Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club 0-3 Metrogas - I can't take the club any further, admits Metrogas boss Roy Davies

Saturday 09th May 2015
Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club 0 – 3 Metrogas
Location Metrogas Sports Ground, Marathon Playing Fields, Forty Foot Way, Avery Hill Road, New Eltham, London SE9 2EX
Kickoff 09/05/2015 14:45

NRG Gym Kent County League Premier
Saturday 9th May 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Forty Footway

ROY DAVIES says he can’t take Metrogas any further after resigning as manager after four successful seasons in charge of the club.

END OF AN ERA: Roy Davies (right) has guided Metrogas to back-to-back Kent County League Premier Division titles during his successful four years in charge of the club. 
Photo: Julie Hoare

Davies told his players his decision to leave the New Eltham based club minutes after Tom Forster held aloft the NRG Gym Kent County League Premier Division title following a comfortable 3-0 win over tenants Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club.

The Gas finished with an excellent record of 24 wins, one draw, three defeats, scoring 103 league goals and conceding 28 from their 28 games.  They also won the Kent Intermediate Challenge Shield.

They finished fourteen points clear of runners-up Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club, who defeated Division One West side Farnborough Old Boys Guild 2-0 to win the Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Challenge Cup in Chatham on Tuesday night and finished runners-up on 59 points.

Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club were suffering through tiredness as this game was their fourth game of a hectic week.

The game was switched to an adjacent pristine playing surface at the Greenwich University due to cricket being played at the ground, a reason why the club cannot progress into the Kent Invicta League where Metrogas should be playing after sealing back-to-back league titles.

When asked about next season, Davies revealed that he had resigned inside the dressing room after today’s game.

“Metrogas has got to keep its title and again when you turn that (Dictaphone) off I’ll have a word in private with you,” said Davies.

When asked whether he was resigning, Davies replied: “yes, but something will be announced. I’m going to another club and that will be announced by them so I’ll appreciate it if you left it until their press release is announced.”

Sam MacNeil from Kent Invicta League club Kent Football United confirmed the news by text message at 18:22, saying, “KFU announce Roy Davies formerly of Metrogas as our new first team manager.  Sam MacNeil stands down to focus on club and youth development.”

Davies revealed the reasons why he leaves The Gas.

“I can’t take the club any further,” came his reply.  “This club can’t go any further.

“We had the conversation the other day. This can’t go any further. I would like motivation and to be honest I don’t know if I could motivate the players to go again and I feel an injection of a few younger players, regenerate the sides with a new management, a new voice in the changing room.

“I’ve done it for four seasons now and the players do get tired of the same voice so I think it’s time for somebody to take the club on and defend the title.”

Davies finished runners-up in the Kent County League Division One West table in his first two seasons in charge, before claiming back-to-back Premier Division titles, but due to the dual-use of the ground with cricket the club do not have the criteria to go up and have ruled out a groundsharing agreement at a suitable venue due to the cost involved.

Davies added: “It’s a nice CV to have but it’s not about me. It’s about the players so really pleased for them, really pleased.”

After an uninspiring first half, Metrogas, who mathematically had the league title sown up on 20 April, had to wait for a devastating sixteen minute spell during the second half to finish the season off with a comfortable victory.

Davies said: “Very, very pleased. First half was a little bit wind affected. We always knew second half into the wind we’ll play our football and I think that proved with the three goals in the second half.”

Right-back Tom Gibbons stabbed in his eighth goal of the season to get the ball rolling before Tony Dakin – who headed home Stansfeld’s second goal in their midweek Cup Final – turned from hero to villain by directing his diving header into his own goal.

Gary Gorman came off the bench and was in the right place at the right time to head in his 44th goal of the season as the yellow and blue shirted defenders went missing.

Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club manager Lloyd Bradley admitted afterwards: “I think we just ran out of steam! It was our fourth game in eight days and I think it caught up with us today.  We were decent for an hour but we were just running on empty and once we gave the first goal away, it looked like it was all over anyway.

“We haven’t played at our best today. We worked hard but it wasn’t too pretty. I didn’t have too many options on the bench either today – I’ve got three defenders on the bench so I couldn’t really change it either!”

Metrogas were to be denied by the crossbar inside the opening nine minutes following the second of their 11 corners.

David Milton drove in a corner from the right and left-back Robert Quick powered his free-header crashing back of the underside of the crossbar from eight-yards.

“We spoke about set-pieces because they’ve got two good centre halves and we tried to drag them out of the centre of the goal which worked on that occasion. We got him in and unfortunately we were three or four inches from scoring early doors,” said Davies.

Stansfeld boss Bradley added: “Good header actually. Rob’s a decent player as well. We didn’t pick him up properly, we gave him a free header. We were a bit fortunate there to say the least.”

But both sides struggled to cope with the blustery conditions and more people started to flock to pitch side as the game went on.

“It’s always nice to have a crowd and some of the boys do like to play in front of a crowd,” said Davies.

“It’s always nice to see people come and watch us and thankfully we put a show on the day.”

Bradley admitted it was nice playing in front of 96 people, which included former Stansfeld and now Beckenham Town manager Jason Huntley.

He said: “A good crowd. It’s always a good crowd when we play the Gas down here with a lot of interest locally with the bragging rights. 

“The Gas have had a good season and they’re down here as well to celebrate their championship so they’re enjoying themselves. They’ve picked up the trophy so it’s a good day all round for them but not so much for us!”

They were, however, disappointed, as the next chance of the game arrived with 26 minutes on the clock.

Billy Jolley swing in a corner from the right into Metrogas’ penalty area and George Martin came up from the back to poke his shot towards the bottom near corner, the ball being cleared off the line by Sean O’Sullivan.

Bradley admitted: “That was probably one of the only chances we had all game to be fair. If that had gone in that would have been nice but again it was a bit of a half chance, really not a great chance but on another day they may go on if someone pulled off the line.”

Davies added: “Sean O’Sullivan’s got himself back. We always work hard to get him in standing in between the posts getting back behind the ball and again it’s paid off. We try to keep good habits.”

Metrogas linked up well down the left through O’Sullivan and Harry Rogers, who cracked a speculative right-footed shot on the turn from 35-yards, which only just dipped over the Stansfeld bar.

But Metrogas created the best chance to break the stalemate in the 37th minute.

Milton played the ball to Tom Gibbons, who fed the ball through to striker Patrick Hitchin, who spun George Martin outside the box before striding forward and hitting a low right-footed drive from 22-yards which was destined for the bottom left-hand corner.  Keeper James Bradley dived to his right to tip the shot around his right-hand post.

“Good save from the keeper. It was always going away from him. He done well to get down low and tip it around,” said Davies.

“To be fair the Stansfeld boys, they’ve had four games in seven days. They were always going to tire. It was a big ask of them today and they competed first half but we knew they’ll run out of steam – it was a bridge too far.”

The Stansfeld manager said of his son, “He’s been good all year. He plays for the League in goal as well. He’s an excellent keeper, a good shot stopper and he commands his area well.  He’s had a real big season, plus being captain as well so it’s an important role he plays there.

“He gives us a lot of confidence to play and a bit of insurance behind. That’s probably a standard save, he’s made much better saves!

“It was important at that time. They had the wind at their backs and it could have been awkward then just before half-time.

“Our heads might have gone a little bit because you saw the way we finished the game. Once the goal went in our heads dropped a little bit because we knew we didn’t have loads of energy left.”

SAVE: Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club keeper James Bradley makes a fine save to deny Metrogas striker Patrick Hitchin (left)
Photo: Julie Hoare

Metrogas skipper Nick Curran played the ball out of defence to release Hitchin down the right but he failed to get a difficult shot on target as the wind took its toll on both sets of struggling players.

Metrogas were the better side during the first half but the game vastly improved following a shortened six minute half-time team talk out on the pitch as both teams and match officials used the Metrogas changing facilities before and after the game.

When asked what he told his champions, Davies said: “Pretty much keep your shape, keep doing the things we’re doing.

“We played without a big centre forward today because their two centre halves we thought would dominate our centre forwards so we went wide with our big man, played into the wide areas and it paid us dividends.

“We’ve got the pacy boys in off him and it started to pay dividends so we stayed with that second half.  It was going to be a tactical second half and once we got the first goal it was easy then to make substitutions and I think you saw our football come then. We started knocking it about and totally dominated.”

Stansfeld’s boss added: “We turned around with the wind so we were hoping to play a little bit longer and put a bit more pressure on them because we knew we didn’t have a lot of running in us today so the pretty football wasn’t going to be there today.

“We were just hoping to get one over the top. We had a bit of legs up top, one of our wingers (Freddie Sansom) was playing alongside Billy Shinners up top today. He’s got a bit of pace about him but it didn’t quite work out but on another day it did.

“They’ve got a decent defence. If you look at their goals conceded over the season you don’t break them down easily. They’ve got the best defensive record in the league, scored the most goals. Today wasn’t the game we needed on our fourth game in eight days.”

Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club’s striker Billy Shinners drilled his angled drive straight at untested keeper Daniel Edwards at the near post after 51 minutes, before Jack Gibbons’ angled drive bounced past the Stansfeld far post shortly afterwards at the other end.

But Metrogas started to dominate proceedings as the Stansfeld players started to tire around the hour mark.

Charlie Paine and Rogers linked up well down the left to release striker Tom Maloney down the left channel and a near post tackle from Stansfeld substitute left-back George Waters thwarted Milton.

Stansfeld squandered an excellent chance to take the lead when winger Ben Mulrooney played the ball to Shinners on the left and the former Sevenoaks Town striker played the ball to Billy Jolley, who cut the ball back to Freddie Sansom, who hit a first time drive with his left-footed sailing over the crossbar from sixteen-yards.

“The conditions were awkward with the wind and he probably leaned back too much and he got too much on it unfortunately,” admitted Bradley.

“Scrappy chances really. They was probably our best chances. We worked good situations and didn’t really take them. 

“Our other striker, Sam Ryan (who suffered a dislocated shoulder at Chatham) is generally in that type of position and is fairly clinical in those areas.”

That miss proved costly as Metrogas broke the deadlock after 61 minutes.

Referee Tony Woods ignored penalty appeals after Hitchin was clearly fouled inside the box and Jack Gibbons reacted to dance forward with the ball to curl his shot against the underside of the bar and Tom Gibbons stabbed the loose ball into the bottom left-hand corner from three-yards.

Jack Gibbons impressed in the middle for Metrogas.

“He had a great game, he’s been great all season for us,” said Davies.

“I set them all goal targets and he was set ten goals. He ended up with nine. He could’ve scored today, which was unfortunate.

“I told him last season to go to play for the second’s because he wasn’t giving me what I asked off him and he went and done that and he came back strong this year for pre-season, as fit as I’ve ever seen him and I said to him I can build a side around him because I know what he can do for me and he’s proved himself, a very, very good player.”

Reflecting on the goal itself, Davies added: “It was a foul in the box! I couldn’t believe the referee didn’t give a penalty and to be fair the Stansfeld side stopped expecting a penalty to be given and we carried on and tucked the ball away. 

“Tom tapped it in at the far post and that’s what he’s been doing all season. He’s got eight goals from left-back for me, which is an awesome return from a full-back, absolutely superb!”

Bradley added: “We switched off worse than they did really. The appeals went in and we sort of froze. We possibly thought it was a penalty and that’s why the players stopped.

“They had a lot to do after that. Jack Gibbons, who got on the ball had a mazy little run then got a shot off, hit the bar and we switched off completely then someone’s at the far post has got an easy tap-in.

“After that you could physically see across the board the whole of the team their heads and shoulders dropped a little bit. We knew it was going to be a big ask to get back in it then. At 1-0, it wasn’t the end of the world. I still felt we had something about us and we would get a chance. Obviously the second goal was crucial.”

Metrogas almost doubled their lead when Maloney released O’Sullivan down the left channel.  The winger cut the ball back across the face of goal towards the far post but an unmarked Hitchin steered his first time shot past the post from close range.

But Stansfeld gifted their arch-rivals a second goal in the 66th minute.

Rogers whipped in an excellent cross from the right towards the near post where Dakin’s diving header from the edge of the six-yard box flew past Bradley into the far corner to score an own-goal.

The Stansfeld boss said: “He had a call behind that he had to make it. He probably would have been wiser to have left it but once you’ve done that if someone’s asked you to make it you’ve got to try to get it.

“It was just unfortunate. It’s just clipped off the side of his head and it’s gone in.

“It’s one of those things really. It was a crucial goal really in the game because that was then game over then.”

Davies said: “It was only the case of getting the first goal and we knew they would tire, which they did on around the hour mark, which is understandable with the amount of games that they’ve played in the last week.

“We then settled into a rhythm, we passed it and knocked it about and we played some good stuff that we’ve been playing all season.

“It’s always unfortunate to score an own goal. He was covering his near post and just unfortunate he didn’t get enough head on it to knock it wide but these things happen.”

Stansfeld were clearly waiting for the end of their campaign, while Metrogas hunted for more goals.

Maloney swung in their ninth corner towards the near post where Quick came up from the back again, this time to plant his header over the bar.

Hitchin was released down the right and his cross was headed across goal and past the far post by Maloney.

Davies added: “We’ve got some good crosses in at the far post. Tom Maloney headed wide. He could have done better if his staring position had been better.”

But Metrogas netted their third goal of the game with thirteen minutes left of Davies’ successful reign.

Maloney floated over their last corner of the game from the left and Quick and Hitchin got touches to the ball inside the box and Rogers hung over another cross from the right which was pin-point to land on Gary Gorman’s head, who didn’t have to step forward to nod the ball into the bottom left-hand corner from two-yards out.

“Gary’s got 44 goals now this season, which is an awesome return,” said Davies.

“He’s just been banging in worldy’s all season. I said to him after last year you get 25 worldy goals but get to the 40 mark you’ve got to start getting tap-ins in and around the six-yard box and he’s added that to his game this season and it’s paid dividends.  Scoring 44 goals at any level is a good, good return.”

Bradley added: “It’s no sort of coincidence that he’s found himself a little bit of space on the far post. He’s scored 44 goals this year and that was probably the easiest he’s had all season!

“It’s tired bodies, tired heads, not picking up there. Someone was making him for the original corner and switched off and left him there standing on his own.

“At that point we’re hoping for the final whistle. It was getting a bit embarrassing at that point. The last thing we wanted was to finish with a thumping – and at that point 3-0’s a thumping to us.”

Metrogas sub Forster released Hitchin through on goal, who easily skipped past the advancing Bradley and was about to slot the ball into an empty net but was denied by Waters inside the box.

Metrogas substitute defender Danny Gorman unleashed a powerful daisy-cutter 30-yard angled free-kick which flashed through a crowd of players and past the far post.

Davies was delighted with the clean sheet and his team’s impressive statistics in this double winning campaign.

“We’ve always tried to keep good habits, even if we’re not been able to beat sides but we go to 89 minutes. If we’ve got a clean sheet we know that we haven’t lost the game and we can always win it in the 89th and we’ve done that a few times this season.

“We’re well disciplined to keep a clean sheet. We don’t throw goals away sloppily, we try not to.  Again another target we’ve set this season was actually they didn’t hit the target because it was 0.999 goals against us per game and we actually averaged one goal per game – conceding 28 goals in 28 games.

“Another target we set like or home record last year was 13 wins, one draw and zero losses and I said we have to better that, which was very difficult and we’ve managed it with 14 at home this year.”

The Gas have been in explosive form, scoring 103 league goals this term.

Davies said: “That’s nearly four goals per game, something like that. I actually set a target of 143 goals (in league and cup games) this season, which was only the players’ individual targets added up, which I didn’t think was achievable but to get 100 (league) goals up which we did in the week against Guru Nanak was an achievement that we’re proud of that. We were striving for another three today and that’s 103 and 126 in total, I think all season.

“It’s been a great season. I’m very proud of the players. I’ve just told them in (the dressing room) what they’ve given me is their all, all season and you can’t for any more than that.

“The icing on the cake is the trophies that you pick up but they have given me everything that they’ve had and that’s what I ask of them.”

TITLE: Metrogas' Thomas Forster lifts the NRG Gym Kent County League Premier Division title after 3-0 win over tenants and runners-up Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club.
Photo: Julie Hoare

With Davies parting company with Metrogas, Bradley hopes his side can go one further in his second season in charge of Stansfeld.

He said: “We’re runners-up now and to win a cup, we couldn’t have asked for more. Last year we finished sixth and got two semi-finals. This year we’ve had a semi-final, a final, we’ve won a final and ended up runners-up so it’s much improved on last season.

“The only thing we can do next year really is to win the league really and that’s what we’ll be aiming to do.”

Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club: James Bradley, Casey Killilea (George Waters 41), James Wade, Terry Cohen, Tony Dakin, George Martin, Billy Jolley, Phillip Rogan (Lennie Wise 65), Freddie Sansom, Billy Shinners, Ben Mulrooney (Bobby Holley 82).
Sub: Charlie Sewell

Metrogas: Daniel Edwards, Tom Gibbons, Robert Quick, Jack Gibbons, Nick Curran (Danny Gorman 81), Harry Rogers, Charlie Paine (Thomas Forster 59), David Milton (Gary Gorman 71), Patrick Hitchin, Tom Maloney, Sean O’Sullivan.
Subs: Paul Hewett, Joe Bumstead

Goals: Tom Gibbons 61, Tony Dakin 66 (own goal), Gary Gorman 77

Attendance: 96
Referee: Mr Tony Woods (Dartford)
Assistants: Mr Martin Cook (Sidcup) & Mr Darren Kavanagh (Orpington)