Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club 2-0 Farnborough Old Boys Guild - It's good to get back to winning things, says Lloyd Bradley

Sunday 03rd May 2015
Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club 2 – 0 Farnborough Old Boys Guild
Location Maidstone Road Sports Ground, Bournville Avenue, Chatham, Kent ME4 6LR
Kickoff 05/05/2015 19:30

Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Challenge Cup Final
Tuesday 5th May 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Maidstone Road

STANSFELD OXFORD & BERMONDSEY CLUB manager Lloyd Bradley says it’s good that the club have returned to winning ways after claiming the Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Challenge Cup for the third time in their history.

The New Eltham based club are sitting in second-place in the NRG Gym Kent County League Premier Division table on 56 points with two games remaining, fourteen points adrift of landlords Metrogas, who have already celebrated back-to-back titles.

Farnborough Old Boys Guild play their football a level below and arrived at windy Chatham sitting in seventh-place in the Division One West table having collected 31 games.

But Stanseld Oxford & Bermondsey Club fully deserved their victory. 

Striker Sam Ryan slotted home his 23rd goal of the season – before being taken to hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder - to give them an early lead, before Tony Dakin came up from the back to plant a second half header into the roof of the net.

Farnborough Old Boys Guild pressed for goals during a better second half performance despite playing the last 21 minutes with a substitute striker Alex Barnes in goal after Lee Gibbs hobbled off with an injury to his left ankle sustained immediately after conceding the decisive goal.

WINNERS: Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club keeper James Bradley (left) lifts the Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Challenge Cup afer his side's 2-0 win over Farnborough Old Boys Guild.
Photo: Julie Hoare

“This is the first trophy that I’ve won since I’ve come to the club.  I came to the club two years’ ago so it’s nice to get to a final and to win is even more important,” said boss Bradley afterwards.

“I thought we played very well and we was in control but the conditions dictated. When we turned round at half-time the wind would be against us and we had to do a bit of defending, which we did for certainly 20 minutes.  I felt we got back in the game after 20 minutes and the second goal gave us a real lift and gave us something to hang on to. I thought we played well on the night.”

Farnborough Old Boys Guild’s manager Luke Johnson, who was to become an unused substitute, said: “First half they were the better side for 20 minutes. We didn’t really get out. They wanted to ball more than us but we came into the game a bit better for the last 20 of the first half.

“I thought we were the better team in the second half, played the better football. It just wouldn’t fall for us. It just wasn’t our day at all. I think they probably deserved winners on the day, no real grumbles at all.

“The wind ruined the game, completely ruined the game. It was a game we couldn’t play any football in because of the wind so neither team could get the ball down. It spent more time out of play than it did in play.  I’ve never seen so many footballs used in a game of football.  The wind had a massive baring on it. The pitch wasn’t great either so it wasn’t really contusive to a good game of football.  I think both sides dug deep, it was a good final.”

Farnborough Old Boys Guild defeated a couple of Premier sides Bredhurst Juniors (4-2 after extra time) and Metrogas (2-0) in the first two rounds, then went on to beat Ide Hill (4-3) and Bexley (2-1), both after extra time to reach tonight’s final.

Stansfeld knocked out three Premier sides to get to the final, defeating Greenways (2-1); Chipstead (3-2 after extra time) and  APM Contrast (3-2) and needed penalties (4-2) to beat Peckham Town after the game finished goal-less after 120 minutes of football.

Stansfeld stamped their higher-league authority on the game as Farnborough Old Boys Guild looked nervous from the off.

Michael Smith swung in a corner from the left which was headed back across goal by Dakin for former Sevenoaks Town striker Billy Shinners to head into Gibbs’ hands after only 144 seconds.

Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club opened the scoring with only 06:37 on the clock.

Central midfielder Smith lobbed the ball over the top of a flat Farnborough defence to put Ryan through on goal, who slotted his right-footed shot past Gibbs to roll the ball into the middle of an empty net from 17-yards.

“Sam’s been playing very well at the moment, he’s on a nice run of goals, he’s scoring regularly,” said Lloyd Bradley.

“It’s just unfortunate tonight he’s gone off with a bad injury. It looks like he’s might’ve dislocated his shoulder, which is unfortunate.   We’ve got a picture of him with gas and air at Chatham Hospital, hopefully getting fixed up.”

Johnson added: “I think it was route one football at its best! They used the wind to their advantage. They overloaded on the side where the ball was going. We just got caught a bit flat at the back. It was a good finish. Gibbo’s probably the best keeper in this league and he couldn’t do anything to stop it. He took the goal well.”

It wasn’t the greatest of starts from the men in red and yellow striped shirts.

“I know we looked shaky but I knew once we settled and people looked a little bit hesitant on the ball and a bit anxious to get rid of it, no-one wanted it so there was no need to change anything at that point,” admitted Johnson.

“It was just about keeping the game plan in our heads, not changing the way we were playing but once we saw the conditions going in at 1-0 down wouldn’t have been a bad result.”

A big kick straight down the heart of the pitch by Stansfeld’s goalkeeper capitan James Bradley was flicked on by Shinners into Billy Jolley’s path on the left-hand side of the penalty area, but his right-footed angled drive from sixteen-yards brought a comfortable low save from Gibbs.

The first time that Farnborough got an attempt on target was a rather speculative free-kick from their central defender Rohan Howell from 60-yards, which was comfortably gathered by James Bradley in the 29th minute.

The goalkeeper then pumped the ball forward and substitute Freddie Sansom swept in the ball in from the left towards Shinners at the far post and his header across goal was powered over the bar by Jolley’s from six-yards.

Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club threatened to put their opponents out of reach during a dominant first half performance with the wind behind them.

Shinners and Terry Cohen linked up in midfield and Smith was given time and space to drill his right-footed shot from 35-yards past the right-hand post, the midfielder screaming in frustration, the first of two long-range efforts from Smith.

Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club were to be denied by the crossbar in the 37th minute.

A poor back header from Farnborough Old Boys Guild central defender Matt Reynolds was latched onto by Shinners, who nipped in front of the goalkeeper to chip the ball towards goal for his 37th goal of the season.

However, the ball bounced down off the solid turf and bounced up and agonisingly caressed the crossbar and Gibbs was relieved to catch the ball as it dropped down.

Lloyd Bradley said: “That would have been a nice cushion for us then just before half-time as well!

“That was the conditions as well with the wind. The goalkeeper has come for it, it’s bounced, he’s gone to chip him. It’s unfortunate really, sometimes they go in!”

It was just the slice of luck that Johnson needed!

“It was never in doubt was it?” joked the Farnborough manager.

“Not say lucky bounce, they’ve got to go in to go in don’t they? They might as well hit the bar or the corner flag as far as I’m concerned!

“They hit the bar and that nearly threw everything out of the window! Had that gone in then we would have had to change it straight away!”out of the window! had

Farnborough ventured forward through striker Steven McQueen, who dragged a woeful shot harmlessly wide.

But they struggled to get past a well marshalled Stansfeld defence with Dakin and George Martin immense.

“We didn’t really want the half-time whistle to come,” admitted Lloyd Bradley.

“We knew we was going to be under a bit of pressure second half and I thought all credit to Farnborough they did come out second half and had a real go.

“I thought we played some decent football really (in the first half).  I thought we played controlled football with the wind. We used the conditions to our benefit. It was our game plan, we spoke about it before the game.

“They didn’t even have a shot on target really. Everything was from a long way out really. Defensively we felt we were playing really well. We were nice and compact.”

Farnborough boss Johnson said: “We said at half-time we thought there’s goals to be had in the second half.

“I thought we created more than them in the second half but after 10 minutes and you’re 1-0 down, it does make your head go!

“I thought Stansfeld defended brilliantly in the entire game. I think they handled the conditions better. They’re a strong side and we just couldn’t break them down.”

Farnborough Old Boys Guild had the strong wind in their favour for the second half and they were on the front foot for long periods.

Central midfielder Luke Foulsham set the tone when he drilled a 40-yard free-kick sailing just over the top of the right-hand post inside the opening three minutes.

Johnson said: “I thought that was in from my angle, but he can hit them. He’s hit four or five of them this season and he’s scored with them!

“We wanted to get the ball down. We thought our central midfield was controlling the game so we wanted to play through the middle a little bit more.

“We pushed Luke Foulsham a little bit further on to find a bit of space and it was just that final ball.

“If we’d had scored in that first 15 minutes after half-time I think we’d have gone on and won the game but it’s all it’s, but’s and maybe’s!”

Scott Wason drilled a ball into the Stansfeld penalty area and Foulsham’s right-footed shot on the turn forced James Bradley to dive to his left to save well.

A third chance fell to Farnborough when Foulsham delivered a corner from the right, which was flicked on at the near post by Wason and McQueen’s back header was saved by the keeper.

But despite all of that pressure, Stansfeld grabbed a second goal – totally against the run of play – after 64 minutes.

Smith swung in his seventh corner of the game from the right towards the far post where Dakin powered his towering header into the roof of the net from four-yards to kill the game off

GET IN: Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club make the game safe through Tony Dakin's (number 5, yellow shirt) header.
Photo: Julie Hoare

Lloyd Bradley said: “Good header! We had a few first half that we perhaps should have made better use off but that one, he just got that one right and found a decent bit of space and got a decent contact, a good header and it gave us a nice cushion.”

Johnson said: “It’s gutting isn’t it, to concede from a set-piece especially considering I’m a centre half myself! I decided to give the boys a go today and not play myself.  I was trying to head that one away from the sideline but it’s a good header, a very good header.

“Lee’s got injured after that and we had to change our keeper. He’s not in a good way actually, which is a shame because he works for me (football coach) so he’ll better be in work tomorrow! He might be coaching from his crutches tomorrow.

“He’s devastated the boy as well. He’s been our stand out player for two seasons. It’s unfortunate for him!”

Gibbs went down injured and his left ankle was bandaged up and he left the ground after the game in pain and Barnes took the gloves for the remainder of the game.

“I thought Alex Barnes did very well when he went in goal,” said Johnson.

“He had a couple of long balls that you get a bit nervous because they’re good in the air and he’s handled them very well.

“But there’s another game plan gone! When you’re looking at your subs bench and you’ve got a forward on the bench and you’re 2-0 down and the last thing you want is that forward to go in goal so that scuppered the chances of myself and Aaron Harman coming on from the bench as well.”

Barnes gathered a wayward header from Shinners and launched a big clearance upfield, which was flicked on by Aaron Evans to put Lee Friend through on goal but his fiercely struck right-footed drive from 18-yards was palmed away by James Bradley with less than 20 minutes left.

The Stansfeld boss admitted: “I certainly felt when we came out after the break Farnborough put us under a lot of pressure and I was pleased with the way we played. It wasn’t pretty at times but we’ve done enough.”

“We just couldn’t force a goal,” admitted the proud Farnborough manager.

“Even with 10-15 minutes left at 2-0 down you do think one goal might change it.

“Lee Friend was through on goal and he probably should have done better. The keeper pulled a good save from him.

“We’ve had a few corners, like they did. They defended the corners better than we did and we couldn’t score from them.”

Farnborough’s play deserved at least one goal and Wason put in another cross from the right and Kobi Johnson’s shot on the turn was blocked by James Bradley’s legs as Evans was ready to pounce on the loose ball.

The Stansfeld manager said: “One was hit straight at him and he just palmed it away and he made a good save with his legs, which was a better save really because it was close in so he had to come out and close it down.

“Probably chance for chance, we certainly out chanced them over the course of the game. I thought we deserved to win.”

Farnborough went direct with Barnes’ big kicks giving Stansfeld something to think about.

Wason’s cross from the right was flicked on at the near post and Wason steered his first time shot past the left-hand post.

Wason put in another cross into the Stansfeld box inside the final five minutes but Foulsham’s first time shot flashed wide but they couldn’t find a way past a solid outfit.

Stansfeld complete their campaign with a trip to Gravesend to play fifth-placed Guru Nanak on Thursday, before the top-of-the-table clash against Metrogas on Saturday.

“For me it is the first (trophy) for the club. It’s good to get back to winning things really. It’s been a little while. We’ve won the league going back two or three years ago but the club’s been in a bit of the doldrums so it’s a nice turnaround now, another pot on the mantelpiece.

“The thing is we’re still looking to get runners-up as well. They’re two big games and I think potentially we need a point because I think Borden lost a game and it was abandoned and it’s likely that result will stand so they’ll probably finish on 56 points so we need at least a point out of those two games to guarantee it.”

Farnborough Old Boys Guild manager Johnson added: “I’m proud of them. They’ve done well to get this far. It’s been a topsy-turvy season and we put out Metrogas and we put out Bredhurst from the Premier League in it so we did fancy our chances coming into the game.

When asked his aspirations for next season at Farnborough, Johnson, who runs the team alongside Matthew Ellis, added: “To win the league and maybe come down to Chatham when it’s not so windy and try and get this cup back!”

Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club: James Bradley, Casey Killilea, George Waters, Terry Cohen, Tony Dakin, George Martin, Tom Beever (Ben Mulrooney 83), Michael Smith (Lennie Wise 74), Sam Ryan (Freddie Sansom 22), Billy Jolley.
Subs: Danny Emett, James Wade

Goals: Sam Ryan 7, Tony Dakin 64

Booked: Freddie Sansom 90

Farnborough Old Boys Guild: Lee Gibbs (Alex Barnes 69), Tom Rush, Dave Martin, Kobi Johnson, Matt Reynolds (Sam Dalby 56), Rohan Howell, Scott Wason, Luke Foulsham, Steven McQueen (Lee Friend 65), Aaron Evans, Daniel Rose.
Subs: Aaron Harman, Luke Johnson

Booked: Scott Wason 90

Attendance: 122
Referee: Mr Keith Wenham (Orpington)
Assistants: Mr Wayne Cooksey (Warden Bay, Isle of Sheppey) & Mr Darren Kavanagh  (Orpington)
Fourth Official: Mr Martin Cook (Blackfen)