Sporting Club Thamesmead 3-2 Holmesdale - I want Josh Patrick to stay for one more season, says SCT joint-boss Owen Jones

Friday 07th April 2017
Sporting Club Thamesmead 3 – 2 Holmesdale
Location Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, London SE28 8NJ
Kickoff 07/04/2017 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Friday 7th April 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Bayliss Avenue

SPORTING CLUB THAMESMEAD joint-manager Owen Jones says he wants talisman Josh Patrick to stay at the club next season.


The 21-year-old striker headed in his 26th goal of the season to win the game at the death.

Jones has guided the club from second-from-bottom to 12th place in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table with 10 wins from his 19 games in joint-charge with club owner Lee Hill.

Holmesdale took the lead through Reggie Yembra’s sublime free-kick, before Sporting Club Thamesmead controversially equalised on the stroke of half-time through left-sided midfielder Dan Parish, who appeared offside.

The Acre took the lead through another quality strike, this time from winger Connor Dobson, but Holmesdale drew level through Tom Carlton’s top-corner finish.

Referee Valentine Anekwe showed Holmesdale central defender Jack Hooper a straight red-card moments before Patrick powered home a header to win it at the death, leaving Holmesdale manager Ian Varley an annoyed man.

“It all comes down to some poor decisions really,” said Varley following the Dalers’ 11th league defeat of the season that keeps them in sixth-place in the table on 54 points from their 33 league outings.

“I can’t really fault my players. We’ve got a couple of injuries, this is our third game in six days, they’ve not played for two weeks.

“It boils on one decision. We’re 1-0 up and they score a goal that is offside. The refs come out for the second half and said ‘I apologise’.  He just said ‘it was offside’.  We’ve agreed it was offside.  It doesn’t matter, it’s one-all. If we go in there at 1-0 it’s a completely different game and it changes the whole complexion of the game, so yes that’s where the game’s been lost tonight.

“We’ve been on a great run of form. I’m not too disappointed with tonight because I don’t think we’ve lost through our own undoing.”

Reflecting on their win, Jones punched the air and said: “GREAT! It was a great win, a great result. It could’ve gone either way.  Two different types of styles and systems of football but I thought we just deserved to get it at the end.”

A Friday night crowd of 101 were at Bayliss Avenue to see Sporting Club Thamesmead start the game on the front foot.

Holmesdale lost left-back Jordan Clark through injury in the warm-up so Varley started the game with three central defenders, two wing-backs, three in midfield and two up front, before switching to a 4-4-2 formation for the second half.

The Acre hit their Bromley based visitors on the break as Dobson released Patrick down the right. He skipped past wing-back Adriano Lawson (who was Clark’s late replacement) before playing a deep cross to Jerome Wade, who stabbed the ball inside to Parish, who cracked his right-footed drive over the crossbar from 22-yards after only 93 seconds.

Jones said: “I thought he should’ve put that in the back of the net really. He did really well to get in the position to strike. You can’t ask any more than that of a player to get in that position and get an opportunity,. It was good.”

Varley said: “I’m not surprised they started quick.  They’ve had 12 days off, we’ve had a full-back pull out in the warm-up as well so I had to shift things around so I was pleased that we got through the first sort of 10-15-20 minutes in the end. It wasn’t a good start, we didn’t start quick.”

Parish hung over the home side’s first corner and this was met at the far post by Patrick’s towering header, which looped into the hands of Tommy Taylor, who was one of three players brought into Holmesdale from Maidstone United’s Academy.

Ricky Hardie’s back-pass was hit straight down the middle by Acre goalkeeper Simon Vanderhook and Parish flicked the ball on to release Parish, who curled his shot just past the near post from the left-hand side of the penalty area.

“It was good movement, considering he was playing wide and he’s made a good run. He always looked like he was going to nick something so it didn’t surprise me when he did eventually score,” said Jones.

Holmesdale took nearly 18 minutes to fashion their first opening of the night.

Maidstone United prospect Carlton swung in a corner from the right and this fell at Yembra’s feet at the far post and his first time cushioned volley from four-yards brought a fine save out from Vanderhook, swiftly diving low to his left to push the ball away.

“I don’t think he got a proper connection on it really. If he connected properly it probably would’ve gone in the goal,” said Varley.

Jones added: “Good save from Simon. He redeemed himself after the last game when he had a howler. He did well Simon with that in the end.”

Holmesdale took the lead with 24 minutes and 36 seconds on the clock through a sublime piece of quality.

Hardie collided with Yembra and the ball was positioned on the curve of the D, 22-yards from goal.

Three players, left-back Dan Palfrey, central midfielder Carlton and Yembra stood over the ball and between them it was decided that Yembra would take the kick.

He stroked his left-footed curler over the wall and into the right-hand corner of the net from 22-yards for a beautiful goal from a player who helped Old Bromleians clinch the Andreas Carter Joma Kent County League Division Two West title this season.

“Great free-kick! It’s the first time I’ve seen him take a free-kick actually,” revealed Varley.

“He said in the changing room beforehand that he wanted to take a free-kick – it was a great finish!

“He’s done well Reggie over recent weeks. When he first came to us he was on the bench a lot. He’s started a lot of games lately and he’s been scoring some good goals.

“He was with Simon Copley at Dartford Academy and he played a bit at Old Bromleians as well. He’s raw, but if you look at him he looks a footballer. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s done well in recent weeks so I was pleased he got a goal.”

Jones was quick to blame the finger of blame on his defensive wall.

“The position it was it was going to be a goal because they didn’t organise correctly from the goalkeeper to the players. We didn’t organise correctly.  To be fair, he did strike if well but I thought we could’ve done better with the wall and the positioning of the goalkeeper.”

Patrick skipped past three men before a sliding tackle from Jamie Rawsthorne brought him down.

Set-piece specialist Tony Hill drilled the resulting free-kick into the wall from 19-yards out and Cory Knight directed his looping header wide from six-yards.

Hill delivered another corner towards the edge of the Holmesdale box but this time Mudiaga Wanogho came up from the back to glance his header sailing harmlessly wide.

Hill’s hanging free-kick caused problems for Taylor, who punched the ball away whilst under pressure and Wanogho’s hooked volley from 12-yards was headed off the line by Hooper.

Holmesdale broke and Yembra played the ball inside to Carlton, who drove his shot over the bar despite being left unmarked just a yard inside the penalty area.

“It’s a half chance,” said Varley.  “He probably should’ve hit the target. He’s got a lot more quality than that as you saw with the goal in the second half.”

Now, this is the type of game that The Football Association should allow their match officials to face questions in a post-match press conference.

Sporting Club Thamesmead grabbed a controversial equaliser, timed at 44 minutes and 20 seconds.

Left-back Knight played a long ball out of defence and Parish knocked the ball down and across the box to Patrick, whose low shot flashed across the face of goal and Parish stuck out his left leg to poke the ball into the bottom left-hand corner from two-yards out.

Varley said: “It all changes on that! A whole game of football changes on that!

“We were so comfortable. He’s off for the first one on an instant. Then they’ve won the header and then he’s shot, it’s not going in and the guy’s turned it in on the line. It’s clearly off!

“The linesman’s not put his flag up, the ref obviously had some doubt because he’s gone to speak to the linesman. Very rarely would they go to speak to the linesman when they stick their flag up for offside so he’s obviously had some doubt in there and then the ref’s come out for the second half and said ‘I apologise, I got that wrong!’

When asked his thoughts at half-time, Varley said: “It was calming them down for the decision. I just said keep going, we’ve been on a really good run of games, six wins in seven before tonight, five of them were clean sheets so we’re a little bit disappointed to concede, obviously from no fault of our own.  I just said to them to keep going. It was a tough one tonight, so many games in a few days. I thought we did well again in the second half.”

Jones’ answer was inevitable.

“Well, I can’t tell from where I was standing but at the end of the day if the referee’s saying ‘it’s not offside’, and they’re all saying it is, I’m not going to argue with that.  I want the goal, don’t I?

“They still had plenty of time to turn the game around because after the game they were moaning about that goal so it messed up their whole approach to the rest of the game really. They’ve got that in their heads, once it’s gone you just got to get on with it!

“I personally thought that it should’ve been 1-0 to us. We were on the front foot really. We did so well before they scored their goal.”

When asked about his thoughts at half-time, Jones replied: “I think the problem was our holding midfielder Bosun Gbajabiamila.  I just explained to him that he’s got to release the ball a little bit quicker. He was having too many touches and second half I thought he was really good. He got it out of his feet and just played simple balls and I that’s all we wanted.”

Varley walked on to the pitch after the half-time whistle to remonstrate with the match officials, while Holmedale club official Hugh Sullivan illegally walked on to the pitch to speak to the match referee whilst standing within the away club’s technical area.

Varley spoke to the referee out on the pitch for a second time just before the second half started and walked back with his arms folded saying that referee Valentine Anekwe apologised to him.

Sporting Club Thamesmead created their first chance of the second half after only 125 seconds.

Holmesdale keeper Taylor left a gaping big hole to his right but Hill’s right-footed free-kick stung the keeper’s fingers because he dropped the ball before kicking the ball into touch.

Hill trotted over to take the resulting throw-in to Dobson, who cut inside from the right and from the edge of the box beat Taylor with his left-footed drive, only for the ball to clip the near post.

Jones said: “I thought it was going in! He did so well. The run from wide to cut in and hit it like that, I thought it was really good, yes, very good.

“You can’t say it was the goalkeeper’s fault. It’s just the way the ball was launched and I thought the central defence didn’t really deal with them.”

Varley added: “It was just a bit of a sloppy start. Tommy made a good save. He did well again tonight.  I can’t fault him. He’s come in since our keeper got injured. They hit the post, maybe should’ve scored but it’s all goes down to that goal just before half-time.”

Varley thanked Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders and Academy boss Tom Parkinson for sending Taylor, Rawsthorne and Carlton to Oakley Road to gain valuable experience.

He said: “I hate talking about budgets because it winds me up when so many people talk about it, it does my nut in but we haven’t got one so it’s easy to rely on that sort of link, the youngsters.

“Tom Parkinson and Jay Saunders have been great.  Deren Ibrahim (of Dartford’s Academy) sent me Liam Rosenfield as well and it’s good to have that and they need senior football to man up and grow up and they’ve been really good for us.”

Winger Wade then burst into life and he skipped over challenges from Rosenfield and Hooper and played the ball into Parish, who teed up Parish, whose first time left-footed shot from 18-yards was superbly saved low to his right by Taylor.

Varley said: “Good save. He’s not had a lot to do in the first couple of games he’s been with us but he’s made some good saves tonight and as always his kicking was great.”

Jones was clearly impressed with the teenage stopper.

“Good save, good goalkeeper as well, only 17.  I think this boy has got a bright future. He’s a very good goalkeeper at 17!”

Holmesdale were to be denied the lead in the 62nd minute when the quiet Danny Gannon unleashed a stunning right-footed first time swerving drive from 30-yards, which was screaming towards the roof of the net, but Vanderhook pushed the ball over the bar high above his head.

Sporting Club Thamesmead scored a brilliant goal in the 67th minute to take the lead.

Gary Stock played a lovely ball into Dobson’s feet on the right, who cracked a right-footed dipping drive over the keeper’s head, into the roof of the net from 25-yards.

“Brilliant goal, what can I say?  One of the best goals I’ve ever seen down here.  The way he hit it, now it swerved away and it fooled the keeper because it went like that,” said Jones.

Varley added: “I think we got caught in midfield in possession, one ball, yes it’s a good finish.

“I think they’ve had a few players drafted in for one game tonight because I didn’t see any of them on the teamsheet’s previously. If they want to do it like that then that’s fine.  I’m obviously annoyed, very annoyed.”

Hill’s free-kicks were top-drawer. He put his hands on his hips to ponder where to put the ball and his right-footed effort from 35-yards bounced once and forced Taylor to dance to his right to make a comfortable save in the end.

Holmesdale equalised with 74 minutes on the clock through a beautiful strike from Carlton.

Jamie Williams fed the ball into Ishmail Ishmail, who cut the ball back from the right by-line and it looked like the chance had gone, but Carlton, a Maidstone United Academy midfielder, produced an excellent finish from behind him.

He turned and drilled a first time right-footed curler into the top right-hand corner from 18-yards.

Varley said: “It was a good goal. It was a good link between Jamie and Ishmail, a good decision from Ishmail to pull it back because I thought he would shoot but that was a great finish from Tom, a great bit of quality and it got us right back in to the game.”

Jones added: “I thought we showed a bit of naivety there.  All we had to do was keep tight, keep pressing them, keep turning them away but we got sloppy and they got in.”

Holmesdale could have won it following their fourth and final corner, which was glanced across goal and past the far post by skipper Dan Palfrey, after Carlton’s corner from the left.

Sporting Club Thamesmead also should have scored from a corner.  Hill swung the ball into the near post but Knight failed to get his effort on target.

Jones said: “He needs to head it like a striker when he’s up, not like a defender because he did that in the first half as well didn’t he. He went up and should’ve launched up and he went wide of the danger and he did very similar again. He really should’ve went bang!”

Varley admitted: “He probably should’ve scored, I think. It may have hit his shoulder, I think, so yes we got away with that one. We switched off defensively but he probably should’ve scored that!”

An injury-time cameo for Anthony Fenech brought plenty of stick for the heavy Holmesdale target-man from home fans and Holmesdale were reduced to ten-men when Hooper was sent-off for pulling down Patrick some 35-yards from goal, despite it appearing that Palfrey got back in the nick of time to ensure Hooper was not the last man.

Varley said: “There was a man behind! I don’t know how they’ve come to that decision when they’re back on the same side of the pitch. We got caught with one ball and it’s a yellow. It’s what 35-40 yards from goal, the left-backs standing next to him. It’s another wrong decision and they’re taking one of my best headers out for a set-piece, which is where they go and score and it’s straight form that free-kick.

“Jack would’ve headed the ball because Jack does zonal on all of our set-plays so he just picks the flight of the ball up so I’m 80% sure he might’ve got near that.

“It was a great header, good finish. I think we were a little bit disillusioned with the red card. We didn’t really set ourselves up properly.”

Jones admitted that Holmesdale should have finished the game with all men on the pitch.

He said: “To be fair, I wouldn’t have sent him off. I don’t think it changed the game. I still think they were still thinking about our first goal that we scored, Parish scored, because when the game was over all they were moaning about was the first goal. They weren’t moaning about the sending off but I personally think, alright some refs would’ve kept him or sent him off but I thought he should’ve stayed on.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead snatched the victory with the winning goal timed at three minutes and 44 seconds into injury time.

This time the free-kick was floated into the box by Stock and Patrick powered his header into the bottom right-hand corner from 12-yards.

“What can I say? You’re favourite player! You’ve got to start paying his wages. I mean, you’ve been coming a while now, you know all about him. What can you say? Somebody like that? I think though to be fair to him. If he wants, he’s only young, 21, he’s going to get opportunities from bigger clubs.  If he ever wants to play at a higher level, he’d have to work on his holding up the ball a bit better.”

Operating without a playing budget, Jones has a fight on his hands to keep Patrick at Sporting Club Thamesmead.

He said: “I think he’s good enough to play Ryman South or Ryman North easy. He's good enough to play there but maybe he’s got to give himself, not because I want him to stay, but one more season and then review next season.  I think we’re going places. I’m not bragging or anything like that. We’re going places.  I really believe get the right squad of players in, we can do something next season, I really do.

“Keep him? Yes, of course I do. I do hope it goes well.  Why would he want to go anywhere? He’s not going to go anywhere because he knows there is potential for us to go forward.”

Holmesdale remain in sixth-place in the table, seven points adrift of K Sports and six points clear of seventh-placed Lydd Town going into their last three games of the season.

Holmesdale travel to Dartford to play third-placed Kent Football United on Saturday 15 April, before second-placed Rusthall visit Oakley Road on Easter Monday, 17 April, before Varley takes his side to Meridian VP on the final day of the season.

“I’m annoyed because I hate losing but we have been on a very good run,” said Varley.

“We’ve got three games  to go. We’ve got the double header over the Easter weekend against third and second so they will be good games for us to finish the season off.  Hopefully, we can stay in sixth because I think we probably deserve that. We’ve got a say in the title, who can go up or who can’t go up. I’ll imagine Glebe will win it, they deserve to win it. We’ll just try to finish on a high.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead travel to 13-placed FC Elmstead next Wednesday, before completing their campaign at home to Snodland Town on Easter Monday, 17 April, before travelling to Charlton to play Bridon Ropes on 22 April.

“Good side, very good side, that’s going to be tough so all I can say bring it on Elmstead,” said Jones

“I’ve got a lot of time for Fabio (Rossi, the FC Elmstead manager), he’s done a great job down there and they’re a good side.  I know we’re going to be in for a game so we have to see what happens.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead: Simon Vanderhook, Tony Hill, Cory Knight, Bosun Gbajabiamila, Ricky Hardie, Mudiaga Wanogho, Connor Dobson, Gary Stock, Josh Patrick, Jerome Wade (Jack White 71), Dan Parish (Alian Akumwami 85).
Subs: Richard Sesay, Ermal Nurja

Goals: Dan Parish 45, Connor Dobson 67, Josh Patrick 90

Holmesdale: Tommy Taylor, Ishmail Ishmail (Anthony Fenech 90), Adriano Lawson, Jack Hooper, Dan Palfrey, Jamie Rawsthorne, Liam Rosenfield (Deji Adeosun 75), Tom Carlton, Jamie Williams, Reggie Yembra (Tyrus Gordon-Young 78), Danny Gannon.
Sub: Jordan Clark

Goals: Reggie Yembra 25, Tom Carlton 74

Booked: Ishmail Ishmail 37

Sent Off: Jack Hooper 90

Attendance: 101
Referee: Mr Valentine Anekwe (Bromley)
Assistants: Mr Chris Goulbourn (Otford) & Mr Daniel Wyatt (Woolwich, London SE18)

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