Match Report by Scott Bulmer
BECKENHAM TOWN 2-1 PUNJAB UNITED
Saturday 3rd August
For the opening game of the 2019/20 SCEFL Premier Division season, Punjab United arrived at Eden Park Avenue on a warm summer’s day.
The visitors came having finished last year 12 places lower and with 31 points fewer, but this still promised to be a stern opening test for Jason Huntley’s new look side.
Punjab’s chairman ‘Chipie’ Sian had stated before the game that his side’s aim this year was “to consolidate in this league… and perform better than last season,” adding, “Beckenham have recruited well, but I’m confident that our players will perform and I am hopeful we can come away with something.”
His hopes were dashed early on when Becks – resplendent in their new playing strip – scored after just 9 minutes.
A cross from the right was too high for the Punjab defence, the ball instead dropping to Andrew Mott who fired home.
Becks looked comfortable after that but as the half progressed the game became increasingly scrappy.
Two minutes before half time a momentary lapse in concentration at the heart of the Becks defence allowed Punjab’s big summer signing Tunde Aderonmu to get in behind chasing a deep ball.
Initially, it appeared well covered by Mott, but he mistimed his tackle and from there it was simply a question of free kick and a potential red card or a penalty and at worst a yellow. The referee duly awarded the penalty and issued a yellow card despite Mott having been the last man. Aderonmu stepped up and gave McEntegart no chance, tucking the ball well out of reach into the corner of the net. As he celebrated he then gestured to the fans with a finger to his lips.
Either side could have scored in what was a finely balanced second half with chances coming and going for both teams.
The hosts had the better of them whilst Punjab, with speed to burn in attack always threatened on the counter.
Eventually Becks’ prayers were answered by super sub Steve Townsend in the 76th minute. Good work down the right involving rampaging right-back Harvey Brand led to another substitute, Archie Johnson, popping up on the left flank and smashing in a powerful first time shot from the angle. The keeper did well to parry it into the air, but as the ball popped up towards the penalty spot, it was Townsend who reacted first, rising high and straining every neck muscle, he produced a header that looped over the outstretched hands of recovering Punjab goalkeeper Joe Hagan before dropping under the crossbar to restore the home side’s advantage.
From then on Punjab looked a beaten team and it was Becks who spurned a couple of chances to wrap it up towards the end.
A small pocket of home supporters jokingly returned the ‘shushing’ gesture to Tunde as he left the pitch which received a smile in return.
What matters most though was the result and that was taking all three points from a tricky opening encounter.
MOTM: Paul Lorraine (Punjab Utd)
Current League Standings
|Beckenham Town||Line-ups||Punjab United|
|Michael McEntegart (C)||1||Joe Hagen|
|Harvey Brand||2||Simon Cuthbert|
|Jamie Brown||3||Luqman Adesina|
|Rob Carter||4||Giannoulis Fakinos|
|Mudiagha Wanogho||5||Paul Lorraine|
|Ike Robertson||6||Adam Cuthbert (C)|
|Junior Kaffo||7||Chandler Kasai|
|Andrew Mott||8||Nick Donaldson|
|Ryan Hall||9||Laurent Hamici|
|Damien Ramsamy||10||Tunde Aderonmu|
|Stefan Cox||11||Stephen Ratcliffe|
|Steve Townsend||12||Ayomide Majekdunmi|
|Nathan Paul||14||Janiah Boyd|
|Shameek Farrell||15||Talden Gosal|
|Kiki Oshilaja||16||Prem Jayabrarathi|
|Archie Johnson||17||Lee Kidman|