Beckenham Town 3-0 Guildford City - Hopefully we can get the job done at Raynes Park Vale on Monday and come here next week and have a real good day, says Billy Walton, the assistant manager of champions-elect Beckenham Town

Saturday 16th April 2022
Beckenham Town 3 – 0 Guildford City
Location Eden Park Avenue, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3JL
Kickoff 16/04/2022 15:00

Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Easter Saturday 16 April 2022
Stephen McCartney reports from Eden Park Avenue

BECKENHAM TOWN assistant manager Billy Walton says it’s a fantastic achievement to win promotion to the Isthmian League for the first time.

An impressive 4-0 win at Redhill on Wednesday night sealed the clubs first promotion since finishing runners-up to Fisher Athletic in the London Spartan League Senior Division (second-tier) back in season 1997-98.

Beckenham Town can win their first league title since claiming the London League Division One (second tier) title back in 1927-28 with a win at Raynes Park Vale on Easter Monday (13:00).

Guildford City arrived at a sun-kissed Eden Park Avenue in fifteenth-place in the Combined Counties League Premier Division South table with 36 points from their 35 league games and a depressing run of 10 straight defeats.

After losing 3-1 at Colliers Wood United on 30 March, league leaders Beckenham Town have picked up 13 points from their last five games and on the verge of achiveing something special.

Koo Dumbuya set his side up very defensive with five at the back, four midfielders and a 16-goal striker (Nathaniel Mensah) who dropped back and slotted in at left-back towards the end of the game.

However, Beckenham Town striker Tunde Aderonmu, 33, scored a hat-trick to take his goalscoring tally to 22 goals for the season to put the champagne on ice.

Walton & Hersham – 2-0 winners against ten-man Cobham today – complete their 38 game promotion-winning campaign at home to Fleet Town on Monday, while Beckenham Town can claim the title on Monday and host Camberley Town next Saturday.

“It’s nearly there, not quite,” said Walton, who alongside Jason Huntley, Peter Sweeney, Phil Wilson and Jason Clews has helped deliver Isthmian League football to Eden Park Avenue next season.

“We’ve got to go again and win one more game so one (win) out of two.  I’ll take that all day long. 

“First and foremost getting promotion for the club is a fantastic achievement and I’m really pleased for the manager Jason Huntley, (secretary) Peter Palmer and the coaches Peter Sweeney, Phil Wilson and Jason Clews.  The work they’ve put in is unbelievable, fully deserved.

“We’ve got one more home game to go and hopefully if we go undefeated at home, we’ll win the title but hopefully we can go to Raynes Park Vale on Monday and clinch it there and have a real good party this time next week.”

Reflecting on Guildford’s approach to the game, Walton praised Dumbuya.

“I commended their manager, they were so well organised from the last time we played them (winning 7-1).  They came and got behind the ball and made it really difficult for us.  It weren’t a normal game for us here. Someone came and sat in and let us have the ball.  Normally teams get after us and we were able to get at them but they didn’t allow no room in behind them and made it really, really difficult.

“You’ve just got to be patient and you know you’re going to get a chance, it’s just whether you take those chances and thankfully we took three of the chances that we’ve created.”

Beckenham Town bossed the possession with at least 75% during the entire game and should have broken the deadlock inside seven minutes.

Joe Healy raised his right arm before floating in a left-footed corner from the left towards the near post but Danny Waldren powered his diving header past the left-hand post from eight-yards.

“He’s missed an absolute sitter for Dan.  I think he’s scored that, all day long. It’s most probably the best chance of the half in all fairness.  It’s probably the most easier chance than the one that Tunde scored,” said Walton.

Holding midfielder Waldren pinged a diagonal over the top before right-wing-back Harvey Brand played the ball inside to 18-goal striker Louie Theophanous who took a touch before dragging his shot across the keeper and flashing past the far post.

Brand was seeing plenty of the ball in advanced positions in his wing-back role but Walton admitted his side played at a slow tempo during the first half.

“I said to the players’ it doesn’t matter what red shirt you pass it to, forward, backwards, sideways, just pass it quicker! You don’t always have to go forward when they’re sitting in behind, just keep moving it left-to-right, right-to-left.  Just move it, one-touch, two-touch football.

“They’re going to get tired, it’s a nice hot day. Listen, football’s a hard game if you ain’t got the ball and you’re chasing it all of the time and I did think they did tire to be honest with you.”

Guildford City only looked like a threat from scoring from a set-piece and in the 19th minute right-back Adam Green floated a deep free-kick from the right towards the back post where Mensah steered his header past the near post from a very tight angle.

Guildford City’s 17-year-old goalkeeper Jack Coleman put in an outstanding display for the away side and denied Beckenham Town a deserved 25th minute lead.

Lewis Inglis clipped Aderonmu’s heals and Healy’s intelligent free-kick was played down the side to an unmarked Brand, who unleashed a right-footed angled drive which was superbly tipped around the post by Coleman, diving low to his right.

Walton said: “I mean we were standing there thinking to myself please just slip him in and Joe obviously read it and slipped him in and it’s a great save.  He played really well their keeper. I said to the lad when he came off, ‘it was a fantastic game for him,”

Guildford City winger Inglis looked to be the man to unlock the Beckenham defence with his pace on the counter-attack and he split open Curran and Archie Johnson with a sublime through ball along the deck but Nick Blue smothered the ball at Billy Connor’s feet inside the penalty area.

Beckenham Town kept knocking at the door and another chance came their way in the 29th minute.

An unmarked Waldren looped a long ball into the Guildford City penalty area from the centre-circle but Curran (who was playing in the number 10 role) steered his free-header across the keeper and past the far post from 12-yards.

Blue – who has great distribution – kicked the ball into Healy, who split open Guildford’s centre-half Kyrell Palmer and Theophanous back-heel found Aderonmu, who was tripped and the ball was cleared out to Johnson, who hit a low left-footed angled drive flashing across the keeper and past the far post from 35-yards.

Beckenham Town remained patient, however, and smashed Guildford City’s resilience by taking the lead with 35 minutes and 49 seconds on the clock.

Theophanous cut the ball back to Healy, who whipped in a quality cross from the right towards the far post for Aderonmu to bury his free-header into the roof of the net from eight yards.

“It’s a great little ball in, right into the danger zone and luckily Tunde got on the end of it, a great header, a really good header,” said Walton.

“Funnily enough, I was hoping when we scored they would come out but they sat in the whole game.  Fair play to them.  If they would’ve scored with one of their few attacks it would’ve been really difficult. We might have just panicked.  Luckily for us they didn’t have too many shots at our goal and we were able to keep hold of the ball.”

Guildford City got a slice of luck just before half-time when Brand whipped in a great cross from within the right channel and the away side put their bodies on the line to block driven shots from Theophanous and Johnson and Theophanous’ flicked shot was smothered on the line by Coleman – who has a great future in the game if he replicates his performance that he put in here today.

“The referee said to me ‘it was handball,’ but he let us have a shot and we didn’t score from the shot at goal and he said ‘you had the advantage’, but I don’t see how that works,” questioned Walton.

“If it’s handball you blow straight away for a penalty. You don’t let them have a shot at goal.  I didn’t quite understand that at half time.”

Healy clipped a long ball up and a mistake from Kyron Richards – one of three centre-halves – played in Aderonmu, who was denied by Coleman and the ball fell to Theophanous, whose shot trickled towards the bottom far corner and was gathered by the keeper, low to his left.

Walton said: “We just talked (at half-time) about moving the ball quickly as possible, just keep moving, moving and moving the ball around, left-to-right, right-to-left.  They will tire.  You ain’t going to keep being able to keep shutting us down. At this level you’re not super, super fit to defend like that for 90 minutes, so we just asked them to move the ball quicker in possession and play through and that’s exactly what we did – we upped it.”

Dominant Beckenham Town created their first chance of the second half after only 86 seconds after Guildford City switched off from a short throw-in.

Left-wing-back Johnson was left in space to float in a cross towards the edge of the six-yard box for Curran to stoop to head the ball down and Coleman pulled off another fine save.

“Fantastic save! What a save. I think if Nick had a few more hairs on his head it might’ve hit one of them and gone in the far corner,” quipped Walton.

Guildford City hit Beckenham Town on the counter-attack as central centre-half Lawson Bright crossed the halfway line and fed Mensah who drew a foul from Waldren some 25-yards from goal.

Three players were stood over the ball and it was right-back Green who stroked a right-footed free-kick over the five-man wall and only just cleared the crossbar as he took aim towards the top far corner in the 50th minute.

“I did fancy him to score, I really did fancy him to score. He struck it well, just over. It was a good strike,” said Walton.

“I think the only way they were going to score, the way they set up to play, is if we mucked up or a set-piece.  I didn’t think they were going to cut us open.”

However, other than that, Guildford City’s game plan was to park the bus for 90 minutes to invite Beckenham Town on to them.

Healy’s first time pass released Johnson, who floated a cross towards the far post and an unmarked Brand planted his header towards goal, only to be thwarted by Coleman.

However, Beckenham Town’s second goal duly arrived with 13:00 on the clock, through a superb finish from Aderonmu, following a well-worked move.

Blue’s precise kick wasn’t cleared by the Guildford defence, allowing the ball to drop and Theophanous grabbed the possession of the ball. He played the ball out to Brand on the right and he cut the ball back to centre-half Rob Carter, who took a touch before whipping in a cross towards the penalty spot.

Aderonmu controlled the ball with his chest and turned to drill a low right-footed shot past Coleman from eight-yards.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the lad, just wished he was a tad fitter, he’s be a real handful if he was super, super fit and maybe 10 years younger, he’d be a real handful but fair play to Tunde, he does that quite a lot,” said Walton.

“I mean when a team comes here after you beat them 7-1 away from home, a new manager set them up here not to get hammered.

“I said to him ‘fair play to you, you’ve set the team up absolutely superb to come and do a job on us,’

“Full credit to them, they stuck at it but you will get tired when you’re chasing a ball for 90 minutes and sadly for them, good for us, we got in when they got tired.”

Guildford City created an opening from open play when winger Connor whipped in a deep cross towards the far post but Mensah steered his header down and past the near post – Carter had done enough to ensure Blue maintained a clean sheet.

Dumbuya  brought on Zachary Seys in the 71st minute to operate as an isolated striker as Mensah slotted in at left-back, still maintaining a 5-4-1 formation.

Coleman pulled off another excellent save to frustrate Beckenham Town following their sixth corner of the game in the 28th minute of the half.

Healy floated the ball in from the right and Callum Henry found space at the far post and guided his free-header sailing towards the top far corner, only for Coleman to stick out his left hand to tip the ball onto the top of the crossbar and behind for a corner.

“He’s one of our posh lads Callum, he’s not streetwise, he’s a bit of a posh lad and perhaps up in Cambridge where he comes from they don’t teach him how to head the ball down. It’s always going up high. I’ll have a word with him. Hopefully he’ll understand me because I’m not as posh as him. Maybe he’ll understand my cockney accent so I’ll have a word with him and hopefully he’ll score on Monday,” as Walton produced an Ian Holloway esque quote.

Beckenham Town made five substitutions during the final 30 minutes and once again right-winger Freddie Nyhus impressed.

Nyhus was tripped by Mensah down the right-hand side within the penalty area and referee Stephen Matthews pointed to the spot.

Coleman dived to his right and Aderonmu stroked his right-footed penalty straight down the middle to give Beckenham Town a three-goal advantage with 34 minutes and 26 seconds on the clock.

Walton said: “Goalkeepers nowadays always dive, they will chose left or right.  I’ve spoken to Tunde quite a few times and told him to just hit it down the middle and they will dive.

“I only wished he done it in the FA Vase when we got beat on penalties to Glebe.”

On another impressive display from slender built Nyhus, Walton added: “You can’t speak highly of that lad. I’ve spoken to you quite a few times, what a prospect the kid. He's got everything. As a footballer he couldn’t have come to a better club because he’s got someone in myself (and our management team) and we all want to play football and he’s come to the right place, the right pitch to apply his trade and he’ll get better.”

Guildford City missed a glorious chance to pull a goal back inside the final five minutes when Inglis played a one-two with Kailan North but Curran came rushing out to press Inglis, who lashed his first-time shot over the crossbar from six-yards.

Waldren split open the Guildford City defence with a sublime ball over the top from a defensive midfield position and substitute Jamie Humphris was to be denied by another excellent intervention from Guildford City’s man-of-the-match, Coleman.

Walton said: “A great save, a great save.  We were desperate for Jamie to score. He’s been a long-servant for the club, he’s a great lad, great in the dressing room, one of t hose lads who always has a smile on his fact. All the supporters down here love him.”

Beckenham Town have collected 89 points from their 36 games and go into their final two outings a point clear of Walton & Hersham, who complete their campaign on Easter Monday at home to Fleet Town.

Fleet Town are in fourteenth-place in the table with 38 points on the board and they beat Horley Town 2-0 at home today.

Third-placed Raynes Park Vale have collected 78 points and came away from Frimley Green with a 4-0 win and Walton wants his side to win the title at Grand Drive.

“I’ve said all along these lads want to do something special, hopefully we can get the job done on Monday and come here next week and have a real, real good day, a real, real good day,” said Walton.

“We’ll go all out on Monday and try to win the game, get us over the line. It will be a hard game, they’re a good side Raynes Park Vale.  We’ll go there and we’ll prepare properly for it. It will be a really good game.

“It’s taken us a long time for us to get over the Covid year when we were top (of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division) and we were going to go up and we had it taken away from us so to carry it on, fair play to all the people who are here and all the supporters. It’s a great club to be involved in.

“Listen, if we can do that (win the title), what an achievement. It’s something to be proud off.  I said to the boys at the start of the season you can go and do something that’s really special and in 20 years’ time you’ll get together and go ‘I was in that team that won them promotion and was champions for the first time in their history.’ It's something special, even at this level.

“The players’ want to win the trophy. To me alright, you’ve won promotion and we’re all absolutely over the moon and we’re delighted but I don’t want to come second.  My old school teacher used to say to me – like I’ve said to you many times – coming second, you might as well come last!

“The good thing this year if you do come second, you do get promoted.  I still want to get the trophy. It will be the first trophy that I’ve won in senior football, me personally.”

Beckenham Town: Nick Blue, Harvey Brand, Archie Johnson (De Niro Pinto 81), Rob Carter, Mudiaga Wanogho (Freddie Nyhus 60), Callum Henry, Joe Healy (Harvey Hanifan 78), Danny Waldren, Louie Theophanous (Alfie Bloomfield 83), Nick Curran, Tunde Aderonmu (Jamie Humphris 81).

Goals: Tunde Aderonmu 36, 59, 80 (penalty)

Guildford City: Jack Coleman, Adam Green, Jackson Hogg (Campbell Scott 46, Zachary Seys 71)), Lawson Bright, Kyron Richards, Kyrell Palmer, Lewis Inglis (Fariz Khallouqi 87), Liam Maher, Nathaniel Mensah, Kailan North, Billy Connor.

Attendance: 345
Referee: Mr Stephen Matthews
Assistants: Mr Phillip Chrichlow & Mr Stephen Tyler