|Date||3 August 2019|
|Venue||Park View Road|
|Result||D 1 - 1|
|Time played||Normal time|
3 August 2019
Erith and Belvedere 1 Mpungi 68
K Sports 1 Smith 7
E&B IMPRESS v K WITHOUT GETTING THE W
Erith and Belvedere manager Owen Jones declared himself happy with the outcome of the club’s first game back in the SCEFL top flight after two years, although they had to come from behind to claim a point. After finishing as runners-up a point behind Welling Town last season, Deres had to cope with the departure of 45-goal Harry Harding plus the absence through injury of Dan Teeley, and included four players making their club debuts. K Sports were under new management following the departure of Kris Browning nine days before.
There was almost a sensational opening as a mix-up in the Sports defence saw the ball rolling towards goal but being cleared of the line after just 26 seconds. Deres began confidently, in particular Guyliano Mpungi who had a good chance on the left in the third minute which was cleared by keeper Dan Smith at the cost of a knock.
But it was Sports who took a 7th-minute lead when Charlie Smith blasted a free-kick home from 20 yards, keeper Lewis Mitchell getting a hand to it but unable to stop it.
For the rest of the half the pattern was Deres building neatly yet Sports still dangerous on the break. Mpungi set up a good chance for George Jones on 14 minutes which drew a good save from Smith, and a minute later Kameiko Pope-Campbell worked hard to close in from the right but his pass across the face of goal found no takers. At the other end Regan Corke got past Reece Barrett on 25 minutes and fired in a cross which Smith reached but could only fire high over. Pope-Campbell again fed in from the right at the end of the half but debutant Baba Adeniran was unable to get a touch.
Four minutes into the second half a slick passing move in the box found Pope-Campbell in space but he leant back and sent the shot just over the bar. 9 minutes later Mitchell came out to parry an effort from Stace which rolled towards goal until the reliable Reggie Yembra intervened to clear.
Deres’ reward came midway through the second half when Mpungi broke free down the left and somehow got through two stiff challenges into the box before burying a low shot into the far corner to equalise. This came just after the introduction of Arthur Feudijo, newly signed from Be Quick FC of Groningen and the first Dere ever to have spent time in the Ajax academy!
In the closing stages both sides had chances to clinch it. Smith controlled the ball with a boot perilously close to Tony Hill’s head but shot wide; debutant Eric De Melo found Osita Isichei with a forward ball only for the sub to shoot just wide; Sports had a penalty shout turned down by the referee when George Jones dispossessed Smith; and Yembra just failed to get enough on a header from a stoppage-time corner. A highly entertaining game and a decent start to the campaign.
DERES: Mitchell; Hill, Barrett, De Melo, Yembra, Jones, J Wade (Feudijo 61), Quan, Pope-Campbell, Adeniran (Isichei 75), Mpungi. Subs: Kitondo, Dobson, R Wade.
SPORTS: D Smith; West, Hooper, Perry, Benner, Cooper, Corke (Landau 81), Pring, C Smith, Gething (Booth 70), Stace (Gundry 88).