We'll treat Hastings like everyone else but we won't fear them, insists Beckenham Town assistant manager Billy Walton

Friday 20th August 2021

BECKENHAM TOWN assistant manager Billy Walton is plotting a FA Cup upset against big-hitters Hastings United tomorrow.

Managed by Jason Huntley, Beckenham Town go into the mouth-watering Eden Park Avenue clash with an unbeaten record in four of their games and they sit in sixth-place in the Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier Division South.

Beckenham kicked-off their campaign with a 1-0 win over Jersey Bulls, despite having winger Stefan Cox red-carded after 32 minutes and goalkeeper Nick Blue having an outstanding performance against much-fancied opponents.

Beckenham Town were then held to a surprise 0-0 draw at home to their league rivals Colliers Wood United in The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round, before coming home from south-west London with a 3-1 replay win.

Huntley’s charges easily beat Farnham Town by four goals to nil away from home last weekend.

Hastings United kicked-off their Isthmian League South East Division campaign with a 1-1 draw against Ben Smith’s Herne Bay last weekend and Walton fancies his side’s chances against a side one level higher than them.

Reflecting on their games so far, Walton said: “Farnham was most probably the best we’ve played in terms of how we moved the ball about and the way we got after them and stuff.

“We had a good first half and eased up and relaxed in the second half. It was a good away trip to I hope all of them are like that.”

Walton admitted his side should have won their FA Cup tie at the first attempt.

“I thought at home we didn’t exert ourselves probably, the way we wanted to play at home and we really should have got after them and put the game to bed in the first game.

“Give Colliers Wood credit, they worked hard and shut us down and didn’t let us play any football and get into any rhythm.

“When we went to their ground, maybe psychologically they thought the job was done going to our place and getting a draw and with us missing a penalty.

“We really got after them and did what we should have done in the first game and so it proved. We won quite comfortably in the end.  They had a man sent off when they were 2-0 down so it was a bit more comfortable, but there again when they had a man sent off they upped it and they played better with 10 than they did with 11.”

Walton added: “Jersey were a really good side, the most fittest side that I’ve come across at that level and very professional in what they did and I suppose we got a get out of jail card against them in terms of how we defended that day.”

Having stunned League Two side Crawley Town with a 1-0 friendly win on Tuesday 3 August, Walton insists Beckenham Town are more than capable of sending Chris Agutter’s highly-rated side crashing out of The FA Cup at their first hurdle.

“I’ve watched quite a few videos of them, hours and hours of them and they want to play and they play very similar to us actually, the way we defend and the way we attack, they do exactly the same sort of thing,” revealed Walton.

“Listen, it will be a hard game for them as well. We’re a good side and we’re littered with Isthmian League players. The only thing that splits us is what it says on top of their league – they’re in the Isthmian League and we’re in the Combined Counties.

“But in terms of personnel, I’m sure that we’ve got quite a few lads who can play at that level.

“I will be very disappointed if we don’t get a result and I’m really confident we can get a result.

“We’ve proved in pre-season in the games we played against really strong opposition and we can prove that we can match them.

“We played really well beating Crawley with eight or nine of their first-team players in and a couple of loan signings from Port Vale and Southampton which was an incredible feat beating them.

“I’m sure that we certainly won’t fear Hastings, we’ll treat Hastings like everyone else but we won’t fear them. We’ll go out and play and match up and see how we do.

“As I’ve said many times to you, we certainly won’t fear Hastings. We’re quite confident that we can go and get a result.

“I like pitting my wits against senior managers and that’s what I like about The FA Cup – it gives you a chance to do that and it gives you a few quid along the way.

“There will be a big crowd, Hastings have got a big following so hopefully they can bring a few down – I’m looking forward to it.”

Visit Beckenham Town’s website: www.beckenhamtownfc.com

Beckenham Town  v  Hastings United
The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 21 August 2021
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3JL