Beckenham Town 2-2 Glebe - After the disappointment of K Sports on Saturday, we've come here and we'll take a point, says Glebe boss Gary Alexander

Tuesday 08th September 2020
Beckenham Town 2 – 2 Glebe
Location Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3JL
Kickoff 08/09/2020 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Tuesday 8 September 2020
Stephen McCartney reports from Eden Park Avenue

BECKENHAM TOWN assistant manager Billy Walton blamed tired minds and legs for their direct football that they displayed during a disappointing local derby against Glebe.

This was both side’s third game of the 2020-21 campaign.  Beckenham Town came away from Sussex with a 4-0 win over Mile Oak in The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round seven days ago, before making their longest trip of the season by beating Deal Town 2-0 on the opening day of the Southern Counties  East Football League Premier Division campaign.

Glebe were knocked out of The FA Cup by Isthmian League South East Division side Whyteleafe 3-1 and suffered a shock 4-0 home defeat to K Sports at the weekend.

Although four goals were scored at Eden Park Avenue tonight, both sides were direct in their play and it was very unlike Beckenham Town.

They took the lead on the stroke of half-time through route-one football – a big kick from the keeper and slotted home from central midfielder Harvey Brand.

However, Glebe recovered well and striker Jamie Philpott drove in his first goal of the season early in the second half before Beckenham striker Ryan Hall capped off a quiet night by having his penalty saved on the hour.

Beckenham Town’s substitute striker Tunde Aderonmu, 32, gave his new side the lead through a deflected strike before Glebe deservedly equalised through a beautiful curling effort from Eric De Melo, who plays behind the front two of Philpot and Frankie Sawyer.

“I suppose at the end of the day a point was probably a fair result from our point of view,” admitted Walton, whose men were leading the table at the time of the abandonment of the 2019-20 campaign due to the coronavirus health pandemic back in March.

“We didn’t do enough to win the game and I don’t think Glebe done enough to win the game.

“I don’t think there was an awful lot about the game to be truthful. I was disappointed in our performance.

“After Saturday, you knew Glebe were going to have a bit of a reaction but we should’ve got at them more and passed the ball better and controlled the tempo of the game and dictate it to them as we were the home side.

“I also think three games in seven days – we haven’t had the greatest of pre-seasons to be honest with you. We’ve had cancellations so we’re two games behind and I did think we were a bit leggy out there.

“Deal on Saturday was a hard trip and we got caught up in all of the traffic and stuff that was going on down there. Players’ put in a shift and a half down there.

“Deal are an extremely tough team, workmanlike and we matched them toe-to-toe and it mostly took a little bit out of us.  We’ve had three long journey’s, a friendly god knows why down in Peacehaven and then we go back down to Brighton (to play Mile Oak) for The FA Cup game and then all the way to Deal. These lads work as well. Let’s go over today and have a rest and get ready for Saturday.”

Glebe manager Gary Alexander added: “You’ve come to Beckenham after our performance on Saturday and we’re expecting a tough game. It was a tough game but the goal just before half-time gives them an incentive and it wasn’t good enough!”

Reflecting on their shock defeat to K Sports at the weekend, Alexander said: “No one expected that but we spoke the other week that teams will beat everyone and what turned up on Saturday was unacceptable! The boys know that, we had a long chat after the game.

“I think we got a bit of a reaction today in terms of work ethic. Maybe there could’ve been a little bit more quality at times but we got a reaction in terms of work ethic so we can’t moan now.”

The first half was played at a frenetic pace with Glebe clearly the better side and they should have taken the lead inside the opening 83 seconds.

De Melo’s searching pass released Philpot charging down the right and his low centre was behind Sawyer but was pounced upon by central midfielder Tom Hever, but Australian born goalkeeper Michael McEntegart rushed off his line and made a vital block to his left.

Alexander said: “We’ve got to give ourselves an easier opportunity from there. Philpot’s got to score or he’s got to pick somebody out to score with a tap-in.

“It’s a good pass that was one of the quality passes of the first half and for 43 minutes we didn’t put it behind them at all. We didn’t turn them enough. We saw where we could hurt them after two minutes but we didn’t do it enough and I said to them at half-time that was probably down to a little bit of maybe poor technique at times, maybe too hurried to do it instead of taking our time and putting it into a good area and making sure our techniques right.”

Walton added: “I’m not in the Glebe camp but I don’t think Tom Hever is one of the greatest goalscorers so I didn’t expect him to score when it fell to him.”

Glebe’s left-back Emmanuel Dasho switched off from a quickly taken free-kick for Beckenham in the sixteenth-minute but was wasted by right-winger Stefan Cox, who like Hall endured a quiet local derby.

However, the two players combined as Hall’s quick thinking put Cox through on goal but he lacked composure and drilled his left-footed shot harmlessly past the near post.

“That was a bit disappointing because we took a good early free-kick and got Stefan in but I’d expect him to make the goalkeeper work,” said Walton.

Alexander certainly done his homework as Daniel McCarthy kept Cox in his pocket while Jason Mensah and Jahmahl King did likewise on Hall.

When asked about his two centre-halves, Alexander replied: “They did ok in patches. It was too easy to get in behind with one ball on two or three occasions and that’s something to speak about but other than that we asked them to defend and they won a fair share of headers and they put their feet through it when they had to.  There’s just a couple of things that we have to work on but we’re all learning but it’s something that we’ll go away and we’ll think about.

“Listen, that’s us at the moment. We gave away sloppy goals. We’re not far away but we’ve got a lot to learn in terms of giving goals away. We’ve kept them quiet and to come to Beckenham and keep two of their star players quiet says it.”

Beckenham Town got in behind the Glebe defence in the 24th minute when Brand’s hooked pass released left-winger Steven Townsend and his first-time pass was intended back to Brand but the away side were resilient at the heart defence with King and Mensah on top form.

There was something not right about Beckenham tonight. Bertie Valler swung in a left-wing corner towards the far post where centre-half Rob Carter rose to plant his header back towards where it came from rather than the goal.

Glebe were keen to smash long balls out from the back and by-pass their midfield in an attempt to release Philpot and Sawyer, who ran both channels – and Beckenham Town were often guilty of the same thing and it made for an ugly football match to watch for the 300 crowd inside Eden Park Avenue.

Walton said: “Which I’m not pleased about! I don’t want to play direct football but dare I say you go direct when you’re tired and you’re minds tired and you’re not mentally, physically right I think you tend to go a bit more longer just to be safe.

“I always say to players be brave, be brave on the ball. You’re playing on a fantastic pitch but I think I put tonight’s performance down to a lot of tired legs out there.”

Glebe should have smashed the deadlock in the 35th minute, however, when Ramell Lake played the ball out to Dasho, who played the ball inside to Hever, who fed De Melo, who turned Carter and bent his low shot around the keeper and just past the foot of the far post from 20-yards.

“We saw a little bit later on in the game, Eric’s got that little bit of magic. He’s a special player and he’s very, very good if he gets in that box and he can square people up and he was unlucky not to score,” added Alexander.

Valler’s long ball sailed over the head of Glebe’s right-back Daniel McCarthy and Townsend’s cut-back was intended for Brand but Glebe got bodies back and defended the resulting corner too.

It’s not very often when you witness Beckenham Town scoring a goal by playing route-one football but that’s how they grabbed the lead with 44 minutes and 6 seconds on the clock.

Keeper McEntegart smashed the ball straight down the middle of the pitch, Mensah failed to head the danger away and let the ball bounce and Brand latched onto the ball and clinically slipped his right-footed shot underneath the advancing keeper and watched the ball trickle over the line and into the net.

“It’s something that I most likely have worked on something like that. I told them to do it,” Walton said sarcastically, as his players ditched their carpet football.

“Nah, never in a million years! I don’t know where it came from. It worked I suppose. Any goal’s a good goal so I count that as a good goal for us.”

Walton added: “I was really annoyed (at half-time). You’re at home, you take the ascendancy to them. I have got to hold myself back as well in terms of being professional – If I am professional – and say we have had long journeys, we haven’t had the greatest pre-season. I’m making up loads of excuses but they are facts!  I have spoken to a few of the lads and they did feel that they were tired tonight.”

Alexander added: “It’s not a goal you want to concede. It’s a simple basic error. It’s one ball. We speak about letting balls bounce at any level, not just this level. If you let balls bounce you’re in trouble. It should be dealt with from the kick but then the GK has to do better doesn’t he? The GK’s got there and it’s gone through his legs so all round it’s a poor goal for us to concede.

“I thought it was pretty even first half. There wasn’t much going on, the odd one or two chances but as Bill said it probably lacked a little bit of quality for somebody to put their foot on the ball. It all seemed a bit rush, rush.

“We can’t afford to gift teams goals like that, poor goals. I said to the boys can we have that little bit more quality?!”

Glebe’s second half reaction was positive as they deservedly equalised just 108 seconds after the restart.

This is what you want these two strikers to do, linking up well and producing a sublime finish.

Sawyer slipped the ball in behind Beckenham centre-half Callum Henry to put Philpot in and he wrapped his right-foot around the ball to steer his shot across McEntegart to find the bottom far corner to score from a tight angle some 10-yards from goal.

Alexander said: “As we saw down with that final pass down the side in between the left-sided centre-half, which we got of Frankie two minutes into the second half and can we get into areas where we could hurt them?

“We got in behind them after two minutes and not to do it for another 43 minutes wasn’t good enough so we spoke about that and I think we were more of a threat in the second half.

“We’ve seen Jamie get chances. Jamie worked his socks off tonight. He knew he had to make up again because it wasn’t just him but it was a poor team performance on Saturday and the boys owed it and it’s a quality finish and it’s nice to see your two forwards link up.”

Walton added: “It was a good finish, a proper forwards finish.  We kept him quiet all night, he didn’t have another chance before or after but the one chance he got, he took.

“When he got through, he made an angle for him to get that shot off and I thought there was only going to be one place that it was going to go. I expected him to score to be honest with you but we could’ve done more to prevent the ball getting to him.”

Glebe substitute striker Bryan Zepo created an opening for himself just 63 seconds after replacing Sawyer as he cut inside and unleashed a right-footed angled drive from outside of the box, which flashed just past the foot of the near post.

Lake went close with a free-kick in a central position 30-yards from goal, stroking the ball over the four-man wall and McEntegart dived to his right and was relieved to see the ball whistle past the upright.

McEntegart was forced into making a full-stretch save low to his right to prevent Jerome Wade drilling his shot across him and into the bottom far corner, as Glebe searched for the lead.

Aderonmu came on to the pitch and after just 51 seconds went down easily to win Beckenham Town a penalty.

Hall’s ball over the top was met by a poor back-header from Glebe centre-half King and put Aderonmu through on goal.  A slight touch from Mensah saw the striker fall down easily and referee Joseph Dann-Pye pointed to the spot.

Now, there’s something about a left-footed player taking a penalty – they usually miss – and he did with 15 minutes and 51 seconds on the second half watch.

Hall stepped up and stroked his penalty towards the bottom right-hand corner, forcing Thomas to dive to his left to get a strong hand to the ball to make a vital save.

“I suppose that’s what you get for being an ex-professional footballer – they’re not very good with penalties as we know with England and teams,” said Walton.

“I was hugely disappointed with that we haven’t tucked the penalty away.

“Tunde’s going to be good for us. He’s missed out pre-season and we’re trying to nurse him along and give him as much time as we can.  I think when he came on it changed up front and we caused them all sorts of problems.”

Alexander added: “Callum’s made up for his earlier error. It’s a good strike from Ryan Hall, that’s a great hand from Callum but it’s basic defending where the ball can’t get in behind us and it’s got in behind us on too many occasions tonight so not good enough!”

However, play went from one end to another as out-of-sorts Beckenham Town grabbed the lead with 21 minutes and 45 seconds on the clock.

Wade and the impressive De Melo linked up inside the final third by exchanging one-twos and Demelo should have went down when McEntegart smothered the ball at his feet inside the six-yard box.

However, play continued and McEntegart found the quiet Archie Johnson, who released Aderonmu down the left and he cut inside and steered his shot towards goal, the ball deflecting off a sliding King and the ball nestling inside the bottom far corner.

Walton said: “I think for the first time in the game Macca actually used his noddle for once! He got the ball down and passed it quickly to Archie. Archie did get it up to Tunde quickly and we’ve scored, just quickness of mind and quickness of feet and we created a chance and I just wish we done that a lot more.”

Alexander added: “I think if we go to the phase of play before that, we had a counter and I think we’re a little bit too nice and their keeper comes out and almost takes Eric out but Eric’s being honest as he jumps over the keeper. I think if he goes down we get a stonewall penalty but they’ve broke up the other end and scored a goal, so we need to learn quickly in terms of that and become men and learn how to win games and learn how to win free-kicks and learn how to gain ground.”

De Melo issued a warning to Beckenham from distance, driving forward before unleashing a left-footed drive, which deflected off Carter and was gathered by McEntegart.

Glebe deservedly equalised just 49 seconds later when poor defensive play from Beckenham Town following a throw-in allowed De Melo to cut inside to curl a beautiful 30-yarder over the keeper’s right shoulder and into the top far corner to open his goalscoring account for the season.

The goal was timed at 23 minutes and 40 seconds.

Alexander said: “Listen, I’ve known Eric since he was about 17. I took him off a park pitch playing for a foundation Academy and he’s a tremendous talent. He’s had a year playing football (for Erith & Belvedere) and he’s getting better and better and he’s getting stronger and stronger and he’s a tremendous talent.

“He’s got that ability to be able to do that and he’s got a few things to learn but he's got that ability to take somebody on and curl it into the top corner. What a fantastic goal and he probably made up for when he didn’t go over for a penalty.  There are just little things that he needs to learn but he’s a top player.”

Walton added: “I spoke to Graham who gets the balls from behind the goal at that end and he said it did take a slight deflection to take it away from Macca but there again I do my homework on teams and people might say I’m silly and I tell the players’ information on individual players that I know and I’ve seen and he’s totally all left-footed.

“He scored a great goal down here last year for Erith & Belvedere at the same end when he beat three or four players and I said to them he will go on his left-foot and you tell them so they get there and shut his left-foot down.  We didn’t react quickly enough to get out to him and we let him come inside and hit a shot with his left-foot!

“A great strike, it’s the only bit of quality I’ve seen all night to be honest with you.”

Aderonmu was an attacking threat for the home side when he came on but too many players used the direct approach instead of using the pristine playing surface to get the ball down and play attractive football.

Glebe did just that inside the final 15 minutes when right-back McCarthy fed Hever, who played in Philpot, but his first-time ball in was comfortably gathered by McEntegart on his knees as neither side could notch the winner as they cancelled each other out for the remainder of the game.

“The game lacked that little bit of quality, that final pass. Both teams got into some decent areas but lacked that final pass. Nothing would fall for anybody and it ended up being a draw,” added the Glebe boss.

“Looking at Saturday’s result, it’s probably a better draw for us than it is for them. Coming away they probably looked at this, ‘they’re coming away from a hiding. It’s a good chance to pick up three points,’ but we’ve come here and we’ve got our first point on the board and we have to grow from that.”

There was something missing from Beckenham Town tonight. They played a direct brand of football, which is very unlike them and maybe the long lockdown, which saw part-time footballers going through their own fitness routines and a slab-dash pre-season campaign could be damaging the quality of games at this level.

“I just thought we looked really leggy,” admitted Walton.

“We’ll rest tomorrow and have a light training session on Thursday and rest on Friday and then go to Tunbridge Wells (in the FA Cup Preliminary Round), which will be a good game down there.

“They’ve won their first two league games, they’re a good side. I’m expecting a good game, they’re a good side, they were a good side last year.”

For Glebe this was their first point of the new season. They didn’t rely on set-pieces as they did during their FA Cup defeat to higher-league Whyteleafe seven days ago.  Philpot is off the mark, while star-striker Charlie MacDonald was ruled out after suffering a bang to the head during their shock defeat to K Sports at the weekend.

Alexander’s men are without a game on Saturday but face two tough tests at home to Corinthian (Tuesday 15 September) and a trip to Chatham Town (Saturday 19 September).

The Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division title will be between Chatham Town, Sheppey United, Corinthian, Beckenham Town and Tunbridge Wells. Will there be one or two dark horses? Only time will tell.

“We’re not going to fear anyone,” insisted Alexander.

“We’re going to go and play against anyone we have to. Look, we’ve come to Beckenham, Beckenham were top, probably in their own right should’ve been promoted from this league and we knew it was going to be a tough game coming here.

“I think we’ve given a half-decent account of ourselves. I know we can be better. We have to take that into Corinthian and Chatham, whoever we play. We have to keep upping our game and make sure that we can compete against those sides.

“No team wants to lose two games in a row, no-one wants to lose two games in a row. We’ve got some tough fixtures coming up but listen you have to play them all at some stage so why not play them early doors? After the disappointment on Saturday, we’ve come here and we’ll take a point.”

Beckenham Town: Michael McEntegart, Jamie Brown, Archie Johnson, Junior Kaffo (Tunde Aderonmu 59), Callum Henry, Rob Carter, Steven Townsend (Tyrone Pink 73), Bertie Valler, Ryan Hall, Harvey Brand, Stefan Cox.
Subs: Tom Menditta, Joe Nwoko, Jamie Humphris

Goals: Harvey Brand 45, Tunde Aderonmu 67

Booked: Jamie Brown 86

Glebe: Callum Thomas, Daniel McCarthy, Emmanuel Dasho, Tom Hever, Jahmahl King, Jason Mensah, Ramell Lake (Connor Pring 79), Jerome Wade, Jamie Philpot, Eric De Melo, Frankie Sawyer (Bryan Zepo 49).
Sub: Daniel Mamas

Goals:  Jamie Philpot 47, Eric De Melo 69

Booked: Daniel McCarthy 31, Jason Mensah 61

Attendance: 300
Referee: Mr Joseph Dann-Pye
Assistants: Mr Teddy Osborn & Mr Brian Wheatley


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