Mead’s Late Playoff Surge

Casey Cooper-Fiske reports on an action-packed afternoon at Bayliss Avenue.

Thamesmead Town sit four points off of the Ryman League North playoffs after they won a seven-goal thriller 4-3 against relegation-battling Waltham Abbey.

Striikes from Harrison Carnegie, Paul Vines (2), Gary Dauti gave the hosts a memorable win.

The game started slowly but sprang into life as the home side had the first real chance of the match. Jack West was played in by Mark Attard and his shot brought a comfortable save out of the Mead keeper Andy Walker.

Harrison Carnegie sent the Thamesmead fans rocketing, with an unbelievable strike from 20 yards, as he controlled a great ball worked out by the Mead defence and fired the ball into the bottom right corner.

Teasing

The Mead’s lead only lasted a few minutes and then found themselves behind within three minutes of the equaliser with a double from Chris Assombalonga. Left-back Mark Jones swung in a teasing ball that was met by the head of West, who nodded it in to the path of Assombalonga to smash in from close range and level it up at 1-1.

Then Waltham scored a quick-fire second as Assombalonga chased down Ryan Blackman’s hopeful long ball successfully and coolly slotted into the far corner, to take the advantage 29 minutes in.

Just before the break, Thamesmead were able to pull themselves back to level terms. Carnegie was at the centre of the Mead’s attack again on the right wing, and crossed into the path of Paul Vines who nodded past Ormand in the Waltham goal.

Both sides had a chance to regain the lead before half time. First, Vines entertained the crowd with his acrobatic attempt to score from a ball into the box, but Ormand was equal to it. At the other end Assombalonga nearly had his hat-trick as he saw his glancing header fall narrowly wide of the post.

Packed

In the second half, Mead regained the lead for the second time, as Gary Dauti met the ball from a half clearance by the Waltham defence to strike into the bottom left corner.

Then three minutes later, the hosts extended their advantage as Vines headed home a Lee Prescott corner in a packed Waltham penalty area.

Mead controlled the match with their two-goal lead, until Assombalonga grabbed his hat-trick 66 minutes in, as he latched on to a long ball from the wing to head over the onrushing Walker with the back of his head.

After conceding the goal, the home side looked venerable and goalkeeper Andy Walker came to the rescue with three minutes remaining, as Assombalonga was put through on goal only for his effort to be stopped by Walker at his near post, and to secure the Mead’s three points.

Thamesmead now sit in eighth place, four points off the playoff positions.