Sporting Club Thamesmead 6-1 Kent Football United - I've got the players here that are capable of being a top six side in this league, says Joe Ford

Monday 17th September 2018
Sporting Club Thamesmead 6 – 1 Kent Football United
Location Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, London SE28 8NJ
Kickoff 17/09/2018 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Monday 17 September 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Bayliss Avenue

SPORTING CLUB THAMESMEAD manager Joe Ford says he has the players to mount a serious bid for the top six after thrashing a struggling Kent Football United side.


The Acre raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 17 minutes through Stephen Wetherley, before their Dartford based opponents capitulated during the second half as Jamie Rawsthorne added a couple and so did talisman striker Josh Patrick, who has now scored 10 goals already this season.

Kent Football United added an injury-time consolation goal through substitute right-back Jayden Hussain as Ennio Gonnella’s struggling side remain in the bottom four in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table with four points from nine games and have now won once in 11 games in all competitions.

Gonnella grabbed his bag and walked out of the complex without undertaking his media duties and his assistant Sam MacNeil declined a request for an five-minute interview after suffering their largest defeat of the season.

But Ford said: “I thought the boys were outstanding tonight from the goalkeeper, again, to the centre forwards. They all done their jobs and done what was asked of them.

“I thought they played some fantastic stuff as well at times. They kept the ball down on the deck. It was a great game, it was brilliant to watch.”

Ford was delighted with the reaction from his side after they lost 1-0 at home to Banstead Athletic in The FA Vase Second Qualifying Round at the weekend.

“It was disappointing at the weekend, the boys did really well,” reflected Ford.

“They played a team from the level above and at times you would’ve tell we were from the level below.  They were outstanding at the weekend and we asked them to take the performance from Saturday into Monday night and they done that again tonight.  The credit goes to them.”

Kent Football United diminutive left-winger Luke Markey impressed when the score was goal-less, making some pacey runs early on.

He linked up well with left-back Marlon Patterson before whipping in a first time low cross which was flicked on by striker Jamie Pearson at the near post and forced keeper Charlie Martin into making a low save to his left inside the opening seven minutes.

Ford said: “Kent Football United are very threatening going forward.  I watched a lot of them last season, albeit they’ve got a few new players now.  They’re lively.  We did ask the boys to guard against that in the first couple of minutes but they woke up after the first five minutes I thought and defended resolutely.”

Within a couple of minutes, Patrick stroked his left-footed 30-yard free-kick over the wall and crashing against the top of the near post and Rawsthorne was flagged offside by assistant referee Adam Peters, the former secretary of Erith & Belvedere Football Club.

“Josh has got that about him, he’s a very good player.  You know from the goals he scores that he knows where the goal is. It was a good free-kick,” said Ford.

Visiting goalkeeper Marc Powell was at fault with Sporting Club Thamesmead’s opening goal, timed at 14 minutes and 39 seconds on the clock.

Wetherley placed his right-footed free-kick from 35-yards towards the bottom right-hand corner, but Powell dived low to his left and failed to gather as the ball bounced in front of him and all he could do was help the ball on to bounce into the top right-hand corner.

Ford said: “Wetherley has scored a few free-kicks this season, he’s scored a few good goals this season and he’s always a threat from a set-play.  Luckily for him, the goalkeeper misjudged it and it bounced in front of him and it was a good goal.”

Max Williams played a through ball along the deck to release winger Merrick Simms down the left and after cutting into the box his shot was parried by Powell and after Wetherley’s shot was blocked on the line, Patrick stabbed the ball against the foot of the left-hand post from close range and the away side put the ball behind for a corner.

Max Williams swung in the resulting corner from the left and Wetherley forced the ball over the line from a couple of yards out to give Sporting Club Thamesmead a two-goal lead with only 16 minutes and 59 seconds on the clock.

Reflecting on Wetherley’s fifth goal of the season, Ford said: “Again, being at the right place at the right time! I spoke to him during the whole game about set-plays.  I said as good as we have been with set-plays this season, we haven’t really made them count.  I was pleased that we scored from a set-play. It’s probably our first of the season believe it or not, even though we look pretty threatening from them, that’s the first time we’ve scored, I think, so really pleased to get that one out of the way.

“Obviously, it kills the game so I was pleased to be up by two goals but we wanted more.  I spoke to the boys about just doing what they were doing and keep pressing, keep playing and I thought that we could score a few tonight so I was happy with that!”

Debutant Romone McCrae played the ball into Frankie Warren, who found a pocket of space but the Kent Football United holding midfielder dragged his shot past the left-hand post from 35-yards.

Powell got down on to his knees to ensure he wasn’t embarrassed by Wetherley’s drilled right-footed free-kick from 30-yards, by pushing the ball away to his left as the midfielder tried to find the bottom right-hand corner again.

Kent Football United went close to pulling a goal back on the half-hour-mark when Taser Hassan’s in-swinging corner from the left was cleared off the line at the far post by Timi Osibodu.

An even better chance fell to the away side in the 39th minute when McCrae cut the ball onto his left foot and swept his shot trickling just past the foot of the left-hand post from 22-yards, with keeper Martin struggling to reach the ball.

Ford said:  “Romone used to play for me at Erith Town so we know the threats that he would have. He’s very good when you get the ball into his feet. He twists and turns and gets into good areas so I told the boys to guard against him.  On that occasion I think we switched off. He got the ball into his feet and he can damage teams from there.”

Max Williams took over free-kick duties on the stroke of half-time but this time his gentle right-footed effort from 23-yards was comfortably caught by Powell.

“I don’t know why Wetherley hasn’t gone and taken it after scoring one! Obviously Max fancied it.  Not much venom behind it, it was an easy save for the goalkeeper.”

Ford added: “I told them (at half-time) to keep doing what they were doing, keep passing, keep pressing and more goals will come.

“I thought as a unit the front three pressed brilliantly tonight. They were a constant threat.  Merrick Simms was absolutely outstanding, very quick.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead created their first second half opening after only 52 seconds when Wetherley’s right-footed free-kick from 30-yards was saved by Powell at head height.

“Again, he’s hit the target. He’ll be disappointed with himself that he hasn’t tested the goalie more, an easy save for the goalie but he’s hit the target and that’s all we can ask him to do,” added Ford.

Max Williams floated in the home side’s second corner of the night, which was cleared out to Rawsthorne, who smacked his hooked volley over the crossbar while lurking unmarked on the very edge of the penalty area.

Kent Football United created an opening in the 51st minute after Patterson and right-winger Perry Rose linked up.  Lone striker Pearson cut the ball onto his left foot and powerfully curled his shot around the far post from 25-yards.

Rawsthorne’s flicked pass played in left-winger Merrick Simms and the loose ball ran on for Patrick, who had to dig the ball out from underneath his feet before cracking a left-footed drive screaming just over the crossbar from 16-yards, as the keeper attempted to tip the ball over his crossbar.

Kent Football United should have done better with a chance that was created by Warren hitting a long diagonal 60-yard ball out of defence which Martin came charging out of his box and lost possession to debutant substitute Matthew Farmer but his low shot lacked power and Tamer Bilal comfortably cleared his lines despite being the only man inside the penalty box at the time.

Kent Football United squandered a glorious chance to possibly change the outcome of the match in the 61st minute.

Markey’s long ball split open the Acre defence and put McCrae through on goal down the left but Martin came out and spread himself low to his left to make a vital block.

“Great save! Charlie’s been excellent so far this season,” said Ford.

“It was a vital save. He saved it with his feet.  Romone’s going in, he’s dealt with it, I thought it was a great save. If that goes in, it might be a game changer, so I’m happy with the save.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead punished that miss by adding a third goal with 17 minutes and 17 seconds on the clock.

Wetherley was around 35-yards from goal when he slipped in Rawsthorne in between Patterson and Ahmed Dean and the midfielder skipped past the keeper and slotted the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from six-yards.

“Jamie Rawsthorne was on a different planet tonight, he was just outstanding from start to finish,” hailed Ford.

“I can’t speak highly of him. He got the man-of-the-match award on Saturday as well in The FA Vase game. He done brilliantly tonight again getting in those areas. He kept being threatening and when we haven’t got the ball he works hard.

“He’s just an outstanding player for us. He’s been a marquee signing for us and I’m pleased to have him on board. He’s been top drawer since he’s come in.”

There was a clear lack of leadership coming from Kent Football United’s players as the goals continued to come.

The fourth goal arrived with 20 minutes and 45 seconds on the clock, thanks to goal poacher Patrick.

Max Williams played a short corner to Wetherley and Williams curled his shot towards the far post and Patrick headed the ball over the line from very close range.

“Josh Patrick’s probably stolen that one of Max’s toes but he’s a goalscorer, he’s in that area, he’s not going to let it go in.  Josh is onside and he’s finished it off and made sure it got there,” said Ford.

“If he didn’t finish it off and ended up going wide or something like that I’d be shouting at him so he’s done what all good strikers do and he’s made sure he’s got there and finished it off perfectly.”

Patrick turned provider when he delivered a deep cross form the left-flank, which was knocked down by substitute David Duodu-Amoah at the far post and Rawsthorne’s left-footed shot was saved by Powell to his right from the centre of the pitch.

Martin made a comfortable gather as Pearson attempted to sweep his shot into the bottom near corner from a long way out on the left-hand side for the well-beaten away side.

Sporting Club Thamesmead rattled in their fifth goal of the night with 27 minutes and 10 seconds on the clock.

The impressive Rawsthorne released Duodu-Amoah down the right and he centred a low first time cross from the by-line for Patrick to smash a right-footed hooked shot on the turn across the keeper to find the bottom far corner from 10-yards.

“Again, put Josh anywhere in that 18-yard box and give him time and he’s going to score goals and that’s what he’s done,” said Ford.

“Great delivery from David, I think he’s worked really hard. He’s got the initial set in the centre of midfield, pulled out wide and delivered the ball as well. I can’t ask David to do any more there and Josh has finished it off nicely.”

Patrick notched 49 goals for the club last season and Ford insists his star-striker is staying loyal to the club once again.

“He’s up and running. Listen, Josh Patrick has been outstanding for us but we can keep speaking about Josh and the amount of goals he’s got and he thoroughly deserves all of the praise he gets.  Even though he doesn’t score, he does his bit for the team. He’s a player every manager would want in their squad at this level, the level above and the level above that as well and we’re lucky to have him on board – and he’s enjoying it!”

Kent Football United’s Hassan started to venture forward from right-back and joined an attack when he played the ball inside to Farmer, who drilled his right-footed 35-yarder sailing harmlessly past the right-hand post.

Substitute Rory Skinner whipped in a deep cross from the left touch-line for the home side and Shingirai Chirlseri knocked the ball down for Patrick to hook his shot past the far post.

If Rawsthorne continues performing like this then Ford will face a battle to keep him at Bayliss Avenue as he produced a world-class finish to make it 6-0 with 41 minutes and 10 seconds gone.

He ran 20-yards before drilling a stunning right-footed drive over the diving keeper to rocket a shot into the top right-hand corner from 30-yards.

“Again, full credit to Jamie, it’s a fantastic strike and he’s got that in his locker,” hailed Ford.

“He started the season playing in holding midfield and then we had a chat in training and he said he thought he could do a job further on and would I look at it and I said yes of course I will. He’s played there for the last two games and he’s been outstanding.  Great goal, great strike at any level! Goalkeeper’s aren’t going to get near that – fantastic!”

Ford withdrew his holding midfielder Mason Simms for the closing exchanges due to getting a whack to the head, which dislodged a tooth and Kent Football United grabbed a consolation one minute and 53 seconds into time added on.

Hassan reached the left by-line as he got in behind Acre right-back Connor Dobson before wrapping his foot around the ball to flash a low cross across the face of goal and Hussain tapped the ball over the line from close range at the far post.

“It’s annoying because the boys have worked so hard to keep a clean-sheet tonight, we just switched off at the end, which is really disappointing,” admitted Ford.

“The four at the back, I thought were outstanding tonight and they didn’t deserve to concede. Charlie Martin didn’t deserve to concede.

“We were a player down of the pitch at the time. Mason Simms had to go off after what looked like an elbow. The referee didn’t see it but Mason’s tooth is at the back of his throat, it’s all bent back.  We were down to 10 men at the time and we were punished.

“He’s a centre-half but we’ve been playing him in holding midfield and he would’ve been in those areas tonight so I feel a little bit hard done by.  But it was my decision not to put him back on to the pitch because his tooth was in a bad way and I didn’t feel it would be safe for him to go back on.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead have climbed up a couple of places to seventh in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table with 13 points from eight games – six points behind leaders Welling Town, who they play at Bayliss Avenue next Wednesday but before that Ford’s men host ninth-placed FC Elmstead on Saturday.

“Performances have been there, apart from the Kennington game when we were deservedly beaten 3-0,” admitted Ford.

“We had a chat after that and I said to the boys I feel although I’ve got the players here that are capable of being a top six side in this league, I felt they needed to work harder on and off the ball.

“Since that Kennington game they’ve been top drawer so I can’t argue with them at all. If we carry on going that way, I’m sure we’ll be within our targets at the end of the year.

“I’d like to finish in the top six.  I think for a club of our size, no budget, players playing for the club so to speak, it will be a testament to finish in the top six but we’ll take each game as it comes. We want to be competitive in every game and we’ve been competitive in every game so far, so I’m happy.

“It’s going to be tough, Elmstead are a good side. I’ve had them watched, they’ve beaten a couple of teams that are up there so they’re not going to be any mugs.  I’m looking forward to the challenge. You always want to test yourself against good sides ultimately and that’s what we’ll do.”

Welling Town then have home advantage as the two club’s that hire Bayliss Avenue meet for the first time at this level.

“I’m sure that the boys all want to prove a point, obviously with it sharing grounds and things like that but ultimately we’re just worried about Elmstead on Saturday and then we’ll start worrying about Welling. We know Welling have got good quality in their side – so have we!”

Sporting Club Thamesmead: Charlie Martin, Connor Dobson, Timi Osibodu, Mason Simms, Aaron Seales, Tamer Bilal, Stephen Wetherley (Rory Skinner 70), Max Williams (Shingirai Chirlseri 78), Josh Patrick, Jamie Rawsthorne, Merrick Simms (David Duodu-Amoah 70).
Subs: Ben Williams, Elliott Rayment-Johnson

Goals: Stephen Wetherley 15, 17, Jamie Rawsthorne 66, 87, Josh Patrick 66, 73

Kent Football United: Marc Powell, Taser Hassan, Marlon Patterson, Frankie Warren, Ahmed Dean, Reece Barrett, Luke Markey, Alimm Sesay (Ijah Corrie-Wilson 67), Jamie Pearson (Jayden Hussain 73), Romone McCrae, Perry Rose (Matthew Farmer 54).
Subs: Antonio Gonnella, Ricardo Spencer

Goal: Jayden Hussain 90

Booked: Taser Hassan 34, Alimm Sesay 64, Marlon Patterson 70

Attendance: 52
Referee: Mr Peter Agboola (Walworth, London SE17)
Assistants: Mr Paul Webb (West Kingsdown) & Mr Adam Peters (Sidcup)