|Date||25 February 2020|
|Venue||Park View Road|
|Result||L 1 - 8|
|Time played||Normal time|
25 February 2020
Erith and Belvedere 1 Aiyelabola 66
Chatham Town 8 Evans 7, 18(p), 60, Palmer 11, 30, 71, 85, Bodkin 51
PAINFUL NIGHT FOR DERES AS BAD RUN CONTINUES
During the chaotic month following the departure of Owen Jones, Erith and Belvedere had suffered heavy defeats against mid-table sides in the SCEFL premier division. On this chilly but thankfully dry Tuesday night they came up against title contenders in Chatham Town, and the outcome wasn’t pretty.
The result was the biggest home defeat in the club’s history, beating the 0-7 v Sutton United in the wartime South East Combination on 4 March 1944. Once again the scratch team of youth recruits, along with the odd older head, fought admirably against the odds but were outclassed. There were three debutants in Raphael Kalu, Ted Maynard and promising sub Connor Linham, plus the experienced Steve Springett who had made seven appearances over the previous decade.
Chief tormentor for the visitors was Ryan Palmer – himself with 15 Deres appearances to his name – whose speed and movement created problems all evening, and who helped himself to four goals. Jack Evans began the rout in the 7th minute, and after Palmer’s first he added his second from the spot after Maynard had been rather harshly sent off for blocking a goalbound effort with a combination of his chest and just possibly a portion of upper arm. A third goal in the opening 18 minutes was bad enough; facing a team in prime form with ten men for the remainder of the match was a nightmare.
Palmer added a fourth on the half-hour, which is how it remained at half-time.
The second half started badly for Deres when Victor Aiyelabola, having been fouled, unwisely screamed into the referee’s face and was sinbinned, leaving Deres down to nine men for ten minutes, during which time Matt Bodkin added a fifth for Chatham. Evans completed his hat-trick on the hour shortly after Aiyelabola returned, though six minutes later the sinbinned player at least got the Deres on the scoresheet with a close-range effort following a cross by Harry Towner.
Chatham weren’t deterred at having a goal pulled back, and Palmer added two more, the first a screamer from the angle of the box. His final goal sealed the record, and rounded off a miserable month for Deres. But in these circumstances the results have been less important than Stuart Webb’s achievements in putting teams out and keeping the club going.
DERES: Stevens, Edwards, Bolton, Springett, Kalu, Maynard, Kemokai (Linham 61), Towner, Aiyelabola (Osborne 73), Acland, Velasquez (Smith 61).