Dogged South Bank dig deep for victory

Dogged South Bank dig deep for victory

LSBU edged into the third round of the cup with an extra time winner courtesy of a goalkeeping howler in this controversial classic


You rarely get low scoring games that can grip you like this. You rarely have games that are subject to quite so much administrative muck ups. LSBU were meant to be playing this game at the comfort of their home ground of Burgess Park, but issues with booking the pitch saw South Bank making the four-hour round trip to Brunel thus turning this into an away game.


A squad of just 13 travelled. But nothing was going to going to deter the LSBU boys from marching into the next round of the cup. In their way stood Brunel 4ths A team a division above South Bank and sitting top of the league having scored 9 in their previous two games. LSBU meanwhile lost their opening game of the season, falling to a miserable 3-2 home defeat.


Games are precious at this level. You are not guaranteed your ten league fixtures in a season, so a good cup run is essential for anyone wanting that extra 90 or in this case, 120 minutes. From the get go however, South Bank played like a team determined to go all the way. That said, it took 20 minutes for the first chance of the came to come along. A lightening Mohammed Gani was released down the right wing by a Weadock pass, he powered towards goal, but his shot was safely wide. That shot however spurred South Bank into life and they had the best chance of the game only eight minutes later. Clive Sarireni at left back won the ball in a dangerous area where he teed it up for James Leyton. One touch to set and he fired it towards goal. It brought a terrific save from the Brunel keeper who bettered that by reacting sharply to push aside the rebound effort from Mohammed Yassinn.


Shortly after Weadock fired a rasping shot just over the bar, came the first big moment of the match. An horrific pass from the Brunel centre back was intercepting by Pol Basso Piñol. He exchanged a quick pass with Leyton, surged into the box only to be pulled down just as he was about to get his shot off. The referee correctly pointed to the spot but surprisingly showed no card to the offender. Considering a shot on goal was inevitable and no attempt was made to win the ball, the challenge could easily have seen the Brunel defender dismissed for a professional foul, but the referee believed that there was sufficient cover that warranted no card.


The penalty itself was a matter of textbook refereeing however. Leyton stepped up to take it, but his well struck penalty cannoned off the post. It quickly rebounded to him where he successfully buried it, but as no other player had touched the ball, the referee correctly ruled out the rebound effort.


Half time was rapidly approaching, and the upcoming break caught the South Bank players napping either side and were thankful to their keeper Joe Cook on both occasions to keep the score level. Corners have been a recent problem for LSBU and they were nearly undone again. The ball drifted to the front post where it was flicked on before a first-time volley limped through a crowd of players. On first look, it seemed a routine save but in reality, the close proximity of the ball to the keeper at first contact meant the quick reactions of Cook to beat the ball away was even more impressive.


A beautiful day greeted the players as they come back for the second half


Straight after half-time, Cook was worked again. A free-kick far out on the left was put into a dangerous area but no-one was able to get a touch on, however the ball itself was on target and needed a smart stop from Cook to push it wide. South Bank dominated the remainder of the half. Both teams had chances thwarted by the flag but neither team really looked like winning the match in normal time. So another 30 minutes was required for a winner to emerge.


Both teams displayed all the nerves and exhaustion you would associate with tight games in extra-time. This game proved that games at any level mean so much to football lovers. Both teams gave everything but still the score remained 0-0 as the first half of extra-time ended. The second half was a different matter altogether. The nerves remained but the game became mired in controversy.


A lobbed ball into the box fell kindly to the feet of the Brunel winger, who controlled well and slotted it home. He was however to be thwarted by the linesman’s flag. The referee blew up straight away but by then, Brunel were already celebrating and felt aggrieved. Their main protestations centred around the fact the lobbed ball into the box was then flicked on further by Harry Thompson. Although this was true, the original pass was intended for the same man and as a result the referee after conferring with the linesman ruled the goal offside and South Bank had received a major let off.


It’s fair to say the Brunel were sore about the decision. And perhaps whilst they were still licking their wounds, they let their guard down, or rather the Brunel keeper let his guard down. A huge kick downfield from Cook was chased and won by Leyton on the left-wing. He cut inside and was felled by the Brunel right-back. It’s fair to say that way out on the left wing and a long distance from goal doesn’t present a particularly good opportunity for a direct free-kick on goal. Quite whether Amin Martinez meant what he did when he curled the ball into the box is not yet known. The ball sailed lazily into the box, far away from a South Bank attacker, the Brunel keeper had the simple of task of catching the ball in front of his face. It looked like a routine catch right up until the moment that it slipped through his hands and into the net. The roar of delight from all eleven players on the pitch, both substitutes, the touchline coach Matt Clarke and the cheering supporters was deafening. It proved one thing at least. This game really mattered to South Bank players and they proves it with an outpouring of emotion.


The South Bank players ready themselves for one final slog in extra time


On the other end, the emotions would have been very different and it’s impossible not to feel sorry for the Brunel keeper who otherwise had been the difference in the match so far with some exceptional goalkeeping. LSBU weren’t bothered, how, who, where or when. Just that they did score and scored when it mattered most, the game was only four minutes from a penalty shootout. All they had to do now was se it out, clear every ball, run down the clock, do everything and anything. Relief was visible across the players face every time a cross was caught by Cook, or a dangerous run ended by a tackle.


As with all tense finishes, the losing team has to have at least one opportunity, a corner brought the losing keeper up as 21 players crowded the box, the ball was sent to deep, but kept it by the right back, his cross was good towards the back post but as two Brunel players jumped at once, they could only succeed in heading innocently over the bar. The moment the ball was safe, the whistle blew, cries of “yes” filled the air as LSBU had come through everything to win one of the tensest games you could imagine.


To change venues and travel a long way to face a team a division above and flying high, scoring goals for fun could have had you thinking that this game was always going to be a bit of a mismatch. As it turns out, it really was, just for the other team. Other than a couple of smart saves from Cook either side of half-time, LSBU were the dominant side. They controlled play better, they won more challenges, got the ball into more dangerous positions. They nullified the pace of the Brunel front three and used the pace of their own front man Leyton to harass the opposition. Their midfield controlled the ball, winning tackles and starting attack in one go. And perhaps best of all, their defence was ready for pretty much anything thrown at them. They kept the aerial presence from the big front man to a minimum, they never allowed anyone to have space or time to shoot or pass.


Thumbs up. Goal scorer Amin Martinez relaxes at the end of the game


But most of all, stripping the game down altogether, ultimately, South Bank just wanted this game more, they had that little bit more and it finally showed and they got what they deserved, a win and a spot in the next round of the cup!


Live show role 23/10/2017

As the studio director I was responsible for the overall outlook of the live show. At the start of the day I made sure that everyone had uploaded their packages to Dropbox. I then checked the packages to make sure they were ready for broadcast.


There were a few issues with a few packages. These issues included not being the correct resolution (1980×1080) or not having the lower thirds on interviewees. Once these issues were discovered, I told the VT team about it in order for them to fix it in time for broadcast. Once these issues were resolved and the packages uploaded to Dropbox. I co-ordinated with the VFX editor to rename and organise them and place them on the correct laptop ready to play out.


I also worked with the sound editor who informed me of any sound issues in the packages and also told me about and hard cuts at the end of packages that would make the live show more difficult to mix.  I also worked with the floor manager to ensure the lighting was correct and there was nothing causing a distraction in the background.


During the live show. I mixed between the cameras and gave prompts to the sofa presenters regarding how long it would be before they were back on air.


There was an issue in the show where the program holding the VT’s suddenly crashed during the middle of a VT. Given that this was a first time for everyone as well as the first time the program has crashed, it was a struggle for everyone to know what to do next. However when the program was restored and we cut to social media we were back up and running.

Sloppy South Bank slip to defeat

Sloppy South Bank slip to defeat

Despite two moments of brilliance and a host of chances, LSBU’s new season fails to get going in home defeat by Suffolk


It would be easy to assume after a 5-2 away victory and a 1-0 home victory last season that it would be more of the same as the new season got underway. However, uniquely to university football, a new season means a turnaround of players unseen anywhere else. After only three training sessions, South Bank took to the field for this season curtain raiser.


South Bank prepare for their first game of the season


There was a total of six debutants in the South Bank squad. One of those debutants, Jack Haywood had the game’s first chance, played through by James Leyton only to see his 4th minute shot trickle wide.  They didn’t have to wait much longer for their deserved opening goal. Once again, Leyton got a hold of the ball, finding Amin Martinez in space. He only required one quick touch before striking from nearly 30 yards out. Such was the speed that he picked up the ball and fired to goal, the Suffolk keeper was caught out and unable to get down to the ball which dutifully rolled in of the post.


If ever there was a better example of being at your most vulnerable after scoring, this was it. Within two minutes of celebrating, South Bank were wondering how they were no longer in front. After haranguing Scott Clampin-Dance at right back, the ball was played through to the big number 10. Despite a brilliantly timed tackle from another new boy Clive Sarireni, the ball unluckily ricocheted up kindly into the striker’s feet who had the simple job of slotting it under the South Bank keeper Joe Cook.


James Leyton (L) with debutant Pol Basso Piñol

The rest of the half was almost entirely comprised of LSBU half-chances. The ever-busy Leyton shot wide from around 40 yards after a poor clearance from the Suffolk keeper. A serious knee injury to Clampin-Dance halted procedures after a 50/50 tackle in which he came out second best. After being replaced by another debutant Brad Baterip, South Bank continued to apply pressure. Debutant Pol Basso Piñol saw a good shot saved following a South Bank corner. A long ball over the top by Ricky Hehir found the onrushing Haywood who couldn’t quite direct his first-time effort on target. After already scoring from 30 yards, Martinez tried again, this time on his left wood. His well struck effort worried the diving keeper but sailed just wide.


The first moment of controversy in the game came on the half hour mark. Leyton again after an excellent little dinked ball from Kaylem Weadock volleyed in left-footed from the edge of area. A spectacular effort that was cruelly but likely correctly ruled out for offside. He was right back at it again only a few minutes later, shooting wide after some head ping pong inside the Suffolk penalty area.


Following a near 15-minute delay while an ambulance removed the injured Clampin-Dance from the sidelines, When the game did resume there was just enough time for Suffolk to have their only other chance of the half. After an over the top through ball that the Suffolk striker reached before Cook, his lobbed effort was headed clear on the goal line by Connor Burrows preserving the score as the teams went in for half time.


Scott Clampin-Dance is loaded into an ambulance after suffering a dislocated knee

Whilst last season could easily be considered a strong one for LSBU. There were moments that you could look back on and easily see where things went wrong. Defending from corners was one. Sadly, a new season did not bring a chance in fortunes. Only a couple of minutes into the second half Suffolk pounced on a free header at the back post that left everyone wondering why a striker with a goal already was allowed to wander alone in so much space. South Bank responded with another close long shot, this time from left back Burrows who drive towards goal had the keeper scrambling but like many before went agonisingly wide.


The difference in this game could easily be put down to how clinical each side was. South Bank had half a dozen chance in the game whereas Suffolk had only four and took three of them. Their third was the only devoid of individual mistakes and consisting of good team work. After some neat play in the centre, they worked their way into the box before a cut back cross was well guided into the top of the net via the Suffolk striker’s head. 3-1 seemed a long way back for LSBU. Martinez fired a free kick towards goal to see it pushed away from the Suffolk goalkeeper.


South Bank had reason to feel aggrieved shortly after. Harry Thompson acrobatically volley in a loose ball as the referee blew his whistle for a high foot giving against Burrows who had played the ball to Thompson beforehand. Whilst the foot was indeed off the ground, the fact the Suffolk player wasn’t really in a position to challenge the ball means LSBU could feel hard done by. South Bank kept the pressure on. Baterip’s headed cross found Basso Piñol in the box. After picking the ball out from underneath his feet, he fired towards goal, only a saving block kept the ball from the net.


Whilst the result was not to be what South Bank wanted, they were at least rewarded with the champagne moment of the game. Leyton had moved out to the right after Brîäñ Ÿêgö had come on upfront for his debut. After cutting in from the right Leyton was taken out earning LSBU a free kick that was perfectly set up for a left footer. Luckily for South Bank, they had such a player for the occasion. From 20 yards, Weadock curled an absolutely stunning free kick into the net. It may have been the keepers side, but such was the accuracy and dip on the ball, nothing could take away from strike.


Sadly though for LSBU, that was as good as it would get. Still trailing when Leyton floated a cross to the back post. Burrows controlled the ball excellently, brought the ball onto his right foot but agonisingly shot over. It was South Bank’s last and best chance of the game but this just wasn’t to be their day.


A reflection of the game may suggest South Bank were unlucky. After all they had the vast array of chances, scored the best two goals and had to deal with a serious injury. But basic errors and simple mistakes were ultimately what cost South Bank the match. The saving graces were that they are mistakes that can easily be rectified as the team spends more time training together and new players bed in. The performance of the six debutants. Haywood, Ÿêgö, Baterip, Sarireni, Basso Piñol and Angelo Di Maria in midfield will certainly be consolation to this defeat and provides a platform on which LSBU can recover as the move on.


Last chance for police front desk

Last chance for police front desk

Residents have until Friday to reply to the Met’s consultation plans to close Southwark police station’s front desk.


Residents in Southwark only have until Friday to register their views regarding the closure of the front desk of the police station on Borough Road as part of City Hall’s drive to save hundreds of millions of pounds. The changes will mean residents will no longer be able to report crimes directly to an officer on the desk.


Southwark Police Station on Borough Road


The station is situated only a few hundred yards from the site of the London Bridge and Borough Market terrorist attacks that killed eight people and injured 48 others in June. Local resident Anne Walters said. “I can understand why they are closing the front desk as barely anyone ever goes there. But I still don’t like the idea that no one will be able to report anything direct to someone there”.


Borough Market was targeted by terrorists in June. Eight people died.


The Metropolitan Police has to make £1bn of savings by 2020 due to cuts from central government. The Met says that the front desks are rarely used by members of the public to report crimes. Their closures would free up money that would be put back in to frontline policing. They also said they people are now able to report crimes using smartphones, tablets and computers.