Go Travel Kent League
Stephen McCartney reports from Eden Park Avenue
Paul Vines 71,73
Ryan Royston 10
THE curtain fell down on the Go
Travel Kent Premier League season at Eden Park Avenue on Tuesday night.
Thamesmead cruised into a convincing 5-0 lead after 62 minutes before the prolific Beckenham strike pairing of Lewis Wood (20 goals this season) and Paul Vines (19) pulled three goals back before Curtis Williams' netted his second late on.
Referee Simon Barker pulled up due to injury
early in the second half so his assistant Simon Finnigan took over in the middle
and was involved in controversy late on.
With the game dead and buried at 6-3, Vines and Thamesmead central defender Jon Mayall tussled for the ball and both fell to the ground, sparking a melee. Once calm was restored, and Finnigan discussed his options with his assistants, out came the cards.
Thamesmead's Mayall (red) and Lee Loveridge (yellow) and for the home side both Sean Cooney and Nathan Paul were sent off.
Thamesmead boss Paul Blade, however, blasted the referee and Cooney for their actions.
"A tackle from behind, Mayall and Vines reacted and they had a tussle on the ground. A few other people got involved," he said.
"From what I saw on the line, which I'm not too pleased to see, were some Beckenham lads kicking people on the ground - I don't agree with that.
"One was the wrong lad to be sent off (Nathan Paul) but (Sean) Cooney stuck a boot in as well and I don't agree with that - I think he's a coward.
"For whatever reason he (the referee) sent our centre half (Mayall) off he could have sent off (Vines) for reacting as well."
Blade expressed his feelings on what course of action Finnigan should have taken: "I know they say let's apply the laws of the game but at the end of the day it was a twelve man brawl. Use your common sense. Have a word with the two lads yourself and let's get on with it and finish the game. At the end of the day we don't want to see it, but that's football I'm afraid."
Jason Taylor, Beckenham's assistant manager, added: "We let some lousy goals in, there's been some lousy refereeing decisions. We've had a player sent off (Nathan Paul) who wasn't even involved. You know, what can I say, absolutely shocking!"
Thamesmead, however, drew first blood after only ten minutes. Mayall, close to the corner flag, launched a throw into the penalty area and stocky central midfielder, Ryan Royston's looping header dropped into the far corner of Gary Hopper's net.
Anthony Potts' then crossed to the far post, which was met by Marc Merridan's header and Hopper did ever so well to turn around the post for a corner.
From the resulting 20th minute corner the Mead doubled their lead. Hopper made a hash of Danny Evans' corner kick, which found the back of the net.
Both goalkeepers were called into action just before the half hour mark. Vines was denied by Danny Kemp and at the other end Curtis Williams' latched onto Potts' defence splitting pass and his fierce drive was blocked at the near post by Hopper.
Thamesmead made their intentions known early in the second half, when they issued the home side a warning when Royston headed Merridan's free kick wide.
Rampant Thamesmead then went on to score three goals in a devastating twelve minute spell.
Their third goal came after 50 minutes when Merridan's cross was brought under control by Williams' chest before he slotted past Hopper from 16-yards.
Two minutes later, Danny Whelan's powerful header up field was latched onto by Sam Thomas, and after beating the offside trap, poorly set by Beckenham's exposed back three, Thomas' lobbed the ball over Hopper and into the corner of the net.
And when Lee Loveridge planted a header into the back of Hopper's net after 62 minutes, from Merridan's free kick from the left, Thamesmead netted their fifth goal of the game.
Vines', however, pulled two goals back in the space of two minutes (71 and 73). His first strike was the best goal of the game with a 40-yarder which flew past Kemp and into the top left hand corner of the net.
His second came courtesy of Asher Edwards' cross, which he powered home a header to make the scoreline a bit more respectable, only just!
But when Wood got on the score sheet after 82 minutes, finishing off Cooney's pass into the box, people were dreaming that Beckenham could stage a dramatic come back.
It was only a dream as Williams' wrapped up the Mead's sixth goal a minute later, lobbing the ball over Hopper.
Then came the ugly scenes but everyone can now look forward to Saturday's Go Travel Kent League Cup Final at the Westbourne Stadium, Cheriton Road, Folkestone between champions Ramsgate and runners-up Herne Bay.
Beckenham Town: Gary Hopper, Nathan Paul, Asher Edwards, Tony Sinclair, Martin West (Darren Hall 53), Matthew Belton (Capt), Adam Heaslewood, Paul Smith (Sean Cooney 51), Paul Vines, Lewis Wood, Steven Evans (Tommy Scannell 51).
Thamesmead Town: Danny Kemp, Marc Merridan, Danny Evans, Alan Sillance (Jason Clews 52), Jon Mayall, Lee Loveridge, Ryan Royston, Pedro Knight (Danny Whelan 48), Curtis Williams, Anthony Potts (Steve Diamond 64), Sam Thomas. Sub: Dominic Moore
Referee: Simon Barker
Assistants: Simon Finnigan & R Edmunds