|Date||26 January 2019|
|Venue||Park View Road|
|Result||W 6 - 0|
26 January 2019
Erith and Belvedere 6 Harding pen 51, 66, 78, Dobson 55, Lake 61, Olayokun 90
Lydd Town 0
HARRY ON FIRE AS DERES' RISE CONTINUES
The Deres’ season is becoming a statto’s delight. With this (eventually) convincing win they extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches. Meanwhile marksman Harry Harding strengthened his place at the top of the division’s scoring charts with his fourth hat-trick in his last ten appearances, in the process passing 30 goals: the second earliest date in a season on which a Deres player has reached this landmark, after Alfie May in 2014-15, who did so on 6 January.
But it could have been very different in a goalless first half, when Harding was subjected to an old-fashioned reducer in the third minute courtesy of Lydd captain Ryan Smith, who quickly became home supporters’ pantomime villain. And Lydd thought they had taken the lead on 18 minutes when Piers Futcher released Tom Barton to tuck the ball past Deres keeper Dan Teeley, only to be given offside.
Deres came back strongly and dominated the rest of the half. Harding’s cross found Ramell Lake who drew a fine save from Jamie Kelly, and on 22 minutes Lake’s shot was blocked but Harding was given offside when following up to net. The Deres’ striker was denied again 9 minutes later after a fine build-up involving Chan Quan and Jerome Wade, but the whistle had blown well before his shot. A Lake free-kick punched over the bar by Kelly came closest to separating the teams in the first half.
The breakthrough came six minutes into the second half, when Joseph Ogunbiyi was brought down in the box by Dale Horton, and Harding made no mistake from the spot. Five minutes later a fluent team passing move ended with Harding setting up Connor Dobson for his second goal in consecutive games to make it 2-0. On the hour Ogunbiyi could have headed in Harding’s cross but missed in the manner of Kevin Keegan in the 1982 World Cup (one for the teenagers) – but a minute later Quan squared the ball to Lake to make it 3-0.
The fourth came in the 66th minute when Ogunbiyi set up Harding, who hit an unstoppable drive from just outside the box for one of the goals of the season, and Deres had 4 in 16 minutes. Following a flurry of substitutions, Harding bagged the fifth and completed his hat-trick from a narrow angle on the right on 78 minutes, and another imaginative passing move in the closing stages ended with Bruce Muchenje setting up substitute David Olayokun to make it 6-0.
As if to bookend the game, another clattering tackle saw Smith sent off in stoppage time, and Barton joined him after his part in the ensuing confrontation. But the Deres emerged with a very convincing win which saw them climb to 4th, ten points behind leaders Welling Town with 5 games in hand. It could be a very interesting spring.
DERES: Teeley; Hill, Barrett, Lake, Yembra, Dobson (Olayokun 77), J Wade, Quan, Ogunbiyi, Harding (Holley 81), Mpungi (Muchenje 69).