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Website last updated: 13 Feb, 2015 @ 13:31
Lloyd Miller (1)
Wed 15 Aug 2012
MATCH REPORT COURTESY OF www.kentishfootball.co.uk
ORPINGTON manager Sean Glover praised his players for showing good character and determination to come back from the dead to snatch an unlikely point against fellow tenants Eltham Palace at Green Court Road.
Both sides had won their opening Kent Invicta League games of the season. Eltham Palace won their first ever game at this level by coming away from Lydd Town with a 3-2 victory, while last season’s basement side Orpington defeated last season’s fellow strugglers Meridian 2-1. Eltham Palace rued numerous missed chances as they should have had three points in the bag but had to settle for just two goals, scored by striker Lloyd Miller and substitute Sam Parry. And they still had their two goal lead intact going into the final stages of the game, but Orpington fought-back and pulled a goal back through substitute Nick Round with ten minutes left.
Orpington faced an uphill struggle when striker Alex Campbell-Chambers – who scored both their goals at the weekend – picked up his second yellow with only a couple minutes remaining – but Eltham Palace left-back Mark Naden brought down Adam Steward inside the penalty box and midfielder Filipe Caruacho ensured Orpington claimed a point. Glover, 29, said he was pleased with his side’s late comeback. He said: “I thought we showed some good character and some good determination to get back into the game. “I think they tired towards the end of the second half. I thought our fitness showed in the second half. “We rode our luck a little bit in the first half but again we showed some good character to dig in.”
Eltham Palace manager, Terry Naden, 32, knew exactly how things went wrong. He said: “We had chances but it’s the story of the whole of last season. Hopefully it’s not going to be the story of this season. We need a centre forward and we need a goalscorer. At any level you need that. We had enough chances but again we didn’t take them.”
Eltham Palace dominated the entire first half against an Orpington side that struggled up until the final twenty minutes of the game. Eltham Palace created the first chance of the game inside the opening seven minutes when striker Billy Webb flicked Naden’s driven corner from the right wide of the near post from close range. Orpington’s first effort saw Metin Ramadan play a short free-kick back to Caruacho, whose speculative right-footed shot sailed high and wide from 35-yards. And Orpington’s right-winger, James Gregory, cut into the Eltham Palace penalty area but his right-footed angled drive sailed over from 25-yards. Eltham Palace felt they had broken the stalemate in the 24th minute when Robert Quick pumped a free-kick into the opposing penalty area where central midfielder Harry Rogers ghosted in and planted a header towards goal, which looped over visiting keeper Lee Gibbs and into the far corner, but an offside flag had been raised. This was the lift that the home side needed and they came agonisingly close to actually taking the lead when George Belchamber swung in a corner from the left and central defender Danny Sandford powered his header against the underside of the crossbar from eight-yards at the near post. Orpington keeper Gibbs then caught Naden’s left-footed free-kick, which he curled around the wall from 35-yards, on the half-hour mark.
Eltham Palace then twice went close to opening the scoring when Webb was released by a fine ball over the top of the Orpington defence but the striker stroked his left-footed shot across the keeper and the ball rolled agonisingly wide the foot of the far post. Webb then released Miller, who flicked the ball past Ramadan, before cracking a first time shot, which just flashed past the far post. John Maxwell then hooked a shot straight at the Orpington keeper, before Eltham Palace deservedly broke the stalemate seven minutes before half-time.
The ball was played out of defence and Miller played the ball to Parry inside their own half, before Parry played a delicious through ball in behind the Orpington back four for Miller to latch onto and his delicate left-footed chip sailed over the stranded Gibbs into the centre of an unguarded net.
Boss Naden said: “He took it really well. His come down, his new this year to be fair to Lloyd. We hope he’s going to be the centre forward that gets us goals. You can tell from the way he took that first goal he’s got it in him. His composure was superb and his finish was spot on. “Unfortunately he had two or three other chances really to wrap up the points, but he didn’t take them, but fair play to the lad, he took it well. “He hasn’t played for a couple of years. He played with some of the boys on a Sunday. He was with Maidstone United as a kid, but had a bad injury and he came back to play with his pals on a Sunday and he’s got involved at a reasonable level on a Saturday, which is why he’s come to us.”
Glover added: “The first goal was unlucky, but these things happen.” But Orpington should have scored with their first real chance of the game, 51 seconds into stoppage time. Striker Rob Haines released winger Lewis Gregory through on goal and he only had keeper Stewart Copeland to beat but the former Farnborough Old Boys Guild keeper stuck out his left leg to make a fine block to prevent the ball nestling into the bottom far corner. Boss Naden said: “There were a couple of chances that we’re real good chances, which we really should have taken. At any level really, if you don’t take them you’ll get punished. They’ll come back and bite you on the backside and that’s what happened.”
Orpington keeper Gibbs was guilty of gifting Eltham Palace their second goal, within the opening seven minutes of the second half. A two man wall was halved by the time that Parry had swung in a right-footed free-kick from the inside left-channel and the ball curled around Gibbs and found the top far corner of the net. Boss Naden said: “I don’t know whether it was a great strike or a fluky strike – he’ll tell us that he meant it! “Either way, we’ve worked on them, hitting the ball in good areas. He’s put it where we wanted him to put it and luckily for us it’s gone straight in!” When asked whether it was a mistake from the visiting keeper, the Eltham Palace manager replied, “Sam will tell you otherwise, but he should’ve done a little bit better!” Glover, meanwhile, wasn’t happy with the breakup of the wall. He said: “We should’ve had two in the wall and not one in the wall. The keeper asked for two in the wall and they only stuck one in there and if we had two in the wall it might have deterred him (Parry) from hitting it a little bit. He might have had to put more curl on the ball to get it into the corner, but again it’s something that we can work on in training. It’s not the end of the world.” Glover added: “I think it’s miss communication because we’re a young, new side. Not all the boys have played together. We’re still learning so communication’s a bit lax at the minute. I think with a little bit more talking and communication it can be eradicated.”
There seemed to be no way back now for Orpington, as Eltham Palace were in full control of proceedings. More chances came and John Maxwell cut the ball back to Webb, whose left-footed shot from outside of the penalty box looped into Gibb’s gloves, before Diamond’s right-footed snap-shot from 30-yards sailed over. Orpington were denied a penalty on the hour-mark when Campbell-Chambers appeared to be fouled by Robert Quick inside the penalty box.
Eltham Palace squandered a gilt-edged chance to wrap up a comfortable victory with twenty minutes left. Webb released Maxwell down the left and he had time and space to play an angled pass along the pitch to the unmarked Miller, who took a touch, but with his second touch from eight-yards, he could only sweep a left-footed shot rolling the wrong side of the foot of the right-hand post with only the keeper to beat. Naden admitted: “That was the turning point almost – that goes in, 3-0 that’s game over! “He’s held his hands up in the changing room and said the penalty at the end shouldn’t really have counted. “He’s done everything right. I thought his touch was brilliant. He was composed. He was casual. He took it well but it just rolled the wrong side of the post.” Glover added: “It might have well been (over at) 3-0 down. You probably would have been dead and buried. Again, we rode our luck a little bit and we were lucky for him to not have any composure in the final third but that’s unfortunate – it’s his problem!”
That was the wake-up call that Orpington needed as two free-kicks from Caruacho caused panic in the Eltham Palace defence and Copeland caught two headers from Campbell-Chambers and Lee McPherson. Naden said: “They (Orpington) had to go for it, but even when they did go for it, I thought we looked comfortable. If I’m honest I didn’t think they looked like hurting us. They weren’t really getting in behind us and it was just sloppy defending. “We said to the boys at half-time not to let them into the game but really that’s exactly what we’ve done. We wanted to give them as many opportunities as they can to come and have a go at us and at times it was almost attack-versus-defence, not because of their quality, just because of our sloppiness and we’ve got punished, but the boys will learn from it – they will learn from it!”
Glover added: “Our fitness showed. We bossed it a little bit more in the last twenty.” Haines then whipped in a dangerous free-kick, which zipped off the pitch and Copeland did well to save low down as there were plenty of bodies in his way. But Orpington pulled a goal back in the 80th minute when Round released Campbell-Chambers down the right and instead of having a pop at goal himself, the striker unselfishly cut the ball back across goal and Round flicked a right-footed shot into the bottom left-hand corner from six-yards.
Naden said: “Took it well the lad. At any level if you give enough ball to the opposition they’re gonna punish you. We spoke to the boys about it in there. If you play against a good side you’ll get punished a lot more.”
Glover said: “He took his goal well Nick to be fair. Good composure. Again, unselfish play from Al and that’s what you get from him.” But Campbell-Chambers appeared to have shot his team-mates in the foot after he picked up his second yellow card for a late challenge on left-back Naden and ripped off his shirt in disgust before heading towards the dressing rooms. “He’ll run his heart out and that’s what cost him his second yellow,” said Glover. “It’s just over enthusiasm to get the ball back. He’s not a dirty player by any stretch, but he’s just over enthusiastic. He’s apologised to all of the lads in there and he’s apologised for letting the side down, but he’s young enough and he’ll learn through his next game not to do that and I’ve had a word with him too!”
When asked how he was felling at that point, Glover revealed he was still confident his side could claim a point. He said: “I thought we could still get something from the game. I thought we were on a little bit of a high from the goal. It gave is a lot of confidence that goal and then the sending off didn’t help but I wanted to see if I could get a little bit more.”
But Eltham Palace committed suicide when referee Paul Beadle blew his whistle for a penalty – after 28-year-old Naden inexplicably fouled Steward inside the penalty box. Composed Caruacho rolled an expertly-taken penalty, which nestled into the bottom left-hand corner to snatch Orpington a point – with 45:44 on the second half clock. Glover said: “He slotted it in well Filipe. He’s really a composed player. He’s very relaxed on the ball so I thought taking a penalty wouldn’t faze him too much. A few nerves were jangling out there when the penalty got taken. A few lads looked a little bit sheepish so I told Filipe to take it.”
Naden wasn’t best pleased with his younger brother for giving away the last-gasp penalty. He said: “What’s going through my mind? I’ve seen it coming! It’s been coming for ten to fifteen minutes at the end of the game. Mark got caught ball watching. He’s swung a leg where he’s not composed and brought the lad down.” Eltham Palace almost won it when Naden almost made amends with the pass of the match but Maxwell hooked his shot across Gibbs and past the far post.
Despite the draw, Glover admitted it was Orpington that claimed the Green Court Road bragging rights. He said: “We do share the ground with Eltham Palace so I know a few of the boys. I think we’ll be more than happy with a draw than they will be to be fair but we’ll take it into the next game and hopefully we can improve our performance against Rusthall on Saturday.”
Naden, who takes his side to big-spending Ashford United on Saturday, added: “As I say, I didn’t really see them hurting us. They got back into the game because we gave it to them, not because they hurt us. Listen, they’re our mistakes that we can address. It’s different if sides are breaking us down, but they haven’t tonight. “We’ve come away with a point. If we do that Saturday against Ashford we’ll have our pants pulled down.”
Starting line up
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Match rating: 6