the opportunity to clear it, that’s why we put a screen there. It was unfortunate that he’s mis-hit it and it’s fallen straight to them so there’s not a lot Jack could’ve done about that, just unfortunate really.”

Greenwich Borough sealed their progress just 41 seconds into the second period when the impressive Obasa rode Summersby’s challenge down the left hand side and he cut the ball back for Nelson to bend his shot into the far corner from 10-yards.

“Alex Nelson was my skipper today. He’s got vast levels of experience. He kept the team going, drove the team forward and to get that goal I was hoping that would settle and calm us down a little bit and we could maybe try to finish the game off,” said Kotey.

“Alex Nelson has been immense for me since he’s been down here. He’s been a real leader and a real positive influence on the group.”

“I think tiredness was a key factor by then. They’re a very good pacey side and we were getting tired which made it a little bit easier to find space and it was a good goal,” added Phipps.

Stansfeld kept plugging away and completed the goalscoring with the 11th goal of the game, which was timed at 11 minutes and 36 seconds on the clock.

White launched a long throw in from the right, which was flicked on at the near post and Ben Holland swept home his shot at the far post from eight-yards out through a crowd of players to score his maiden goal for the first team.

“Great goal! Ben’s a young boy whose been playing in our third team. He’s only 18, played yesterday for our thirds.  We were short today because of injuries and he came on at half-time for Joe Minter, who was injured and I thought he applied himself fantastic.

“For a kid whose played 60 minutes yesterday and a half and extra-time today, I thought it was fantastic for him to get a goal. 

“Another one of our young boys, Billy Hook, came on during extra-time and he’s only 18 so the future of the club is good. We’ve got some good kids coming through.”

Kotey added: “They played to their strengths today and we had an area of our game today where we’re not the biggest of teams. We had several centre-backs and influential players out today and we have to be able to deal with where we are maybe lacking and also try to negate where the opposition has got a strength.

“Fortunately for us we scored more goals than the opposition but it’s very much a case of very pleased that we got into the next round, however there’s a lot of things we needed to do better today and we’re going to go away and reflect on that and work on that.

“Conceding five goals doesn’t sit well with me at all. The players’ know I’m not happy with the goals that we’ve conceded and it’s something that we really need to sit down and look at and reflect on.”

Deal Town head coach Steve King watched the entire game today as he prepares for Greenwich Borough’s visit in the league on Saturday, while Stansfeld welcome Sutton Athletic to Foxbury Avenue in the First Division.

“I’ll take a clean sheet,” came Phipps’ response.

“We don’t keep that many clean sheets unfortunately. We need to take this into the league. Our league form is so inconsistent but we know on our day we can give anybody a game. If we can just address that then we won’t be that far off.

“Sutton are a very good side. They’ve won their last two games quite comfortably so we know it will be tough and we have to be at it to get a result.”

On eleventh-placed Deal Town, Kotey revealed he has done his homework, having watched their 2-1 win at Erith & Belvedere.

“I actually watched them play yesterday against Erith & Belvedere so there’s several players who I identified who I thought are key players for them.  It’s a long way for us to travel and it will be a real challenge to get a positive result down there.”

Looking further ahead to their Kent Senior Trophy date against current sixth-placed side Hollands & Blair, Kotey added: “That will be an interesting one. They beat us 3-0 earlier on in the season so that was very disappointing so hopefully we can go down there and have a better outcome.  I’d take a clean sheet.  Going forward, very pleasing, defensively it’s a work in progress.”

Greenwich Borough: Charlie Cloke, Kwasi Amoah, Kashari Foster (Khalidu Sesay 74), Jethro Hanson, Ryan Green, William Muckle, Fred Obasa, Alex Nelson, Richard Jimoh (Khalidu Sesay 74), Ollie Bennett, Jonathan Miller-Annor (Steven Ita 80).

Goals: Jonathan Miller-Annor 16, Richard Jimoh 45, Ollie Bennett 64, 94, Ryan Green 105, Alex Nelson 106

Stansfeld: Jack Bradshaw, Joe Borland, Frankie Beale, Charlie Burgess, Billy Shinners (Billy Hook 111), Lennie Wise, Joe Minter (Ben Holland 46), Greg Summersby, George White, Ryan Hassan (Joe Cain 112), Casey Killilea.
Sub: Fred Hamlin

Goals: Lennie Wise 57, 70, George White 86, Casey Killilea 96, Ben Holland 117

Booked: Casey Killilea 67

Temporary Dismissal:  Joe Minter 38

Sent Off:  Billy Hamlin 39 (manager)

Attendance: 85
Referee: Mr Simon Cutler (Sheerness)
Assistants: Mr James Beadle (Meopham) & Mr Carlos Ospina (Bromley)