Casey Cooper-Fiske reports on an Easter setback for Thamesmead Town in their late push for the Ryman North Playoffs.
Ten-man Thamesmead’s late surge for a playoff spot took a knock, as they drew 1-1 away at Phoenix Sports on Easter Monday.
The South-East London side dropped two valuable points, after they could not hold an early second half lead established by Paul Vines. Russell Bedford struck a late equaliser for the visitors from the penalty spot.
Vines opened the scoring with Mead’s first real attack in the second half, as Phoenix keeper Steve Phillips spilled Harrison Carnegie’s shot straight into Vines’ path for an easy finish.
Thamesmead’s afternoon got a little easier ten minutes later, as Phoenix midfielder Jason Goodchild was sent off for a wild kick out at Carnegie. From the resulting free-kick Vines header only found the arms of Phillips.
As the game entered its closing stages, the visitors began to get more of a foothold in the game and the newly promoted side almost equalised when Steve Long curled the ball just over the bar.
Phoenix levelled three minutes from time, as Ben Glasgow brought down Phoenix’s Chris Pattison inside the Mead penalty area. The referee pointed straight to the spot and Bedford placed the ball past Andy Walker.
Pattison caused the Mead further problems in the closing stages, as he nearly put his team in front when he cut inside and fired a powerful shot that just scraped Walker’s near post.
In the dying embers of the match, Glasgow was given a second bookable offence as he brought down Pattison a second time, this time outside of the box.
The Mead still remain in the playoff race with seven games to go, but have a tough test at the weekend as they visit of fellow promotion chasers Dereham Town.