Erith & Belvedere 2-2 Beckenham Town - I don't know if there's a little hangover from last year but we need to let go what happened last year, it's not going to change, says Beckenham assistant Phil Wilson

Tuesday 15th September 2020
Erith & Belvedere 2 – 2 Beckenham Town
Location Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SY
Kickoff 15/09/2020 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Tuesday 15 September 2020
Stephen McCartney reports from Park View Road

BECKENHAM TOWN joint assistant manager Phil Wilson insists his side must shake off last season’s hangover otherwise new players will arrive at Eden Park Avenue.

When the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division was abandoned in March, Erith & Belvedere were bottom, while Jason Huntley’s side were top and there were 40 points difference between the two sides. 

However, this season is a different matter as Del Oldfield, the former reserve team manager at Phoenix Sports and Stansfeld, has come in to Park View Road and changed around Erith & Belvedere’s fortunes and they were the better side here tonight and should have claimed three points.

The Deres came away from First Division big-hitters Kennington with an 1-0 win in The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round before beating Alford 4-3 on penalties after Saturday’s game finished all-square at 1-1.

The Deres started their league campaign by losing 4-3 at home to Chatham Town, before coming away from AFC Croydon Athletic with a point in a 1-1 draw.

Beckenham Town, meanwhile, began with a 4-0 win at Mile Oak in The FA Cup and missed out on a trip to Isthmian League Premier Division side Haringey Borough next Tuesday night after losing 4-1 on penalties to Tunbridge Wells at the weekend after the Culverden Stadium clash finished at 1-1.

Beckenham Town kicked off their league campaign with a 2-0 win at Deal Town and were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Glebe seven days ago.

Erith & Belvedere put in an impressive performance here tonight with holding midfielder Marlon Patterson, 37, pulling the strings and pacey winger Henry Dasofunjo impressing down the flank.

Both of Erith & Belvedere’s goals only involved two-men in the move. 

Dasofunjo produced a fine drilled strike to find the bottom far corner to give the home side the lead inside the opening eight minutes.

Beckenham Town grabbed a 2-1 lead going into the interval as striker Tunde Aderonmu, 32, and former Cray Wanderers and Sutton United winger Tom Bolarinwa, 30, scored 172 seconds later.

Erith & Belvedere deservedly equalised through a bullet-header from centre-half Reece Barrett from a corner to claim a point nine minutes into the second half.

“I thought we should’ve won it, if I’m honest,” said Oldfield.

“We had two minutes of madness at the end of the first half that has killed us really but on that I thought we attacked them really well second half.

“I thought we should’ve had a penalty. We had plenty of chances, we just lacked the finishing touch.  That’s a positive result, so I’m glad with that.”

When asked about turning around the clubs fortunes, Oldfield replied: “Ask me in April if we’ve turned it around! We’re doing alright at the moment, don’t get me wrong.

“Obviously we’ve got a brand-new team, a brand-new management team. We’re working hard on and off the pitch, on it the boys are buying into the philosophy of what we’re trying to do.

“I think you can see we’ve got a style of play. We’ve got different ways of playing as well. We can play it short, we can go long but credit to those boys out there more than anything and at the moment it’s working.”

If Beckenham Town are to be considered serious title-contenders this season, then their fitness, performance levels and results must improve.

“I think it’s the third game in a row where our fitness has been an issue,” admitted Wilson, who took the press duties as Billy Walton missed the game through work commitments.

“I think it’s the second game that we’ve conceded from a corner or a set-piece and that’s not good enough!

“We can only go so long saying it before things have to change – we’re not fit enough yet.

“We’re getting to that point where we might have to look at things and bring some fresh players in.

“It’s definitely a disappointing result. I think we need to stop talking about last season now, it’s gone.

“I think they’re a better side than Erith & Belvedere of last season and I think we’ve got a lot of work to do to get to where we were in March as well.

“I think at the moment we’re looking to people to take the game by the scruff of the neck on the pitch. We need a few more leaders out there.”

Beckenham Town’s shooting during the first-half was woeful as left-winger Steven Townsend was released down the left and cut in before drilling his right-footed angled drive over the top of the far post.

They did, however, start the game on the front foot and holding midfielder Bertie Valler slipped a free-kick into Ryan Hall, who dragged a poor left-footed shot harmlessly wide from 35-yards.

However, Erith & Belvedere went route-one as they took the lead with seven minutes and 15 seconds on the clock.

Goalkeeper Daniel Teeley has great distribution and he launched a big left-footed kick up-field and some poor defending from Tom Menditta – who plays on the left of a three-man central defence – failed to deal with the ball and let in Dasofunjo, who took a touch before drilling a beautiful right-footed angled drive from 16-yards across the goalkeeper, the ball nestling nicely into the bottom far corner.

“If Henry can improve his final product, I don’t think we’ll have him with us. I think we’ll have clubs flying in to give him money somewhere else,” said Oldfield, who has no playing budget this season despite the club having new owners.

“If I know Henry the way I think I know him, he’s loving his time here, he’s enjoying the way that he’s playing and he’s doing very well.”

Reflecting on the goal itself, Oldfield said: “You call it route one, I call it an excellent long pass from Dan Teeley!  Anyone who knows Dan Teeley, knows he’s got that in his locker. He’s excellent with the ball at his feet.

“We’ve worked on Henry’s movement with the ball at his feet.  I thought he took the shot early, which was the right thing to do. The keeper wasn’t ready for it, bottom corner, nice goal.”

Wilson added: “In fairness to the lad he’s taken his goal well. The initial problem comes from positioning. The ball shouldn’t be coming inside the full-back and you give someone with that pace half a yard then he’s going to make the most of it.  His finish was in the bottom corner, he’s taken it in his stride.  I don’t want to take nothing away from the finish itself but the ball needs to be cut out from Tom. He can’t let that ball bounce inside of him.”

Erith & Belvedere were denied a second goal inside 19 minutes, courtesy of a save from the chest of Australian goalkeeper Michael McEntegart.

The home side built down the left involving winger Guyliano Tresor Mpungi and left-back James Hawkins, whose cushioned header released Mpungi, who cut into the box and reached the by-line and was allowed to run along the line before drilling a shot from an impossible angle, which bounced off the chest of the keeper standing beside his near post.

“We work on silly little things like that where the wingers are where the full-backs are in our attacking shape in styles you saw. It worked but we need to improve on it a little bit,” added Oldfield.

Wilson added: “I feel like those moments in a game, we need someone to come and make sure everyone needs to be doing what they should be doing in terms of holding positions.

“I think if Macca doesn’t make the save there’s two or three players around the six-yard box as well and I’m not convinced we’re fully aware that they’re there and I think if he doesn’t make the block somebody has a tap-in.”

When you see former Leeds United midfielder Hall left in space and drilling his left-footed shot some 35-yards wide from 35-yards out, then Erith & Belvedere could sense Beckenham Town’s players were not at it.

Wilson said: “I think if you’re their defence that what you aim is.  We’re not penetrating the box and having hopeful shots from that far out. I don’t think Dan had anything difficult to deal with.  We had a couple of set-pieces and we want Ryan Hall to test him a little bit more there.  I think they know in themselves they have enough quality to know that they can deliver better than that.”

Oldfield said: “A lot of people talk about complicating football but if you can hold a good shape, not just the team shape but your own body shape, you make it hard for people to play in and around you and that’s the result.  The result is people end up shooting from range and it’s got to be accurate.”

Beckenham Town edged back into the game during the final 10 minutes of the first-half.

Menditta was in space on the left and he floated a cross into the Erith & Belvedere box. The ball was knocked down by Bolarinwa for Aderonmu to flick his shot over the crossbar from eight-yards.

Beckenham Town took 40 minutes and 16 seconds to create their first shot on target as Aderonmu played the ball in from the left for Townsend to unleash a right-footed drive from 25-yards which was gathered at the second attempt by Teeley.

Wilson said: “It was a comfortable save. I don’t want to knock Steve for being greedy. You want him to take chances.  You can possibly look at more composure but he won’t be the first striker to have a shot from there, just not enough on it.”

Oldfield added: “Listen, we know how Townsend, Humphris, Hall are good players and you can’t give them that sort of time and space in and around the box because the way that they showed with their two goals, they will punish you.”

However, Beckenham Town grabbed the equaliser with 40 minutes and 48 seconds on the clock.

Hall played a diagonal pass out to right-wing-back Jamie Brown, who whipped in a great delivery through the corridor of uncertainty and Aderonmu slid the ball into the net from six-yards at the far post.

Wilson said: “Jamie was a loss second half because I think first half his forward running was really good for us.  His energy and quality was good all through the first half. It was a good ball across.

“Tunde is someone who has shown a lot of potential at the moment and I’m glad he got his goal tonight.”

Oldfield added: “To be honest with you, we’ve given the ball away for both of their goals, which isn’t like us.  As I said to them at half-time, we’ve taken too many touches in the wrong areas and then we’re a little bit out of shape and Beckenham did extremely well to find those gaps and capitalised on those chances.”

Beckenham Town caught the home side on a counter-attack, as they grabbed the lead with 42 minutes and 40 seconds on the clock.

Malik Nosike, who was very quiet against his old side, lost possession to Hall inside the Beckenham half and Beckenham scored a very trademark sweeping goal.

Hall played the ball up to Bolarinwa, who fed Aderonmu and Townsend’s sublime first-time ball put in Bolarinwa, who controlled the ball before chipping his right-footed shot into the top left-hand corner from 15-yards, as Beckenham split the home side’s defence with passing straight down the middle of the pitch.

Wilson said: “Sounds as beautiful as it looked. It was far and away our best move of the game.  After we got that first goal, we finished the second half strong.  A little bit of build-up.  That was a lovely move, the best move of the game.  Everyone involved in it, everyone seemed in-tune. It was nice, it was nice to see and the finish as well. Tom showed his experience and composure with the finish as well.”

Oldfield added: “Again, we’ve given the ball away. I don’t concentrate too much on what other teams are doing, I concentrate on what we’re doing and certainly like we showed in the second half, when we don’t give the ball away in and around those dangerous middle areas, people aren’t going to get as many chances.  I don’t remember Beckenham having a shot on goal in the second half.”

Both were asked their thoughts at the break.

Oldfield said: “I told them they’ve hit the panic button and they’ve caused two minutes of absolute chaos because we weren’t doing the right things in the right areas.

“I said we’ve got to get that out of our game. We’re a different team all together when we’re not giving away as many chances.  There wasn’t a lot more really to say. It was all slightly practical in terms of people’s movement and shape and what we wanted to do when we haven’t got the ball and being brave.”

Wilson added: “The last 15 minutes was the best 15 minutes of the half and to carry on that tempo and take the game to them.”

Both sides missed glorious chances inside the opening six minutes of the second half.

Firstly, Beckenham’s Hall played the ball over the top to release Townsend down the left, he cut to the by-line before cutting the ball back for Valler, who took a touch before placing his left-footed shot across the keeper and agonisingly just past the foot of the right-hand post from 15-yards.

“Bertie’s miss has come at the beginning of the second half. I think could’ve have killed the game and Bertie knows his quality is better than that. It’s a shame because it was a really good move,” said Wilson.

Oldfield added: “I remember that chance now.  I think it was the only time that we got caught a little bit flat-footed in the back-line but I still didn’t think it looked dangerous but not from where I was stood anyway.”

Townsend then released Aderonmu in behind Erith & Belvedere’s left-back Hawkins but the striker dragged his shot across the keeper and watched the ball roll harmlessly wide.

Erith & Belvedere were guilty of missing an excellent chance, following a three-man move.

Hawkins, who is not afraid to put his foot through the ball and hit it long, released Mpungi charging down the left and he reached the by-line before cutting the ball back towards the near post.  The impressive Dasofunjo cut across the box and clipped a first-time shot past the foot of the near post from inside the six-yard box.

“Listen, the balls coming across with such pace, all it needs was a touch but because of the pace it’s coming at him, it’s going to be a touch in the right direction. Any other touch it can end up anywhere which I thought he was unlucky,” said Oldfield.

“It was great movement, a great ball into the box and great movement from Henry to get there, just lacked the finishing touch, that’s all.”

Wilson couldn’t believe his luck.

“I don’t know, that looked harder than actually putting it into the back of the net! I’m not sure which part of the foot he’s used but he has that angle to get it that far wide from there but it was a get out of jail card without a doubt.”

Erith & Belvedere deservedly equalised with eight minutes and 57 seconds on the clock, following their third corner kick.

It was such a simple goal. Patterson delivered a well-hit left-footed corner in from the right and Barrett came up from the back to plant his free header into the top right-hand corner.

Barrett and Rob Curtis both had good games at the heart of the home side’s defence.

“It was something that we work on and funnily enough before the game I told them they haven’t done it enough,” said Oldfield.

“In the other games we’ve worked on it and that was, if I’m right, the first time we tried it and it worked first time so it was pleasing.”

Goalkeeper Wilson was bitterly disappointed in the manner that Erith & Belvedere secured a deserved point.

“We have someone in that area that hasn’t dealt with that ball and perhaps as a goalkeeper I find it baffling how goals can be scored so easily from set-pieces,” he said.

“It’s switching off, it’s not being disciplined, not doing your job and for that to happen in the second game in a row, that’s going to be a big problem for me personally but for the team as well.

“The ball was put into an area where we have someone whose moved out of the area that they were stood in.  If a man stays there and heads it clear, it’s not a problem.

“The delivery is good. If Ike (Robertson) goes and attacks that ball as well he’s got as much chance of putting it in the back of the net on that delivery as the forward, which is why you have someone in that space to make sure they deal with it.”

The home side built-up well again through central midfielder Drew Allassani and right-back Akeeb Adeyemo, who fed striker Lauric Diakiesse, but his shot on the turn whistled past the right-hand post from 22-yards as the game reached the hour-mark.

The rest of the encounter proved to be cagey but both sides had a chance each to win it inside the final 10 minutes.

Beckenham forced their only corner of the night, which was swung in by Hall from the right and centre-half Ike Robertson guided his glancing header across towards the far post, which was cleared of the line by Patterson.

The home side immediately raced up the other end through Hawkins’ smashing the ball upfield to put quiet substitute striker Matthew Neary through on goal but he lacked composure and dragged his shot past the near post when he was faced by the Beckenham keeper.

Oldfield said: “That’s why people are on the post and in certain areas because if people do get good touches on it, we’re there to clear it. We’ve got big Dan in the middle, people on both posts, it’s not rocket science, just having people in the right areas at the right times to deal with those situations.

“I thought Matt done extremely well and lacked the finishing touch.”

Wilson said: “Ike thinks it went in but the fact is if people were doing their jobs they should’ve been doing, it would’ve been headed in anyway. It would’ve been an easy goal for someone so that was disappointing.

“At the other end I would’ve been disappointed if they had scored there. He’s pulled his shot but I think it would’ve been blocked it if was on target as the defenders were round and covering that.”

Beckenham Town had one final chance, 70 seconds into injury time, when Hall fed substitute winger Stefan Cox down the right.  Cox cut into the box but the angle was too tight and Teeley made a comfortable save on his knees at his near post.

Wilson added: “He tried to square it but not far enough from the keeper. He’s going to get down to the by-line nine times out of 10 to get into that position. We just want a little bit more quality from him to flash that across the six-yard box. It was probably a little bit too close to Dan, who will be thankful.”

Tunbridge Wells, Chatham Town and Sheppey United are both leading the way with maximum points from their opening three league games, while Beckenham Town are in eighth on five points, while Erith & Belvedere sit seventeenth-place with a couple of points on the board.

“I think if we look at where the club was at the end of last season I think many people would’ve taken a draw against one of the big boys, definitely one of the top five teams in there,” said Oldfield.

“But I think we had enough of the game and enough of the ball to get a bit more of a positive but we’ll take it. It’s another point on the board.

“We’re doing well in the cups at the moment, which is nice, but we need more points on the board but we couldn’t have had a tougher start really with two of the so-called big five in our first three games.”

Wilson wants more from Beckenham Town, who would have been playing Isthmian League South East Division football this season if The Football Association finished the 2019-20 season or settled promotion issues by points-per-game and they would have gone up alongside Corinthian.

He said: “It’s not good enough! I don’t think anyone in the dressing room is dressing it up as being good enough. We set a standard last year and I hope there’s enough from last year that know it’s not good enough and there’s enough character in there to raise it themselves but they know we can’t keep dropping points like this.

“They know it’s not good enough, they know we have to improve and if we can’t then we have to change things.

“There’s some good guys in that dressing room and some good footballers. I don’t know if there’s a little hangover from last year. I think we need to let go what happened last year. It’s not going to change or get better.  We know what we’re capable of. I don’t know if it’s an axe wielding or bring in fresh faces and making the squad better.”

Both sides are in FA Vase First Qualifying Round action on Saturday with Erith & Belvedere hosting Loxwood and Beckenham Town welcoming Littlehampton Town to Eden Park Avenue.

Erith & Belvedere: Daniel Teeley, Akeeb Adeyemo, James Hawkins, Marlon Patterson (Jamie Taylor 83), Rob Curtis, Reece Barrett, Guyliano Tresor Mpungi (Tyler Anderson-Parr 83), Drew Allassani, Lauric Diakiesse (Matthew Neary 63), Malik Nosike, Henry Dasofunjo.
Subs: George Oldfield, Steven Springett

Goals: Henry Dasofunjo 8, Reece Barrett 54

Booked: Lauric Diakiesse 31, Marlon Patterson 32, James Hawkins 73

Beckenham Town: Michael McEntegart, Jamie Brown (Harvey Hanifan 53), Tom Menditta, Bertie Valler, Callum Henry, Ike Robertson, Steven Townsend, Ryan Hall, Tunde Aderonmu (Joe Nwoko 50), Archie Johnson (Stefan Cox 79), Tom Bolarinwa.
Subs: Harvey Brand, Jamie Humphris

Goals: Tunde Aderonmu 41, Tom Bolarinwa 43

Booked: Bertie Valler 45, Tom Menditta 76

Attendance: 110
Referee: Mr Joshua Howard
Assistants: Mr Alexis Stacchini & Mr Chris Clarke

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