SCEFL Challenge Cup

Tuesday 19th November

Becks bowed out of the League Cup after a goal either side of half-time earnt visiting Rusthall a surprising but deserved triumph at Eden Park Avenue.

Boss Jason Huntley made six changes to the full-strength league side that had beaten Hollands & Blair 2-1 just three days earlier with the Kent Senior Trophy and the promotion push clearly being prioritised.

Rusthall arrived in impressive form themselves having moved 2nd in Div 1 with a sixth league win in seven the previous Saturday as their push for an immediate return to the Premier Division gathered pace.

In the opening minutes, Becks had the ball in the net only for it to be disallowed for an intentional handball that earned Damien Ramsamy a yellow card. With the hosts guilty of wastefulnees in front of goal all night (Cox, Nosike and Ramsamy all spurning first-half opportunities) it was the visitors – all aged 23 or under – who put in their best team performance of the season. Rusthall enjoyed plenty of possession and hit the post through Steven Camacho before taking a 39th minute lead when Tommy Lawrence showed great technique to beautifully curl a free-kick around the wall and into the net. Just before the interval, stand-in skipper Luke Rooney’s low drive drew a good save out of Billy Johnson.

But soon after the break, that lead was doubled – recent signing Jamie Miles gathering a headed clearance around twenty yards out and his shot flying just inside the post. Rooney almost reduced the arrears immediately but Johnson made an excellent save from his low drive.

Becks made a triple substitution on 58 minutes as regulars Junior Kaffo, Ashley Carew and Steven Townsend all finally joined the fray but there would be no comeback. Rusthall continued to create problems for their hosts whilst Carew, Townsend and Rooney all failed to score from useful positions. For Becks, one knockout competition and the league remain. For Rusthall, a Step 5 scalp and a deserved victory for an impressive performance on the night.