Sheppey United 3-2 Beckenham Town
Saturday 24th October
Sheppey United 3-2 Beckenham Town
Becks three game winning streak came to an end after former Town player Billy Bennett netted an 86th minute winner to complete a memorable come from behind win for hosts Sheppey United.
The Ites had taken the early lead only to be pegged back inside ten minutes before a great individual goal from Tyrone Pink had Becks 2-1 ahead at the break. But at a damp, drizzly and increasingly blustery Holm Park the home side – with the wind in their favour in the second-half – equalised through Connor Wilkins before Bennett’s late heroics.
Over an hour and a half earlier it was Bennett who had provided the assist for winger Danny Leonard to open the scoring after just three minutes. An ambitious ball from midfield should have been dealt with by Archie Johnson but the LB got himself in a tangle and gifted Leonard the opportunity. One touch to steady himself was all he needed before lashing a shot past Michael McEntegart into the opposite corner of the net.
To their credit, Becks regrouped quickly and were level just five minutes later. Some quick thinking by Ryan Hall at a free-kick wide on the left caught Sheppey napping and released winger Pink. His low cross evaded everyone as it flashed across goal before being tapped home by skipper Harvey Brand arriving at the back post.
Hall flashed a free-kick on the right narrowly wide. Sheppey then had penalty appeals when Brand appeared to handle but the referee waved them away.
With vociferous support from their fans it was the hosts who were starting to get on top. Defender Lex Allan surged the length of the pitch only to send his shot sailing into the stands.
With midfielder Richie Hamill and winger Harrison Carnegie increasingly involved Becks had to weather a series of corners and free-kicks. Shortly before half-time, Tunde Aderonmu was booked and the decision seemed to awaken Becks leading scorer. Moments later he did well to win possession around halfway before delivering a killer pass that released Pink down the left.
With half-time seconds away Pink cut inside, appeared to delay his shot too long as he advanced towards the six yard area, only to check back and thread a clever finish past both keeper and covering defenders.
Perhaps a little fortunate to be ahead, Becks came out for the second period looking to deliver a potentially fatal blow. Joe Nwoko pulled a shot just wide, Brand fired into the side netting after another of his trademark surging runs from the right and Aderonmu headed wide.
Having seen Hamill booked for a late challenge on Hall, United boss Ernie Batten sacrificed Carnegie for Junior Aikhoinbare and the latters impact was immediate.
Having already had a tame shot from the edge of the area he popped up on the left and forced McEntegart to save at full stretch after cutting inside Brand.
In-between, the resurgent Ites had already equalised when Connor Wilkins applied the finish to a very good move that ripped Becks apart right down the middle of the pitch. Ryan Hall then cleared off the line from a corner as Becks fought to stay in the contest.
Steve Townsend came on for the disappointing Nwoko and new signing Tahjae Anderson came on for Pink as Becks enjoyed a spell but other than corners, a blocked Brand effort and Hall’s follow-up that flew over they failed to create any clear cut chances.
At the other end, Leonard was becoming increasingly involved having a shot deflected over for a corner before forcing another off Callum Henry inside the final five minutes – the Becks defender then needing attention for cramp.
Hamill’s delivery was initially cleared at the near post by Johnson but the ball went straight back out to Hamill and he looped a high ball back into the area that hung and swirled in the wind. The aerial challenge was there to be won but neither Valler nor Kaffo could prevent Aikhoinbare from nodding the ball forward and it was Bennett who was on hand to tap home the winner from two yards out to the delight of the home fans packed down at the end.
Match Report: BTFC Media Team
Photo Credit: Marc Richards