It's always a tough encounter at Deal, says Beckenham Town boss Jason Huntley

Wednesday 17th September 2014
BECKENHAM TOWN boss Jason Huntley says it be magic if his side were to go on and win the Southern Counties East Football League title.

Beckenham slipped down a place to sixth following their 1-1 draw against neighbours Holmesdale at Eden Park Avenue last night.

They were denied a half-time lead when Holmesdale keeper Alex Hyde pulled off his third penalty save of the season to deny Jamie Marshall.

But Huntley’s charges took the lead after 54 minutes when Jamie Humphries headed home his 12th goal of the season.

But Daniel Stewart netted his sixth goal of the season to bring Holmesdale level just eight minutes later.

Beckenham Town make the trip to Deal Town in the League on Saturday.

The Kent coast outfit are rooted to the foot of the table, having drawn two games and suffered five defeats in the league so far.

“Always a tough encounter down at Deal,” said Huntley, who added, “I don’t really look at the tables.

“Deal are normally a tough, battling side. It could be windy down there. It could be a bouncy pitch but they’ll certainly give it their all.

“It will be a tough encounter for us. We’ve got a few injuries as well so we need to have a look Thursday (at training) and see what we’ve got available.”

Huntley was full of praise for Jamie Turner, who came off the bench for the injured Frankie Warren after 21 minutes last night and slotted in at right-back.

“He’s getting his fitness Jamie. He’s struggling with his fitness but he’s a quality player,” said Huntley.

“I said to him he has to do a bit of work off the field on his own. He done a bit of pre-season.

“I’m really pleased for the kid because he’s an exceptional player.  He had a terrible injury last year, which could have been career threatening, so he missed the majority of last season and he came back pre-season and we didn’t think he’d come back pre-season.

“He’s come back and he’s working hard. The more games he gets under his belt the better he’ll be.”

Meanwhile, Eden Park Avenue is looking the best it’s ever been with the addition of new white seating and new flooring within their original stand.

When asked whether the venue will be suitable to stage Ryman League football in the future, Huntley replied: “It is now! I think it is now. The only thing we need to get now is a female changing room for a lady official.  That’s the only thing now.

“The new stand has been done.  There’s enough seating areas. Things are looking up.”

Huntley, meanwhile, is targeting a top five finish this season.

“That’s our aim, to be in the top five,” he said.

“I think it’s going to be tight for a team with no budget and with some of the money floating about in this league this year is astronomical as you know.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen at the end of the season. Top five would be nice. Top three would be better. Top one would be f*****g magic!”

The Beckenham Town boss welcomes playing six more league games this season, with the additions of Erith & Belvedere (relegated) and Crowborough Athletic, Croydon and Lingfield bring each club 38 league games.

“Brilliant! That’s proper football. It’s about time it happened in this Kent League because it was getting a little bit stretched,” said Huntley.

“We had to even go in so many cups to make the games up but it’s a proper league now, playing midweek games is fantastic. The boys would rather play a game than train. I think it’s better all round.”

Visit Beckenham Town’s website:

Deal Town  v  Beckenham Town
Southern Counties East Football League
Saturday 20th September 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
At The Charles Sports Ground, St Leonards Road, Deal, Kent CT14 9AU

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