Copyright © All rights reserved. Made by CWD
Saturday 08th August 2015: Crockenhill 5 Forest Hill Park 3
Saturday 15th August 2015: Crockenhill 4 Eltham Park 0
Saturday 22nd August 2015: Crockenhill 1 Bearsted 2
MATCH REPORT from Liam Kelly (Crockenhill FC Manager)
Today saw the visit of obvious title contenders Bearsted. Having finished runners up last season we knew it would be a very difficult game. We set up in our usual manor with an excellent warm up and the team full of focus. I must say credit to the guys for fully adopting john and i's tactics this year and for giving us their full attention whenever it is asked.
The game started lively with the majority of chances falling the Bears way but the wind was proving very testing for the crocks and causing clearances to hold up. It was infact the wind that should prove to provide an assist for the 1st goal as Bearsted forward Nick Nowotny sent a floating ball across the face of goal but wi d assisted to curl it perfectly round Bobby Sturgeon when it had no right to do so. So 1st half the game plan hadn't worked going forward but we had at least prevented the visitors from creating many chances and went in 1-0 down to a worldy/fortunate goal. There was no need for panic stations just yet as we went in 1-0 at the break.
So the 2nd half was underway and the crocks really did get at Bearsted fuelled by the knowledge that we now had the wind on our side we created several chances, albeit half chances that on another week we may have converted. We got the breakthrough though on 58 minutes when Teddy Johnson converted from a rehearsed corner play. A well taken header to add to his excellent display at the back.
The introduction of Nick Clark-Ferreira added additional pace but our choice of pass was generally wrong this afternoon and frustration crept in as we looked to point blame and deflect responsibility as individuals.
We were however easily the better side in the 2nd half as we pushed until late in for the winning goal. We could have parked the bus and went for a point but we were so much in the ascendancy that if anyone was to score it would be us. However in a cruel twist of fate Nick Nowotny rose at the back stick as Rilwan Aminu was doubled up to head home a late late winner.
Overall it was a good match and very even, we've come along way in a short time and still finding our feet and building relationships spirit and morale. John and I do not regret parking the bus today as we feel 'our desire to win is greater than our fear of losing' a mentality that will prove for an entertaining season. Very proud of the team just a shame to lose in such a way.
B.Sturgeon, I.Nicholas (sub 84' C.Brown), S.Robinson, T.Johnson 58'⚽️ , R.Animu, Ry.Cullen, K.Dalrymple, J.Liverpool (sub 82' C.Bhandal), A.McCallum, C.Hewett (y/c), Re.Cullen (y/c, sub 56' N.Clark-Ferreria)
Bench: N.Clark-Ferreria (on 56'), C.Brown (on 84'), C.Bhandal (on 82')
Subs not used: D.Frondigoun, J.Bourke
Saturday 29th August 2015: Bridon Ropes 1 Crockenhill 1
After last weeks disappointing finale to the bearsted game and the further disappointment of missing out on a midweek game at thamesmead whilst the pitch is still looking good, (albeit contrary to the minority's belief we are very proud of Sevenacres achievement) we had to pick up some form of result today.
We prepared well with the welcome of Dave Smith to the coaching side of the team. His warm up was spot on and the return of Nicky Hegarty certainly added colour to the dressing room.
A nervy start, almost panicky at times had several chances fall to Bridon as we failed to contain their full backs. We ran our hearts out in the midfield but the we were just almost 2nd best to every ball and not enough solid challenges going in. Credit to Bridon they really were the strongest side in the 1st half.
We gifted them their goal with an obvious penalty which was saved well by Bobby Sturgeon and put away by George Maddocks the initial taker on the rebound as we all just watched rather than following in!
That lack of focus had to be addressed and the half time talk gave us the opportunity to discuss their approaching full backs and clear a few things up. We are learning as a team and still getting things right, position wise.
The 2nd half was a much better display by the crocks, Bridon still had their chances but we're never beating our in form keeper Sturgeon.
The introduction of Daniel Turzonek and Josh Liverpool added a bit more spice and bite after the hard work of the other two in the 1st half and our game and gameplan started to work. Their fullback struggled to get forward and we created many more chances. With shots from Turzonek smashing the wall and keepers fingers. Finally we get a corner and our well worked move had Teddy Johnson and Aaron McCallum at the back stick competing with each other but for Teddy to head over the bar. Our goal game after good pressure and Reece Cullen drilling home a cracking goal and a better celebration.
We continued to press but Bridon were dangerous on the break so when Josh Liverpool went down with a mystery injury Rilwan Aminu dropped into the back line to help shore things up. Both teams had chances to win the game late on but a draw was, seemingly in our opinion only, a fair result.
Without sounding like Brendan Rogers, we did show great character today and the goal celebration showed that with the whole team involved. It's moments like that we all play football for and this team gives john and I a whole heap of pride. Just a note on Josh Liverpools mystery injury. Apparently he has suffered a crushed testicle (ouch) and has had an emergency operation to remove it on the evening of the game. This is at the moment not 100% confirmed from Josh but from a slightly intoxicated Aaron McCallum. Let's hope it wasn't as serious as that and Josh is back in business soon. Thanks to Physio Laura Hawkins for your care of josh today.
B.Sturgeon, I.Nicholas, C.Brown, T.Johnson, N.Clark-Ferreria, Ry.Cullen (y/c), K.Dalrymple (sub 55' J.Liverpool), C.Bhandal (sub 46' D.Turzonek), A.McCallum, C.Hewett (y/c), Re.Cullen (y/c, ⚽️ 69')
Bench: D.Turzonek (on 46'), J.Liverpool (on 55' off 78'), R.Aminu (on 78')
Subs not used: D.Smith, Jeff Adekunle, N.Hegarty
Monday 31st August 2015: Crockenhill 0 Orpington 2
After a spirited performance on the Saturday vs Bridon we found ourselves up against Orpington on the bank holiday Monday, a side we have seen preseason and on the opening game. We were optimistic about getting a result against our closest derby opposition.
With a good warm up and a change to the formation we assumed they would set up with a 433 and push their full back forward. We didn't expect the 352 but for the most of the game we are not threatened. We went in at half time 0-0 in a stalemate half which saw limited chances. All too lax our attitude was. We didn't take it seriously enough and I feel used the change of formation as an excuse for the limited chances.
The only notable chances of the 1st half saw wide shots and air kicks and we didn't exploit what we thought would be our best chance to score by putting dead balls on top of the keeper.
Coming out from the break we decided to put Daniel Turzonek into the midfield in a bid to find that creativity we missed and he started brightly opening up the Orpington defence for Craig Hewett to snatch wide across goal.
We than switched off when a long goal kick was misjudged and the ball was controlled after the second bounce by Orpington forward Josh Froggett who in turn calmly evaded all our defenders committing themselves in an attempt to save a goal before he slotted home. 0-1 down and disaster as the Os totally bought another free kick when the Orpington player tangled in the heals of Rilwan Aminu. Regardless we have to switch on better.
Orpingtons Dan Aktopova hit a hard and accurate free kick around the wall which when marking his man Kevin Dalrymple got the slightest of flicks which lifted the ball just over both sets of players and into the top far corner.
We reverted back to our normal shape and created a few more chances but other than Sonny Robinsons shot off the bar we didn't look a threat.
Not good enough today from some of the lads, not enough work ethic, there's players in the club not getting the same opportunity and it's not right on those that don't work hard enough. We lost today in a game of chess where both teams changed formation in a bid to outplay each other. Simply put Orpington won in a game between two very even sides.
B.Sturgeon, R.Aminu (sub 62' D.Frondigoun), S.Robinson, T.Johnson, N.Clark-Ferreria (y/c), Ry.Cullen (sub 46' D.Turzonek), I.Nicholas ©(sub 84' N.Hegarty), K.Dalrymple, A.McCallum (y/c), C.Hewett, Re.Cullen
Bench: D.Turzonek (on 46'), D.Frondigoun (on 62'), N.Hegarty (on 84')
Subs not used: D.Smith, John Bourke
Saturday 05th September 2015: Glebe 1 Crockenhill 2
So another Saturday and another opportunity to get the squad together, bonding and continue to become a team. This time we face the undefeated Glebe FC at their state-of-the-art Foxbury Avenue complex. And Wow what a job they've done down there! Fantastic reception received by the chairman Rocky and coaches Peter and Ian.
It's safe to say we needed to put the record straight after Monday's dismal display vs Orpington, we can't have that level of performance as we were our own worst enemy that day and Orpington took full advantage. But today boy, was the shoe on the other foot! And boy does it feel good. The only sour of today was we picked up too many bookings. But these were wisely managed during a tedious second half.
So onto the game.
We started the 1st 10 minutes like I've never witnessed before. We were terrible, just terrible, if we made one good connection I'd be shocked but a quick break away saw the crocks awarded a free kick on the edge of the box and after a long scuffle and a few handbags where a couple of players were luck not to see cards. We wasted our free kick into the trees.
Next came the most talked about moment of the match when Glebe scored a well placed header into the bottom left corner of the goal for it to bounce out after hitting the stantion, I didn't see it but more importantly neither did the referee or his nearby assistant, but our body language was enough to tell me we escaped an obvious goal.
A few half chances and a penalty appeal not given when Reece Cullen was felled by the on-rushing Glebe keeper which would have meant a penalty and dismissal so from that point on I see it as mistake corrected.
Then on 36 minutes a Crocks corner was dealt with by the Glebe defence only for the ball to come straight back in to the back post where Kevin Dalrymple guided the ball loftily back across the goal into the far corner. We were 1-0 and feeling great.
Glebe continued to threaten however Bobby Sturgeon was in fine form marshalling an energetic back line to see us through to half time, by then we had lost our bite with the referee clearly frustrated with the players shouting and calling for everything, and subsequently booking poor old innocent Nicky Hegarty for one of his more clumsy challenges.
So for only the 2nd time this season we went in at half time leading the game. An unfamiliar situation but one we needed to control. We felt the situation would be against us in the 2nd half and we wasn't wrong.
We went out and did some doggies as we didn't want the HT break to take our heart rate down we had to start strongly and that we did! Another corner by Reece Cullen was again dealt with by the Glebe defence but they didn't follow the ball out as Reece was able to put it back in for Teddy Johnson to double his seasons tally from close range much to the travelling supports delight! 0-2 to the crocks with 47 on the clock.
Early in the 2nd half we lost another middle man to a booking followed by a centre half. We couldn't make any more challenges, so Nicky Hegarty had to make way for Camen Bhandal who came into the game with vigour as he made one superb challenge after another and settled the guys for the next 15 minutes when now Glebe had us on the ropes with some sustained pressure. This pressure greatly helped by the official that at this point seemed to be giving everything. Glebe had a set play and headed home easily putting us under it with 23 minutes of normal and what must be 8 minutes of stoppage time left. But for the that final half hour all the boys played with spirit and heart and can be proud of themselves as they held on for a good victory against a very good outfit who's budget would be the envy of many teams in the league above.
Overall a fantastic day for the club, a fantastic atmosphere brought through from the training pitch on Wednesday and the knowledge that 'hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard' not saying Glebe didn't work hard but the might Crocks worked that much harder! Some great performances out there today that will live long in my memory!
B.Sturgeon, D.Frondigoun, S.Robinson (y/c), T.Johnson ⚽️57', N.Clark-Ferreria, Ry.Cullen (y/c), I.Nicholas ©, N.Hegarty (y/c) (sub C.Bhandal 49'), K.Dalrymple ⚽️36', A.McCallum (y/c) (sub D.Smith 88'), Re.Cullen (sub C.Brown 81')
Bench: C.Brown (on 81'), C.Bhandal (on 57'), D.Smith (on 88')
Subs not used: C.Vincent, J.Liverpool
What a difference a week makes in football. The script was written the minute we won the previous game. It is impossible to expect our team to go out a perform two weeks in a row. I had already prepared myself for a team that would go out and think they had the game won before kicking a ball.
We lacked passion, commitment, leadership, hunger and composure. Fuelled by an overconfidence that had no right to be present.
You don't become a good side on the back of one result, it comes from a consistent level of performance regardless of the result. Today proved we are not a good side! Not yet! We will get there and today was a learning curve for us but we WILL get there.
Few chances for either side in the 1st half and some standout situations that needed resolving come half time. The best chance of the half and the game fell to Ryan Cullen that produced an amazing reaction save from the Rusthall keeper. Besides that nothing much about our play to write about. We were defensively sound but failed to provide the service for the forwards and offered nothing until the final 15 minutes when we were a fringe more dangerous.
Overall a clean sheet and a point. A point more than we deserved really. The lads need to shape up before visiting the slick passing of Phoenix Sports next week.
B.Sturgeon, D.Frondigoun, S.Robinson, D.Raggett, N.Clark-Ferreria, Ry.Cullen, I.Nicholas ©(sub C.Bhandal 46'), N.Hegarty (sub T.Johnson 78') , C.Brown (sub J.Roche), A.McCallum, Re.Cullen
Bench: J.Roche (on 61'), C.Bhandal (on 46'), T.Johnson (on 78')
Subs not used: D.Smith, J.Bourke
Saturday 12th September 2015: Crockenhill 0 Rusthall 0
Today we face a Phoenix Sports reserve side who have picked up a bit of a reputation for being a slick passing side and have dominated their matches so far but have on occasion had trouble finding the net. We today they had Ryman players Yacine Ganhore and Chin Mckenzie to boost their fire power and defender Lewis Mingle to shore up their defence, all down from their extremely talented 1st team.
We started the game after another sharp warm up but as early as the 1st minute Phoenix found opportunity to get a shot st Bobby Sturgeon, however despite the ball being firmly in both hands and in his chest Mckenzie felt he had a fair chance to get it but unfortunately broke one of Sturgeons metacarpal bones. Without a sub keeper on the bench for the 1st time this season captain Iain Nicholas steps off the bench to sand in the sticks.
On the 25 minute mark we made a breakthrough however with Ryan Cullen showing those who missed Kevin Dalrymples Glebe goal exactly how it was done with a perfect carbon copy looping the ball back across the keeper into the net. Well done Ryan as that's his 1st goal in 756 appearances for the club with 604 of those being a striker.
A poor penalty was given away by Sonny Robinson only 5 minutes later but stand in keeper Iain Nicholas showed great anticipation but diving to Mckenzies left and smothering the ball, again the striker believed he could still get there and Nicholas got a reminder to the back of the head as to why keepers shouldn't turn away from the attacker.
We then conceded on the 35 minute mark after his heroics for the penalty a deflected Gnahore shot rolled over both feet of Nicholas and into the net.
With the game on a knife edge and the referee missing a bit there were some tempers being frayed but the lads did well to hold it all together.
A few chances in the remainder of the 1st half and very few in the 2nd both teams held out for a draw.
In summery it's now three games unbeaten and we remain unbeaten away from home, an excellent start to their season overall but we are rueing what could have been if we had applied ourselves better in the last two games.
B.Sturgeon (sub I.Nicholas), D.Frondigoun, S.Robinson, T.Johnson, N.Clark-Ferreria, Ry.Cullen © ⚽️ 25', C.Bhandal, N.Hegarty, A.McCallum, D. Raggett (sub C.Hewett) , Re.Cullen (sub K.Dalrymple)
Bench: I.Nicholas (on 1'), C.Hewett (on 52'), K.Dalyrmple (on 57')
Subs not used: D.Smith, C.Brown
Saturday 26th September 2015: Pheonix Sports Res 1 Crockenhill 1
After last weeks debacle of a week the whole squad were keen to move on and put events behind us, also to add a bit of perspective as Lewisham visited Wested for this Kent Invicta League match. The perspective came from the recent news that one of Lewisham Boroughs players recently died after completing a charity run. This sad news does seem to put all your trouble into perspective and both clubs honoured a minutes silence with the crocks voluntarily wearing black bands as our own mark of respect.
The game took a little while to settle as we tried to emulate the intensity from the previous week. The squad was a little short after the recent departure of Camen Bhandal and transfer of club captain Iain Nicholas to next weeks opposition Gravesham Borough. Plus the injuries to Bobby Sturgeon, David Smith and Nick Clark-Ferreira, great to see them all at the game supporting the rest of the team. It's players like that that make a club.
With neither team creating much in the 1st half it was difficult to watch as the frustration started to creep in, the defence were coping well but the distribution lacked quality, the midfield had great workrate but weren't winning their personal battles and the forwards looked skilful but lacked the work ethic needed to play the system. We did create a few chances notably from free kicks well won by Reece Cullen but we failed to hit the target all too often. It felt like it was going to be one of those days but the deadlock was finally broken by Joe Roche on his 1st start for the club, heading the ball home trough a crowd of players on the second attempt, (video in the gallery section) we went in mostly untroubled by the Boro forward line during an lacklustre first half.
With the discussion in the changing room that we wasn't playing bad, nor playing good, it was important that we picked up our game or risk being caught out by Lewishams very quick and clever forward line. And low and behold a dubious free kick awarded against Carl Brown resulted in a driven ball across the box. Normally any defending team would be organised and on their toes ready to meet and attack the incoming ball, not us, not today, the only way to describe our attempt to defend this cross is 'STATIONARY' ! Not one crock moved and the smallest player on the pitch ran straight into the ball unmarked and easy header, Connor Vincent was left so exposed it was embarrassing.
With time now not on our side and the way we were playing, I tried to recall all the superstitious things I must have done wrong that day to warrant another 'Rusthall and Orpington' performance. It just wasn't happening.
Time for some fresh impetus, we moved Raggett up top and brought Sonny Robinson on, and also introduced Josh Liverpool back to the team after his horrendous circumstances that left him sidelined since the Bridon game. This gave us a new direction as Josh Liverpool became the provider for the two following goals.
First his great turn made space in the box for Dave Raggett to bag his 1st for the club and shortly after getting to the byline to cut back for Danny Frondigoun to also get off the mark this term and to also cap a fantastic personal performance.
We seen the game out well moving Raggett back into the defence to 'park the bus' so to speak but we're still able to create the odd chance.
Overall it just shows that no matter which team you play in this league, if you switch off or turn up with the wrong mentality you'll soon find yourself behind in the game. We are 9 league games in with 28 to go. That's 28 games that need to be played like cup finals. Players are coming and players are going, that's just football. The important thing is that John, Smithy and I, take the club forward and put the club 1st. Onwards and upwards! COY🐊
C.Vincent, D.Frondigoun ⚽️81', D.Raggett ⚽️69', T.Johnson, C.Brown, Ry.Cullen ©, K.Dalrymple, N.Hegarty, A.McCallum, D. Raggett, Re.Cullen (sub 56'), J.Roche ⚽️37'(sub 59')
Bench: J.Liverpool(on 59'), S.Robinson (on 56'),
Subs not used: J.Bourke, N.Clark-Ferreira, D.Smith
Subs not used: D.Smith, C.Brown
Saturday 03rd October 2015: Crockenhill 3 Lewisham Borough 1
As all too often this season a good result is followed with a bad one, this however was a bad result but a good performance, we were much stronger as a team and ultimately undone by some questionable officiating and poor marking from set pieces.
We started the game brightly with very a few chances down our left flank as Carl Brown proved he has a bit about him going forward too linking up very well with Aaron McCallum but Craig Hewett finding himself in the right position mostly however not really getting a clear cut chance.
Gravesham were awarded a very soft penalty for holding a shirt during a corner and the player threw himself to the ground. The referee bought it and booked Carl Brown also taking the edge out of his game. Dan Bradshaw made no mistake and put the ball in the net comfortably. In previous years this would be the air for the floodgates to open the previous season Gravesham won 8-1 home and away, this season sees a Crocks side with a never say die attitude and while lot of heart!! We had a chance to go in even in what would be one of only 3 chances to score in the match when Hewett beat the offside trap and was clear through and with pace to burn you expect nothing but a 1 on 1, round the keeper for an easy goal but Hewett felt pressure from the defender and shot early from distance safely into the keepers hands.
We came out in the 2nd half and gave the title challengers a good run for their money with two half chances falling to Hewett but he narrowly hit wide. We conceded again late on in the half when another dubious decision awarded Gravesham a free kick outside the keepers left of the box, the ball was driven in and flicked by the Gravesham midfielder to Bradshaw to slide in from an offside (self-admittedly) position.
The only other point to note in the game was the late substitute appearance from this seasons ex-crocks captain Iain Nicholas who we suppose only got on due to sentimental reasons, and his only contribution was to get himself booked by deliberately kicking the current skipper Ryan Cullen in a disgusting act of embarrassing jealousy. I don't expect he will last long at Gravesham.
All in all a much better performance just the wrong result against a strong bullish side that will likely go up in 1st or 2nd place this season. We must galvanise and move on to Wednesday's fixture vs Forest Hill Park
C.Vincent, D.Frondigoun, S.Robinson, T.Johnson, C.Brown, Ry.Cullen ©, K.Dalrymple (sub 87), A.McCallum (sub 50), D. Raggett, Re.Cullen (sub 65), C.Hewett
Bench: J.Liverpool (on 65'), J.Roche (on 50'), N.Clark-Ferreira (on 87')
Subs not used: J.Bourke, D.Smith
Saturday 10th October 2015: Gravesham Borough 2 Crocks 0
I don't know why it is but whenever the game is to be played at the Ladywell Arena half the team can't find the place and the other half are late! It was the typical pre-match warm up for a midweek game hampered further from the restriction of footballs being prohibited until 30 minutes before kick off, baring in mind we should be out 10 mins before kick off and that the pre match talk and squad had to be named meant we had less than 10 minutes warm up with the ball. The fact we had three enforced changes due to muscle injuries might have something to do with it, plus two further muscle injuries that we hadn't enough subs for.
We started terribly! Almost as bad as we did in the Glebe game! Forest hill took a deserved lead after failing to clear a corner their forward took the ball well on his chest making space for himself and struck a hard half volley at Connor Vincent's goal through a melee of players but the pace of the ball meant Connor could only get a finger to it. As FHP pressured further there was a looming worry with the sense that further goals would come. And they did, but they came to the Crocks! A free kick from distance was hit in at the 1st time of asking by Craig Hewett netting his 7th of the season (including the one at AC London) and this shortly followed by some lovely play and a weighted pass from Dan Frondigoun into the path of Josh Liverpool to dispatch perfectly past the onrushing FHP keeper Jean-Jaque. A fine goal and certain contender for goal of the month!
So we went in at half time 2-1 up and if we were able to withstand some early pressure we would be ok but we were struggling with the lack of warm up as Teddy Johnson and Kevin Dalrymple were feeling the cold and teddy shortly had to come off, without Dave Raggett, and Carl Brown already at left back, we perhaps wrongly dropped Kevin Dalrymple back into the back line, a position we know capable of him. His muscle injury however deteriorated and as soon lost a goal through some sustained pressure and good FHP ball work. This was again the case as Dalrymple went down injured from being kicked in the heal when clearing the ball, he tried to play on but was caught out with his lack of mobility due to the injury and FHP took the lead. This meant the return of Nick Clark-Ferreira from injury a little earlier than we would have liked but he came through the came unscathed.
Their third goal gave us the kick up the backside we needed and put the pressure once again on the FHP team. Having read their match report at the time of writing this it is no surprise the lack of detail in the last 20 minutes but basically 4 yellow card for time wasting were shown and we missed and penalty and were denied 2 more to add to an incident at 2-1 where the last defender stopped the ball going in with an outstretched arm. But we had our chance to take something from the game wether we deserved to is another matter.
We go down again with two losses on the bounce, but our lads are strong and resilient and are fully aware this is a long term project. We won't be put out by the odd bad performance.
Come on you CROCKS
C.Vincent, D.Frondigoun, S.Robinson, T.Johnson (sub 58) , C.Brown, Ry.Cullen ©, K.Dalrymple (sub 62), J.Liverpool ⚽️, Re.Cullen, C.Hewett ⚽️, J.Roche (sub 52)
Bench: A.Kempster (on 58'), N.Clark-Ferreira (on 62')A.McCallum (on 52')
Subs not used: J.Bourke, D.Smith
Wednesday 14th October 2015: Forest Hill Park 3 Crocks 2
The Crocks took on APM in the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy away at the home of Kent football - Cobdown. And were without several of the 1st team squad in the form of Hegerty (sus) Hewett, Dalrymple, Sturgeon, Raggett, and Re Cullen (all Inj). We also have minor injuries to Teddy Johnson and David Smith.
With this said the Crocks still went into the game with a good changing room atmosphere knowing that our squad is comfortable whoever played and buoyed by the arrival of the Kempster brothers Ashley and Steven from AFC Mottingham and Meridian VP respectively.
We started the game well creating a few good chances and not long into the game some good work on the left seen the ball cut back to Aaron McCallum to turn his player and put the ball into the keepers bottom right hand corner.
We had to concentrate as APM are a well drilled outfit who can mix their style of play up well. We conceded shortly after taking the lead when a good cross from the APM full back Morrison found the very dangerous number 9 Ed Morant to head in at the far post even with two players marking him.
We struggled to settle after the setback but got ahead again with another well worked goal this time for Joe Roche to net his second for the Crocks this season. We had to hold the lead into the break but on the stroke of half time a dubious decision to give a free kick to APM meant another perfect delivery this time for APMs Mike Russell to head home.
A very even game and echoes of Wednesday's leading game thrown away were obviously on the players minds. But in the 2nd half we dug in deep and took the lead again with just a minute of the 2nd half on the clock, again good hard work by the forwards leading to Aaron McCallum to net his second of the game from close range! We just had to keep our shape and not concede silly free kicks in dangerous places and their obvious threat was in the air, especially without Dalrymple and Raggett we lacked presence in the box both attacking and defending set plays.
What happens next? A silly free kick given away in a dangerous area and yup you guessed it another headed goal from a good delivery. Poor marking on the crocks part. Something we will be need to work on.
Teddy Johnson again has to come off with a reoccurrence of the injury that seen him substituted against forest hill but this time it was Carl Brown that took the CB role. And did a fine job.
With 15 to go the crocks new forward Steven Kempster closes down and deposed the APM skipper to cut the ball back for Mccallum to complete his hat-trick unmarked. With the score now 4-3 we sacrifice the hard working Kempster for Dave Smith who added the height to the midfield in the holding role and he did very well defending the large number of balls back into our box.
We held on for a 4-3 victory and for once were the team that played the most attractive football with lots of compliments from the spectators.
Overall John and I came away very happy with a good spirited team performance. Some things to work on as we've been shipping goals of late but we've also created more which is encouraging.
Just a small matter of Sheppy Utd today in the league! Come on you Crocks!!
C.Vincent, D.Frondigoun, S.Robinson, T.Johnson (sub 65) , N.Clark-Ferreira, Ry.Cullen ©, A.Kempster, J.Liverpool, S.Kempster (sub 75), A.McCallum ⚽️⚽️⚽️, J.Roche ⚽️
Bench: C.Brown (on 65'), D.Smith (on 75')
Subs not used: J.Bourke, K.Dalrymple, R.Hackett
Saturday 17th October 2015: APM Constrast 3 Crocks 4
The squad was buoyant following a good result against APM in the Kent Senior trophy which rewarded us with a home fixture against Homesdale from the SCEFL on the 28th of November, a fixture we all will now look forward to. So we went into today's game without Steve Kempster who was clearly a factor in the win against APM. We are still missing Bobby Sturgeon for selection and have released Craig Hewett from the club. We approached the game believing we would also be without Dave Raggett also as we clearly missed his height against APM but boosted by news Nicky Hegerty has completed his suspension and Kevin Dalrymple had declared himself fit again.
We played well in this very tight affair matching the Money of Sheppy with the Might of the Crocks. There were a few chances either way during the opening third but we fell behind in a dubious offside call where once crocks target, Andy Constable, was left 'onside' and the crocks defence stood still as he walked towards Vincent's goal and put the ball round him. We switched off really and waited for what we obviously thought was an offside call but it didn't happen and we went in 1-0 down.
We come out in the 2nd half and still nothing between the sides, as rare chances fell mainly to the crocks.
Sheppey however did have a probable goal ruled out for offside so that evened things up in our eyes.
We keep plugging away and the impact of Reece Cullen and more notably Kevin Dalrymple from the bench seemed to add something to our game. Anyway we got the equaliser with a good cross into the box from Dalrymple and headed downwards into the keepers right corner for the equaliser.
We were good for a point but we did ease off and not put the game to bed. Maybe a hard and unnecessary challenge in the midfield angered the islanders and gave them the desire to net a winner, many e that and our inability to clear out lines, we panicked as Sheppey netted at the death to maybe steel the points. A draw on reflection would have been fairer.
Overall our struggle with consistency continues, it's a mind game and we need to sharpen that side to our game. We've added spice and goals but we've started to ship a few too, we need to address it.
C.Vincent, D.Frondigoun, S.Robinson, T.Johnson, N.Clark-Ferreira, Ry.Cullen ©, A.Kempster, J.Liverpool (sub 76), D.Raggett (sub 75), A.McCallum ⚽️, J.Roche (sub 65')
Bench: C.Brown (on 76'), K.Dalrymple (on 75') Re.Cullen (on 65')
Subs not used: N.Hegerty, D.Smith,
Saturday 24th October 2015: Crocks 1 Sheppey United 2
A trip to Kent Football United is always a difficult day out and none today was no different.
Another week where the squad needed some tough decisions and none tougher than when you leave your skipper out. He handled it like a pro and understood that it was for the collective good of the team.
With Nicky Hegerty suspended next week it was important he got his start after being left out last week.
We didn't start well at all. But that's the common theme for us this season. We aren't focused from the kick off and find ourselves coming from behind far too often. At 2-0 down and playing crap we really needed some of the lads to step up. We got a penalty which Aaron McCallum scored well after a hand ball in the box from a corner.
We really didn't create enough and we don't take advantage of oppositions reckless challenges particularly in the box.
The lads came out he 2nd half without the same enthusiasm that we've seen from the lads over recent weeks. We had to change things up. We put on Dalrymple and S.Kempster in a bit to add more nite to the front line. McCallum and the substitute Kempster immediately combine with a lovely 1-2 and neat finish to make it 2-2 and I felt we had them now after that great comeback but no, we concede two more in quick succession in basically some horrible defending and giving the opposition too much time.
With 87 minutes on the clock and the score 4-2 we were probably destined for what we deserved- nothing! But in a headloss moment KFU defender throws a punch at Teddy Johnson for no apparent reason. This was missed by the referee but spotted by the assistant whom all had good games today. The player following his dismissal went for teddy again as he left the pitch. By which time the referee awarded the penalty.
Aaron McCallum steps up for his hat trick but the keeper saves well and all hope is lost, OR not!
We combine well on the left and get awarded another penalty as we pile on the pressure. This time nobody can prize the ball from Steve Kempster who makes it 4-3 with his 1st goal for the Crocks. And then with the crocks throwing everything at the KFU box Steve Kempster saves the day with a certain goal of the month contender as he bicycle kicks the the ball back across the keeper and into the far corner in the 92nd minute of the game.
We push for the winner but with literally 1 minute left we had to settle for a draw.
Overall a point gained rather than two lost as we literally didn't deserve anything from the game. We need to sharpen up and sort it out.
Off to the Club Halloween party tonight !!
C.Vincent, D.Frondigoun, S.Robinson (sub off 40') T.Johnson, C.Brown, N.Hegerty, A.Kempster (sub off 54') Re.Cullen, J.Liverpool, J.Roche (sub off 66'), A.McCallum ⚽️p⚽️
Bench - N.Clark-Ferreira (on 40'), S.Kempster (on 54') ⚽️p⚽️, K.Dalrymple (on 66')
Unused Ry.Cullen, D.Smith
Saturday 31st October 2015: Kent Football Utd 4 Crocks 4
This wasn't the typical pre match routine from the crocks today. There was constant uncertainty on wether the game would actually be played, and untypically late timekeeping from a few of the lads which didn't help preparations.
This was the 1st game of my ban, but unlike the actual Jose, this one was allowed within the stadium, I kind of wish I wasn't.
After what appeared to be a good warm up, hard to tell without going over there. The crocks lost the toss and were awarded with kicking with the wind. Uncommon tactic deployed by APM as they used this half to deny the crocks and waste as much time as possible knowing that they could reduce the amount of playing time considerably by deploying a 2 ball system. Regardless of how much time an official puts on it will never marry up with what was obviously wasted.
Well four good chances were spurned and a feeling just 1 going in would have changed the game slightly. Very good saves by the APM keeper formally of staplehurst. APM were not without their own chances as they rocked the bar when left unmarked as the crocks failed to show any conviction in this match.
The consensus in the stand was that crocks had wasted their best and only chance of a result in this game by failing to take a firm control in the 1st half.
The second half kicked off and phenomenally there were now 6 balls in use and 4 people dotted around the crocks end to get the balls back quickly and speed up the play.
A fine move by APM got their half off to a flier as their midfielder ran half challenged across the face of the goal after some neat build up play and calmly put it past Conor Vincent's sprawled left arm.
All of a sudden the ball boys had disappeared and only 2 balls were available again much to the obvious frustration of the away players as this form of 'legitimate cheating' is quite unfair. Despite being literally yards from the Kent FA HQ!
We go further behind as Vincent comes for a cross and makes a hash of it. A poor decision I'm sure he will admit and now we are two down against the wind and conditions. Managers Bourke and Dalrymple don't see the solution so reward the players who were waiting their runout and set the shape to 4-3-3
Three more goals fly past us including two own goals as we collapse for the 1st time this season and it's the 1st time a team of mine has given up.
I failed to watch the last goal and last 10 minutes out of embarrassment and we need to take measures to address it.
This goes down as the worst result this season and obvious injuries and suspensions not being so we would have given a better account of ourselves. It's a shame that the RESPECT seminar hasn't had the desired effect on some of the teams. Or maybe it was just aimed at respect towards match officials. Either way what we witnessed today and vs Forest Hill both since the meeting has been a shame. We failed to prepare properly today and got the hiding we were due. Losing players like Robinson, Raggett, Dalrymple and Hegerty will always weaken a side but we should show enough character not to collapse, this is what will be addressed.
C.Vincent, D.Frondigoun (sub 50'), N.Clark-Ferreira, D.Smith, T.Johnson, A.Kempster, J.Liverpool, Ry Cullen, S.Kempster (sub 60'), Re.Cullen (sub 60'),A.McCallum
Bench- C.Brown (on 50'), D.David (on60'), J.Roche(on 60')
Unused- J.Bourke, S.Robinson
Saturday 07th November 2015: APM Contrast 5 Crocks 0
How today's game was on is beyond me. It's a testimony to the hard work and effort put in by the chairman Steve Cullen. The pitch was certainly playable although it did cut up an awful lot.
With the following players missing through injury suspension and illness we had to draft in a few players. Dalrymple Hegerty and Reece Cullen were suspended whilst Ash Kempster had childcare issues, Liverpool and David got food poisoning and Robinson, Sturgeon and Roche all with injuries meant 9 players out. So in came Sharkey, Weston, Cassius and Dixon plus Iain Nicholas returns to us from Gravesham Borough. We also have tabs on an unsettled Daniel Twin from KIL colleagues Meridian VP.
Despite throwing half this team together in the last 48 hours we did well but fell behind to a goal created by failing to clear our lines properly. We had two good chances to score in the 1st half however with Marcus Cassius nearly marking his debut with a neat finish on the half turn and by Iain Nichols hitting wide from Carl Browns cut back on the stroke of half time.
Had we taken the chance at the end of the half we would have been going in with no more than we deserved.
A few changes in shape meant we became disjointed and glebe doubled their lead after Vincent spills the ball to a pale blue shirt after a vicious drive, to easily put the ball in the net.
We conceded another this time an own goal as glebe cope better with the worsening conditions.
In true crocks spirit we pull a goal back off the boot of debutant substitute Dominic Weston and we soon find ourselves on the front foot. Our best chance to get back into the game came when cutting in from the left Aaron McCallum beat several players but took too long to pull the shot off and eventually glebe recover. They stretch their lead through their own substitute James Alderman as he weaved his way through 3 then 4 crocks players all slipping and sliding in the now virtually unplayable surface but the glebe player did well just about staying on his feet to stab home the fourth and final goal.
In summary when you play the best team in the league and you have 9 players missing it's always going to be a little bit more difficult than normal. That said we did capitulate in the 2nd half and this must be addressed. We need a leader at the back and we are hopeful of landing a target soon.
C.Vincent, D.Frondigoun, N.Clark-Ferreira, D.Raggett (sub off 86'), T.Johnson, I.Nicholas, C.Brown (sub off 46'), Ry Cullen, S.Kempster(sub off 75'), M.Cassius, A.McCallum
Bench- D.Weston (on 46'), D.Smith (on86'), D.Dixon (on 75')
Unused- J.Roche, D.Sharkey
Saturday 14th November 2015: Crocks 1 Glebe 4 (League Cup Rnd 2)
Tonight's game was played in similar vein as the last two weeks in terms of weather and a long list of unavailable players, back in contention is Reece Cullen from suspension and Dominic David has recovered from his food poisoning. We are still without, Roche, Sturgeon and Robinson through injury with Raggett picking up a new problem and Liverpool and Cassius were working whilst Dalrymple and Hegerty miss this as the last of their ban. The welcome target Daniel Twin as a fully fledged Crock and Joel Westbury comes in to help for a game.
Amazingly the pitch was in 1st class condition for this fixture and it's a shame we won't be coming back this term as its such a welcoming place.
Different remit given to the team tonight with the instruction to get the ball down and play as much as possible. The smiles on their faces were a sight as its what they'd been waiting for all season. The time had to be right and tonight it felt right. We've learned a lot in recent weeks about playing against the weather and tonight we chose to fight the wind 1st half and try hold on for a 0-0 half time score, we actually played very well despite recent form and created several chances to go in front at half time. We did score through a 2nd phase ball as the Epfc defence reacted slowly leaving Steve Kempster and Teddy Johnson onside and Steve touching the ball to Johnson to strike the ball home. 1-0
We go in at half time a goal up. Which was more than we were playing for really, but with the wind picking up and now in our favour we could see ourselves extending our lead in the 2nd period. In truth looking back at the chances we should have won by four or five goals comfortably but there's only so much luck you can ask for.
Two great opportunities for Reece Cullen and three for Steve Kempster would be enough to embarrass our hosts. Who st times were very dangerous and not without their own chances.
We got our 2nd goal by a lovely ball from Johnson at the back which released to unselfishly square to McCallum for his ninth goal this term.
Thus settled the side fir a period of good play where we squander chance after chance.
As said Epfc had chances and thought had pulled one back but for the assistant to raise the offside flag. And a fair shout for a penalty which like our shout in the 1st half was waved away.
A Win!! Finally a win, we had forgotten what it had felt like. A clean sheet too from new keeper Sharkey. Did well as he hadn't played in over a year. He's going to give Connor Vincent a run for his money this season. Well this result puts us back to 11th on the FA full time website and 8th if the point from the AC London game ever goes on. Not bad after 16 games. Now to push on with our new players and old ones all returning John and I have one hell of a headache.
D.Sharkey, D.Frondigoun, N.Clark-Ferreira, D.Twin, T.Johnson ⚽️36', I.Nicholas (sub off 46'), Re Cullen, Ry Cullen, S.Kempster(sub off 80'), D.Weston (sub off 65'), A.McCallum ⚽️75'
Bench- A.Kempster (on 46'), D.David (on 65'), J.Westbury (on 80')
Unused- C.Brown, C.Vincent
Tuesday 17th November 2015: Eltham Palace 0 Crocks 2