BY PHILIP PASSEY
Becks cruised into the next round of the FA Vase thanks to a comfortable 5-0 win at SCEFL Premier Division outfit K Sports. Two goals from Steve Townsend and one each from Tunde Aderonmu, Archie Johnson and Jamie Humphris were more than enough to see off the Paperboys.
With Bertie Valler and Callum Henry both ruled out through injury, Jamie Brown and Rob Carter were drafted into the back four with Humphris making his first start of the season. As the opening exchanges played out, Becks increasingly gained the upper hand with the hosts offering little in attack. Having already had a shot from the edge of the area saved, the influential Tom O’Connor combined well with Townsend to feed Aderonmu around 15 minutes in. The big striker looked to have done too much, but found the bottom right-hand corner of the net from the edge of the area.
After 20 minutes K Sports were then reduced to 10 when midfielder Greg Smith saw red after needlessly going straight through the back of O’Connor just inside Beckenham’s half. With a man less, the home side were soon being swamped with Aderonmu, Humphris, Townsend and perhaps most impressively of all (after a lovely bit of improvised skill to get himself clear in the area) O’Connor all going close. The mercurial number 10 won a corner after 28 minutes and it would double the Reds advantage – Johnson’s inswinging delivery evading everyone as it curled all the way in untouched.
The home side did well to avoid conceding further before the break with Brown and Johnson both getting forward well and unleashing shots whilst the front three all had chances. O’Connor was at the heart of it, prompting and cajoling and it was he who stole possession and played in skipper Danny Waldren who flashed another shot just over. The captain was also enjoying himself – with time to spare, his full range of passing was on display as he swept 30-40 yard crossfield passes on to runners or just picked the holes in the hosts’ defensive shape over much shorter distances.
The start of the second half saw a lengthy delay after an aerial clash resulted in K Sports’ Callum Thomas departing with a suspected broken wrist and Johnson being replaced by Dami Bada. Nick Curran thought he’d added the third shortly after when his goalbound header from O’Connor’s free-kick was acrobatically turned away by keeper Charlie Walker ,who then got up to deny the follow-up effort by Aderonmu. Humphris then had the ball in the net after a flowing move down the right that included a delightful back heel from O’Connor – only for an offside flag to intervene after Townsend’s initial effort had been blocked.
A heavy touch and a poor finish then saw Townsend spurn two further opportunities to increase the lead. But shortly after he had his goal. Aderonmu bravely won the ball and the slide rule pass through the centre sent Townsend racing into the area – only a body check denying him the clear opportunity. That saw a yellow card and a penalty and Townsend duly converted it – just: the ball squirming under Walker’s body by the narrowest of margins.
Job done, Curran and Waldren departed as Junior Kaffo and Dennis Doci joined the fray. Just a few minutes later Aderonmu and Townsend combined well on the left creating space for O’Connor to drive into the area, his cross through a crowd found Humphris at the back post and he fired into the roof of the net from close range. A moment later it was 5-0 – Townsend, receiving the ball unmarked just inside the left-hand side of the area, calmly lobbing the advancing keeper to complete the rout and rubber stamp a trip to Hassocks in the next round.