Sporting Club Thamesmead 2-1 Beckenham Town - We've beaten Beckenham through sheer guts and determination, says proud Sporting Club Thamesmead boss Joe Ford

Monday 07th January 2019
Sporting Club Thamesmead 2 – 1 Beckenham Town
Location Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, London SE28 8NJ
Kickoff 07/01/2019 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League Challenge Cup Third Round
Monday 7 January 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Bayliss Avenue

SPORTING CLUB Thamesmead manager Joe Ford says beating Beckenham Town is a cracking result for their little football club.

The Acre fully deserved to book their place in the Southern Counties East Football League Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals, courtesy of a 2-1 win at Bayliss Avenue.

Beckenham Town have slipped up in the Premier Division title race in recent weeks and arrived at Bayliss Avenue in third-place with 46 points from 23 games, a point adrift of leaders Fisher, who have a game in hand.

Sporting Club Thamesmead went into the game sitting in the top eight in the First Division table with 28 points from 21 games.

Jamie Rawsthorne headed in the opening goal after only 64 seconds and an own-goal from Beckenham’s centre-half Calum McGeehan put them fully in the driving seat.

A change in tactics by putting big centre-half Ike Robinson up front worked as Beckenham Town scored a consolation goal with 14 minutes remaining through Richard Atkins’ 16th goal of the season but they couldn’t find a way past a resilient defence and a team that just wanted it more.

A delighted Ford said: “Really proud of the boys tonight.  I thought they dug in.  It was a different type of performance from us tonight. We wasn’t able to play like we wanted to because Beckenham are a good side and they pressed us as well and we had to mix things a little bit tonight and do things a little bit dirty than what we normally do in terms of our play.

“But I’m really proud, I thought every single player was immense tonight but they done what we asked them to do and delivered a cracking result for this little football club.

“It was backs against the wall tonight and they dug in and they fully deserved the result based on their work-rate.”

Beckenham Town assistant manager Billy Walton said: “It’s just not really good enough to be honest with you! I thought all round they weren’t good enough!

“I could stand here and make the excuses and tell you why we didn’t have this and that but I still think the players we had out tonight were still good enough to win the game!

“Like we keep on saying this year we’re a scalp and if you can’t come to places like this against a young and enthusiastic team and work hard you’ll get what you deserve and we deserved to get beat!

“They wanted it more and it’s just not tonight. Saturday against Hollands & Blair (a 1-1 draw at home) we had enough chances but they came here and fought tooth and nail.  Our players are senior and old enough and wise enough and you’ve got to come here first and foremost and match teams efforts.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead set the tone right from the off and left-back Timi Osibodu whipped in a deep cross of high quality, which was headed into the bottom right-hand corner by Rawsthorne from four-yards.

“Jamie came straight back in the side tonight, he missed Saturday’s (4-1 home win over Lydd Town) through work but he’s come straight back in the side tonight and got to give credit to Timi there, the delivery was on the money!

“It’s a fantastic delivery and Jamie’s attacked it.  We ask him to get in those areas and he rose well to head it in.

“It was a really good start. We just spoke in the changing room before the game about going out and start at a pace and just try and match them.  I thought if we could match them tonight in terms of work-rate and quality, we’d have a result against them.

“They’re a very good side but sometimes putting your bodies on the line and having that will to win puts you through and I felt we had that tonight.”

Walton duffed his cap (well he was wearing a West Ham woolly hat during the game) and replied: “That’s possibly the best goal I’ve seen this season! I love seeing goals like that! That’s a great goal. Fantastic cross and that’s a Premiership cross what that lad has put in and it’s a great finish!

“It’s the worst possible start for us. We’ve got players in there who are more than capable of dealing with crosses and I think he’s about three foot (Walton joked) so it’s a bit disappointing but a great ball in and it got what it deserved, a great goal!”

The goal stunned Beckenham, who played with three centre-halves and two wing-backs and they couldn’t match the home side’s high intensity game and the home side were often winning second balls inside their own penalty area.

Max Williams swung in a free-kick from the left and 16-goal talisman Josh Patrick met it with a looping header, which dropped over the crossbar.

Both sides were playing football on the deck for the opening 20 minutes but Beckenham Town started hitting desperate long balls forward, which were comfortably dealt with by an excellent Sporting Club Thamesmead defence.

Nathan Paul, who sat in front of Beckenham’s back-three, played the ball up to Stefan Wright, who cut inside and his right-footed shot on the turn from 22-yards sailed just over the top of the post.

Sporting Club Thamesmead immediately went up the other end and a huge kick from goalkeeper Charlie Martin ensured Patrick suffered the same fate with another shot from outside the box just 47 seconds later.

Rawsthorne, who plays in the number 10 role for Sporting Club Thamesmead, was impressing watching Fisher scouts and he played winger Merrick Simms down the left-channel but his shot flashed across the keeper and trickled past the far post.

Sporting Club Thamesmead squandered a glorious chance to deservedly go two goals up in the 24th minute.

Williams swung in an excellent corner from the right which was met by Patrick’s free glancing-header from 10-yards, which sailed past the far post.

“Another great delivery, Josh was unlucky there,” said Ford.

“It’s a chance and I think it was from a counter-attack.  We knew they’d have the ball quite a lot tonight and Josh was unlucky with the finish.

“Josh was colossal tonight. It’s not his normal type of game. He likes to get the ball and run at people and have lots of shots.  I said to him he’ll probably won’t have as much of the ball tonight and it will be about winning headers and grafting and just cause mayhem for defenders and I thought he done that tonight in abundance.”

Walton added: “I was sitting there thinking we’re not getting on the end of our corners and we’re not defending their corners so what the hell is going on? We’ve got three big lads at the back and we should deal with them all day long!”

Beckenham deployed their long-ball tactics on the half-hour mark and when asked about this tactic, Walton replied: “I think one of the main problems were we had seven players missing tonight. We had the bare bones on the bench.  Ricky Bennett (a member of Jason Huntley’s management team) was on the bench so we couldn’t really play the way we wanted to play.”

Beckenham Town took 33 minutes to create their best chance of the first half.

Paul sprayed a cross from the half-way-line which was met on the volley by unmarked Danny Fitzsimons some 35-yards from goal, wide on the left.  Keeper Martin dived to his right and was relieved to see the ball fly inches wide of the post.

Walton said: “It’s a shame really. It was a good volley, a good effort but really you’re sort of hoping it goes in. All in all it was a decent effort from Danny.”

Ford added: “A half-chance really I thought.  As good as they were in the first half, I don’t feel they really had a clear-cut chance as such. That was probably the closest one they came to.  They did look threatening from set-plays as I knew they would.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead fully deserved their one-goal lead as Beckenham Town’s players just didn’t seem to be motivated.

Ford said: “I just said to the boys we’ve been in that position plenty of times at half-time this season and for some reason or another we come out at times and don’t work as hard as the first half but tonight I just said to them you’re in a great position, you’re going to make a little bit of history by beating a team that are up there in the league above, it’s for you to play for now, it’s in your hands.

“I just said carry on matching them and working hard and I felt we could be a little bit calmer in possession and the last 20 minutes it was a little backs against the wall at times but I’m so proud of them all!”

Walton added: “We had a lack of energy, we didn’t get close enough to them. A number of things all round. We just weren’t good enough in the first half!

“We just said we’ve just got to up all our energy and get balls in the box and start playing.

“I know a few of their lads and you can bully them physically. We should’ve bullied them more in the final third and defensive areas.”

But Atkins nearly forced his side back into the game with a headed chance inside the opening four minutes.

Right-wing-back Jack Hope threw the ball to Wright, who whipped in a first time cross towards the near post and Atkins held his head in his hands in despair as his header sailed just wide of the right-hand post from eight-yards.

Walton said: “If that goes in it’s backs to the wall. I always felt if we could get level or get in front we would win the game but it wasn’t to be!”

Ford said: “I think it’s more of a half-chance if I’m honest.  They did have a couple of clear-cut chances in the second half. 

“I thought the two centre-halves Cameron Reardon and Mason Simms were immense tonight against exceptional forwards playing in the league above.  We know Richard Atkins is a goalscorer and I felt Cameron and Mason matched him in the air for the whole game so fair play to them.”

Beckenham Town gifted Sporting Club Thamesmead their second goal, with five minutes and 2 seconds on the clock.

Tom Youngs played a short free-kick into Williams’ feet and he was given time and space to dip a low drive towards goal from 22-yards. The ball was destined to be gathered by McEntegart but McGeehan, who was standing in front of him sliced the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of his own net.

Ford insisted:  “Max won’t be happy you’ve given that an own-goal because he said it was on target!

“We got the free-kick and that’s another thing we said at half-time. Can we play a little quicker when we get a free-kick because I noticed a couple of times in the first half that they switched off.

“If we can get the ball to Youngie’s feet and take free-kicks we can threaten them.  Youngie has given it back to Max and if you don’t shoot, you don’t score. I know it’s a cliché saying but it’s taken a deflection and gone in.  Max can count himself lucky but I’ll take that all day!”

Walton said: “It’s got to be (an own-goal), he sliced it straight into his own net!

“I was more disappointed with the free-kick because they had a free-kick and we left one and I was shouting out to two of our players because they were marking one player and there was one in the wall.

“I didn’t see why one of them didn’t leave him to go one-on-one and then he came across to help out the one-man wall and it would’ve stopped him taking a shot.

“I was more annoyed about that because while we were shouting it they did exactly what we could see they was doing and I just can’t believe the players can’t see it, I just really can’t believe it!”

The home side kept on giving free-kicks away on the edge of their penalty area and they were almost punished in the 59th minute when Rose whipped in a great delivery from just outside the corner of the penalty area and quiet striker Luis Medina glanced his header past the far post from six-yards.

Beckenham centre-half Ike Robinson allowed Martin’s big kick bounce over his head and Merrick Simms nipped in but failed to poke his shot towards goal and Beckenham cleared their lines.

Tiny pair Youngs and Williams combined when Youngs’ free-kick was cleared out to Williams and his right-footed drive from 35-yards bounced once into McEntegart’s hands for a comfortable save.

Beckenham Town started to increase their desire after 65 minutes and they called Martin into action when he tipped Rose’s right-footed free-kick from 30-yards over his crossbar.

Walton said: “It’s a good save from the lad. We asked them to test him a bit more because he didn’t really look like a keeper but he pulled off some great saves to be honest with you.”

Ford added: “Charlie has been superb for us this season. I’ve said it a few times and he has been great tonight as well so I’ve got nothing but good things to say.”

Rose delivered a deep cross and Atkins was given time and space to flick the ball on and Medina sent his header straight at Martin, who had rushed off his line to make the catch.

Beckenham Town pulled a goal back with 30 minutes and 25 seconds on the clock.

David Jesus, holding midfielder, lost the ball in the middle of the park and Wright swept the ball forward to release Atkins charging down the left. He cut into the box and clinically placed the ball across the keeper to find the bottom far corner.

Walton said: “He got us back in the game. We changed the shape twice during the second half and I think it threw them a bit, threw a bit of a spanner in the works and we got the upper hand in the last 20-25 minutes.  We were maybe slightly unfortunate not to equalise really with the pressure we had.”

“It was a bit sloppy from us. A ball got played into David in the middle, he opened his body up and got caught on the ball and then they slipped Atkins in,” added Ford.

“Tired legs, I think more than anything. David’s been colossal tonight and he was unlucky to give the ball away in that situation and it led to the goal but what I’m more pleased about was we didn’t fold. It would’ve been quite easy at that point to sit down and lie down and let them come onto us but I don’t think we done that.”

Beckenham Town’s substitute winger Taylor Fisher floated in a cross for Medina to flick his looping header over the crossbar from six-yards out, put off by a brave block from Cameron Reardon at the near post.

Beckenham Town probed for a late equaliser to force extra-time but only called Martin into punching the ball away as Sporting Club Thamesmead kept men behind the ball to seal a memorable result for the club.

Walton said:  “The team 2-1 up in a cup game are going to defend for dear life. I’d dare say if we were 2-1 up it would’ve been the Alamo at the other end so fair play to them.

“It was poor from our point of view, we’re all disappointed. We’ve been stung, it’s like a bee sting.  We’ve been stung and it hurts but give it a few hours the bee sting and then the pain goes away and you wipe your nose and get on with it.

“I’m not taking anything away from them. It’s a great win for them. I know Joe and Martin (Ford) and I’m pleased for Joe. He’s a young lad, he’s an up and coming manager and it’s great for him.”

Sporting Club Thamesmead manager Ford said:  “It’s a cracking result for this little football club.

“We just wanted a good draw, it would be nice to have another game here under the lights and get some more fans in against anyone.

“We’ve beaten Beckenham tonight through sheer guts and determination.  They’re one of the better teams in the competition you would feel so we’re excited to see who we play in the next round.”
Sporting Club Thamesmead: Charlie Martin, Joel Mensah, Timi Osibodu, David Jesus, Mason Simms, Cameron Reardon, Tom Youngs (Elliott Rayment-Johnson 90), Max Williams (Dariusz Izukanne 89), Josh Patrick, Jamie Rawsthorne (Andrade Caetano 90), Merrick Simms.
Subs: Jedd Smith, Stephen Wetherley

Goals: Jamie Rawsthorne 2, Calum McGeehan 51 (own goal)

Booked: Merrick Simms 59, Mason Simms 72, Jamie Rawsthorne 84

Beckenham Town: Michael McEntegart, Jack Hope, Greg Benbow, Ike Robinson, Danny Fitzsimons (Jez Hammond 74), Calum McGeehan (Taylor Fisher 58), Stefan Wright, Nathan Paul, Richard Atkins, Luis Medina, Jake Rose.
Subs: Ricky Bennett, Jesse Darko, Damian Scannell

Goal: Richard Atkins 76

Booked: Ike Robinson 69, Stefan Wright 80

Attendance: 82
Referee: Mr Michael Butcher (Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey)
Assistants: Mr Joshua Gilham (Welling) & Mr John Baigan (Peckham, London SE15)