Men’s and Women ’s Cup action
Who made the Lee Valley show piece?
BROMLEY and Beckenham fell just shy of a fairytale Men’s National Cup Final appearance as two Will Heywood goals saw Canterbury advance – but playercoach Peter Dobson believes their run proves the future is bright.
A goal in each half from Heywood proved the difference as Premier Division Canterbury set up a showpiece final with Reading at Lee Valley.
But despite defeat, Bromley and Beckenham can hold their heads up high, reaching the final four despite plying their trade in South Premier Division One.
However, the loss does mean that a season that promised so much in fact sees Bromley and Beckenham ending up empty-handed after finishing second to Havant in the league and missing out on promotion by just two points.
But Dobson is adamant that their performance against Canterbury proves the next campaign could be different.
“It was a tight game, I think they obviously got their goal and decided to hold things tight, they went into a very narrow press and let us distribute out wide,” Dobson said.
“It comes down to goalscoring and they took their chances, they got three or four and scored two goals whereas we had what four, five corners and plenty of shots inside the D, we just couldn’t convert. You could definitely see they’ve got some quality players in there, a cut above where we were.
“The club’s looking to rebuild after going down last year into the South Prem. It’s just a great representation of the club, even in the league that we’re in to put in performances like that.
“We clearly have players that are strong enough to play in higher leagues and if we retain those players we can look to build towards getting back in the national league.
“If we can put in performances like that week in week out next year we’ll be able to get up the leagues.
“This year was all supposed to be a development competition, get some young faces in, and the further we’ve got those players have stayed in. It’s a really good nod to the fact that we’re producing some good juniors at the club.
“Before you know it some of these boys will be playing in the same league as Canterbury.
“Havant pipped us to the post this year but our target for next year is definitely promotion, if we can produce performances like we did here.”
Bromley and Beckenham started the game brightly and created the first chance with a neat turn and shot from Chris Barnett that flew just wide post.
Soon after though, Canterbury started to threaten and forward Sam George forced Bromley and Beckenham goalkeeper Josh Pewter into a double save with a couple of powerful shots.
Heywood was also looking dangerous and the speedy forward dribbled 30 metres into the D to win Canterbury’s first short corner with ten minutes on the clock. Andrew Dunn got his shot away at pace but Pewter was equal to it, palming the ball off to his left.
But in the 27th minute the deadlock was broken as Canterbury worked their way into the D and with Pewter stranded on the deck Heywood flicked a shot high into the net.
Bromley and Beckenham started brightly again after the interval and were
rewarded with a pair of long corners which they couldn’t turn into clear chances.
Stephen Roche won a short corner in the 45th minute which Dobson hit well but Canterbury goalkeeper Diccon Stubbings saved high to his right.
Dobson was running things from midfield but with 63 minutes on the clock Canterbury had their first meaningful attack of the second half, Bill Cain winning a long corner after some good work down the right.
Pewter made a superb diving tackle to deny Heywood who was through on goal and then made another double-save from a short corner.
However, as Bromley and Beckenham pushed for an equaliser they left gaps at the back and when the ball found its way to Heywood in acres of space he slid the ball home to secure Canterbury’s victory.
Not only do Canterbury have a final with Reading to look forward to but they are also competing for safety as they go up against Bath, Sevenoaks and University of Durham in the promotion play-off.
And Canterbury coach David Mathews is hoping reinforcements arrive after having to make do without a number of first-team players against Bromley and Beckenham.
“Although we didn’t play terribly well we were missing seven key players and still managed to get a result so we’re pretty pleased,” Mathews said. “Craig Boyne is still in Australia but we should have five or six back in. James Oates has broken his hand, Tom Beans out with concussion at the moment.
“Michael Farrer’s been away and he’s made a huge difference since Christmas so it’ll be good to have him back in.
“We need to work on passing, moving and basically creating more chances,” added the former England and Great Britain international striker.
“We’ve got to create more corners to win games, we only won three or four corners here and we need to be creating second, eight or nine, but they did defend well.”
Clift tops! Harriet Smith is mobbed after her 70th minute winner helped Clifton Robinsons edge out minnows Beeston 2-1 in their Cup semifinal on Sunday
Making Hey: Will Heywood’s initial effort was saved, but he scored from rebound
Flying high: Nick Sutcliffe fires in a diving shot for Bromley & Beckenham