Honours even in final pre-season game
By Duncan Hart
A new-look Menace secured a draw against higher level opposition in final warm-up game ahead of the start of the Kent County League Premier Division next weekend.
Peckham Town welcomed FC Deportivo Galicia to the Menace Arena on Saturday. The visitors were formed in 1968 by early Galician immigrants, and were champions of the Middlesex County League Premier Division (Step 7) in 2016/17. The team are now entering their third season in the Combined Counties League Division 1 and Step 6 football.
The pedigree of the opposition didn’t deter the young Menace side, as they started the game on the front foot with some quick attacking football. Peckham had several chances to open the scoring, and new signing Marcus Black should have beaten the back-peddling visiting keeper when he was put through one-on-one, but his shot narrowly missed the far post. It didn’t take long though for the Menace to open the scoring, when Marco Almeida finished clinically putting the South Londoners in front. This was Marco’s first goal for the club following his move from Forest Hill Park.
The new look Menace looked were causing the visitors problems, and Owen Imadiyi should have finished a well worked move. The visitors’ technical ability on the ball was very good, but similar to the home-team lacked a cutting edge. Black saw a wicked 20-yard screamer tipped past the post by the visitors’ goalkeeper as Town increased the pressure, and from the resulting corner Deportivo’s defence could only clear the ball as far as the edge of the 18 yard line where Marcus Black was waiting to fire in Town’s second of the game. The Combined Counties side then capitalised on a mix up in the Menace defence as they squeezed in a goal at the far post just before half time to reduce the arrears, and head in to the break at 2-1.
The Menace made several change at half-time, with Saturdays upcoming opening game in mind, Mary Phillip decided to rest a few and take advantage of a last opportunity to look at a few more. John Akoto, Paul Charnley, Herve Mbongue and Charlie Egleton stepped out; and were replaced by Youssef Bouimane, Zach Beeden and two trialists.
Shortly after the restart, the experienced visitors soon found themselves on level terms, with a well taken second goal from a first time volley inside the box. The turnaround was completed moments later, when the visitors caught out the Menace on a counter attack to take the lead.
Town hit back when A Trialist closed down the keeper and equalised into an empty net. The Menace thought they had clinched the win minutes later, following a neat spin and finish by the lively Marcus Black in the 6 yards area. However, the linesman had other ideas as the flag was raised for offside.
Mary Phillip, Head Coach, said “I am pleased with what I have seen thus far from my squad. It’s a brand new group of players who looked sharp. Very grateful to the visitors for coming over to the Menace this afternoon, and I wish them all the very best for the season.”
Peckham Town kick off the Kent Country League Premier Division campaign next weekend. It couldn’t be a tougher test to start, as the Menace have been pitted at home on 17 August against last season’s champions – Staplehurst Monarchs. Town then are away from the Menace, as the team travels to nearby Stansfeld (O&B) on 21st and distant New Romney on 24th. There are then two home games in quick succession on Bank Holiday Monday and Saturday 31 August vs Ide Hill and Bromleians respectively. You can keep updated on all the goings on at Peckham Town by following @PeckhamTownFC on Twitter and Instagram.