So Monday night and the opportunity to visit another ground (Bayliss Avenue, Sporting Club Thamesmead Complex) i haven’t been to for a few years, in fact looking back with the help of Hendon FC’s excellent website archive, it was to see Hendon win a London Senior Cup tie 2-0 against then hosts Thamesmead Town on the 30 March 2011.
Back then the ground was cloaked in darkness and resembled a building site in many places but a lot has changed in the intervening years. The ground itself is transformed, with a new stand (with an excellent view) facing the main grass pitch and a new 4G pitch behind it linked by a new building / changing rooms / bars etc and also Thamesmead Town have now moved out (currently groundsharing at Dartford FC) and the ground is currently jointly used by Sporting Club Thamesmead and Welling Town, both playing in the Southern Counties East League Division One.
Sporting Club Thamesmead is the current name of the old Seven Acre & Sidcup FC, the name change following their move to the new Sporting Club Thamesmead sports complex in 2016.
The visitors Kent Football United, hail from the Dartford area and play at the Glentworth Sports Club (a ground i need to get round to visiting soon!) and began the game struggling near the foot of the table, with their hosts in mid table following an up and down start to the season results wise.
The game kicked off at 7.45pm on a pleasant evening, with the visitors starting brightly, as left winger Luke Markey showed some nice touches and intelligent running but gradually the home side came into the game and after going close with an earlier free hitting the woodwork, SC Thamesmead took the lead when Stephen Wetherley’s free kick found its way past the KFU keeper from distance and then suddenly it was 2-0 in the 17th minute as Wetherley was again in the right place to force the ball home from close range.
The visitors continued to try and play football the right way and had a decent shout for a penalty for handball turned down just before the break and created several half chances, the second half though saw SC Thamesmead take over, the third and decisive goal came in the 63rd minute when Jamie Rawsthorne beat the offside trap and ran on to a through ball to round the keeper and slot home.
After that the game became very open, as KFU led their heads drop a little and SC Thamesmead were clinical in terms of exploiting the space that was given to them. The 4th goal arrived in the 66th minute when centre forward Josh Patrick nodded home from almost on the goal line following an initial shot from impressive midfielder Max Williams.
SC Thamesmead sensed the opportunity for more goals and the 5th and probably best goal of the night came from a lovely flowing move of quick incisive passes, which ended with David Duodu-Amoah’s cross driven home with a great finish from Patrick on the half turn for his 2nd goal of the night.
Although another contender for goal of the night then followed in the 87th minute as Jamie Rawsthorne was allowed to run at the visitors defence and took full advantage by smashing a long range strike into the top corner to make it 6-0.
The visitors, didn’t give up however and although SC Thamesmead will have been disappointed to have a clean sheet spoiled on an otherwise excellent night for them, the neutral would have to say Kent Football United at least deserved a goal for their efforts and it came in stoppage time when substitute Jayden Hussain found the net from close range after a left wing cross from the hard working Taser Hassan.
All in all, an excellent night’s entertainment for the small crowd of 52, with some bright performances from a whole host of Sporting Club Thamesmead players who were well worth the victory. Some fine goals and excellent passing / movement on a decent pitch that encouraged both teams to try and move the ball around.
Sporting Club Thamesmead push on into the top half the table and will have aspirations of remaining there, with their next game a stern test against groundshare neighbours Welling Town, which will provide a good indication of where they are at. As for Kent Football United, they have some decent players and tried to play the game the right way and were perhaps at times frustrated by some dubious refereeing decisions that went against them at key moments but they will have to tighten up at the back, as despite how bright SC Thamesmead were going forward, they were afforded far too much time and space in the 2nd half especially which just invited trouble.
With two clubs now playing there and the excellent facilities available, hopefully it won’t be quite as long until my next visit to Bayliss Avenue and the Sporting Club Thamesmead complex.