Saturday, 5 October 2019

Tunbridge Wells 1 Beckenham 2

Match 33/19/1756 - Saturday, 5th October 2019 - SCEFL Premier

Tunbridge Wells (1) 1 Fjord Rogers
Beckenham (0) 2 Ramsamy 48 Hall 90 (pen)
Attendance: 304

Admission: £4 Senior
Programme: £2
Mileage: 38/2,330

A decent game of football and another last minute winner were somewhat overshadowed by distasteful scenes after the final whistle when Beckenham players vaulted the perimeter fence to confront Tunbridge Wells supporters whom they had accused of racially abusing a woman. I was only witness to the early moments of the incident but understand that it escalated to a point of police involvement. It is far from the first time that this sort of disturbance has involved Beckenham including their players doing the same thing after a Cup Final at Tonbridge two years ago.

It was a shame as a bumper SCEFL attendance of 304 had watched highly competitive game that, apart from the last minute winner from the penalty spot, saw 10 yellow cards including a sin bin.

Beckenham, sitting second in the table, started the game on the front foot and whilst the Wells goalkeeper Ryan Nicholls wasn’t unduly troubled there was almost half-an-hour in the clock before the home side registered a shot on goal with Jake Beecroft firing high over the bar.

Beckenham’s Steffan Cox, who wasn’t endearing himself to the Wells support found his way into the referee’s book after 37 minutes and was lucky to stay on the pitch when another tackle brought only a final warning from the official.

In the fourth minute of first half added time a free kick from Beecroft was met with a goal bound header from Freeman Rogers that was helped over the line by his brother Fjord to give Tunbridge Wells an unexpected lead at the break.

Cox was to silence his detractors three minutes into the second half when he wriggled clear of James Nurden to lay on a plate a tap in for Damien Ramsamy.

The second half was bitty, broken up with considerable fouls and yellow cards aplenty.

The Beckenham goalkeeper made a good save to deny substitute Josh Froggatt whilst the visitors were wasteful on several occasions.

With five minutes remaining the Wells were reduced to 10 men when Jack Hope limped out of the game with all substitutions made and after three minutes of time added they went down to nine when Fjord Rogers was sin binned.

A minute later a desperate challenge in the box took down a Beckenham attack with the referee immediately pointing to the spot. Ryan Hall duly converted to earn the three points and take the visitors to the top of the table.

What was to follow, I’m afraid, detracts completely from that achievement and does the non league game and football in general a disservice. We await the authorities judgement with interest and no little scepticism.

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