News & Events

Beckenham Town Under 9 Reds v The Dads

The scene was set. It was a balmy spring evening, the pitch was pristine and the expectant crowd, young and old, waited pitch side for the two teams to arrive. Dadsvsunder9s

The youngsters arrived early for their warm up and were put through their prematch routine by two new additions to the coaching staff, Claire Fletcher and Anne Clarkson. Hardly the double act of Clough and Taylor I hear you say but just ask their respective husbands, a whole lot scarier!

All that was left now was for their opponents to turn up. We sent the referee for the night Bobby Jasper to see where they were. This was a serious mistake as the opposition had decided they would change into their kit in the clubhouse......which also had a bar. Sending our very own version of Graeme Poll into a bar is like sending Wee Willie wonka into the chocolate factory, you will never get him out again! But return he did (eventually) only to tell us kick off was delayed on the request of the opposition because some of them had to stretch the 'retro kit to get it on!

Delay over and with the youngsters raring to go the crowd started to get excited, as like a scene out of 'Stars In Their Eyes' emerging from the distance came a group of highly 'untuned' athletes looking splendant in their blue & bDadsvsunder9s2lack horizontal striped kit. The time had arrived, let battle commence.

Fletcher and Clarkson gave their boys their final instructions as referee Jasper called the two captains together. Ollie Jasper guesting for the Under 9's jogged in to the centre circle eager to get things under way as his counterpart Brett Chandler arrived thirty seconds later gasping for breath.

We knew they were old and unfit but this was ridiculous the opposing captain was asking for oxygen and we hadn't even kicked off yet. The teams were asked to change ends on the request of Chandler- just another delaying tactic to enable the old boys a chance to get their breath back after their extensive three pints and two minute football warm up. The game was underway, almost immediately the youngsters were on the offensive.

The old boys aided by the spice boys Parkinson and Jawaheer were hanging on for dear life and it was only the cat like reactions of goalkeeper Clarkson that kept the oldies on level terms. The breakthrough was coming and it was no surprise when a sweeping move down the flank saw Freddie Fletcher and Jurell Tull both stake claim to getting the final touch as the ball nestled in the old boys net. 1-0 to the youngsters and you could already sense that this was going to be a long evening for the Dads. But with over 400 years experience on planet earth between them, led by twinkle toes Calvin Bailey they dragged themselves back on level terms with a well taken goal from Mr Motivator lookalike Dave Tull.

These youngsters are made of stern stuff though and just on the stroke of half time they went back in front through mini Chandlers neat finish, something his Dad could only dream off according to the stick he was getting from his teammates as yet another pass went astray from Chandler Snr. The oldies were rattled, Parkinson hit the post, Chandler again blasting over with only the keeper to beat. However just on the stroke of half time a sustained period of pressure saw the equalising goal courtesy of a goalmouth scramble and the unfortunate Joe Clarkson putting through his own net. 2-2 at half time and all to play for.

Dadsvsunder9s3Could the new coaching duo of Fletcher and Clarkson galvanise their troops? Only time would tell. Meanwhile the Dads were in trouble on the far side of the pitch. It looked like a scene from Casualty as bodies were strewn across the pitch. Referee Jasper got us under way for the second half and it was pretty much the same story again right from the off with the youngsters swarming all over the oldies and with Fletcher and Clarkson still not having played their ace in the pack by slipping on a few unnoticed players, it looked highly likely the youngsters would overpower their senior opponents. Two quick goals, one from Chandler jnr and a poachers effort from Tull jnr put the boys in the ascendency. Would we see a reaction from the old boys? They responded in emphatic style driven on by Parkinson, Bailey and the effervescent Clarkson, Chandler Snr finally got his name on the score sheet with a two yard tap in. 4-3. Five minutes remaining and it was backs to the wall for the youngsters who decided to park the bus Sam Allardyce style.

The old boys kept knocking on the door but just couldn't break the boys down, until one of the spice boys Parkinson bulldozed his way into the box and snuck one under the the keeper. 4-4. This game was now in the balance, it could go either way. The oldies were now in the ascendency and sniffed a win but complacency started to set in as from a corner from the older of the Jasper brothers saw Bailey somehow manage to divert the ball into his own net via his backside! 5-4 to the youngsters. Surely that was the winning goal.. Or we all thought it was until.......disaster. In her wisdom Coach Fletcher decided to bring herself and her assistant Clarkson on to swell the ranks to 16 players!  She should have stayed on the touchline! Barely thirty seconds after coming on she scored an own goal......the boys were crestfallen and in the dying embers of the game we were level again. 5-5. There wasn't even time to kick off as referee Jasper blew for full time. We were headed to the dreaded penalty shoot out. Who could hold their nerve?

Tull, Clarkson, The Fletcher brothers , The Michnowski brother and sister combination, Chandler Bailey jnr were all successful with their penalties whilst Clarkson, Hines, Bailey and Chandler were all successful with their penalties. To even things up some of the oldies had to take two penalties and whilst Clarkson and Hines amongst others were successful with their second attempts it was left to Chandler to keep things going otherwise the youngsters were victorious. Chandler took a run up as long as Michael Holding in his prime. There in llay the problem, the time he reached the ball he was exhausted! His shot lacked any real conviction and was saved low down to his left by Fletcher Snr.

It was all over.....the youngsters had triumphed against all the odds. Fletcher and Clarkson celebrated with their team whilst the oldies collapsed, exhausted pitchside. The inquisition and finger pointing had started.

Irrespective of the result it was a day to remember for everyone concerned. It just confirmed what we already knew.....Beckenham Town JFC is one special Football Club. We are all proud to be a part of it.