Sunday 21st November 2004

The Kent Website
Supporting Kentish Football

Beckenham sign strike pair from Deres

AFTER finding goals hard to come by, Go Travel Kent League Premier Division side Beckenham Town have snapped up two strikers from local Southern League club Erith & Belvedere, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Eden Park Avenue outfit have found the net 17 times in 13 league games this season and this has prompted the club to delve into the transfer market.

Making his second debut in Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to second from bottom side Lordswood, Paul Vines, impressed having signed from the Park View Road club.

He has played for Cray Wanderers, mainly in their reserve side, before he was snapped up by Bromley manager Stuart McIntyre last season and went onto make 44 appearances, scoring 9 goals for the Hayes Lane outfit before his release earlier in the campaign.

He played briefly under Barry Lakin at Erith & Belvedere before returning to Beckenham Town, a club he previously played for.

Tiny striker, Lewis Wood, is another former Cray Wanderers player, who has also been signed from the Deres, but he made his debut seven days earlier than Vines, in the 1-1 draw at Sevenoaks Town.

Jason Taylor, assistant manager at Beckenham Town explained why they have signed the pair.

"We signed them because we have been finding it trouble scoring goals," he said.

"We've been looking for strikers for a while.  We tried to sign Mark Hynes from Croydon Athletic but he wanted too much money, but we have managed to get in Lewis and Paul from Erith & Belvedere and we are looking for them to score goals for us.

"They are both proven scorers, Paul Vines has scored goals for Cray and Bromley and Lewis has scored many for Cray's reserves.

"We are creating chances but not taking them so we are very hopeful they will score for us."

Taylor, admitted a draw was a fair result against Lordswood at Eden Park Avenue.

They almost took a sixth minute lead when Wood ran onto a pass and saw his shot saved by Lordswood goalkeeper Scott Muttock's legs.

However, Beckenham took a deserved lead after 15 minutes when another long ball was flicked on for Wood to run onto and from the right hand side of the penalty area his shot beat Muttock and found the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Lordswood, however, got back into the game straight away courtesy of the home side when in the 20th minute a bad pass backwards went straight to Andy Doerr who ran from the half-way line, raced clear of the defenders, and once inside the penalty area he coolly dummied goalkeeper Gavin Hopper and slotted home.

Both sides played neat football, without causing the goalkeepers any problems but in the 43rd minute Scott Bucklen played Doerr into the area and as he was about to pull the trigger, a defender appeared from nowhere and blocked the shot and from the resulting corner, Lordswood's Sean Hetterley headed just over at the near post.

Daniel Vella's 30-yard miss-hit cross was tipped over the bar by a back peddling Muttock on the stroke of half-time.

Beckenham started the second half with high tempo and Mario Celaire's header was saved by Muttock following a corner.

Lordswood had a half chance when a long throw into the penalty area found Mike Cunningham but he was under pressure and Hopper made a comfortable save.

Beckenham controlled the remainder of the game with sporadic raids from the visitors.  

In the 63rd minute the ball was like a pinball machine inside the Lordswood area and the ball fell for Vines whose shot from 20-yards was saved by Muttock.

The best chance of the game, which could have given Beckenham the three points, came in the 76th minute.

Hopper's long clearance was flicked on by Vines for Wood, who beat the offside trap, and from 18-yards he blasted high and wide.

Lordswood, can be pleased with their battling efforts to earn a point - and Taylor admitted a draw was a fair result.

He added: "The game was a fair result.  We didn't play too well, we took the lead and gave a sloppy goal away.

"We didn't play particularly well, they defended well and got what they came for.

"It was a fair result on the day, they came for the point, which they got and a point was what we deserved."

Taylor, however, promised his side won't underestimate Amateur side West Wickham, who visit Eden Park Avenue in the second round of the Kent Senior Trophy next Saturday.

In what is a potential banana skin for his side, he said: "It's a game we should certainly do well.  We should get through the game comfortably, but we won't underestimate them.

"It's a local game and we will give them the respect they deserve."