Football: Rusthall show potential against runaway leaders Beckenham

Pam Mills
WAITING GAME: (L-R) Rusthall’s Robbie Bissett, Paul Butler, Jordon Anderson and Alex Carey prepare for a set-piece

RUSTHALL valiantly held their own against Beckenham Town, the early pacesetters in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division this season.

But a flurry of goals towards the end of the Friday night encounter proved their undoing at Eden Park Avenue.

The hosts have an impressive 100 per cent record in the new season with seven wins out of seven and they were soon enjoying the lion’s share of possession.

But Rusthall were by no means just a bit-part player and they were also looking to create when they had the ball.

In fact the best chances of the first half fell to the Rustics. Callum Ridley went past three Becks players to find himself one-on-one with the keeper but his shot was deflected wide.

Just before half-time the visitors should have taken the lead but John Philips contrived to miss from six yards out with the goal unattended.

In between these chances, Rusthall’s Jake Cornish made a superb save from a shot that looked destined for the top corner.

So it was goalless at the interval, and the second half followed the same pattern as the first, with Becks constantly moving the ball from side to side looking for an opening.

On 76 minutes the breakthrough finally came as a low cross fizzed into the box and their left winger Taylor Fisher ghosted in to drill home.

This took the wind out of Rusthall’s sails and two more goals quickly followed, from Richard Atkins with ten minutes left and Fisher again two minutes later.

The margin of victory was rather flattering to the home side but Rusthall are still waiting to find their first league win since August 7.

Joint manager Andrew McKechnie said: “We’ve got to be positive. For 76 minutes we’ve taken Beckenham, who have won every single league game, and we’ve easily matched them and at times taken the game to them.

“We’ve got ourselves in some good areas and at times our final ball in the final third wasn’t quite positive enough. I really don’t think we’re that far off being a stable side in this league.”

Rusthall now entertain second-placed Chatham Town on Saturday [September 29, kick-off 3pm].

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