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Match Report Herne Bay 3 Beckenham Town 2

Match Report Herne Bay 3 Beckenham Town 2

Steve Barton17 Feb - 21:06
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Another Three Points On The Board

Saturday 17th February 2024
Isthmian League Division One South East
Herne Bay 3 Beckenham Town 2
Attendance. 578
Herne Bay: Harry Brooks, Harrison Pont, Frankie Smith, Tom Hanfrey (Theo Osinfolarin 60), Liam Friend, Danny Walder, Archie Burnett, Gil Carvalho, Scott Heard, Michael Salako, Kane Rowland. Subs not used: Finlay Whitton, Daniel Carrington, Sam Wright, Carter Wilson.
Scorers: Salako 2 (8, 43), Heard (67)
Yellow cards: Danny Walder, Scott Heard.

With Sheppey United’s game at Horndean postponed it gave Herne Bay the chance to widen the gap on the Ites who were one place below them. Bottom side Beckenham would be desperate to put some points on the board in their bid for survival especially as their next three fixtures were against Cray Valley PM, Lancing and Ramsgate, all of them in the top four.

Tom Hanfrey replaced Finlay Whitton in the starting line-up and Theo Osinfolarin came in on the bench after a spell out with tonsilitis.

It became a seventh win from eight matches from Herne Bay and whilst it was not the most convincing of performances it was still three points on the board although Beckenham Town might feel aggrieved not to have got something out of the game, particularly as their nearest rivals for relegation, Erith & Belvedere and Phoenix Sports both lost.

Bay started the brightest with Frankie Smith and Gil Carvalho both missing the target early on. In the eighth minute Danny Walder crossed, Kane Rowland struck towards goal and his attempt was saved by the feet of Nick Blue. The ball ballooned up and Mike Salako was on hand to put Bay ahead with his chest.

Herne Bay were looking very nervous at the back and too often relying on passing the ball back to Harry Brooks who was pressurised by the advancing Becks’ forwards. There seemed to be a big gap between defence and midfield. Finley Roberts and Steven Townsend were looking dangerous for the visitors but they failed to find the target.

In the 34th minute Beckenham made their possession count. Townsend ran through and played in Alfie Bloomfield who levelled the scores. As half-time neared a Walder strike was blocked by Townsend and the ball went out for a corner. Walder stepped up and put the ball into the box from the flag to find Salako waiting to head home.

Game management was essential to see Bay through to the break but Smith lost possession in the middle and Roberts ran through, slipped the ball through to Townsend who beat Brooks to equalise.

Herne Bay looked more secure at the back in the second period and Brooks was in great form keeping out Freddie Nyhus and Townsend.

The defining moment came on 67 when Carvalho sent Scott Heard away on the right. His shot towards goal bibbed and bobbed, and may, or may not, have taken a deflection off Salako, but was missed by the visiting defence and settled just inside Blue’s right-hand post.

Beckenham did their best come back into it but Brooks and his defence held firm and for Bay Rowland and Walder both came close in the closing stages but a 3-2 victory was enough to keep Herne Bay in fifth, five points ahead of Chichester City who had played one game more, and six in front of Sheppey United who had played one match less. A great crowd of 578 were in attendance.

Reaching the play-offs was becoming an increasing possibility, especially with next to bottom Erith & Belvedere next up.

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