Glebe 0-2 Beckenham Town - Tippy-tappy football is out of the window but I don't want people who come and watch to be bored, says Beckenham Town assistant Billy Walton

Tuesday 21st August 2018
Glebe 0 – 2 Beckenham Town
Location Foxbury Avenue, off Perry Street, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6SD
Kickoff 21/08/2018 19:45

Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Tuesday 21 August 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Foxbury Avenue

BECKENHAM TOWN assistant manager Billy Walton admits he suffered from boredom during his side’s derby-night victory over Glebe.

A crowd of 137 were treated to an uninspiring game which lasted 98 minutes and 80 seconds but in truth it felt like you were watching these two local rivals for a lot longer, such was the poor quality that was on show at Foxbury Avenue in Chislehurst tonight.

Beckenham Town grabbed the three points courtesy of a goal in each half from strike pairing Jesse Darko, 24 and a Richard Atkins penalty, but this game will soon be forgotten about very quickly.

Beckenham Town rose from fifth-place to second in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with a 100% record from their three opening games and are now just a point behind leaders Chatham Town.

Despite beating Tunbridge Wells here 3-1 on the opening day of the season and coming away from Erith Town with a 2-2 draw, big-spending Glebe have failed to deliver the goods and have now lost three games on the spin to Uckfield 1-0 in The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round and Chatham Town and now Beckenham Town by the same scoreline.

Glebe have slipped down the league table into the bottom six with four points on the board, a point clear of amateur-outfit Rusthall, while Croydon, Tunbridge Wells, Bearsted and Crowborough Athletic remain without a point from their opening three games.

The pressure must be getting to Glebe manager Anwar Uddin, as he disappeared out of a side entrance and into his car while Walton was being interviewed outside the clubhouse.

Fisher arrive here next on Bank Holiday Monday, 27 August and a scouting report will tell Dean Harrison that Glebe hit the channels for striker Steve Smith to run on to and he will create chances for himself and snuff him out of the game, like Beckenham’s solid back three of Danny Fitzsimons, Calum McGeehan and Ike Robertson, and the game is yours for the taking.

On this performance, Glebe played like a one-man team and Uddin faces a massive challenge to turn around their fortunes, especially as they were tipped to be challenging for the league title.

Beckenham used their away-day tactics of playing a more direct style of football too, playing with three centre-halves, two wing-backs, three in midfield and two up front, while Glebe’s 4-1-2-3 formation did not work and Smith had to do it all by himself at times.

“Not a particular great game, I thought, not one for the fans to come in and watch but what was pleasing, we kept a clean-sheet,” said Walton.

“I was more pleased with our defensive side tonight really. I think we snuffed out most of their attacks and looked really solid so I was pleased about that because that’s not really my style so I’m really pleased with our defensive shape.

“It wasn’t a pretty game, I’ll be the first to hold my hands up.  There weren’t a lot of football played but we dogged it out, hard-fought and to get a 2-0 victory here, look back at that in three, four or five weeks’ time and think that’s a good result. Glebe will beat teams.”

A big kick from Beckenham’s keeper Michael McEntegart was flicked on by Atkins and Darko swept the ball out to left-wing-back Jack Hope, whose deflected shot on the angle from 15-yards glanced off George Savage and landed in Phil Wilson’s hands after five minutes.

“It’s not something we’ve worked on, I’m not going to say it’s something we’ve worked on,” admitted Walton.

“It’s a little plan that I had tonight to come and go a bit more longer to our front boys and get it up to them quicker and that’s what we did for the first 20-25 minutes.  We used our full-backs well, they got in some good areas and then we stopped doing it for some reason.  Our balls that we were knocking up were just too straight.”

Glebe created their first opening just 46 seconds later when left-winger Luke Miller cut the ball onto his right-foot before whipping in a deep cross towards the far post which Smith rose to flick his header over the top of the right-hand post from eight-yards.

A stalemate ensued and a long free-kick from inside the Glebe half from Savage was met by a towering Smith on the edge of the penalty area but McEntegart made a routine catch.

It appeared to be the Smith show for Glebe as he went close to scoring with a stroked right-footed free-kick from 25-yards, which only just cleared the top of the right-hand post from a central position.

“I personally went up to him and shook hands with him on the way off because he had a real good game for them,” added Walton.

“He’s a handful and he caused us a lot of problems.  I just didn’t think he had too much support, fortunately for us.”

Beckenham Town swiftly went up the other end and smashed the stalemate with 22 minutes and 37 seconds on the clock.

Robertson’s throw-in was flicked by Atkins who released winger Shameek Farrell down the line and he cut towards the by-line before flashing over a low cross towards the far post for Darko to show more desire than his marker to slide the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from a couple of yards out.

“That’s a great goal, that’s a good goal for me,” said Walton.

“Shams put in a great cross, cut it first time, bang! That’s good movement from Sham and good movement from Jesse to cut in front of defenders and get in front of them to score.”

Smith created a chance out of nothing when he picked up a loose ball some 30-yards from goal and flashed his right-footed drive past the foot of the near post, past the diving Beckenham keeper.

Smith gave the ball away to Darko in midfield and he played the ball out to right-wing-back Nathan Paul, who released Farrell down the line and the winger cut inside and curled a cross around the top of the far post.

Glebe hit a lot of balls down the channel for Smith to chase and he lacked any one supporting him and Ellis Green had a very unproductive night.

Inside injury time, Smith collected the ball on the touch-line, cut inside with the ball at his feet and bent a low drive towards the bottom near corner, which forced McEntegart to get down low to his right to turn behind for a corner.

“I thought they huffed and puffed without causing us too many problems.  I thought we soaked up all the pressure they had and I couldn’t really see them scoring unless we made a real dreadful mistake,” came Walton’s reply.

Danny Phillips swung the ball in from the left and Aaron Fray came up from the back (where he had a solid partnership alongside Tolu Jonah) to send his free-header past the near post.

“I just said to them (at half-time) to play a little bit more football. We’re not keeping hold of the ball enough!  Try and pass the ball and keep it and shift it quicker and if you’re going to go long, try to hit it more of a diagonal rather than dead straight at the centre-halves.  Fair play to their centre-halves, they played well.”

Beckenham striker Atkins cracked a right-footed half-volley screaming over the top of the far post from 35-yards after only 63 seconds, before Glebe started banging on the door in search of an equaliser.

Sprosen clipped a ball over the top of the Beckenham defence to put Smith in, he nipped in behind McGeehan down the left, cut into the box and from a tight angled drove his shot into the base of the side-netting from eight-yards.

“That was possibly their best chance of the night, for me,” admitted Walton.

“I don’t know if it was a little bit of a mix-up between us at the back and he stole it off us and then got in. It was a tight angle and I was surprised that he didn’t hit the target from there.”

Carpenter delivered a deep free-kick which Wilson allowed to slip through his fingers and behind for a corner, which was swung in by Farrell and Atkins’ free-header at the far post looped into the keeper’s hands.

Green floated in a free-kick into the Beckenham penalty area from the right and Smith hooked a bouncing shot into McEntegart’s gloves for a comfortable save from 10-yards just before the hour-mark.

“I think it was a good defensive display by all of them, that’s why there weren’t too many chances in the game for both sides,” added Walton.

Glebe upped their urgency and desire levels and they deserved to score during this period of sustained pressure – but you expected a more stylish brand of football from a big-spending outfit.

Phillips cut the ball back to Miller, who whipped in a cross from the right and was headed clear by Robertson.  Smith took a touch and drove his right-footed shot just past the foot of the left-hand-post from 25-yards.

Paul threw the ball inside to Farrell and Glebe’s defence made sure the ball stayed on the wingers unfancied right-boot rather than his left-footed wand and he squeezed the ball into Carpenter’s feet and his deflected shot flashed past the foot of the far post.

Glebe went close in the 65th minute when Smith allowed Sprosen to take a central free-kick and the midfielder bent his free-kick around the four-man wall and McEntegart got down on his knees to catch quite comfortably.

Beckenham Town grabbed a second goal, against the run of play, with 28 minutes and 5 seconds on the clock.

Paul drilled in a cross into the Glebe penalty area and Sprosen was adjudged to have poked Atkins as he attempted to hook the ball clear from behind and referee Harry Wager pointed to the spot.

Smith was booked for dissent – Sprosen was already on a yellow card – and Atkins stepped up to rifle his right-footed penalty into the top right-hand corner – sending Wilson the wrong way - to score his fourth goal of the season.

“He don’t miss Richie, I’ve never seen him…..I don’t want to put the kiss of death on him but he very rarely misses a penalty, so I was pretty confident he was going to score,” said Walton, who revealed Atkins does not pick up a goal bonus.

“There again, he’s a forward and he wants to take the penalties to good luck to him.  I’m pleased with it. When he gets a penalty, I’m pretty confident with him.”

Neither side could muster another chance after Atkins’ clinical finish as fans soon headed for the exit a long time before the final whistle.

“I think for the neutral it was most probably a boring game.  I was bored watching it but from our point of view, we’re away from home against a good side and we’ve won 2-0.  Beckenham teams of the past wouldn’t have done that, we wouldn’t have sniffed it out to win 2-0, we would’ve conceded.

“When we came here we asked them to be resolute and solid and not concede. It’s a derby, it’s a big game and I thought we did.

“We weren’t great going forward but we were really solid at the back and that’s not really my forte so I’m not going to take no credit for it because I haven’t taught them that. The players we’ve got at the back now, they’re proper solid defenders.”

Beckenham Town proved tonight that they can be a serious title contender but all attention now turns to Saturday’s FA Cup Preliminary Round tie against Epsom & Ewell at Eden Park Avenue.

Walton said: “It’s good, it’s a good start, it’s a better start than last year.  I’m not going to talk about league tables and all that rubbish. I’ll let other people talk about that. Let’s just win the next game.

“Overall, the squad is a lot stronger than last year, prominently at the back. We let in 61 goals last year (finishing in fourth-place on 69 points from 38 games), so I’m looking to half that this year and take a lead out of Sevenoaks’ book and just win games like we did tonight.

“Tippy-tappy carpet football is out of the window until we’re winning three or four-nil, so it proved that tonight.  A lot of people used to say to me that and I didn’t believe them but it seems to win.

“I don’t want to overdo (playing direct football) it, I’d like us to play a bit because I don’t want to be bored. I don’t want people who come and watch to be bored.  I want to play some nice football.

Beckenham Town have won the Bromley bragging rights tonight, or have they?

“Glebe have got professional people running this club and Glebe is a very good club. They’ve got professional people running it and Beckenham have got little old Bill Walton, Ricky Bennett and Jason Huntley so it’s a little feather in our cap tonight. It’s good for me, I like coming here and pitting my wits against professional people and beating them,” added Walton, who is a painter and decorator.

Walton replied: “I wouldn’t brag.  I like Rocky (McMillan, their chairman).  I think the man doesn’t get enough credit for what he does. He’s taken the club on leaps and bounds. This was a kids’ team when I first met Rocky 20 years ago and now they’ve got some good players, have got a good set-up, so I will never have bragging rights.  I’ve got too much respect for the people to do that. I don’t rub salt into anyone.”

Walton revealed he will change his style of play against lower-league opposition for the carpet at Eden Park Avenue on Saturday.

“We’ve got two or three ways to play. People will have to work-out what we do but we’re different at home than we are away so if Epsom & Ewell were here tonight watching, we won’t play like that at home!”

Glebe: Phil Wilson, George Savage, Daniel McCullock (Sam Edwards 76), Toch Singh, Aaron Fray, Tolu Jonah, Ellis Green (Fred Obasa 61), Louis Sprosen, Steve Smith, Danny Phillips, Luke Miller (Peter Sweeney 78).
Subs: Liam Rosenthal, Stavros Sendonaris

Booked: Louis Sprosen 54, Steve Smith 73, Peter Sweeney 80

Beckenham Town: Michael McEntegart, Nathan Paul, Jack Hope, Calum McGeehan, Danny Fitzsimons, Ike Robertson, Stefan Wright, Dean Carpenter, Richard Atkins, Jesse Darko (Jamie Humphris 71), Shameek Farrell (Adam Wadmore 83).
Subs: Eku Dean, Josh Owen, Jason Mensah

Goals: Jesse Darko 23, Richard Atkins 74 (penalty)

Booked: Shameek Farrell 21, Ike Robertson 75, Stefan Wright 82

Attendance: 137
Referee: Mr Harry Wager (Tunbridge Wells)
Assistants: Mr Daniel Morrison (Croydon, Surrey) & Mr Ashley Barnes (Bromley)