We just have to get over the final hurdle, which is hard in this league, says Beckenham Town assistant manager Billy Walton

Tuesday 25th December 2018

BECKENHAM TOWN assistant manager Billy Walton says he’s not going to be giving up in his bid to land the league title in April.


The club won their first nine games of their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division campaign but since then they have suffered five defeats in their last 12 games and as a result have slipped down to second-place in the table at Christmas.

Dean Harrison has guided Fisher to the top of the tree at Christmas, having collected 43 points from 20 games, a point clear of Beckenham, who have played a game more.

Corinthian, who came away from Beckenham Town with a 1-0 win on Saturday, are in third-place with 41 points from 19 games.

Chatham Town are in fourth-place (37 points from 18 games), followed by Cray Valley (34 points from 18 games) and Sheppey United (33 points from 18 games).

“We just have to get over the final hurdle, which is hard in this league. It’s very, very difficult as everyone’s proving this year,” said Walton.

“I think it’s harder chasing, I’d rather be top and just keep winning so no one catches you.

“When you’re chasing, you hope they slip up. If they don’t slip-up, they win it, so I’d rather be top all day long for as long as possible.

“I don’t like chasing, when you chase you tend to slip up. I’d rather be top.

“Sevenoaks didn’t slip up did they last year.  They just won game after game after game and put so-called pressure on the other teams but for me personally, I certainly don’t feel no pressure.”

Beckenham Town lost centre-half Calum McGeehan to concussion and were forced to play Ike Robinson for the entire second half, just hours after hearing the sorry news that his beloved mum had passed away.

Questions must be raised as to why manager Jason Huntley selected him in his 16-man squad when the player should have been sent home on compassionate leave.

Walton said:  “That’s pressure, when you’re deeply believed mum passes away and you come to want to play football. The lad must be going through a nightmare. It must be a nightmare for him. I see that as pressure, not this.

“This is what I love doing and things like that give me a little reminder, it’s football. It’s a game that we love doing, it’s a game you love reporting on. It’s a game that everyone loves playing but that brings it back all home and I’m going to go away tonight and enjoy my Christmas because I feel for Ike.”

So the league title and promotion into the Isthmian League will be between, at present, six clubs all vying for that one spot.

When asked what message he has for the Eden Park Avenue faithful, Walton replied:  “Don’t give up! I’ve never given up everything and we won’t give up. There’s four months to go and 17 games to go so don’t give up on us boys. We’ve got a lot of football left and there’s a lot of games to play so it’s exciting.”

“In the New Year we’ve got two good cup games to look forward to against Sporting Club Thamesmead and Fisher so we’re still battling on all fronts.”

Beckenham Town, meanwhile, make the short trip to Croydon to play the divisions basement club, which has won just once in their 18 league games and Chris Brown’s side are nine points adrift of safety following their 2-1 defeat at AFC Croydon Athletic at the weekend.

Walton said:  “You’ve got to go there and perform. We’ve played them twice already this season and got good results against them so we’ve got to roll our sleeves up again and bounce back.  Just win as many games as possible and finish of the year with a win.”

Beckenham Town travel to Bayliss Avenue to play First Division side Sporting Club Thamesmead in the Challenge Cup Third Round on Monday 6 January and travel to play their bitter-rivals Fisher in the Kent Senior Trophy Quarter-Finals on Saturday 19 January.

Croydon  v  Beckenham Town
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 29 December 2018
Kick Off 1:00pm
at Croydon Sports Arena, Albert Road, South Norwood, London SE25 4QL