Kingstonian 3-0 VCD Athletic - We're missing a centre forward who is going to bang the ball in the back of the net, admits Vickers boss Keith McMahon

Sunday 23rd August 2015
Kingstonian 3 – 0 VCD Athletic
Location Kingsmeadow Stadium, Jack Goodchild Way, 422A Kingston Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey KT1 3BP
Kickoff 24/08/2015 19:45

Ryman Premier League
Monday 24th August 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Kingsmeadow Stadium

VCD ATHLETIC manager Keith McMahon says he needs to sign a prolific goalscorer after suffering a dismal night at Kingstonian.


The Vickers were the better side during the first half but they couldn’t convert their chances and they were punished when Pelayo Pico Gomez side-footed a volley in off the right-hand post a couple of minutes before the break to give the home side the lead.

Kingstonian boss Tommy Williams made four changes to his side that lost 2-1 at Wingate & Finchley at the weekend and they killed the game off when striker Gomez scored from the spot, before central midfielder Tyron Smith curled in a beautiful free-kick to leave VCD Athletic second-from-bottom in the Ryman Premier League table with one point from their opening four league games and only one league goal to their name.

McMahon spoke to his players out on the pitch at the final whistle before stepping off the pitch to speak about his disappointment to lose to sixteenth-placed Kingstonian, who went into the game on one win from their opening four league games.

McMahon said: “I thought for 35 minutes we’ve done really well. I thought we was excellent. We were solid, worked hard, stopped them playing, had more of the ball and looked more dangerous.

“The goal killed us a little bit. I thought we switched off just before half-time, didn’t go with our runner and he’s found the bottom corner.

“Second half, I thought we carried three or four lads and didn’t think we worked. They had a lot of the ball but my goalkeeper didn’t have a shot to save. They had a penalty and he’s hit a 25-yard free-kick into the top corner.  Apart from that Buddy has not had one shot.

“Richard Graham was absolutely outstanding and people let him down alongside. I thought my back four were tremendous, again worked hard but I thought we needed to keep our shape and a few people let us down second half.”

VCD Athletic, who claimed a 1-1 draw at home to Harrow Borough on a hot day on Saturday, with Austin Lipman scoring, started the game on the front foot at a rain lashed Kingsmeadow.

Returning Kingstonian keeper, Rob Tolfrey, made a diving save to his right to prevent Lipman finding the bottom left-hand corner with a dipping right-footed free-kick from 30-yards inside the opening eight minutes.

McMahon said: “It’s come of the surface and he’s (Tolfrey) done well.

“Austin’s come in, a young lad and as you can see today, he’s a good player.  We turned them and we picked up a hell of a lot of second ball and got at them but all off a sudden we was on top and we started to change things and that was disappointing.”

Kingstonian’s first opening arrived with fourteen minutes on the clock.

Right-back Aaron Goode whipped in a low cross which skipped off the wet pitch and Ricky Sappleton’s first time shot went straight at Rob Budd.

VCD Athletic really had to score when they were on top and Tolfrey was called into making his second save of the night after 19 minutes.

Keeper Budd launched a big kick straight down the middle of the pitch and lone striker Alex Teniola flicked the ball inside to Lipman, who played a one-two with Sam Bantick before striking a powerful left-footed drive towards goal from 25-yards, forcing the keeper to palm the ball away using a strong right-hand.

McMahon said: “It was a good spell for us at the time and we just had to keep doing what we was doing.

“That (scoring a goal) was one of the things and yes that’s been our problem! We’ve been missing chances. We hit the post three times on Saturday so we’ve dominated a whole game and hit the post three times and tonight we’re on top and you need to score when you’re on top.”

Vickers’ right-back Elliott Cox played a sublime diagonal pass out of defence, which skimmed off the head of K’s central defender Max Hustwick.  Niko Muir picked up the loose ball, cut inside from the left and drilled his right-footed shot just over the crossbar from 25-yards.

Kingstonian right-winger Dan Bennett was forced to move into the middle and he latched onto Smith’s threaded pass to drill a left-footed angled drive across Budd, who got down low to his left to parry before pouncing on to the loose ball.

McMahon was full of praise for the former Thamesmead Town stopper.

He said: “He made a very good low down save on this surface, it was excellent! Rob’s done well for us this season. He’s a very good goalkeeper. He deserved a bit better than what he got today.”

Kingstonian were keen to play the ball out from the back – a trait of VCD Athletic when Tony Russell was in charge at Oakwood.

Meanwhile, Richard Graham sat in front to protect the Vickers’ back-four, which was well marshalled by Lewis Tozer.

There seemed to be no danger for the Kent side. They were playing well and you knew they were as Kingstonian’s lowest crowd of the season were quiet throughout the first half.

But that all changed when Kingstonian grabbed the lead with 42 minutes and 8 seconds on the clock through Gomez.

Bennett once again moved in field to play a sublime diagonal pass to advanced left-back Dylan Casey, who whipped in a cross into the middle where the unmarked Gomez side-footed his right-footed volley across the diving Budd in off the right-hand post and the ball crossed the line beside the opposite post.

McMahon said: “One of our lads didn’t go with the runner. He’s had a little break to him and he’s put it in off the post. To be fair that was against the run of play but it’s something that we need to switch on for the whole half and not just switch off a couple of minutes before half-time and that’s what we’ve done and we got punished.”

Kingstonian almost grabbed a second goal out of nothing just before the break, but Smith’s drive from 30-yards forced Budd to parry the ball towards safety low to his right, before Bennett drifted into midfield again to flash his angled drive across the keeper and past the far post.

To go in a goal down was harsh on VCD Athletic, but luck goes against you when you’re at the wrong end of the league table.

McMahon said: “We lost our shape, we lost our way. I said to the lads at half-time, ‘listen you’ve played really well for 35 minutes and all off a sudden we’ve started to change.’

“We need to keep our shape and work-rate and just go with your runners and you’ll be fine. Keep the ball in front of you and unfortunately we didn’t.”

Kingstonian came out for the second half on the front foot and VCD Athletic failed to replicate their first half performance.

Smith swung in their only corner of the game which fell at Daniel Sweeney’s feet at the far post, who blasted his shot over the bar whilst under pressure after only 69 seconds.

Aaron Wickham played the ball inside to Muir, who was left in acres of space but the Vickers midfielder sliced his speculative long-range shot sailing harmlessly wide.

Cox gave the ball away inside the Vickers’ half and Kingstonian produced a sweeping move involving Peter Dean, Gomez and Sappleton but Gomez rolled his shot past an advancing Budd and just past the foot of the far post.

But VCD Athletic squandered an excellent chance to equalise with 52 minutes on the clock.

Graham played a defensive splitting pass in behind Casey to release Lipman, who skipped past the advancing Tolfrey but he steered his low shot into the foot of the side netting from a tight angle - as two Kingstonian players got back on the line at the near post.

McMahon said: “We came out second half and we had a great chance to equalise with Austin.  He went around the keeper and put it in the side netting from an acute angle.

“I think it was Richard Graham who put it through, who for me was outstanding. He’s gone clear through, gone round the keeper. Saturday he slots it, today he didn’t and we needed to take that chance and after that, that was it. I just thought we capitulated a little bit shape wise, even though Rob’s had no shots.”

That miss deflated McMahon’s men for the rest of the game and Kingstonian enjoyed plenty of possession.

Dean and Sweeney linked up well to play in Sappleton, but he slipped to the deck as he swept his right-footed shot across Budd and just past the foot of the far post from 12-yards.

But Kingstonian killed the game off by adding a second goal – from the penalty spot - after 65 minutes.

Referee Michael Webb judged Graham had held back Casey as he attempted to speed into the penalty area down the left hand side.

Spanish striker Gomez sent Budd the wrong way with his right-footed spot-kick, which flew over Budd’s left-shoulder before caressing the back of the net.

McMahon said: “The turning point is the pen! Richard’s 100% guaranteed it, it was not a pen. It was across the pitch from me, so it’s really hard to see so until I see the video, I won’t know.

“He’s gone with his runner, the other midfielder didn’t and the ref said he’s touched him with his hand and he’s gone down, so we’re 2-0 down and that was it really.”

Another big kick from Budd was latched onto by frustrated Teniola, who strode forward before drilling a speculative right-footed shot which sailed high over the goal, hitting the advertising banner at the top of the fence above the stand.

Teniola looked isolated up there on his own, although Muir and Lipman were keen to advance to support the former Tonbridge Angels striker only during the first half.

McMahon said: “In the first half you looked Nico and Austin as well, it’s one and three behind.

“If a couple of them don’t do it, Sam (Bantick) came in on Saturday and played really well. Tonight I didn’t think he had his best game but it’s only his second game with us.

“You only need one or two at this level not doing what you ask them and you’re going to struggle.

“Yes, Alex looked isolated but that’s one thing we need to sort out, is in the final third really.  We’re missing another solid midfielder and a centre forward who is going to bang the ball in the back of the net. That’s it! We’re creating enough chances.

“They had a lot of the ball but they didn’t have any (other) shots on goal. I don’t know if you can tell me anything different? But they had loads of possession but they didn’t have any shots.

“You’re away from home and you’ve got to keep it solid. We’ve just lost our shape and it was disappointing, that’s why they had a lot of the ball.”

Kingstonian raided the right-hand side and Bennett centred low for Sappleton, who stuck out his leg to stab the ball straight at Budd from inside the six-yard box.

“They had a lot of possession, we looked ok,” said McMahon.

“I thought our back four were immense. Lewis Tozer was tremendous tonight. Ricky Sappleton’s a real handful and I thought Lew was outstanding, as well as Ricardo. That’s their jobs and they know it. They’re gutted. They’ve done their jobs tonight and some others haven’t!

Kingstonian sealed the victory with a beautiful goal with fourteen minutes left.

Smith faced five players in green shirts in the wall, but he curled his right-footed free-kick over their left shoulders and bent the ball into the far corner to score from 25-yards.

McMahon hailed the strike by saying, “Can’t do too much about the free-kick to be fair! It’s a great free-kick. I don’t think three goalkeeper’s would’ve saved it, so it would’ve graced itself in the Premier League, so we couldn’t do too much about it to be honest and that just put the icing on the cake for them.”

McMahon admitted any of his three substitutes made any impact.  Giannoulis Fakinos was booked within a couple of minutes of coming on and Ben Osman’s speculative effort from 30-yards went harmlessly wide of the left-hand post towards the end of a poor second half showing from the men in green and white, no longer in hooped shirts.

He said: “I thought we looked too narrow. People didn’t really work hard enough. I made some subs and they didn’t work. They’ve come on and didn’t do what was asked off them and they had a lot of the ball.”

VCD Athletic welcome Needham Market to Oakwood on Saturday, before travelling down to Tonbridge Angels on Bank Holiday Monday, 31 August.

Needham Market can move out of the relegation zone on Tuesday night, while Tonbridge Angels welcome Brentwood Town to Longmead Stadium sitting in the top-five with seven points from four games.

Angels boss Steve McKimm watched VCD Athletic slump into the bottom two tonight.

“We’ve had three away games so we’ve only had one home league game with the Farnborough fiasco killing us at the beginning of the season,” said McMahon.

“We’ve played one home game and Saturday will be a bit more of a test. If we get a result against Needham, we’ve got a game in hand and ok, but we do need to start creating the chances when we’ve got all the play.

“I know Needham well. It’s a tough game.  I’ve watched them but it’s a game I’m expecting we should win.  They’ve just got promoted and we should have enough to beat them.

“We need to go back to our performance on Saturday and the first 35 here to do something.

“We’ve just had a chat, they need to listen to what we say and we’ll get a result.”

McMahon, meanwhile, expects a tough test against Tonbridge Angels.

He said: “it’s going to be difficult. They’ve started really well. But as long as we follow the instructions, we’ll be alright. It’s when you don’t do it well you can come unstruck.

“Everyone’s capable of beating everyone here. The first 35 we didn’t look like a side that were going to get beat 3-0 – but we did and it was all down to shape and a little bit of quality with a free-kick.”

Kingstonian: Rob Tolfrey, Aaron Goode, Dylan Casey, Tyron Smith (Harold Odametey 82), Sam Page, Max Hustwick, Dan Bennett, Daniel Sweeney, Ricky Sappleton (Richard Jolly 82), Pelayo Pico Gomez, Peter Dean (Malachi Hudson 82).
Subs: Jake Kempton, Arron Hopkinson

Goals: Pelayo Pico Gomez 43, 65 (penalty), Tyron Smith 76

Booked: Tyron Smith 11

VCD Athletic: Rob Budd, Elliott Cox, Ashley Probets, Arron Wickham (Giannoulis Fakinos 66), Lewis Tozer, Ricardo Joseph, Richard Graham, Niko Muir, Alex Teniola (Adem Ramadan 77), Austin Lipman, Sam Bantick (Ben Osman 63).
Subs: Mathias Bakare, Max Fitzgerald

Booked: Rob Budd 52, Giannoulis Fakinos 68

Attendance: 223
Referee: Mr Michael Webb (Aldershot, Hampshire)
Assistants: Mr Stuart Jack (Aldershot, Hampshire) & Mr Shelby Elson (Farnham, Surrey)


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