With manager Jason Huntley away, Dave Mehmet took charge for a game played on Meridian’s 3G astro due to a cup final already scheduled on the SE7 club’s main pitch.
Former Dulwich Hamlet player Danny Waldron was the pick of the first-half performers – directing, cajoling and leading much of Beckenham’s best movement from his central midfield berth. With Callum Henry, Ike Robertson and Harry Hanifan all looking assured at the back, the visitors were on top from the outset.
In attack, recent acquisition Tom O’Connor looked sharp on the right but some clever runs made Steve Townsend the standout performer amongst the forwards. The young striker – about to start his third season with Becks – scored the only goal of the first half with an accomplished finish into the corner after finding space on the left and wriggling his way across the area.
Wholesale changes at half time saw Becks step up a gear and start to dominate in the second half. Former Arsenal youth prospect Bertie Valler was full of running, returnee Damien Ramsamy showed some nice touches and Junior Kaffo provided a strong-arm pivot in midfield, but it was promising youngster Dennis Doci who created space for himself before unleashing a powerful shot from just outside the area that the Meridian keeper did well to tip on to the underside of the bar.
A second goal was surely a matter of time and it eventually came off an Archie Johnson corner. A defensive error saw the ball remain in play and cleverly worked back to defender Hanifan, whose scuffed shot from eight yards out found the bottom left-hand corner.
By now the game was being played predominantly in Meridian’s half with the hosts reduced to attacking on the break. Waldron showed his versatility after returning to the fray and slotted into central defence while fNick Curran looked neat and tidy after coming on at right-back at the interval.
Another promising youngster, Danny Wood-Brett, sprang the offside trap to race on to a smart through ball before slotting neatly through the keeper’s legs to make it 3-0.
The 17-year-old who had also come on at half-time, had shown some intelligent movement, neat touches and despite giving up a few pounds on many of his opponents was not averse to putting in a challenge – his goal was richly deserved.
Shortly afterwards, athletic winger Tyrone Pink lobbed in a fourth after a mistake by the home keeper gifted him possession in a dangerous area. His finish signalled the talent of a player looking to kick on from the six league goals he scored during the short lived 2020-21 campaign.
Next up for Becks is the return of football to Eden Park Avenue when Lingfield FC arrive for a friendly on Saturday (2pm).
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