Thamesmead Town 3-1 Jersey - I don’t think the local community here realise what a lovely facility or what a good side they’ve got here, says Thamesmead Town boss Terry Spillane

Saturday 01st August 2015
Thamesmead Town 3 – 1 Jersey
Location Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, London SE28 8NJ
Kickoff 01/08/2015 15:00

The Peabody Trophy
Saturday 1st August 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Bayliss Avenue

THAMESMEAD TOWN boss Terry Spillane says it feels fantastic that their family fun day attracted a crowd of 200 to watch their comfortable 3-1 victory over Jersey.


This was the first time that Jersey have played a game in the United Kingdom but they were easily defeated by a Thamesmead Town side that finished in 13th place in the Ryman League Division One North last season.

Tyrus Gordon-Young opened the scoring after eighteen minutes before Spillane’s side went in at the break 2-0 up through Theo Fariweather-Johnson.

Jersey pulled a goal back through striker Rupert Murray, before Gordon-Young capped off an impressive performance up front by scoring his tenth goal of pre-season to clinch the inaugural The Peabody Trophy, which was sponsored by the club’s landlords and owners of their ground, The Peabody Group.

Spillane admitted that he was disappointed with his side’s slow start as Jersey started the game on the front foot.

He said: “It was a pleasing result, obviously. I think the first 20 minutes we was taught a bit of a lesson, they put it on us so fair play to them. 

“As the game went on, as I expected, we actually got stronger. These boys have been together for quite a while now. The football we played was excellent at times and some of the goals we got was excellent as well, so I was really pleased with the way the game’s gone today.”

Jersey’s central midfielder Jake Baker floated in a free-kick into the penalty area where Calvin Weir ghosted in at the far post unmarked to poke his left-footed volley across Andy Walker and just past the far post after only 142 seconds.

Jersey striker Zeljko Martinovic the cut in from the left and stroked his left-footed shot into Walker’s gloves from 25-yards.

Thamesmead Town’s opening chance, however, arrived inside eight minutes.

Striker Michael Uwezo played the ball inside to Derek Duncan, who was given time and space to drill his left-footed shot sailing harmlessly over the bar from 30-yards.

Thamesmead’s back four protected Walker for the rest of the first half as Jersey’s attempts on goal came from outside the box.

Spillane said: “I just think they had a lot of the ball. They kept the ball well. We started off with a 4-2-3-1 (formation) and they were just pinging the ball around us so we changed to a more familiar 4-4-2 and that stopped that to a certain extent.

“I thought their number six and number eight (Thompson and Baker), without a doubt, made them tick and they was good for them for the first 20-25 minutes but once we stopped that I think we showed our class and ended up worthy winners.”

Chris Andrews cut in from the left and Walker dived low to his left to make a comfortable save as the winger hit a low daisy-cutter with his right foot from just outside the corner of the penalty box.

Thamesmead Town central defender Jack Barry twice went close from scoring with headers from corners.

Jersey defender Nathan Strzelecki trod on the ball outside his penalty area and Uwezo pounced on the mistake and fed Gordon-Young through on goal, but his shot looped off Weir and sailed just past the right-hand post.

Duncan swung in the resulting corner towards the near post where Barry planted his free header just past the near post.

Thamesmead Town broke from a Jersey corner when Gordon-Young raced with the ball from box-to-box and played the ball inside to Fairweather-Johnson, who was denied by a fine saving tackle from Jersey right-back Kamen Nafkha.

Duncan swung in another corner, this time towards the far post and former Romford skipper Barry headed just wide for a second time.

Thamesmead Town were enjoying a good spell of possession and Duncan played the ball inside from the left to Uwezo, whose right-footed curler from 30-yards stung the fingers of Jersey keeper Ewan Van Der Vilet, who caught the ball above his head.

Thamesmead Town deserved their 18th minute lead.

Richard Butler was inside the Mead half when he clipped the ball through the heart of the Jersey defence and Gordon-Young sped past Strzelecki and Weir and produced a clinical right-footed finish, drilling his shot across the keeper to find the bottom far corner.

“Tyrus is on fire at the moment,” said Spillane.

“When he’s on that form he’s unplayable and to be fair to him he got four the other night (in an 8-0 home win over Eton Manor) and he’s got two today.

“He’s enjoying his football, he’s injury free, he loves the way we’re playing and he’s a Thamesmead boy isn’t he? He’s been here for quite a while so yes he’s a handful is Tyrus.”

Good wing play from Jersey’s Chris Andrews set up a chance for the unmarked Oliver Thompson, but the talented midfielder cracked a right-footed drive from 30-yards, which deflected into Walker’s hands for a comfortable save.

Thamesmead Town created another chance as the game edged towards the halfway point of the first half.

Gordon-Young was released down the left channel and he cut the ball back to Duncan, who played the ball into Uwezo, who saw his effort flash across the keeper and just past the far post.

Jersey created a decent chance in the 27th minute when Nafkha and Strzelecki and left-back Steffan Kermin played the ball in their half and the ball was hit up towards the edge of the box to Murray, who knocked the ball down for Andrews to smash his right-footed volley over the bar from 20-yards.

But Thamesmead Town finished the first half in complete control on a sunny day at Bayliss Avenue.

Right-back Michael Aziaya ventured forward to crack a right-footed angled drive towards goal from 20-yards, which forced Van Der Vilet to reach up to palm the ball over the bar.

Duncan delivered the resulting corner from the left and the ball dropped kindly to Gordon-Young, who blazed his shot over the bar from eight-yards.

The Mead hit Jersey on the counter-attack when Kermin’s cross was headed away by Aziaya, and Uwezo played a sublime long ball with the outside of his right boot inside the Mead half to release Gordon-Young, who cut inside Strzelecki but his right-footed curler from 20-yards was comfortably caught by the Jersey keeper.

But Van Der Vilet could not prevent Fairweather-Johnson burying home the second goal after 41 minutes following a sweeping Thamesmead move.

Gordon-Young was released down the left again and he played the ball inside to Uwezo, who played a first time reverse pass to put Fairweather-Johnson through on goal and he was given time and space to drill his right-footed shot past the diving keeper to find the right-hand corner of the net from 10-yards.

Spillane was full of praise for his three attacking players that were involved in the move.

He said: “Those three names are big players aren’t they?

“Theo’s come in three or four weeks ago, he’s not fit yet so we always knew what a player we’ve got on our hands there!

“Theo was here a few years’ ago. He’s played Conference South football with Welling, got them promoted, so he’s just a quality player, not only on the pitch but off the pitch as well. Theo is fantastic in the changing room and he’s settled straight in.”

Gordon-Young was again released down the left channel and he did well to cut along the by-line to leave Nafkha embarrassed before slipping the ball across the face of goal but Jersey received a slice of luck when Weir tried to play the ball from within his six-yard box, but Fairweather-Johnson’s ricochet looped into the keeper’s hands.

When asked about his thoughts at the interval, the Mead boss said: “At half-time we always knew we’ll make a lot of changes today because it was a hot day etc and we were going to give people minutes.

“At half-time I was really pleased with us. The disappointing thing was the first 20-25 minutes because I did think we gave them too much respect really. Maybe respect’s the wrong word. I don’t think we imposed ourselves on the game as I’d liked us too.

“When people come to Thamesmead, the first thing I want them to think is we’re in for a battle here and the first 20 minutes we didn’t really press high enough and we didn’t win enough of the second balls so that was mentioned at half-time – but really more of the same.

“We was going to make changes. People were going to come on with pegs in square holes - so it was a good learning curve for a couple of the younger players as well.”

Both teams made just the one change at the break. Jersey made a change in goal with Jose Figueira coming on, while Marc Corbell made his Thamesmead Town debut in the heart of defence, replacing Aziaya.

Corbell switched off as Jersey created a great chance inside 28 seconds when Martinovic slipped the ball through to Baker, but Walker, the former Harlow Town keeper made a great agile double save.

Good play by Uwezo beside the right corner flag saw him dance past Kermin and cut along the by-line before rolling the ball across the face of goal to find Gordon-Young at the near post and his shot was gathered by Figueira.

But Jersey gave themselves a lifeline when they capitalised on a defensive shake-up in the 53rd minute – moments after Barry hobbled off with an injury to his right knee.

Andrews played the ball inside from the left wing and Murray buried his right-footed drive into the left-hand corner from 20-yards.

“They caught us off-guard a little bit there,” admitted Spillane.

“Jack’s ok, there’s no serious injury there. It was a precautionary measure there taking him off, he’ll start next week.

“We chucked a young kid on Ainsley (Everitt), put Theo right-back, who’s not a right-back obviously and Theo should have really put the ball in row Z! He’s tried to be a little bit clever and the boy’s nicked it off him and scored so disappointed with that but that’s something that wouldn’t normally happen so I won’t read too much into that.”

But Thamesmead Town extinguished any sign of an unlikely Jersey fight-back by reclaiming dominance.

Butler unleashed a right-footed drive from 25-yards, which was destined to fly into the top left-hand corner of the net but Figueira pulled off a world-class save by diving high to his right to push the ball over his crossbar with a strong right hand.

Spillane said: “He’s an unsung hero over here, he’s one of those players, like our number four today (Lewis Dark). They do so much work throughout the team, they go un-noticed.

“But’s has got that in his locker. In training, on penalties, he always comes out on top. I know that’s only training, but you’ve still got to be there and do it!

“The goalkeeper’s pulled off an absolute worldy there ain’t he! That was a fantastic save!”

Corbell was to be denied a goal on his club debut when he sent his downward header past the near post from six-yards after another well drilled corner routine, taken by Duncan.

Thamesmead Town killed off the game with a third goal in the 59th minute.

Uwezo released his strike partner Gordon-Young in behind the heart of Jersey’s defence and the striker flicked his right-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner from 15-yards.

Spillane said: “Does what Tyrus does! Those two are almost telepathic. They just know what each other’s going to do and I think that was a perfect example of it.

“Michael and Tyrus are forming a formidable partnership at the moment. Michael is not a big talker and nor is Tyrus to be fair. They’ve showed they just know their game inside out and all the training and coaching they’ve been doing together and are used to playing.”

The Mead went close to increasing their commanding lead in the 66th minute.

Lewis Dark played a short corner to substitute winger Nathan Koranteng and his cross was cleared out to substitute Ainsley Everitt, whose right-footed drive screamed just past the left-hand post from 30-yards.

Thamesmead Town got through 18 players today and three captains as Duncan, Butler and Gordon-Young wore the captain’s armband during this prestigious international friendly.

Another chance went begging for Thamesmead Town as the game entered the final 20 minutes.

Walker’s big kick straight down the middle of the pitch was flicked on by Gordon-Young and Uwezo latched onto the ball but dragged his shot across the keeper and past the far post.

Spillane said: “We created a lot of chances today, which in the cold light of day in 24 hours’ time I’ll probably have more thoughts on that.

“For friendlies everyone say results don’t matter, which is rubbish! You want to win. I want to win every game so the pleasing thing is we created a lot of chances.

“The other side of that, the unpleasing thing is we didn’t take the chances today but we’ll get that right this time next Saturday, I’m sure we will.”

The home side produced another sweeping move and Gordon-Young’s back flicked pass was curled around the far post by substitute left-back Jay Porter.

Jersey almost grabbed a second goal with fifteen minutes remaining.

Weir’s diagonal pass brought a mistake from substitute left-back Porter and this gave substitute Keiran Lester a chance as he cut into the penalty area but Walker dived to his right to prevent Lester lashing in a goal.

At the other end, left-winger Koranteng’s left-footed angled drive was well held by Figueira, diving low to his left.

Jersey were to be denied in the 80th minute when Baker stroked his left-footed free-kick over the four-man wall from 19-yards (inside the D) but Walker was in the right place to palm the ball away.

Spillane praised his 33-year-old shot-stopper, who has previously played for Bromley, Maidstone United and Cray Wanderers among others.

“Fantastic goalkeeper. He made a save in the second half when we was 3-1 up from a free-kick that was outstanding!

“He’s the wrong side of 30 now, he won’t mind be saying, but he’s as fit as you like. He ain’t got an ounce of fat on him and he trains so hard. It’s unreal! I’ve never seen a goalkeeper train like him so we expect that of Andy but all the same when he makes saves like that he deserves all the applause and the pats on the back he gets.”

Substitute Everitt played the ball into Koranteng, who cut inside his marker but lacked the finish, blasting his left-footed shot high over the bar from 15-yards.

Good wing play from substitute Baff Addae set up Koranteng, who hit an angled drive from outside the box that bounced into the keeper’s hands.

And former Sheppey United attacker Addae looped shot on the turn just past the far post from 20-yards at the end of an impressive attacking display from the men in green and white hooped shirts.

The official crowd of 200 was Thamesmead Town’s largest since the 305 that watched their shock 4-1 win over Maidstone United in the Ryman Premier League in January 2014.

“Obviously the occasion was fantastic,” added Spillane, whose players were asked for autographs by young fans and Gordon-Young gave away his boots and shin pads after the game.

Spillane said: “We win, which is always measurable in my opinion. The young boys that played, young Ainsley Everitt, Bode Anidugbe, what a player he is.  Nathan Korangteng came on and showed what he’s all about and some of the football we played, some of the passing and moving that we played on that pitch was fantastic.”

Spillane hopes The Peabody Trophy is not the only piece of silverware that the club collect this season.

“The boys are having a sing and a dance in the changing room as you heard. I said to them before the game there’s a trophy and medals at stake today – that’s what you’re in football for, regardless whether it’s a friendly or whatever, that’s what makes winners and I’m a winner and those boys in there are.”

The Mead close their pre-season campaign with a home game against Essex Senior League outfit Clapton on Tuesday night (7:45pm).

Thamesmead Town open their Ryman League Division One North campaign with a trip to Heybridge Swifts next Saturday (3:00pm) and Spillane hopes the fans here today turn out in force when Thurrock visit Bayliss Avenue on Monday, 10 August (7:45pm).

A family of four can purchase a season ticket at Thamesmead Town for only £30 – that’s £1.30 per family per league game or just over 30p each per game!

Spillane said: “I don’t think the local community here realise what a lovely facility or what a good side they’ve got here.

“By us having days like this can only do good for the club. It’s a fantastic feeling to look round and see the stand full up and seeing everyone clapping us off at the end and it was a nice touch by our players.  They’re not used to having that big crowd here and they joined in.

“We’d like to get that sort of figure every week. That’s a long way off, of course, but it ain’t a bad start today.”

Thamesmead Town: Andy Walker, Michael Aziaya (Marc Corbell 46), Tommy Spillane (Jay Porter 61), Lewis Dark, Jack Barry (Ainsley Everitt 53), Farai Hallam, Richard Butler (Bode Anidugbe 69), Derek Duncan (Nathan Koranteng 61), Tyrus Gordon-Young, Michael Uwezo (Baff Addae 71), Theo Fairweather-Johnson (George Benner 57).

Goals: Tyrus Gordon-Young 18, 59, Theo Fairweather-Johnson 41

Jersey: Ewan Van Der Vilet (Jose Figueira 46), Kamen Nafkha, Steffan Kermin, Calvin Weir, Nathan Strzelecki, Oliver Thompson (Craig Russell 56), Jason Andrade (Charlie Payne 61), Jake Baker, Rupert Murray, Zeljko Martinovic (Keiran Lester 68), Chris Andrews (Francis Lekimamati 64).

Goal: Rupert Murray 53

Attendance: 200
Referee: Mr Graeme Ions (Tonbridge)
Assistants: Mr Piotr Zachwieja (Chatham) & Mr Tony Fennelly (Chislehurst)


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