CB Hounslow United 2-1 Rusthall - I don't think we really turned up, admits Rusthall joint-boss Steven Ashmore

Tuesday 08th August 2017
CB Hounslow United 2 – 1 Rusthall
Location Green Lane, Hounslow, Middlesex TW4 6DH
Kickoff 08/08/2017 19:45

The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Replay
Tuesday 8th August 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Green Lane

RUSTHALL joint-manager Steven Ashmore says it has been a good learning experience for his players after crashing out of The FA Cup at the first hurdle.

The newly-promoted Rustics will be kicking themselves for exiting the competition in a replay in the Extra Preliminary Round, especially substitute Stephen Harper, who missed a glorious chance just 39 seconds after coming off the bench in Sunday’s goal-less stalemate at Culverden Stadium.

Barry Chapman pulled off a tactical masterstroke by making four changes and playing a diamond in midfield with Thomas Kanek pulling the strings in his holding role that Rusthall couldn’t cope with.

It took 110 minutes of football for the deadlock to be smashed, as central defender Gabriel Chedozie came up from the back to head in CB Hounslow United’s first competitive goal at their new Green Lane base.

Rusthall’s first ever FA Cup goal arrived from their first attempt tonight through Daniel Mitchell’s header, another central defender getting on the scoresheet.

CB Hounslow United striker Chris Henry’s pace gave Rusthall plenty of problems and his winning goal was simply sublime, curling a free-kick into the left-hand corner from the edge of the box.

CB Hounslow United will return to Culverden Stadium to play Tunbridge Wells in the Preliminary Round on 19 August with £1,500 in prize money and leaving debutants Rusthall with shared gate receipts from a couple of games.

“I don’t think we really turned up, I think the effort was there in terms of battling or display but the quality on the ball was nowhere near good enough,” admitted Ashmore afterwards.

“That’s what we said to them in the end, you’ve got to improve! You can’t really come to teams as good as this and as good as they were tonight and not string three or four passes together and hope to come away with a win!

“We were the better side (on Sunday), we’ve come here and they’ve made some changes that made a difference.  We put it in our own hands. We came here, you can’t fault the effort the boys put in but if you can’t produce chances you’re not going to win games unfortunately.”

This was Rusthall’s furthest ever away trip and they will learn plenty from their trip to Hounslow as tactics lost them this game.

The Dragons dominated the middle of the park with Kanek pulling the strings at the base of the diamond and it took Rusthall plenty of time before moving John Sebbar inside to unsuccessfully mark him out of the game.

“They started a diamond, we didn’t start enough in there. We didn’t switch on to it early enough,” admitted Ashmore.

“We made the change just after the first goal had gone in to tighten that area up to stop them playing, which we did and we came back into it, got our goal.”

CB Hounslow United took eight minutes to open up Rusthall’s defence as they built down the right through Adam Roberts, who played the ball into Theo Campbell, who dragged his right-footed angled drive across goal and just past the foot of the far post from 15-yards.

They missed a glorious chance just 127 seconds later after Mitchell’s attempted pass out to Stewart Costlow (who was on the right hand side of a three-man defence) was intercepted by Jordan Ireland, who released Henry down the left.  The striker cut into the box and played a low cross towards the far post but striker Roberts placed his shot past the foot of the right-hand post from eight-yards.

Ashmore said: “We had a few let offs to be fair in the first 20 minutes until we got to grips with them.  I think we suffocated them but yes, we conceded in the first 20 minutes.  We made some changes and we stopped them playing a bit.”

CB Hounslow United ensured their dominance counted as they broke the stalemate with 19 minutes and 5 seconds on the clock.

Vinny Lodge swung in their first corner from the left towards the near post where Chedozie broke free from a crowded six-yard box to guide his free header at the near post across everyone into the far corner.

“A stronger ref might’ve been able seen a couple of fouls in there as the ball came in, there was a lot of pushing and shoving.  I don’t think we were protected well there but then again we should’ve dealt with it, we haven’t and they scored,” came Ashmore’s reply.

Hounslow left-back Stef Nor’s pace saw him beat four Rusthall players as he burst into the box but his low cross from the left was poked back to his goalkeeper by Drew Crush.

But Rusthall went route-one as they grabbed a 35th minute equaliser with their first attempt on goal.

They won a free-kick on the half-way line and central midfielder Paul Butler left the free-kick for his goalkeeper Callum Christie, who launched a big kick from his right-boot which sailed into the box and Mitchell guided his free header in off the left-hand post as keeper Buss moved to his right to stick out his arm.

“We know they were weak from set-pieces and we knew we could get some joy,” said Ashmore.

“We wanted to play but it seemed to work going long and we dealt with it with him in the air. It’s a tidy finish from him.”

Mitchell will go down as Rusthall’s first ever goalscorer in The FA Cup.

“True, I’m not sure he’ll see that as a silver lining at the moment, maybe when it settles down in a few weeks time, it will.”

Roberts played the ball out to Campbell, who hit a deflected angled drive against the outside of the near post from 15-yards down the right-hand side of the Rusthall box.

“Yes, another opportunity that we’ve not dealt with. We’ve given them too much of the play and they’ve created another good chance,” added Ashmore, who learnt the hard way about getting tactics wrong in such a big game.

When asked to reflect on the first half, Ashmore replied: “Poorly from our point of view, certainly the first half-hour of the first half.  You can’t fault the effort. We struggled to deal with their formation. They moved it around well, credit to them. They played a lot better than they were on Sunday and it was once we kind of changed it we settled down a little bit and stopped them getting into space and looked to play.  When we got to grips to it the game changed, obviously we came back into it and we were level at half-time.

“We asked them to get tighter, squeeze up as a team and up the quality when we had the ball. Our first touch of the ball, we gave it away needlessly, we had to improve our communication.”

Rusthall, who brought in Ryan Waterman for Joe Fuller tonight, improved for the second half and they nearly scored from a controversial goal after only 38 seconds.

The ball clearly bounced up of the cut-short pristine pitch and struck Daniel Powell’s arm, the assistant flagged but referee Michael Hayden waved play on.  Hounslow’s defence went missing, Powell cut inside to drag his shot agonisingly past the foot of the far post.

Ashmore said: “He was looking at the lino and the lino was waving his flag, basically Dan’s looking at the scenario of playing to the whistle. The referee let it go and unfortunately Dan’s looking at the lino assuming he’s (the referee) going to blow his whistle.  We did a little bit better with that bit of movement.”

Crush played the ball into Powell’s feet and Crush played the return inside to John Sinclair, who was given time and space to stroke his right-footed drive into Buss’s hands for a comfortable save from 35-yards.

Ashmore admitted: “That’s probably the first time we kept the ball, three passes, created a bit of room and we had a shot.”

CB Hounslow United then went close in the 55th minute when Roberts played the ball into Lodge and Ireland’s left-footed drive flashed just past the foot of the near post from 16-yards.

Ashmore criticised Ryan Waterman for fouling his man inside the D and faced with a five-man wall Henry won it with a classy finish.

Stand-in skipper Ireland and Henry stood over the ball but Henry curled his left-footed free-kick around the wall into the left-hand corner to win the game for CB Hounslow United with 13 minutes and 25 seconds on the clock.

Quality strike from Henry, but Ashmore was quick to criticise his goalkeeper for the winning goal.

He said: “If I’m honest it wasn’t top corner, that’s Callum’s side. As a goalie I’m sure he’ll know it, that’s the side he can’t get beaten on. It was more head height. I think Cal could’ve got there. Yes, we should’ve stopped the foul in the first place.”

A poor clearance from visiting keeper Christie was picked up by Lodge who played the ball into Henry, but his low left-footed shot deflected just past the foot of the left-hand post.

Ashmore called upon target-man Andy Constable from the bench, who partnered Powell, Waterman played behind the front two and Tubbs slotted in at right-back, Costlow moved inside to partner Mitchell in the heart of defence while Gallie stated on the left.  Crush was moved into a three-man midfield and Rusthall increased their urgency levels.

“It’s The FA Cup, we’re not going to win it, it’s nice to be a part of it but there’s no point in settling at 2-1.  We gave ourselves every opportunity to go for it. We still created chances at the end,” added Ashmore, who changed his formation twice in the final exchanges.

Home keeper Buss was confident plucking crosses out of the air but his kicking was left to be desired, often kicking the ball out of play.

CB Hounslow United squandered an excellent chance to wrap up the victory inside the final 15 minutes.

Nor hit a long ball down the line which was chased by Henry down the channel. The ball was played inside to substitute striker Charlie McKee, who looped his shot over the crossbar.

The Rusthall boss said: “They were much a different side than they were on Sunday. They were a lot more lively and they moved it quicker. They got a third man run in, credit to them.”

Rusthall’s big moment to take the game into extra-time arrived in the final five minutes when Crush drilled a volley with the outside of his right-boot from 30-yards, which dipped down and was screaming towards the roof of the net, but Buss pushed the ball over the crossbar with his outstretched right-hand.

“Probably the one bit of quality from us throughout the game really,” admitted Ashmore.

“It’s dropped nicely and he thought about hitting it first time on the outside of his foot, the goalie didn’t have to do much so fair play to him for that one, shame it didn’t go in, a hell of a strike!”

Ireland drove at the Rusthall defence straight through the heart of the pitch but his right-footed drive screamed just over the top of the right-hand post.

But despite pushing men forwards in search of a late equaliser, Rusthall failed to make the breakthrough that they wanted and the derby at Tunbridge Wells took a nosedive, just like the planes making their descent at nearby Heathrow Airport.

“I think both games have been good learning experiences for the boys,” added Ashmore.

“That said we’re a pretty new squad, even though we do have that experience, there’s still boys that we’ve just really come into us and are just starting to feel their way into the squad and into the team.

“It’s good to not pick up any injuries in these two games so that’s a plus point. We’ve given the boys a couple of days off now to rest and recuperate, ready for Sheppey on Saturday.”

Sheppey United go into the game on the back of their 3-2 home win over AFC Croydon Athletic in The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round last weekend.

Looking forward to Rusthall’s Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division debut, at Holm Park, Ashmore said: “Really looking forward to it, it’s a lovely surface, a lovely place to go. We’ll know they’ll be really strong and they did really well last year and made some good additions this year.  We know we need to be better than we were tonight especially with the ball to create some chances for us.”

CB Hounslow United:  Terry Buss, Tommy O’Neill, Stef Nor, Thomas Kanek (Gavin Bamford 80), Stuart Bamford, Gabriel Chedozie, Vinny Lodge, Jordan Ireland, Adam Roberts (Charlie McKee 68), Chris Henry, Theo Campbell (Harry Driver 90).
Subs: Sirak Beyene, Dunnnell King

Goals: Gabriel Chedozie 20, Chris Henry 59

Rusthall:  Callum Christie, Stewart Costlow, Callum Gallie (Dan Kommu 72), John Sinclair, Daniel Mitchell, Drew Crush, Michael Tubb, Paul Butler (Sam Jones 78), Daniel Powell, Ryan Waterman, John Sebbar (Andy Constable 64).
Sub: Joe Cullip

Goal: Daniel Mitchell 35

Booked: Michael Tubb 90

Attendance: 143
Referee: Mr Michael Hayden (Epsom, Surrey)
Assistants: Mr Ian Skull (Feltham, Middlesex) & Mr Paul Savva (Stanwell, Middlesex)

Coverage Sponsored by: