The League positions suggested that this could be close and although the first half was a very tight affair, once Brian Zepo had scored after just two minutes of the second half the home side were able to step up into gears that Sheppey just didn’t have and left me wondering why Glebe were in that lowly position at all.
Going into this one I was looking forward to a few things. Firstly to seeing how impressive Daniel Bradshaw would be, as the Sheppey forward is the second top scorer in the League and secondly I was wondering if Glebe were a very aggressive team, just like their 7 Red Cards this term would suggest. Today I got the answer to both.
To be fair to him he may just have had an rare off-day however Bradshaw didn’t really trouble Dean Nash in the Glebe goal. The supply to him was pretty non-existent but he did not really create anything for himself. Maybe I will see him again this season and hopefully I will as he has scored enough goals this season to suggest he is not always this un-impressive.
Due to two Red Cards in their last match, against Cray Valley PM, they had a couple of lads out through suspension and you may think that they would take a step down the aggression ladder for this match. Not the case. Glebe are a physical team. Their bench do not let up, the centre-backs were in Bradshaws face all game and I am not too sure how Derek Duncan, in the heart of the midfield got to see the whole game through.
As a football match not a lot happened in the first half. There were occasional chances for each team but as I returned to the warmth of the Clubhouse for a quick pint all I made sure I had noted down was about the incident involving Duncan on the half hour mark. The Glebe number four had already been involved in a few strong 50/50 challenges in the first half when he went in for another one with Sheppey midfielder Luke Girt. Unfortunately Duncan went in with his boot whilst Girt went in with his head. The end result was Girt on the floor spitting blood as well as a tooth from his mouth. The ref decided it was accidental and not worthy of any form of discipline or even a free-kick and after a short break, for the Sheppey number six to get cleaned up and return to action, play resuming with a drop ball.
Whatever Unwar Uddin had said to his men during the break certainly worked. Glebe came flying out of the traps in the second half and were rewarded in the 47th minute when Brian Zepo reacted quickest to a weak back pass, rounded the goalkeeper, Joshua Glover, then slid it home from a tight angle. The goal inspired Zepo to up his game and for the rest of the half he was a constant threat. For a man of his height he is quite impressive with his feet and for the rest of the match he had the Sheppey defence twisting and turning away as he ran at them with pace.
Two of the other attacking players were also impressing for Glebe. Peter Sweeney certainly does not use his pace, more his craft and experience to beat his man. He seems to provide the tempo to make the team tick and his set-piece delivery is invaluable to the team. One free-kick he had in the second half should have led to a penalty as the man in the wall clearly handballed it for example.
The other attacking threat who grew in to the second half for Glebe was Seb Schoburgh. As the game went on and Sheppey were forced to push forward he was able to utilise the space, get down the right-hand side and be a constant menace.
It was however another forward, Adrian Stone who got the second goal for Glebe. He met a long throw with his head only to see his effort pushed onto the bar by Glover, but he reacted quickest to connect with the rebound and was able to watch the ball trickle over the line. That was just before the hour mark and was to be the end of the scoring. The rest of the game, football wise, was mainly Zepo and Schoburg taking it in turns to run at the defence to see what they could create although ultimately they both fell short at the final hurdle each time.
Sheppey did not show much going forward until they switched formation from 4-4-2 to 3-4-3 for the last 25 minutes. This rewarded them with a few efforts, mainly from Luke Harvey, but they all ended slightly wide or over and the game was to finish 2-0 to the team from Chislehurst.
The moments after the match probably summed up best what had been lying underneath the surface of this game as handshakes between the teams turned to pushing and shoving, with Derek Duncan being in the middle of most of it. He was probably lucky on at least two occasions to have not seen red today. Firstly with the kick to the face of Girt and then later he reacted to a high challenge he received by raising his hands to the Sheppey player in a way of retaliation. Had the ref seen what I saw, he may have made it eight red cards for Glebe this season. There was also numerous ‘strong’ challenges throughout the match by the former VCD Athletic man. Sheppey maybe should have shown their aggression before the end of the match as all around the pitch and on the sidelines too Glebe were far too physical for their opponents. Sheppey may need to toughen up if they want to rise the table. The bench is quiet and unlike EVERY other team I have watched in 50 or so games this season they do not get on the referee’s back or question decisions non-stop. It makes for a refreshing change but winners are not often nice guys. They should not go over the top like their opponents here did and do but certainly they need to raise their levels a fair bit.
Glebe are a decent side, with a nice array of attacking options but their ugly side has cost them a lot of places in the table this season and although it didn’t stop them picking up three points here it could have, and maybe next time it will, again.