|Date||9 November 2019|
|Opposition||Hollands & Blair|
|Venue||Star Meadow Sports|
|Result||L 1 - 7|
|Time played||Normal time|
9 November 2019
Hollands & Blair 7 Goodger 18, pen 26, 52, Freeman 58, Cooper 63, 84, Bearman-Dyce 90
Erith and Belvedere 1 Mpungi 64
DERES’ NIGHTMARE CONTINUES
Erith & Belvedere went down to their 9th consecutive defeat at Star Meadow, and this was one that just got worse and worse even after the final whistle.
With Dan Teeley taking a break after the 8-1 hiding at Bearsted, Taiwo Aliu continued in goal, but was sent off on 50 minutes after two yellow cards, after which stand-in George Jones was beaten five more times as Blair capitalised on the advantage of the slope and the extra man.
Ricky Freeman had the ball in the Deres’ net after 9 minutes, but it was disallowed for offside. However it wasn’t long before Blair did take the lead, a cross from Darren Cooper being headed down by Freeman for Harry Goodger to open the scoring in the 18th minute.
Guyliano Mpungi drew a good save from Adam Highsted, and caused Blair a few concerns down the left wing, on one occasion being brought down in full flight by a challenge that could have earned Callum McGeehan more than a booking. By that stage, however, Blair were two up, Aliu bringing down Freeman on 26 minutes and earning a yellow card before Goodger converted the penalty to make it 2-0.
Deres had a couple of chances to get back into the game as Kameiko Pope-Campbell had a shot saved by Highsted just under the bar, and a Jerome Wade header went high, but the sky was about to fall in early in the second half.
In the 50th minute Aliu brought down Freeman a second time and received a second yellow. With no sub keeper, George Jones – whose father, manager Owen, was serving the third game of his suspension following the incident v Lordswood – went in goal and his first action was to pick the ball out of the net as Goodger completed his hat-trick.
Two more goals followed in the next 11 minutes as Freeman converted Cooper’s cross in the 58th minute and Cooper buried a free-kick in the 63rd. Five down with nearly half an hour to go, things were looking black, but within a minute Pope-Campbell worked hard to make an opening on the left and set up Mpungi to roll in what was only ever going to be a consolation.
The dispirited Deres nevertheless managed to keep Blair out for 20 minutes before conceding two more late on – another Cooper free-kick in the 84th minute and a cracking shot by substitute Caleb Bearman-Dyce in the 90th. Jones may have been a stand-in, but Blair’s strikes would have beaten most regular keepers.
Worse was to follow after the final whistle. Just before time Deres sub JoJo Ogunbiyi got into a confrontation with McGeehan and, already frustrated at only getting a short run-out, continued it after the whistle. As players and officials separated them, a steward behind the goal shouted racist abuse, which was to result in an official complaint from the Deres and the retirement from football of Deres goalkeeping coach Brian Vanderhook in protest at this and other incidents of this nature which have happened in recent months.
BLAIR: Highsted; Kingson, A Brown, B Brown, West, McGeehan, Simon, Valencia, Freeman, Goodger (Bearman-Dyce 60), Cooper
DERES: Aliu; Hill, Dobson (Ogunbiyi 78), Bannan, Baines, Jones, J Wade, Quan (Workneh 70), Pope-Campbell, De Melo, Mpungi.