Stansfeld 4-1 Wembley - It was a good day for the club again and we've had a lot of them over the last few years, says Stansfeld joint-manager Jamie Phipps

Sunday 07th August 2022
Stansfeld 4 – 1 Wembley
Location Foxbury Avenue, off Perry Street, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6SD
Kickoff 07/08/2022 15:00

The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Sunday 7 August 2022
Stephen McCartney reports from Foxbury Avenue

STANSFELD joint-manager Jamie Phipps says his players gave everything to beat Wembley to reach The FA Cup Preliminary Round for the second successive season.

This was the third successive away defeat in the Extra Preliminary Round for Wembley FC, while Stansfeld’s second ever campaign in this iconic competition has seen them reach the second hurdle on the Road to Wembley.

Ian Bates’ side took an early lead through centre-half Rowan Larrington’s clinically despatched penalty.

Wembley were fourteenth-placed finishers in the Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier Division North last season and like Stansfeld play in the ninth tier of English football.

But Stansfeld recovered and swiftly equalised from another penalty, slotted home by centre-half Dan Parkinson.

Wembley hit the crossbar once at the end of the first half and Stansfeld twice in the second half, as the Southern Counties East Football League First Division champions put in a vastly improved second half performance.

Mr Stansfeld, central striker Billy Shinners headed them into an early second half lead with a near-post free-header, before Larrington’s reckless challenge saw him sent off with 15 minutes remaining.

Billy Shinners (17, yellow, centre) was due to start on the subs bench but Ryan Fowler's groin injury gave the striker a chance to start and score in The FA Cup against Wembley.  
Photo: Alan Coomes 

Stansfeld ran out comfortable winners in the end with central midfielder Harry Day, 17, capping off an impressive debut with a sweeping finish, before wide striker Ollie Milton rifled home an injury time fourth.

“I thought we didn’t play too well first half, I thought it was a bit of an non-event to be honest,” admitted Phipps.

“Second half, we came out and played well.  Overall, we were the better side.  I thought we started well and gave away a poor goal, a penalty, got back into it and then nothing really happened in the first half after that. 

“I thought we were worthy winners, the sending off obviously helped but I thought we were in the ascendancy before that.

“We knew we’d be better in the second half.  The first half wasn’t us in fairness to them.  Wembley haven’t played a competitive game yet, we played last week so we fancied our fitness especially in the second half.  That’s the way it panned out.

“We always knew we’d win it. I don’t mean to sound arrogant. We knew our fitness would tell in the end.”

Billy Hamlin and Phipps’ side travel to Isthmian League South East Division side Burgess Hill Town in the Preliminary Round on Saturday 20 August, where a victory will mark the amateur club’s best performance in The FA Cup.

Stansfeld went into the game in eighth-place after beating Bearsted 1-0 last Saturday on their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division debut, while this was Wembley’s first competitive game of the new season.

Stansfeld started the game on the front foot, creating their first chance after only 56 seconds, but were thwarted by former Rusthall goalkeeper Charlie Wealands.

A big kick from goalkeeper Charlie Cottrell was flicked on by Day in midfield and this put wide striker Tommy Whitnell through on goal but the angle was very tight and Wealands smothered the ball to his left to push the ball behind for the first of eight Stansfeld’s corners, which were all taken by Dan Parkinson.

“We started on the front foot and then when we gave away the penalty we went a bit flat but credit to the boys they got back in the game early,” said Phipps.

“You could see their tails were up after they scored, you could see they grew in confidence a little bit but getting back into it so soon after kind of helped it and took the shine of what they were trying to do.”

Wealands was forced into action palming the ball over his crossbar, high to his left, after Dan Parkinson’s drilled right-footed free-kick from within the bottom left-channel, as Stansfeld dominated the early proceedings kicking down the slope.

However, one long through ball from Larrington caught Stansfeld’s back four cold and played in lone striker Yassine Fehmi-Gil, who stroked his shot bouncing past the near post before being clattered into by Cottrell and referee Joshua Evans pointed to the spot.

Cottrell stepped to his left as Larrington clinically drove his left-footed penalty straight down the middle to give Wembley the lead with eight minutes and seven seconds on the clock.

Phipps said: “For me, I thought it was a penalty, I’ve got to be honest. Even though he got his shot off, Charlie did clean him out a little bit.  I thought it was a penalty and he took the penalty well in all fairness to him.”

However, Stansfeld immediately went up the other end and produced a well-worked move down the left which resulted in referee Evans hesitating before pointing to the spot for the second time.

Left-back Joe Borland played the ball into Shinners inside the box and his flicked past found Day and he was clipped by Wembley’s holding midfielder Daniel Sefton.

Dan Parkinson drilled his right-footed penalty into the bottom left-hand corner to bring Stansfeld level with 12 minutes and 13 seconds on the clock.

“He bundled into him a little bit, whether the ref thought their one was soft and he gave us our one but I think he did clip him to be fair.  I would’ve been disappointed had it not been given and we always fancy Dan to tuck the penalties away. I don’t think he’s missed one for us yet.”

Stansfeld have pulled off a miracle to keep the Parkinson brothers and Whitnell at the club this season, especially when they do not pay their players.

“I think a lot of that comes down to the spirit that we’ve got in the group. What we achieved last year was fantastic and when you’re doing well you always attract attention. There has been interest with some of our boys but in fairness to them they’ve stayed because they want to carry on the journey that we’re on.”

Borland started the game in dominant fashion and Wembley’s right-back Andre Filipe Dias Reis had to be instructed by his manager as Wembley showed glimpses of promise down the right wing as Stansfeld struggled with their new 4-3-3 formation, having decided against playing their trusted 3-5-2 formation that served them so well in Step Six last season.

“Joe Borland was fantastic today, he had a brilliant game,” Phipps said of his left-back.

“We changed formation today as well. We normally play 3-5-2 but we’re missing some players, like I’m sure everyone is at this time of the year through holidays and other commitments, so we changed formation to 4-3-3.

“I think it took us a while to get used to it because we’ve played the other way for a long time. I think we got to grips with it better in the second half than we did in the first half.”

Borland whipped in a great cross from the bottom left channel into the box and Shinners jumped up to glance his header over the Wembley crossbar from eight-yards.

Shinners was originally listed on the substitutes bench but lasted the whole 90 minutes and was replaced by Jack Keen deep into injury time.

“We had an injury in the warm-up to Ryan Fowler so we had to change our starting line-up,” revealed Phipps.

“Ryan tweaked his groin in training on Thursday but we thought he’d be alright. He thought he’d be alright and he felt it again today so what you want from your players is honesty.  It’s disappointing because everyone wants to play in The FA Cup.”

Wembley failed to cause much trouble for Stansfeld’s keeper Cottrell, who comfortably picked up the ball following a counter-attack.

Stansfeld attacking midfielder Macey Malyon picked up a loose ball and drove forward on a 30-yard run before being tackled inside the Wembley half by Tag Rowe, who released left-winger Ben Lawson-Hatch but his left-footed scuffed shot from 30-yards lacked power and Cottrell wasn’t going to be beaten in the 25th minute.

Wembley wasted a glorious chance to snatch the lead on the half-hour mark.

Sefton found space just inside the Stansfeld half and his left-footed cross was flicked on inside the box by captain Fehmi-Gil and the ball came out to Rowe, who found a pocket of space close to the penalty spot before cracking a hooked volley high over the crossbar with his right-boot.

Wembley were shading the stalemate at this point but Stansfeld created a couple of goalscoring chances on the counter-attack.

Morley fed Whitnell, who hooked a pass out to right-back Sam Smith, who played the ball back inside to Whitnell. 

Malyon then swept a first-time shot towards goal from 25-yards, which was comfortably saved by a jumping Wealands in his midriff.

Smith then fed Whitnell, who showed his experience and decided against shooting from distance, instead of hooking a pass into an unmarked Day, whose shot on the turn from inside the D was saved at the second attempt by the busier of the two goalkeepers.

“It was the only two bits of football that we played in the whole half,” admitted Phipps.

“It went straight down the keeper’s throat, both of them but it was good football, good build-up but not poor finishes because they both hit the target, but both were routine saves from the keeper.”

Wembley almost grabbed the lead with 44:11 on the clock when right-back Gavin Osborne played a free-kick to Larrington, who travelled over the halfway line with the ball at his feet over the half-way line.  No Stansfeld player came out to press him so the centre-half cracked a left-footed drive crashing against the top of the crossbar from 45-yards out.

“Good strike! He did it a couple of times, he just stepped out from centre-half and just stepped in and we sat off because we didn’t go and engage and it was a great strike. I liked him, he’s a good player,” added Phipps.

The sun-kissed crowd of 154 hoped for a better second half and that is exactly what they got as Stansfeld improved their low tempo performance after the break.

Phipps said: “We knew fitness would play a part in the second half.  They might have thought going downhill in the second half might have suited them a little bit but we know we’re a fit side and a lot of teams who have played us over the last year or so would pay testament that we are fit and we expect a lot of work from our front boys.

“We just said to them ‘stay patient.’  We had a feeling it would come and it did.”

Stansfeld hit the crossbar for the first time in the 51st minute, following another well-worked move.

Day fed Shinners, with his back to goal, and he held the ball up with a man closely marking him outside the box and played a reverse pass out to Smith, who charged down the line before whipping in a hanging cross from the right towards the back post where the unmarked Milton stretched and looped his header against the top of the crossbar.

Phipps said: “If that’s Shinners there, that’s a goal all day long. If Ollie was a couple of inches taller it would’ve gone in.  He’s done well to reach it in fairness to him.  We were in control then so we felt fairly comfortable in the game.”

Shinners was there on the edge of the six-yard box to open his goalscoring account for the season in the 55th minute.

Malyon fed the ball to Milton down the left and he whipped in a superb cross with his left-foot towards the near post where Shinners cushioned down his header across the keeper and bouncing into the near corner.

“I’m delighted for Bill, really, really happy for him.  He’s worked hard in pre-season to get to a level of fitness where he can play a part and he certainly done that today, not just the goal, his hold-up play and his aerial play,” said Phipps.

“Ollie’s done fantastically well to beat the fella, cross with his left-foot but if you give Shinners a free header from six-yards then 99 times out of 100 he’s going to score and he did.  You could sense the relief when it went in around the ground.”

Dan Parkinson floated in a free-kick towards the far corner of the box and Shinners’ diving header screamed through a crowd of players and was comfortably saved by Wealands at his near post.

Stansfeld improved as the game wore on and struck the underside of the crossbar in the 66th minute.

Day played the ball out to Smith, whose first time cross from the right was flicked towards the far post by a Wembley head inside the box and Malyon cracked a hooked volley crashing against the underside of the crossbar and linesman Joe Alborough was adamant the ball didn’t cross the line as it bounced.

“People behind the goal said it didn’t go in, so when the linesman came down and he said ‘it weren’t even close,’ then it hasn’t gone in. It’s a shame because it wasn’t a bad move.  The nature of the football deserved a goal,” added Phipps.

Wembley were reduced to 10 men with 15 minutes remaining when referee Evans pulled out a red card after Larrington was sent off for a reckless last-defender challenge on Day just outside the D.

“Harry grew into the game as well. I thought he got better as the second half wore on,” said Phipps.

“It’s a reckless challenge.  Harry’s got a toe on the ball and the centre-half has cleaned him out, so you’ve seen them given as red-cards and you’ve seen them when they haven’t.  As soon as it happened its game over anyway.”

Dan Parkinson drilled a low right-footed free-kick towards the bottom near corner from 25-yards, which Wealands produced an excellent save to flick the ball around the post.

Phipps said: “A great save, a good save, very good save.  I think it took a nick of someone on the way through. It was a great save. He done well to get down low onto it and then flick it over the bar. It was a very good save.”

Wembley wilted in the heat as Stansfeld’s fitness told in the end as Bates moved Osborne into centre-half alongside Chris Allen, as substitute midfielder Henry Osei slotted in at right-back, with Ronnie Swash staying at left-back.

Stansfeld rattled in their third goal inside the final 10 minutes as the hard-working Milton played the ball into Malyon, whose shot was blocked by the onrushing keeper and seconds later the ball was worked out to an unmarked Day, who swept his right-footed shot across the keeper to find the bottom far corner from 12-yards.

Phipps was certainly impressed with Day’s attitude in the build-up to the game and his performance from Jamie Day’s son, who was on the fringes of the first team at Isthmian League South East Division side Cray Valley last season.

He said: “Good for Harry. I don’t think he would’ve expected to have started today but he trained really well in the week so we have rewarded him by playing him and it can work for you when you pick players and they score and it looks like you’re a genius. At other times you do it and you get hammered and you look like a fool.

“I thought Harry done really well.  He gives you fantastic energy. Youth will always give you energy and not only that he’s a very good player as well. He gets on the ball and runs with the ball and makes runs in behind and today he’s won the penalty. I think he won three or four free-kicks in the second half in dangerous areas so that shows you the threat he is because he’s had to get fouled.

“He is a very good player and we’re lucky to have him. It’s good to have him at the club.”

A ball over the top almost caught out Dan Parkinson, as he ran back in an attempt to prevent Reis to poke the ball straight at Cottrell, who rushed to the edge of his box to make a comfortable save.

Whitnell played the ball out to Smith (who whipped in some great crosses within the channel) and Day jumped up with Malyon at the near post and looped his header just over the Wembley crossbar.

Osei’s shot on the turn from 35-yards brought a comfortable save from the Stansfeld goalkeeper as Wembley hit another long ball along the deck.

Milton put the icing on the cake by scoring Stansfeld’s fourth goal, timed at 45:39.

Debutant substitute Greg Skinner robbed the ball off Fehmi-Gil inside the Wembley half and Shinners’ first time pass was swept out to Milton, who charged into the box, beat a couple of defenders before rifling his right-footed shot into the top near corner, giving Wealands no chance.

Phipps said: “He deserves a goal. Ollie has been fantastic in pre-season. He really has been good and he works so hard for the team.  A lot of what he does goes unnoticed. We notice it from the side. It’s a lot of thankless running a lot of the time. He’s scored and he’s got an assist today and he deserves it because he’s been fantastic and Shinners got an assist and a goal as well.”

When asked what his players gave to the cause in only their fourth FA Cup tie in the clubs history, Phipps replied: “Commitment, like they always do, fantastic will to win, even going behind.  It was a poor first half, it was just a poor game overall in the first half.  What they do, they give you everything and I sound like a broken record. I know they’re here because they want to be here and you can’t ask anymore from them.”

Stansfeld have banked £1,125 in prize money for their efforts.

“Everything that we earn just helps us to play at the level that we’re at. It’s not cheap as we all know so it will go into the fund.  I’m sure the treasurer will be delighted that we’ve got a little bit of money coming in and shared money from the gate.

“It’s a good day for the club again and we’ve had a lot of them over the last few years.”

Stansfeld play a couple of league games before their trip to Burgess Hill Town in the next round.

They travel to Ashford to play Kennington next Saturday before welcoming Welling Town to Foxbury Avenue on Tuesday 16 August before Phipps can look forward to a tough FA Cup tie down in Sussex.

“Tough, really tough but we’ll go and have a go like we always do.  We’ll get a coach down there, we’ll do our normal away day routine and we’ll go and give it a go and see what happens.  We’ll know it will be tough but we knew today would be tough and today was tough. It took us a while to get going but we’ll see how we’ll get on down there.”

Stansfeld: Charlie Cottrell, Sam Smith, Joe Borland, Ross Morley, Billy Parkinson, Dan Parkinson, Ollie Milton, Harry Day (Greg Skinner 87), Billy Shinners (Jack Keen 90), Macey Malyon, Tommy Whitnell (Jordan Downes 89).
Subs: Ryan Fowler, Josh Schoeffer

Goals: Dan Parkinson 13 (penalty), Billy Shinners 55, Harry Day 80, Ollie Milton 90

Booked: Ollie Milton 50

Wembley: Charlie Wealands, Gavin Osborne, Ronnie Swash, Daniel Sefton (Henry Osei 72), Chris Allen, Rowan Larrington, Ben Lawson-Hatch, Tag Rowe, Yassine Fehmi-Gil, Hayden McConnell (Facundo Barreto-Machin 90), Andre Filipe Dias Reis (Ali Mouajal 90).
Subs: Emmanuel Obamankindwa, David Elliott, Joshua Blaize-Carr, Zubear Hassan

Goal: Rowan Larrington 9 (penalty)

Booked: Yassine Fehmi-Gil 62, Gavin Osborne 68

Sent Off:  Rowan Larrington 75

Attendance: 154
Referee: Mr Joshua Evans
Assistants: Mr Joe Alborough & Mr Barry Cox