Thamesmead’s Play Off chances are still alive courtesy of a stunning strike from Phillippe Blaettler after just 14 minutes of a hard fought win over Dereham Town.
Picking the ball up wide on the right the youngster cut inside and fired an unstoppable drive past Dereham keeper Viner for his first goal for the first team – a goal that will live long in the memory and could be oh so important in the weeks to come.
The Norfolk side who had well beaten the Mead in the reverse fixture in November on the coldest day of the season arrived at the SCT with their own outside Play Off hopes, but left beaten after the Mead’s back-line held firm after a brilliant defensive display from Richard Butler and the outstanding Joe Vines backed up by a Man of the Match performance just in front of the heart of the Mead defense from Adalberto Pinto.
Before Phillippe’s goal the Mead had had the ball in the Town net when following a Lee Prescott free kick, Joe forced the ball over the line only for the referee to rule the goal out.
Dereham’s first real chance of the game saw the impressive Logan release Crisp who raced clear, but delayed just long enough to allow Mead skipper Jack Barry to make a brilliant potentially goal saving tackle.
Theo Fairweather-Johnson was then denied his 18th goal of the season by Viner’s right boot, before Mead keeper Andy Walker kept out Crisp’s effort with his legs, before the last chance of the half saw Theo get in behind the Dereham back-line only to beat Viner but also the far post with his shot.
Dereham had the better chances after the break but with Butts, Joe V and Pints outstanding their chances were limited. Borrer should really have scored after being found by Crisp, but he was denied by a fantastic Butts block which saw the ball ricochet into the side netting; Joe then scrambled away a dangerous cross from Blake-Tracy before Logan missed THE chance that Dereham had been longing for. As a long ball was played down the right, the winger took advantage of a slight hesitation between Walks and Jay Porter to nip in between the two and lift the ball over the stranded Mead keeper only for his angled lob to bounce a yard wide of the right post and with it went the Norfolk side’s realistic hopes of reaching Post Season football.
And so with now just four games left AFC Hornchurch still cling onto the coverted fifth place with 76 points and now after beating Brightlingsea Regent, and with Cheshunt’s home defeat to Cray, the Essex side have a three point gap from the Mead, Cheshunt and Brightlingsea all on 73.
Thamesmead Town now head for White Hart Lane on Tuesday to face in form Haringey Borough for yet another must win game…
Thamesmead – Walker, Barry (Hallam), Porter, Pinto, Joe Vines, Butler, Prescott, Blaettler (Spillane), Paul Vines, Fairweather-Johnson, Carneggie
Subs – Glasgow, Everitt, Himbury