Welling Town 5-1 Lewisham Borough - There won't be too many results like that for Lewisham this season, insists Justin Fevrier

Wednesday 08th August 2018
Welling Town 5 – 1 Lewisham Borough
Location Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, London SE28 8NJ
Kickoff 08/08/2018 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Wednesday 8 August 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Bayliss Avenue

WELLING TOWN manager Richard Dimmock played down the title-favourites tag despite thrashing Lewisham Borough to reach the summit of the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table after only a couple of games at this level.

Lewisham Borough manager Justin Fevrier handed nine players their debuts as they kicked-off their new campaign tonight and they stunned their big-spending hosts by taking an early lead through striker Damarli Morrison.

Lewisham Borough squandered a couple of other chances to increase their lead but gave away a sloppy penalty, which was converted by Ryan Golding and from that moment Welling Town seized control.

Man-of-the-match, left-winger Enoch Adjei drilled in a second before the Boots rattled in three second half goals as Lewisham Borough produced a trademark collapse after showing promising signs during an impressive first half.

Adjei slotted in his second of the night, before Golding notched his fifth goal of the season by producing a Ricky Villa-esque goal (for Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City in the 1981 FA Cup Final), before super-sub Sam Bailey scored his second goal of the season after coming off the bench.

“First half I wasn’t very pleased with the way we started the game, very sloppy, very lazy but it’s taken Lewisham to score for us to liven up, that’s what’s disappointing more than anything,” admitted Dimmock.

“First half-an-hour, it was not very good to watch, they scored a goal but to be honest they could’ve been two or three-nil-up with the chances that they had. It’s taken them to score for us to liven up until we got the penalty. We scored the penalty to make it 1-1, we started to get on top and play our normal game.”

Fevrier said was feeling “devasted” after losing his first game in charge of Lewisham Borough.

“It was a good experience.  I’m devasted that we didn’t come away with anything,” he said.

“We’re still gelling and it’s the first game that we’ve had together as a group, so it’s good to see there are some positives in there, like the passes we created.

“Welling are a very good team. We know that they will never give up and that’s exactly what they did, they never gave up.  They got back into the game and grew stronger and we just have to react to this and go into Saturday’s trip to Lydd Town and take all the positives with us and get a better result.

“There won’t be many teams like Welling in this league”

Welling Town clearly underestimated Lewisham Borough during the early exchanges, considering their visitors finished last season second-from-bottom in the table after suffering 30 defeats from their 36 league outings.

A big kick straight down the middle by Jack Moore played in Adjei, whose right-footed flick was palmed away by Shawn Alfred’s left-hand, as the keeper moved to his left, the chance coming after only 149 seconds.

Dimmock said: “Enoch’s been superb pre-season. Last week he caused problems and the same tonight.”

Fevrier said: “Shawn is a really good keeper, that’s why he is here.  I’ve known Shawn for quite a while, he’s still raw, still some bits we can work on with him. He’ll be one of the better goalkeepers in the league this season.”

But Lewisham Borough then seized control and Welling Town produced a couple of sloppy moments in defence.

Dominic Elmes gave the ball away to Kamuru Ogunkoya, who drove into the penalty area and forced Moore to palm the shot around his near post as he dived to his right.

Loose defensive play by Peter Smith saw him lose the ball to Morrison some 30-yards out and this gave the Lewisham Borough striker the licence to run into the box and after a poor initial touch which took him too wide, he kept composed to steer his left-footed shot across the keeper to find the bottom far corner from a tight-angle ten-yards out as Lewisham Borough lead with seven minutes and a second into the game.

“He’s a striker whose well-travelled, he’s played in the Bostik League. He knows where the goal is,” said Fevrier.

“Gutted he didn’t get a second for us but he’ll get goals for us. We create loads of chances, so I’ve got no doubt he’ll get goals for us this season.”

Dimmock said: “A mistake from our skipper, not sharp enough on the ball. He got caught out, no one told him ‘man-on!’  Their guys come in and nicked the ball off him in on goal, 1-0.

“It was very open, end-to-end stuff really. They’ll ne at their end, we’ll be at ours, basically watching a tennis game.”

Adjei dominated Lewisham’s 18-year-old right-back Tyrelle Thomas all night and proved to be Welling Town’s big attacking threat.

“I wouldn’t say struggling, Tyrelle is going to be one of the best right-backs in this league, without a doubt,” insisted Fevrier.

“He’s only 18, the whole pre-season, no forward or attacking player has given him trouble.  Enoch Adjei is a good player.  We spoke to Tyrelle about him before the game.  I felt because we spoke too much about him before the game, he was a little bit too cautious and he didn’t really play his game, but you’ll hear a lot about Tyrelle.”

Right-winger Lamarl Hubbard launched a deep cross, which Elmes easily beat Thomas at the far post but all he could do was stab his shot from eight-yards into Alfred’s hands for a comfortable save.

Adjei ran on the outside of Thomas and flashed his shot across the keeper and struck the far post with a shot from 18-yards.  It was an open end-to-end encounter which was eye-pleasing for the crowd of 145 at Bayliss Avenue.

“I expected that because Welling play football and so do we,” said Fevrier.

“I know a lot of people don’t know much about the Lewisham team because the Lewisham of old wasn’t really a footballing team, but we would definitely be an entertaining team this season.

“I felt we were a little bit cautious and didn’t really play our game because of the magnitude of the game.  It tend to turn into a cup final feel for us, maybe I think when we settle into the season, you’d start to see our better football and better results.”

But Lewisham Borough should have doubled their lead in the 15th minute and the miss proved costly.

Holding midfielder Justin Hemmings swept a sublime ball straight down the middle to put Morrison in on goal but Moore earnt his money by coming off his line swiftly to make a vital block.

Fevrier said: “It was an excellent save.  The keeper did well today. I feel like Welling’s goal was charmed today because we peppered that goal today and only one went in and on another day that will be six or five.”

Dimmock was full of praise for his busy keeper Moore.

“He’s saved us enough times last season. He was superb again tonight, he made a few decent saves tonight to keep us in it.”

Hubbard swung in the home side’s second corner of the night in the 17th minute but all centre-half Chris Mirrlees could do was plant his towering header straight into Alfred’s hands from six-yards out.

Three Lewisham defenders failed to stop Raheem Chentouf and Hubbard linking up down the right and Dwayne Morris’ poor clearance from within his channel went straight at Ricky Hepburn, who played a short pass down the side of the penalty box for Golding, who flashed his shot past the far post from a tight angle.

More poor defending from the home side gave Lewisham their third clear-cut chance in the 26th minute.

Alfred launched a big kick and a mistake by Welling Town’s left-back Chris Weber let in left-winger Darren Titre-Wilson and his fierce drive was palmed behind the near post by Moore’s strong right-hand.

Fevrier said: “Another excellent save! I’m not sure how much he could’ve done. He hit the target and he hit it low and hard. The keeper made a great save. Again, on another day that’s going in the bin so I’m not going to get into them when I get inside (the dressing room), only positive stuff. It’s our first game as a group together and on another day we’re taking five away from the game!”

Dimmock added: “Another silly mistake.  We just kept getting caught out, not quick enough on the ball. At this level you’ve got to be doing things quicker. We need to learn quickly at this level you can’t mess around on the ball.”

Everything was going well for Lewisham Borough, that was until 16-year-old midfielder Archie Todd committed footballing suicide.

Todd helped a struggling Thomas and doubled up on Adjei and as the Welling winger was heading towards the edge of the penalty area rather than the goal, the teenager tripped the tricky winger and referee Ronald Albert pointed to the spot.

It broke Lewisham and they weren’t the same team after that clumsy piece of defending.

Goalkeeper Alfred punched the crossbar three times in an attempt to put off the taker but Golding slotted his right-footed penalty into the bottom right-hand corner as Welling Town equalised with 28 minutes and 40 seconds on the clock.

Dimmock said: “Enoch was absolutely crucifying the right-back all night so as soon as we got the ball to him, I knew he was going to cause problem tonight and once again Ryan Golding is on the scoresheet.  A very good pen, very confident.”

Fevrier said: “I’m not sure if you’re aware, we had a 16-year-old playing as well, Archie Todd and I thought he was superb on the half-turn finding passes.  Not many people would know that we had a 16-year-old at 10, which is a luxury position and trust him. We trust him.

“That’s when the tide turned.  I didn’t speak to him about it because he’s not a defender, he doesn’t do any work in defence, so it was an attackers tackle.

“He chased the ball into the area to try to recover it, he was doing the right things, he meant well but he went in from behind and gave away the penalty.”

The goal was certainly against-the-run-of play.

“Absolutely, that was Lewisham’s half and we let them back and I had to take responsibility as well because we had Kamuru Ogunkoya playing alongside Archie to start off with and then I pulled him back once we scored so it was more of a negative move than a positive move. We invited the pressure. I’m still learning as a manager myself and I said to them at half-time that was my mistake, I take that one and we’ll move on.”

Weber ran down the line, Adjei played a pass inside to Hepburn, who swept the ball out to Hubbard, who cut towards the right by-line but his low shot was blocked by the keeper’s legs and the ball was cleared to safety.

Dimmock said: “Once we got the first goal we started opening them up after that.  Lamarl had a great opportunity. I thought he should’ve scored really to make it 2-1 but the keeper made a great save.”

Hubbard swept a ball towards the edge of Lewisham’s box and Golding used his chest before clipping his shot into Alfred’s hands.

Welling Town opened the floodgates by scoring their second goal with 38 minutes and 39 seconds on the clock.

Hubbard’s run took him to the byline and he wrapped his foot around the ball to deliver a deep cross, which sailed over to Adjei in acres of space.  He took a touch before drilling his right-footed shot around the keeper to find the top far corner from 15-yards.

Dimmock insists the impressive Adjei will ignore the seven-day approaches and stay at Welling Town.

“Great ball from Lamarl and a great touch from Enoch, great first touch and just fired home,” said Dimmock.

“I’m confident he will stay. I spoke to him in the summer and he’s a player that wants to settle in a side and play in a successful side so hopefully this year we can do that and win a cup or be up there chasing for promotion.”

Fevrier added: “I think at this point heads were down.  My players knew they were the better team because we were the better team, even though the scoreline, we were the better team in my opinion.  At that point it was just the boys not reacting and just a little bit deflated. Some of the boys fitness kicked in as well, struggling with fitness.

“I’m not too worried about the result.  I think the result was not a fair result. Welling were very clinical with their chances and I think the most chances they had, they scored.”

Adjei teed up Elmes, who flashed his right-footed drive from 30-yards past the foot of the left-hand post, although Alfred had it covered as he lowered his right-hand as he stepped to his right.

Both managers were asked their thoughts at the break.

Dimmock said: “I came in and had a go at them, really laid into them.  I told them you haven’t gone out and done exactly what I said so I told them to start getting on the ball and moving it quicker, press higher up the pitch because we weren’t doing that enough.  To be fair to them they came out in the second half, they pressed high and got in their faces and we’ve got the ball down and started playing our game.”

Fevrier said: “We went with the positive stuff.  We just highlighted the areas that were crucial.  We spoke to our centre midfielders about getting tighter and told them to keep doing what they were doing. It will come and go out and win the half, nothing left anything to say because they played really well first half.”

Thomas improved his game during the first 15 minutes of the second half and his desire to get back on his line to clear in the sixth minute denied Golding flicking the ball over Alfred, who got fingertips to the shot, but that delayed the inevitable as Thomas’ poor pass was intercepted by Golding, but all he could do was roll a 20-yard shot into Alfred’s hands for a comfortable save.

Lewisham Borough had to score the next goal to prevent the collapse and they agonisingly struck the post in the 59th minute.

Todd produced a sublime diagonal pass to release right-winger Mario Quissaca, who drilled his right-footed shot past Moore only to struck the right-hand post and watched Moore catch the ball some 15-yards from his goal-line.

Fevier said: “We spoke to Archie at half-time. We said to Archie ‘you will find a pass for us’, he did!  A pass, an excellent run from Mario.  There’s not much more he could do. He hit the target, the keeper weren’t getting there, he was beaten and it hit the post so another day, that’s going in!”

Dimmock added: “I think that’s the only chance of the second half they had really. We just switched off for a couple of seconds and it nearly cost us.”

Mirrlees played the ball out of the Welling defence and Adjei’s flicked pass released Golding, but his left-footed swept shot from 16-yards was comfortably caught by Alfred.

Welling Town killed the game off by scoring a third goal, timed at 18 minutes and 47 seconds.

Adjei picked the ball up in midfield, drove forward 30-yards before playing a crossfield pass out to Chentouf on the right.  His low cross was controlled at the near post by Hubbard, who put the ball on a plate for Adjei to place his right-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner from 15-yards.

Dimmock said: “It was a great move, a very good move that ended in a goal.  The last half-hour we were causing them all sorts of problems.”

Fevrier admitted: “At this point Welling are finding a couple of gears now, started to enjoy themselves and we were dropping off, trying not to concede rather than trying to go forward. At this point in and around the box they’re very clinical and we know they’re going to get the goals, we spoke about it.  I expect them to do that every game they plan in, they’re a really good team.”

Lewisham Borough called upon Dorian Smith and he had a couple of chances, one was a weak shot from 30-yards, which rolled into Moore’s hands, before he spooned his shot over the bar after being set up by Morrison.

“Dorian Smith is going to be very crucial for us,” explained Fevrier.

“He needs to work on his fitness, which is why we didn’t start him.  He’s so composed on the ball, he’ll find passes. He was signed (in January 2008) by Alan Pardew at Charlton from Tooting & Mitcham. It didn’t work out for him, I’m sure he was a little disappointed by it and he lost love of the game.

“When he heard Troy Ferguson and I were involved here, it was a very easy conversation to have with him and he said ‘get me fit and I’ll get you results.’

“Archie will learn a lot from Dorian.  We’ll keep them paired in training and get Archie to pick up little things from Dorian and Dorian will be an important player for us this season.”

Welling Town brought Bailey on and his pace was threatening down the right and his game was to cut inside and drive a couple of left-footed low drives, which was gathered at the near post by Alfred.

“Sam’s another player I brought in, in the summer from Cray Valley.  He’s young, still learning but since he’s come in he’s been a player whose been absolutely superb for us. He came on, on Saturday and scored and he’s come on tonight and scored.”

Welling Town, who beat relegated Rochester United 6-3 at the weekend, notched their fourth goal tonight, timed at 34 minutes and 51 seconds.

Adjei used his pace to stride forward before he played the ball into Golding’s feet on the edge of the penalty area.  He shielded the ball from his marker, twisted and turned his way through four defenders before sweeping his shot into the bottom left-hand corner from eight-yards.

Dimmock said: “It reminded me of the Ricky Villa goal for Tottenham against Man City in the 1981 FA Cup Final. That was exactly what it reminded me off tonight.

“Ryan Golding wanted to come back a week early in pre-season, he’s lost a stone in weight, he looks very sharp and he means business this year. He’s told me (his goalscoring target this season is) 25 plus.”

“It’s very difficult to applaud another teams goal but it was a really good goal,” said Fevier.

“I swore at my defence to allowing him to score that goal but it was a really good goal, good feet, it was composed and he hit the back of the net and at that point they’re really enjoying themselves now.”

Bailey kept plugging away, though and the former Cray Valley man, got on the scoresheet by scoring the fifth goal, timed at 41 minutes and 17 seconds.

Substitute Grant Brown was inside his own half when he pinged a 60-yard diagonal and Bailey’s first touch was sublime before drilling his shot across and past the keeper from 16-yards.

Dimmock said: “Absolutely fantastic touch and he deserved a goal.  Since I brought him on tonight he was causing problems as soon as he got the ball and running at pace.”

Fevrier said: “I watched Welling’s game at Rochester on Saturday and one of the things I pulled out of that game were the diagonal passes and I felt we done well with that in the game.  One or two times they did that and they got in behind and that was one of them.”

Lewisham Borough are at the foot of the table after just one league outing and they travel to Lydd Town on Saturday.

Frevier said: “I’m not concerned by that at all.  All the teams in our league have had 5-6-7 pre-season friendlies and we’ve had four, should’ve had six but games were being called off because you know what and we’re a week or so behind everyone else so I’m not concerned by that.

“I expected our fitness to drop a little but we’ll catch up.

“There won’t be too many results like that for Lewisham this season. I know historically that’s what Lewisham is known to be but not this team, not at all. 

“We’ll let this one go and we’ll kick-on, learn from it and you’ll see more positives results than negative results this season, without a shadow of a doubt.”

Welling Town host Greenways here on Saturday and are the team to beat in this division this season.

Dimmock said: “I can’t complain. It’s a great start but we need to be focused. It’s a tough game on Saturday against Greenways, who have come up the same as us so we need to be focused on Saturday.

“I’ll be working on the backline at training tomorrow night, there’s a few things we need to work on like being more solid in the first 10 minutes but I can’t complain about the start we’ve had.

“People can say what they’ve got to say but at the end of the day the league to me is open. Anyone can win the league this year but over the years when you look at the sides that have won it, they’ve been consistent.  If we’re consistent week-in-week-out, I can’t say we’re going to win it, I can’t say we’re not going to lose it. It’s up to us how we perform really.

“It will be a tough league this year, it really will be a tough league.

“We’ve had a very good crowd for our first home game. It’s good for the club, fantastic for the club.  Compare to where I started at Long Lane with hardly any crowd at all, playing in the SCEFL First Division with 145, it’s just a fantastic achievement for the club.”

Welling Town:  Jack Moore, Raheem Chentouf, Chris Weber (Mehmet Piro 61), Peter Smith, Chris Mirrlees, Chris Page, Lamarl Hubbard, Ricky Hepburn (Sam Bailey 67), Ryan Golding, Dominic Elmes (Grant Brown 61), Enoch Adjei.
Subs: Jacob Kalonda, Dan Wells

Goals:  Ryan Golding 29 (penalty), 80, Enoch Adjei 39, 64, Sam Bailey 87

Lewisham Borough: Shawn Alfred, Tyrelle Thomas, Dwayne Morris, Justin Hemmings, Richard Blackwell, Benjamin Jones, Darren Titre-Wilson, Archie Todd (Dorian Smith 65), Damarli Morrison, Kamuru Ogunkoya (Pascal Durr 81), Mario Quissaca (Hanif Boyle 72).
Subs: Charlie Scrivener, Tom Kember

Goal:  Damarli Morrison 8

Booked: Mario Quissaca 55

Attendance: 145
Referee: Mr Ronald Albert (Catford, London SE6)
Assistants: Mr Kevin Greenhead (Bexleyheath) & Mr Teddy Osborn (Bromley)