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Beckenham Town 13/4/14 Lost 0-4

Match Report by Kevin Hall posted on 14th April 2014

A sad day as Ashford outplayed & outfought after Senior Trophy defeat ends in chaos

Match Stats

Date: Sun 13 Apr 2014

Kick Off: 3.07pm

Match Type: Kent Senior Trophy

Venue: Longmead Stadium, Tonbridge

Score (FT): 0-1

Score (HT): 0-4

Referee: Steve Brown

Assistants: Ollie Butcher, Alex Clark & Fourth Official Phil Rowley


Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

1 Joe Mant
2 Luke Cuthbert
3 Liam Whiting
4 Gary Clarke
5 Jordan Miller
6 Ben Jordan
7 Sam Fisher (off 56)
8 Adam Cuthbert (off 73)
9 Sam Conlon
10 Pat Kingwell (off 73)
11 Ronnie Dolan

Substitutes (used *)
12 Tom Scorer * (on 56)
14 Gary Mickelborough * (on 73)
15 Michael Smissen * (on 73)
16 James Dryden
17 Ira Jackson

1 Rilwan Adibaba
2 Adam Wadmore
3 Steve McNamara (off 32)
4 Charlie Helps
5 Nathan Paul
6 Alfie Nunn
7 James Marshall
8 Jake Britnell
9 Damon Ramsamy (off 64)
10 Jamie Humphries
11 Travis Gregory (off 81)

Substitutes (used *)
12 Alex Wilks * (on 64)
14 Joe Jackson * (on 32)
16 Jalloh Gassimu * (on 81)
17 Jamie Turmer

Attendance: 412

On a day which Ashford chose to serve up their worse performance so far in this wonderful season, it will sadly be the events which took place after the final whistle that will grab the headlines, following Beckenham Town’s 4-0 victory over them in the final of the Spire Alexandra Hospitals Kent Senior Trophy at a sunny Longmead Stadium. Thankfully Manager Paul Chambers who was away on a short break, wasn’t present to witness the unfortunate events take place.

In the bright spring sunshine which bathed the ground, it was clear to see from the offset that Becks were up for the contest, with sharp and fast movement in attack. In the 11th minute they took the lead, when James Marshall drilled a low free-kick from the edge of the box into the bottom left hand corner of the goal.

Ashford responded with Sam Conlon just inches away from connecting with a Ronnie Dolan cross but although Ashford tried hard and huffed and puffed, they were unable to find enough cohesion to form any real clear cut efforts on goal. On the occasions that they did break into the Beckenham penalty area, the opposition seemed well organised and managed to somehow always scramble things away.

Joe Mant had to be alert to gather well from a well timed low shot by Travis Gregory, who was causing all sorts of problems alongside Damon Ramsamy. Shortly afterwards Jamie Humphries blasted the ball over the bar, as Becks came close to doubling the lead. Not long afterwards Mant did well to save from the same player with his feet following another swift counter-attack by the lively Becks outfit.

Just before the break, Ashford produced a neat move, but Adam Cuthbert failed to make proper contact, miscuing his shot, then on 43 minutes Liam Whiting found his name in the Referee’s notebook after a foul on Jake Britnell.

It was clear to see that on the evidence of the first 45 minutes, tactically the formation of the side was wrong and Ashford were going to get little joy if they continued to lump long balls in the hope that Pat Kingwell would get on the end of them.

Then 10 minutes into second-half Beckenham made it 2-0 after Gregory latched onto a neat square ball from Humphries to tap home from a few yards out after the Ashford defence was caught square. Immediately Assistant Manager John Ovard introduced Tom Scorer into the fray in place of Sam Fisher and this at last injected some pace into the side.

As Ashford strived for a foot hold in the game, it was Scorer who was behind their best moves, sending a lovely ball to Dolan who crossed into the box to produce a chance for Kingwell, but instead of a firm header it merely glanced off his brow and harmlessly out for a goal-kick. Kingwell was shortly replaced alongside Adam Cuthbert as Ovard went three up front with the introduction of Gary Mickelborough and Michael Smissen.

The outcome of all out attack, meant Ashford could be caught out at the back and very nearly were as Beckenham substitute Alex Wilks found himself in acres of space, Ashford grateful to Whiting for a well timed tackle to deny him.

Then with 12 minutes remaining, Becks were reduced to 10 men, when substitute Joe Jackson collected a second yellow card following an altercation with Dolan. Chances fell to Smissen and Mickelborough but Rilwan Anababa had little to generally do, except punch and clear away when needed to.

On 83 minutes another nail was added into the Ashford coffin with a route one goal, pumped up towards Humphries who finished well to add further misery on the Nuts & Bolts .Then two minutes later Whiting with a clumsy challenge on Britnell, was forced to march off the pitch in disgruntled fashion after his second yellow card, following his earlier misdemeanour.

Scorer almost gave the vocal healthy Ashford contingent who made up over three quarters of the 412 crowd, something to cheer, bit his rasping shot was gathered by Anababa at the second attempt. But the misery was compounded in stoppage time when the normal reliable Mant failed in a routine clearance, gifting Humphries the easiest of chances, as he walked the ball into the open net to complete the 4-0 score.

After the final whistle a scuffle then broke out in the stand behind one of the goals, which ultimately forced the cancellation of the trophy presentation to Beckenham. Their players, despite appeals from the officials present seeming more content to throw a punch or two than collect the trophy. So a day which began in silence to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy, ended it scenes of utter chaos, the like of which is rarely witnessed in non-league circles.

The match took place at the home Tonbridge Angels FC, but there was nothing angelic about the performance of certain Beckenham Town players at its conclusion and the disgraceful scenes witnessed from them will surely be dealt with by the powers that be in the fullness of time. They should have celebrated their wonderful display and let their football do the talking, but they didn’t and the repercussions that follow could be costly to the players involved and also to the Beckenham club.

Match Reporter Kevin Hall