Greenways 0-5 Snodland Town - It was a performance to forget but the manner that we lost the game today was not concerning but something we need to put right, says Greenways boss Rob Jeffery

Monday 08th November 2021
Greenways 0 – 5 Snodland Town
Location Cobdown Sports & Social Club, Station Road, Ditton, Aylesford, Kent ME20 6AU
Kickoff 08/11/2021 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Monday 8 November 2021
Stephen McCartney reports from Cobdown

GREENWAYS manager Rob Jeffery admits there were a number of his players who have to look at their performances and say they could have done better after being humiliated by an impressive Snodland Town.

Snodland Town climbed up three places into ninth in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division with 20 points on the board from 14 games, while the side less than five miles away, Greenways, remain in fourteenth-place in the pecking order with 15 points from 14 games, just three points clear of the bottom three.

Snodland Town created 22 goalscoring chances during this local derby, watched by 65 people at Cobdown, as Greenways suffered their worst result of the season.

Snodland Town took only 64 seconds for the floodgates to open with winger Delvane Kattha finishing off a set-piece at the near post.

Striker Daniel Ashton doubled their lead before Snodland Town rattled in three second half goals.

Impressive substitute right-winger Josh Brown slotted in the third just before the hour-mark before a counter-attack was finished off by Sean Adams, before substitute attacker Patrick Bishenden completed the rout at the death.

Snodland Town manager Luke Wallond said: “A good performance. First time we were playing on a Monday night, it worked for us tonight. We seem to do well in midweek games, it was a good result and a good team performance. Even the subs coming on done well as well.

“Greenways came to us a few weeks back and beat us (3-2 on 15 September) and beat us comfortably.  We didn’t turn up but tonight we turned up. We spoke before the game and said ‘put in a better performance than last time and turn it around and get a win’, which we did.”

Jeffery wasn’t pleased with his side’s poor performance during this one-sided local derby.

“We got what we deserved! Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and say that we weren’t at it and they were,” said the Greenways manager.

“We didn’t recover from the goal in the first couple of minutes and that sort of got their tails up pretty quickly and set the tone for the rest of the game, so I’ve got no complaints with the result. I don’t even think the score flattered them either.  I think they were good value for the win, good value for the 5-0 win, so we just have to dust ourselves down and go again.

“I thought we were definitely poor. I can’t comment on what they normally perform like but they worked hard, they pressed well, their shape was good, the opposite of that was us. We didn’t press well, our shape was poor and our quality wasn’t good and that the tone for the game.”

Matt Atkins, who plays on the left of a three central defence, gave away a free-kick and Bradley Webb played in a low free-kick from the right and Ashton’s back-heel was lashed in first time into the bottom right-hand corner from six-yards by Kattha, who was forced off at half-time after suffering from cramp.

“I don’t think Webb’s cross was delivered like (he wanted it to be) but it worked out well and I think we reacted quite quickly and stabbed it in. it was a great start and you can’t ask for better,” said Wallond.

“Young Delvane started wide, he’s only 17 and he had a good 45 minutes. Unfortunately, he started cramping up at half-time because he does an Academy during the day.”

Jeffery added: “I’d like to look at it again on the video. It looked like a soft free-kick but once it’s given you’ve got to deal with it! The ball’s come in, we didn’t clear our lines and then a bit of pinball in there and they’ve put the ball away.  It’s so disappointing to concede in the opening 64 seconds.”

Greenways played out from the back but lost possession of the football inside their own half on numerous occasions and Snodland Town profited by playing a more direct style of football, which worked, especially going by the chances count.

Greenways’ right-wing-back Simon Walton, with 10 goals to his name already this season, lose the ball to a pressing Edward Rosetti, who drove forward and his right-footed shot took a deflection and was comfortably gathered by Daniel Stevens.

However, Stevens was guilty of spilling shots from outside his penalty area when he should have gathered the ball and this put his side in plenty of trouble, although his handling vastly improved during the second half.

“Dan’s a top class keeper, he didn’t have his best 45 but he wasn’t at fault for any of their goals,” added Jeffery.

“I think there were a number of players who would look at their first and second half performance and say they could’ve done better!”

Webb’s corner from the left was cleared back out to him in the eleventh minute and his right-footed angled drive bounced in front of Stevens, who dropped to his knees at his near post and gathered the rasping drive at the second attempt.

“We had quite a few chances, which is quite nice to see.  They’re not all going to go in but it’s good if you’re getting chances.  You know you’re doing something right. The goalie struggled at times to hold onto a few and we tried to capitalise on that,” added Wallond.

Snodland’s right-back Sammy Swift looped a long throw into the box, which was flicked on by Ashton at the near post and Omar Elmantawy flicked his shot over the crossbar from eight-yards.

Greenways took 17 minutes to create their first chance of the night when Tom Reardon cut in from the left and teed up striker Rhys Abioye, who drilled his first-time right-footed shot over the crossbar from just outside the corner of the box.

Snodland Town turned defence into a swift attack as a long ball from goalkeeper Sean Wicks released Ashton charging down the right and he played a 10-yard square pass inside to Kattha, who drilled a low shot towards goal from 15-yards, which was blocked by Stevens’ legs when he only had the keeper to beat.

Snodland Town’s centre-half Jordan Payne played a long ball along the deck, which was expertly trapped by Ashton, who then played the ball out to left-winger Elmantawy, who cut inside.  He rolled the ball along the 18-yard line to play a one-two with Kattha before smashing a low shot which was blocked by Stevens’ legs and Ashton lashed the rebound over the crossbar.

However, Snodland Town deservedly doubled their lead just 34 seconds later, with 23 minutes on the clock.

Adams drilled a low, angled drive towards goal from 25-yards out, which Stevens pushed away low to his left and Ashton drilled his right-footed shot across the keeper to nestle inside the bottom far corner from 10-yards.

“There could’ve been a few more goals possibly had we taken them chances,” added Wallond.

“We said quite early on when we saw the keeper liked to punch and push stuff away rather than collecting nice and tight, so we said straight away let’s react to pieces and it paid off with Dan following up.”

Jeffery said: “They reacted quicker and that was the tone of the game so I’d like to look back on it but he’s reacted quicker and put the ball away.

“We’ve got to help out Dan. He’s made a save and we’ve got to be there to sweep it up and we wasn’t.”

Battered Greenways were gifted an opportunity in the 33rd minute, courtesy of some sloppy defending from Payne, who acknowledged his mistake to his team-mates by raising his hand to apologise a couple of times.

Payne was inside his own penalty area when his poor clearance fell to Walton just outside the box and he cut the ball onto his left-foot and drove his shot towards the roof of the net, forcing Wicks to raise his right hand to push the ball over the crossbar.

Jeffery said: “Left-footed drive, a good shot, weaker foot as well. He caught it well Simon, he worked hard, it was one of those games today.”

“Wicks didn’t have a lot to do tonight but the odd bits he did do, he done very well and his distribution was very good tonight as well,” added Wallond.

Snodland Town’s direct style was causing Greenway’s back three problems during the entre game and Ashton’s defensive splitting pass split open Atkins but Kattha lacked composure and lashed his shot over the crossbar from 15-yards out when he only had the keeper to beat.

Adams, who was pulling the strings in the Snodland Town midfield, played the ball into Elmantawy, who swept a weak shot towards goal from 20-yards, which was pushed away by Stevens, the busy Greenways keeper.

Set-piece specialist Webb curled a right-footed free-kick around the far post from 35-yards, although Stevens claimed he had the shot covered by raising both his hands up in the air.

Jeffery said: “We got what we deserved! The quality wasn’t there and sometimes that happens and we have to make sure we don’t dwell on it and we put it behind us.

“Well, I won’t be able to say everything I said to the boys at half-time. We didn’t set out what we wanted to do so we had a style of play that we wanted to play and we had a formation that we wanted to play and everybody had roles and responsibilities within that and particularly in the first half we didn’t do that and because of that our shape was quite erratic and what we ended up doing was trying to make up for the poor start.

“I thought people were playing what they thought was doing the right thing but because of that it didn’t help our shape. Half-time was mainly about our shape and our roles and responsibilities so we could try to get a bit more on the ball and put a bit more pressure on them.”

Wallond said: “I said (at half-time) 2-0, every manager probably says is, it can go either way, who gets the next goal is massively important for the game as it will change the direction and whose on top.  Luckily enough we got it and from that point we just kicked on.

“We outplayed them at times, caught them on the counter-attack and I think we worked a lot harder and I think we squeezed the ball a lot more than they did as well.”

The tempo died down during the opening embers of the second half, but a crunching challenge by Greenways left-wing-back Sam Harris on Brown just outside the corner of the penalty area went unpunished and Webb cut the ball onto his left-foot and his 30-yard effort bounced past the foot of the right-hand post inside the opening four minutes.

Holder threw the ball into the Greenways box and Elmantawy played a low ball inside to Webb, whose right-footed 22-yard shot was comfortably gathered by Stevens.

However, a good piece of skill from Greenways’ diminutive midfielder Oscar Saxton saw him flick the ball over his markers head before smashing a dipping volley just over the top of the near post from 25-yards in the 51st minute, which proved to be the home side’s only bright moment on a miserable night.

“He caught it well. He would probably wanted to test the keeper but it was just one of those nights tonight where I think we could’ve played for a couple of weeks and we wouldn’t have got anything out from the game,” admitted Jeffery, who didn’t have a plan B when his side’s tippy-tappy football failed to create any chances and resulted in his players giving the ball away inside their own half often.

“Listen, we play, we play football and the problem when you play football is if you keep giving the ball away, you get punished,” said Jeffery.

“The quality wasn’t there and we can pick holes in it all day long and yes Snodland were good, good value for their win. They worked very hard and good value for their 5-0.  There were a lot of things that we did wrong tonight and one of those things was the simple things - we just kept giving the ball away!”

Wallond added: “Long range efforts with Wicksey in goal, you’re thinking it’s got to be something special to beat him.  I don’t think there was too much power behind it but it was another shot near enough.”

Snodland Town’s fifteenth chance of the night saw them increase their lead in the 59th minute.

Rosetti was inside his own half and played a sublime first-time through ball, which easily cut open Atkins to put Brown through on goal and he kept composed by slotting his right-footed shot across the keeper and into the bottom far corner.

“A good bit of skill from Ed in the middle. He flicked it over their centre-midfield and played a half-volley out to JB and JB does what he does when he’s got space to run into. He likes to use those legs and he got away and tucked it in,” said Wallond.

“JB is always that kind of player, he’s fast, energetic and he’s awkward. You don’t always know what he’s going to do with it but nine times out of 10 he’ll get past someone and create something, take a foul. He’s handy to have in the squad.”

Jeffery added: “I’d like to see that again. For me there was a foul in the build-up to that, if it’s the one that I’m thinking off?  

“A high foot when Sam Harris’ gone in.  Look, it’s not going to change the outcome of the game but I thought there was a foul in the build-up.  He’s gone through and slotted the ball in and scored the goal. I was surprised that he didn’t give that foul.”

Stevens made a comfortable save at the halfway mark when the impressive Ashton played a low ball in from the right wing, Brown laid the ball off and Adams struck a first time left-footed shot towards goal, which the Greenways keeper held low to his left.

Snodland Town turned defence into a clinical attack when they scored their fourth goal of the night in the final 19 minutes.

Greenways packed the Snodland penalty area and waited for Nick Donaldson to float a free-kick towards them. 

However, Snodland cleared their lines swiftly broke, playing the ball out to Brown, who was unmarked on the halfway line down the right flank. He charged down the right on the counter-attack and unselfishly put it on the plate for Adams, who capped off a great night for him by taking a touch before rifling his right-footed shot into the top left-hand corner from 15-yards.

“Sean’s done really well. He’s stepped up for us in the last few weeks. He’s our reserve manager and we needed him to play a few weeks back when we were running short of numbers.  We got him in and he done well then,” praised Wallond.

“He’s not playing for the reserves tonight so he wanted to play for us and he done really well.  He stepped up and performed what we thought we could get from him and I think as the game grew you could see him get a bit more confident and the distance in his passes changed, instead of short-range he looked at his long-range as well, which was good to see.”

Jeffery added: “We were taking chances at that point.  We needed goals to get back into the game so we were committing men forward.  I think the ball got crossed in and it actually fell to our player and then we’ve taken a poor touch and given the ball away so it’s just the rhythm of the game today. I think we gave the ball away a lot and they’ve punished us for it.”

Greenways were reduced to 10 men for around 12 minutes when they lost centre-half Andrew Pierce, who was thrown into the Sin Bin by referee Andrew Stanford.

Jefferey said: “I don’t know what was said to get a Sin-Bin but I’d imagine a lot of frustration at that point and boiled over and he ends up in the sin-bin, which is now what you need at that point of the game.”

Wallond added: “It’s hard when a team goes down to 10. Sometimes you find they play a bit better than what they normally do and you end up stepping off the power and don’t push forward enough and I think we had the bit between our teeth and we kept going and going, which is nice to see as well.”

Adams released Rosetti down the left and his dink was caught by Greenways’ keeper Stevens at the near post and almost stepped over his by-line as he prevented the ball dropping into the near corner.

However, Greenways almost scored a controversial consolation inside the final 10 minutes.

Snodland’s players all stopped after Taylor Farrell – a weak link on the right of Greenways’ three-man defence – went down for treatment but his team-mate Abioye slipped the ball into Harris, who attempted to score from inside the centre-circle with a first-time shot, which flashed just past the foot of the left-hand post with keeper Wicks standing on the edge of his penalty area.

However, Snodland Town broke away and scored their fifth goal of the night just three seconds into time added on.

Substitute Max Proven was on the halfway line and played a sublime through ball on the deck to put Brown through on goal and after Greenways failed to clear their lines, the impressive winger kept composed to put it on the plate for Bishenden, who rifled his right-footed shot into the top left-hand corner.

“It’s good to see Pat scoring, he scored in the Vase and he’s scored again tonight,” said Wallond.

“He’s come in over the last few weeks, he’s been about. I think he’s enjoying it and it shows and he took it really well.

“It’s a good night. When I was coming here I didn’t know what to expect. You never know when they’re going to turn up after work, it’s a long day at work and trying to get here and get changed and get out and you can’t ask for much more than that on a Monday night.”

Jeffery admitted: “It was a performance to forget today so I’ve got no qualms with the result. I think it was a fair result. My issue is the performance, no one likes losing games but the manner that we lost the game today was not concerning but something we need to put right.

“In this league you have to do the basics right and we didn’t do the basics really good today.  The first one was work-rate. I thought they out-worked us all game across the whole pitch, pressed us hard so it’s twofold, work-rate and quality because if you’re going to come across teams that work you hard and you’ve got quality on the ball you can play around them but today we didn’t do that.  We gave the ball away too often.  We turned the ball over too many times and we didn’t work hard enough off it.”

Greenways tried to score from outside the penalty area deep into injury-time but this was a depressing night for the side originally from Gravesend.

Saxton failed to punish another poor clearance from Payne by lashing his left-footed drive over the crossbar from 20-yards and Abioye tried to bend a first-time shot into the bottom far corner from 35-yards, which was easily controlled by Wicks’ feet.

Jeffery demands a reaction from his side when he takes them to Dartford to play tenth-placed side Kent Football United on Saturday, while Wallond’s side travel to play fifteenth-placed Rochester United.

Wallond said: “We’ll just keep plodding and picking up as many points as we can.  If we can keep consistent we might push up (the table) a little bit more and see where we’re at.

“Rochester will be strong. I expect them to be physical.  They’ll want to get the ball down at times. I don’t know what they’re going to be like. I don’t know many of their players, I know a couple in there.

“I expect another tough test. It will be whoever turns up and performs to their best on the day who will win but it we can turn up like we did tonight then we’re in with a chance.

“We’re not far off it and tonight shows how good we can be.  We’ve got a couple of games in hand on sides and then we’ll see where we are in the table and see if we can push on a little bit more.”

Meanwhile, Graham Martin was inside the Snodland Town technical area in an advisory role this evening, having worked as Kris Browning’s assistant manager at both K Sports and Larkfield & New Hythe.

“Graham has come over, as you all know he loves football. He loves being around it and whichever club he’s been with he helps to push forward,” said Wallond.

“We’ve got good facilities at Snodland now and he’s just come over to give us as much help on and off the pitch and we’ll sit down in the next week or so and finalise what Graham’s going to concentrate on to push the club forward.”

Jeffery, meanwhile, threatens to make chances for their next game after extending their winless run to three games, conceding 11 goals in the process.

He said: “We had a full squad today, which I can probably count on one hand how many times we’ve had that all season, which isn’t an excuse at all because you say that going into today thinking we should be looking to get a result.

“But now we’ve got decisions to make. We changed the team today, (three) players got opportunities and people that were on the bench will be itching to get an opportunity on the back of that performance.  There will be changes come Saturday because we’ve got very good players that can perform at very high levels but our issue is consistency, so until we can get that consistency we’re going to keep having those yo-yo performances.

“The dressing room is sombre, disappointed and angry, all of the things you would expect after being thumped 5-0, right?

“You’ve got to take it on the chin and just say today wasn’t our day but you’ve got to learn from it and that is the key from this now. We’ve lost 5-0, fine, but what’s the reaction? How do we learn from it? There will be a long look at the video over the next couple of days and we’ll get it right.”

Greenways: Daniel Stevens, Simon Walton, Sam Harris, Andrew Pierce, Taylor Farrell, Matt Atkins, Tom Reardon (Levi Gold 56), James Austin, Rhys Abioye, Nick Donaldson, Oscar Saxton (Farai Maganga 57).
Subs: Ross Penrose, Brad Cross, Robb Henderson

Booked: Matt Atkins 67

Temporary Dismissal: Andrew Pierce 73

Snodland Town: Sean Wicks, Sammy Swift, Ben Holder, Bradley Webb, Ashley Cooper, Jordan Payne, Omar Elmantawy, Edward Rosetti, Daniel Ashton (Patrick Bishenden 78), Sean Adams (Max Provan 79), Delvane Kattha (Josh Brown 46).
Subs: Jason Hayes, Edward Hodges

Goals: Delvane Kattha 2, Daniel Ashton 23, Josh Brown 59, Sean Adams 71, Patrick Bishenden 90

Booked: Edward Rosetti 71

Attendance: 65
Referee: Mr Andrew Stanford
Assistants: Mr Mark Roberts & Mr Jordan Brown