Beckenham Town assistant manager Billy Walton: 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
BECKENHAM TOWN assistant manager Billy Walton admits the wheels have fallen off their title bid.
The season started so impressively in the Southern Counties East Football League winning their first nine games but since then they have suffered five defeats in their last 14 league outings.
Beckenham Town were dumped out of the Challenge Cup by First Division side Sporting Club Thamesmead, losing 2-1 at Bayliss Avenue on Monday night.
Walton said: “One thing I will say, congratulations to Sporting Club Thamesmead. I’d like to see them go on and win the cup because Joe Ford’s a good lad, he’s very good at what he does and he’s very enthusiastic and I’d like to see people like that get on so hopefully they can go on and get a bit of silverware for themselves.”
But Beckenham Town make the trip to eleventh-placed Lordswood on Saturday but are still one of six club’s vying to claim the league title.
Fisher lead the way with 47 points from 22 games and they are closely followed by Corinthian (47 points from 21 games); Beckenham Town (46 points from 23 games); Chatham Town (43 points from 20 games); Sheppey United (38 points from 21 games) and Cray Valley (37 points from 19 games).
“We must be about fifth favourites now, I would say,” admitted Walton.
“The other teams, you could say, Fisher, Corinthian, Chatham, Cray, Sheppey and then us so we’re gone from favourites to fifth favourites – or sixth favourites. I put them well in front of us at the moment.
“There’s still a long way to go. We’ve got a big game at Fisher (in the Kent Senior Trophy Quarter-Finals on 19 January) to look forward to so it’s a good cup to be in, another good game to look forward to.”
Sporting Club Thamesmead’s players just wanted it more than a Beckenham Town team that appeared dis-interested for the first hour.
When asked whether he believes the wheels have fallen off, Walton replied: “Most probably, perhaps they are. I always look at myself and see what I’m doing, is it good enough? I criticise myself quite a lot.
“I think the players have got to take responsibility, it’s just not the managers fault. I think the players have got to look at themselves. The only thing I can blame the management for is you actually pick the players that go out there and if they’re not doing it, you’re to blame.
“When they go across the line it’s down to them to do it so sometimes they should take a bit of responsibility as well. We’ve got faith in them and they have to repay that faith and go and work hard for you.”
The management team of Jason Huntley (manager), Walton, Ricky Bennett and Jason Clews have been handed extra funds this season to go and win the club’s first league title.
When asked whether there’s pressure from the board, Walton replied: “No, they’re good people down the club and as I’ve said to you a million times, I always question myself. I always question am I doing the right things?
“I’ve always said whether I’ve been, if people want me to step aside and ask me to do something else or they can get someone who they think is better, then fine.
“Whatever club I’ve been at, Greenwich Borough or Fisher, I just wanted the club to go forward and that’s what I want to do with this club and try to get them into a league (Isthmian League) they’ve never been in before.
“We was close last year and we messed up a bit. We’re in the mix this year. It will be tight but we’ve let this slip. We’ve just got to regroup and get ourselves together and see what we can improve and go forward.
“We won’t give up, my character and the character of this club, we won’t let people think we’re an easy touch. We’ll still go and give people games.
“We’ve lost a cup game to a very young and enthusiastic team. It’s not the end of the world!”
Lordswood claimed their 29th point in their 19th league game with a 3-3 draw at Sheppey United last weekend and they too were knocked out of the Challenge Cup in the Third Round after losing 3-2 after extra time at Cray Valley last night.
Looking ahead to play Richard Styles’ side, Walton said: “What can I say? We’ve got to go there, same old clichés, same old rubbish that people talk. Roll your sleeves up, dig in. It’s not going to be a great pitch, ain’t going to be a great game of football. It’s going to be who wins their battles, so we’ve got to get 15 players there on a Saturday if we can because there were a few injuries on Monday night so we have to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.
“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.”
Visit Beckenham Town’s website: www.beckenhamtownfc.com
Lordswood v Beckenham Town
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 12 January 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Martyn Grove, North Dane Way, Walderslade, Chatham, Kent ME5 8YE