Tunbridge Wells 0-1 Greenwich Borough - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS
TUNBRIDGE WELLS 0-1 GREENWICH BOROUGH
Wednesday 16th August 2006
Stephen McCartney reports from Culverden Stadium
Greenwich Borough climbed to the top of the Kent League table following their resilient single goal victory at Culverden Stadium tonight.
Tall striker Hussein Budak, who came into the side for caretaker player-manager Peter Garland, opened his account for the Harrow Meadow side after 32 minutes.
He rose to glance Peter Smith’s right-footed free kick from the right and saw his header float through James Simpson’s fingers and into the far corner.
Greenwich Borough, who lost manager Chris Cosgrove and his assistant Gary Davies, who both resigned three weeks before the season started, got their campaign underway with a 1-1 draw at Sevenoaks Town on Saturday.
And tonight they sit proudly on top of the tree with four points from two games, and host VCD Athletic, yet to play a game, at Harrow Meadow on Saturday.
“I imagine VCD is going to be our toughest game,” admitted John Kasapi in an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with www.kentishfootball.co.uk after the win.
“They’re always an excellent, well organised side but we’re a fit team and we’ve got fast players that might hurt them,” he warned.
“It’s our first home game of the season, I don’t think VCD have had a game yet because their first game (at Faversham Town) was cancelled but we need to get something from the game and if we do, we’ll be looking to push on.”
Borough should have opened the scoring after 12 minutes but Meshach Nugent was denied by Simpson from close range.
But Tunbridge Wells tried their luck from distance with Wayne Balmer and Danny Nicholls blazing shots high over the bar before Sam Phillips’ shot rolled to visiting goalkeeper Michael Holder after the visitors failed to clear Balmer’s corner.
Budak, meanwhile, drove a right-footed shot past the near post before Dave Hassett, a summer signing from Tunbridge Wells, fired into the side netting after running past Simpson after latching onto tiny striker Ben Yiadom’s defence splitting pass.
But Budak was there to head that all decisive goal, and the rest of the game was spent keeping hold of what they had.
Tunbridge Wells’ play, meanwhile, was predictable with Aaron O’Leary launching long throw after long throw into the penalty area, but Borough defended resiliently.
The one time that they were breached by this method was eight minutes into the second half.
O’Leary’s throw was flicked on at the near post by tall figure Ben Hilden and Nicholls’ smashed a shot against the crossbar.
Character Bradley Mortimer, who was dishing out plenty of banter towards his former team mate Hassett from the bench, came closest to levelling the scores when his left-footed drive flashed past the right upright minutes after coming on after Wells made a double substitution.
Yiadom blazed his free kick high over Simpson’s crossbar after 68 minutes.
Nugent, meanwhile, shot from distance, on the counter attack, but Simpson got down low to block the shot but the flag was raised before substitute Lee Anderson could deliver the sucker punch.
Despite piling on the pressure late in the game, the closest Tunbridge Wells came was when Alex Rich’s angled drive was tipped over by Holder.
Kasapi, whose had a reign as manager at Borough two years ago before being forced to step down due to knee problems, was pleased that his side were top of the table.
He said: “Pity it wasn’t end of April really! We set out for four points from our first two games. We felt we’d probably get a point here tonight if we played well but we’ve done really well and got three.
“Quite an even game, pretty hectic last five minutes when we just hung in there really. We had a bit of luck but overall we deserved the win.
“We’ve done a lot of pre-season, they’re quite fit our side, probably need to improve when we get the ball but they worked hard and stuck at it but when you’re winning people try harder.
“I think if we were losing 1-0 can we see the same effort, that will be looking for when we go behind?”
But Kasapi revealed if he didn’t have a pre-match discussion with their goalscoring hero, the game might have finished goalless.
He said: “Funny enough I spoke to him before the game because it’s his first game and I haven’t really seen him play.
“I’ve not seen him play apart from in training. We was going to get him back for free-kick’s but he told me he could head it so we changed it and put him up for it and he scored a header!”
Whilst Greenwich Borough are celebrating being top of the table, life at Tunbridge Wells isn’t so great presently.
Manager Martin Farnie saw his side lose 2-0 at much-fancied side Thamesmead Town on Saturday, and are now bottom of the table with no points, having failed to find the target after 180 minutes of league football.
He was obviously upset following the game, swearing three times during the interview, which initially he didn’t want to partake in.
But he did threaten to wield the axe if performances - and results - don’t improve.
Beckenham Town, who lost 2-1 to Erith & Belvedere at Eden Park Avenue on the opening day of the season, visit Culverden Stadium on Saturday.
“I’m just really disappointed with them,” he raged. “I’ve got them in tomorrow night for training - I’m not accepting that performances from them.
“If they don’t liven up I’m getting some more in - they’ll be out. Simple as that!” he warned.
“I can’t have that! Two performances that were too wishy-washy. Not enough people bringing their game to the party. I’m just really disappointed with them.”
It was, however, a different story on 29th July when Tonbridge Angels were defeated by four goals to two to land the Courier Cup for the very first time outright.
Farnie, who missed that game due to holiday, said: “As I keep saying to everyone that was a false dawn and all that. But I knew that we will struggle if people didn’t come here on a Saturday or a Tuesday night or a Wednesday night and pull their b*****ks out and tonight we ain’t performed at all - I am livid with them!”
But Farnie refused to name the players that let him down, but warned: “I’m not naming players, I’m just saying as a collective side, there weren’t enough effort.
“There weren’t enough spirit and there wasn’t enough b*****ks about us tonight - I’m really disappointed with them!”
And at this moment in time, facing Beckenham Town next, Farnie can’t see them picking up any points if his players have the same attitude as they did tonight.
He said: “Another tough one! They’re all tough but if we don’t pull our fingers out we’ll be f****ng three games, three losses.
“If we don’t pull our fingers out we’re going to be in trouble straight away from the start of the season.
“I didn’t envisage this to be honest. I thought we’d get something out of the two games but obviously we haven’t so we have to work harder and they’ve got to realise it ain’t no easy stroll.
“I’m in the process of looking for players at this moment in time. I need a team at the moment that can win!”
Tunbridge Wells: James Simpson, Jason Bourne, Ben Hilden, Michael McKeown, Sam Phillips, Wayne Balmer (Ross Campbell 72), Aaron O’Leary, James Graham (Bradley Mortimer 66), Danny Nicholls (Chris Stoate 66), Joe Fuller, Alex Rich.
Subs: Symon Stickney, Albie Barton.
Greenwich Borough: Michael Holder, Peter Smith, Danny Tipple, Richard Radbourne, Dave Waters, John Samuel, Shane Sutherland, Meshach Nugent, Dave Hassett (Lee Anderson 85), Hussein Budak, Ben Yiadom.
Subs: Dean Walker, Abdelhalim El-Ferdi, Peter Garland, Chris Hubbard.
Goals: Hussein Budak 32
Referee: Mr A Rawlings (Orpington)
Assistants: Mr M McLean (Marden) & Mr R Edmunds (Maidstone)
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